Contests[space]TripsBlogHotel[space]Sponsor and Ads[space]contact[space]Home


Mysteries Set In Hawaii

Get ready for your trip by reading some mysteries set on the Hawaiian Islands! Thanks to Cindy Chow and John Walsdorf for providing us with a list of "Homicide in Hawaii," and to everyone else who has sent suggestions. Got one to add? Send it to trow @

Visit, a blog about books for and about Hawaii.

[cover]Allen, Steve. Murder in Hawaii.
Steve Allen and friends vacation and find murder.

Arnold, Margot. The Menehune Murders.
A Sir Toby Glendower and Penny Spring mystery; the couple investigate murder and the legend of the Menehunes.

Atkinson, Deborah. Primitive Secrets, The Green Room, Fire Prayer.
Attorney Storm Kayama solves the murders of an uncle and a cousin; local Honolulu author.

Bailey, Alice Cooper. Footprints in the Dust, The Hawaiian Box Mystery.

Ball, Pamela. The Floating City.
A dead body carried down from the hills behind Honolulu becomes the focal point of the seething unrest and political corruption during the last years of Queen Liliuokalani's reign in the 1890s.

Baxter, Cynthia. Right from the Gecko.
Vet Jessica Popper investigates the murder of a reporter on Maui.

Beck, K.K. Peril Under the Palms.
Flapper sleuth Iris Cooper uncovers a garden of sins and family secrets in 1920s Hawaii.

Befeler, Mike. Retirement Homes are Murder.
The mystery takes place in a retirement home on the Windward side of Oahu, featuring an elderly sleuth with short-term memory loss.

Biggers, Earl Derr. The Charlie Chan Mysteries.
Classic mysteries with the Chinese detective and his Number One Son.

Birtcher, Baron R. Ruby Tuesday, Angels Fall (2008).
Retired LAPD detective investigates a murder to defend his friend in Kona.

Brett, Alex. Cold Dark Matter.
Morgan O'Brien goes to the Big Island Observatory after the death of a Canadian astronomer.

Brown, Mark. Game Face, Yellowfin, The Puna Kahuna, Night Marcher.
The series features Kona homicide detective Ben McMillen. Island folklore and mythology, and themes from Hawaii's past repeatedly pervade the detective's homicide cases.

[cover]Buckingham, Dorothea. Poisoned Palms.
Semi-historical fictional account of the mysterious death (or murder) of Mrs. Jane Lathrop Stanford, the Mother of Stanford University, who died in 1905 in her hotel room in Hawaii of strychnine poisoning.

Clark, Carol Higgins. Burned.
Regan Reilly discovers murder and the theft of valuable leis at the Waikiki Waters Resort.

Collins, Max Allen. The Pearl Harbor Murders.
An Asian singer is murdered just before Dec. 7th, 1941.

Corrigan, Mark (Norman Lee). Honolulu Snatch.

Dewey, Thomas B. Too Hot For Hawaii.
Private eye Pete Schofield drops anchor in Honolulu and within hours find a man with a knife in his back and a breathtaking widow.

Eberhardt, Michael. Against the Law.
The murder of Hawaii's governor and his mistress force an attorney to defend an old family friend.

Elkins, Aaron. Where There's A Will.
Gideon Oliver gets involved in a decade-old mystery surrounding the deaths of two elderly Swedish brothers who owned a huge cattle ranch on the Big Island.

Elkins, Aaron and Charlotte. On the Fringe.
Professional golfer Lee Ofsted is the celebrity pro golfer at the Mauna Kea Golf Club, but before she can even begin a club member is murdered and a valuable trophy is stolen.

[cover]Farmer, Jerrilyn. The Flaming Luau of Death.
Madeline Bean, premier caterer, discovers murder during a bridal shower on the Big Island.

Flora, Kate. Death in Paradise.
A convention on Maui turns deadly for education consultant Thea Kozak.

Ford, Leslie. Honolulu Murder Story.
A black-sheep American whose family had lived in Hawaii for generations went to Japan and came back to play traitor to his country in this 1947 mystery featuring Colonel Primrose and Mrs. Latham.

Friedman, Kinky. Steppin' On a Rainbow.
Kinky goes to the Big Island to find his missing reporter friend. Usual insanity follows.

Garner, Sharon K. Lokelani Nights.
A handsome Hawaiian cop on the injured list, a private paradise threatened by a malicious prankster, a restless shark god who makes regular appearances... nobody told her Hawaii would be like this!

Glatzer, Hal. The Last Full Measure.
Katy Green confronts murder and intrigue on the S.S. Lurline, en route to Hawaii on the eve of Pearl Harbor.

Goldberg, Lee. Mr. Monk in Hawaii.
Mr. Monk battles bare feet, geckos, and aloha wear as he solves a murder and debunks a psychic on Kauai.

Gordon, Dan. Just Play Dead.
Featuring Hawaiian-Jewish cop Dani Kahane.

Grant, Glen. McDougal's Honolulu Mysteries: Case Studies from the Life of a Honolulu Detective
A collection of detective stories based on actual crimes.
Chicken Skin Tales: 49 Favorite Ghost Stories from Hawaii
A book of ghost stories celebrating the supernatural traditions of Hawai'i.

coverHart, Carolyn C. Death in Paradise.
Henrie O. goes to Kauai to find the truth about her husband's murder.

Hatfield, Elaine & Rapson, Richard L. Deadly Wager, Vengeance is Mine.
Kate MacKinnon, daughter of a Narcotics/Vice detective with the Honolulu Police Department, must solve her father's murder after the police chief declares his death "an accident."

Hawkes, G.W. Gambler's Rose.
Card shark Charlie Halloran washes ashore in Hawaii after a run of bad luck.

Heckman, Victoria. K.O.'d in Honolulu, K.O.'d in the Volcano, K.O.'d in the Rift, K.O.'d in Maui (Fall 2008)
Series detective Honolulu police officer Katrina Ogden solves murders that are far from her province. Hawai'ian culture and language as well as non-fictional subplots are woven throughout.
Kapu (Sacred): A Coconut Man Mystery of Ancient Hawai'i (2008)
Series set in pre-European contact Hawai'i pits not only Coconut Man against his enemies, but invokes the gods, culture and ritual in this original first.
Read an interview with Victoria Heckman

Henry, Sue. The Refuge.
Sixty-something Maxie McNabb leaves Alaska, her RV, and her dachshund Stretch to travel to Hilo following a call for help from an old acquaintance. Renting an RV and hiring a local plumber, Maxie tours the Big Island while trying to discover who was sabotaging Karen's rental home.

[cover]Herr, Michael A. The Old Queen's Murder: A Kohala Coast Thriller.
A serial killer's arrival on the Big Island of Hawaii brings the Pono family more terror and grief than they have ever known before.

Hirschfeld, Corson. Aloha Mr. Lucky.
A journalist investigates a murder related to a strange personal ad on the Big Island in this wacky mystery.

Hughes, Chip. Murder on Molokai, Wipeout!, Kula (2008).
Surfing Detective mysteries.

Hunter, Madeline. Hula Done It?
During a cruise to Hawaii, travel escort Emily Andrews must solve a murder and the mystery of a Hawaiian treasure.

Hunter, R. David. Escape to Hawaii.
When Andy Morello survives a plane crash, he finds his wallet stuffed with money, but he has no idea where it came from, or for that matter, who he is. He hires a detective to provide those answers, and in the meantime takes refuge in the Hawaiian Islands.

coverJackson, Marian J.A. Diamond Head.
The body of Princess Lilliana, a cousin of deposed Hawaiian royalty, is discovered, and Miss Danforth must prove the innocence of her major domo Kinkade.

Jacobs, Tom. Sons of God.
When Lt. Peter Santiago is killed after stumbling onto a conspiracy to hijack a nuclear missile submarine, his father must search for the killers down a dangerous trail, across three continents. Much of the story is set on the North Shore of Oahu.
The Bimini Boys.
Manning Crenshaw exchanges identities with a dead man, making him rich beyond his wildest dreams, but the switch leads him down a deadly and puzzling path. Partially set on Oahu and Maui.

Kneubuhl, Victoria Nalani. Murder Casts a Shadow.
Newspaper reporter Mina Beckwith and visiting playwright Ned Manusia investigate murders and a missing painting in 1934 Honolulu.

Knief, Charles. Diamond Head, Sand Dollars, The Emerald Flash, Silversword.
Macho PI John Caine investigates murder and racks up a body count.

Knight, Clifford. The Affair of the Ginger Lei, The Affair of the Splintered Heart.

Lawrence, T.C. Fatal Paradise.
A dysfunctional family comes to the island of Kauai to reconcile, but are quickly embroiled in a deadly plot to acquire a vast piece of the island.

Long, Max. Murder Between Dark and Dark (1939), The Lava Flow Murders (1940) and Death Goes Native (1941).
The novels feature a "local kine" Columbo, a Hawaiian detective named Komako ("tomato") Koa ("brave") who shrewdly bumbles his way into finding the killers. Long's colorful language and vivid descriptions of authentic kahuna practices made his somewhat routine stories a delight to read. Perhaps if he had continued in this way, he would have been the Tony Hillerman of his time, conveying Native cultural practices through the device of the murder mystery. (Thanks to Makana Risser Chai at

coverMadinger, John. Death on Diamond Head.
Honolulu police detective Kimo Rigg is on the trail of a serial killer called the Double-Crosser.

Mason, Van Wyck. The Branded Spy Murders.
A dead female with strange design on her shoulder is found floating near the dock of Abner Polk, owner of a big American steel company.

Massey, Sujata. Shimura Trouble.
During a family reunion on Oahu, Rei Shimura is roped into helping the Hawaiian branch of her family regain land stolen from them during World War II.

Miles, Keith. Honolulu Play-off.
Pro golfer Alan Saxton travels to Hawaii to attend a wedding that gets disrupted by murder.

Muller, Marcia. A Walk Through the Fire.
PI Sharon McCone finds hidden secrets and murder on Kauai.

Olson, Rick. Maui Whispers.
Renowned sea-life painter Sky Shafer's orderly island world is suddenly rocked when nasty rumors start surfacing.

coverPlakcy, Neil. Mahu, Mahu Surfer.
HPD Detective Kimo Kanapa'aka must deal with prejudice from fellow cops and his involvement in the murder behind a gay bar.

Putnam, Mary. Terminal Love.
Two women, including one who has moved to Hawaii to start a new life, are drawn into a Web of danger in the world of online romance.

Ripley, Ann. Death in the Orchid Garden.
Television gardening host Louise Eldridge encounters the murder of a botanist on the Big Island.

Roynesdal, John. The Last Death, The Curse, Living In Darkness.
Detective Phillip Michael Carnegie of the Special Division Detective Team, Honolulu Police Department, investigates.

Schrader, Esther. Desperate Straits.
Private insurance investigator Ginger Akana journeys into the lush tropical island of Maui on a case that will make or break her career.

Sharp, Barbara E. The Last Smythe, The Third Spy, The Right Time, The Wind Mists, The Fifth Book.
The mysteries center mostly in and around historic Lahaina town, occasionally in upcountry Maui, and at Hana during an archaeological dig.

Shelton, Connie. Vacations Can Be Murder.
A vacation on Kauai turns deadly for CPA "Charlie" Parker.

Sheridan, Juanita. Chinese Chop, The Kahuna Killer, Mamo Murders, Waikiki Widow.
The adventures of Janice Cameron and her childhood friend Lily Wu, who investigate murder in this wonderful series.

Skarles, Dorothy Ann. Enchanted Hunt.
Following the legend of the great King Kamehameha's hidden gold, Catamount "Cat" James finds himself caught up with the mythical goddess Pele, an old Kuhuna with his magic stones, and deadly adversaries.

[cover]Skom, Edith. The George Eliot Murders.
Vacationing professor Beth Austin finds murder at the Mauna Kea Hotel.

Smith, Mark Haskell. Delicious.
Hawaiian chef Joseph defends his family's catering business on the Big Island against Vegas thugs. Who knew people tasted like chicken?

Speart, Jessica. Restless Waters.
US Fish and Wildlife agent Rachel Porter investigates the murder of an old woman and her link to a shawl made from a near-extinct animal.

Swigart, Rob. Vector, Toxin.
Featuring Hawaiian police lieutenant Cobb Takamura.

Teilhet, Darwin & Hildegarde. The Feather Cloak Murders.
1936 novel features Baron von Kaz solving a crime on an ocean cruise.

Tissot, Jan. Keiki.
A mainland woman gets involved in land politics of the Islands.

Troy, Mark. Pilikia Is My Business.
Honolulu private eye Val Lyon's search for a missing boy turns up murder and a dark family secret.

Tyler, Lee. The Teed-Off Ghost.
A golf course, a ghost, and murder.

Waiwaiole, Lono. Wiley's Refrain.
The murder of a promising young jazz musician takes Wiley to the big island of Hawaii, the land of his ancestors.

coverWalker, Robert W. Primal Instinct.
When Jessica Coran goes on holiday to Hawaii, she finds the underbelly of Paradise when a serial killer's leavings begin to wash up onshore.

Walks-As-Bear, David. Old Money.
Tribal cop Ely Stone encounters Hawaiian mysticism on the Big Island.

Walls, Madge. Paying the Price.
Paying the Price is the story of a real estate deal on Maui that goes terribly bad, threatening to wreck the lives of everyone involved.

Williamson, Charlotte. Say Aloha to Murder.
The vacation to Hawaii was supposed to be a relaxing trip for Detective James Hardrock and his fiancée, Janet Gordon. But at dinner on their first night, two bodies literally fall into their laps.

Zimmelman, Lue. Honolulu Red.
LAPD detective Rachel Starr enlists a thief to help her solve the murder of her ex-partner in Honolulu.



Online registration
Registration fee: $225
Day Passes & Guest Passes on sale now!

You can also send a check to:
Left Coast Crime 2009
2625 Alcatraz Ave #331
Berkeley, CA 94705
Printable registration form
Registering by mail?
Be sure to let us know if you're an author!


Program | Awards | Honorees | Registrants | Visiting Hawaii
Contests | Trips | Blog | Hotel | Sponsor/Ads | Contact | Home

Visit the main Left Coast Crime site at | Web site by interbridge