Franklin Mystery Masterpieces

Franklin Library Franklin Mystery Masterpieces

The Franklin Library collection: Franklin Mystery Masterpieces was published from 1987 to 1990. Unlike other Franklin Library series, the Franklin Mystery Masterpieces were offered primarily in leatherette (rather than genuine leather binding) and there were a few books that were offered in full leather bound versions. Mousetrap and Other Plays by Agatha Christie had a velvet cover, though some versions of the title were issued in leather.

This series was originally offered in leather and leatherette, but the leather version didn’t sell well and was discontinued (thus not all titles are available in leather). The leather editions came from a different Franklin Library series and didn’t follow the same sequence of titles as the leatherette versions.

While it is somewhat disappointing that the Franklin Mystery Masterpieces were not offered all as full leather bound books, this series remains one of the best high-quality collections of mystery titles available, with fantastic examples of the genre including the Maltese Falcon and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. The leatherette titles in the Franklin Mystery Masterpieces collection still include gold stamped accents and the gilt page edges.

Distinguishing leatherette from genuine leather: Any Franklin Library leatherette version does not have a sewn-in bookmark. This is an easy way to distinguish which titles are full leather, and which are the faux leather leatherette. Expect to pay more for a full leather version of a Franklin Mystery Masterpieces title.

The Franklin Library closed in 2000, and all titles in the Franklin Mystery Masterpieces series are out of print and only available from secondary aftermarket sources, primarily collectible booksellers who can be found on Amazon.

List of Franklin Library Franklin Mystery Masterpieces Book Series


  • Great American Mysteries (a collection of stories by different different Anerican authors)
  • Great British Mysteries (a collection of stories by different British authors)
  • The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham
  • A coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
  • Trent’s Last case by E. C. Bently
  • The House without a Key by Earl Derr Biggers
  • Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
  • The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton
  • The Beast must die by Nicolas Blake
  • The 39 Steps by John Buchan
  • Postman always rings twice by James M. Cain
  • Laura by Vera Caspary
  • Mousetrap and other plays by Agatha Christie
  • The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  • The Long Divorce by Edmund Crispin
  • The Ipcress File by Len Deighton
  • Payment Deferred by C. S. Forrester
  • The day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
  • Blood Sport by Dick Francis
  • Quiet as a Nun by Antonia Fraser
  • D.A. calls it Murder by Erle Stanley Gardner
  • The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  • Raffles by E. W. Hornung
  • The Man from the Sea by Michael Innes
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
  • The Great cases of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  • Ghostly Tales by Henry James
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carre
  • A Kiss before Dying by Ira Levin
  • Compulsion by Meyer Levin
  • The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes
  • Ashenden (or British agent) by W. S. Maugham
  • Tales of mystery and imagination by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Thank you Mr. Moto and Mr. Moto is so sorry by John P. Marquand
  • Overture to Death by Ngaio Marsh
  • The Red House Mystery by A. A. Milne
  • The Man in the corner by Baroness Orczy
  • The Roman Hat Mystery by Ellery Queen
  • The Door by Mary Rinehart
  • The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer
  • The Crimson Circle by Edgar Wallace
  • Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Strange case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Fer-De-Lance by Rex Stout
  • The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
  • Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Patience of Maigret by George Simenon
  • Anatomy of Murder by Robert Traver
  • The Benson Murder case by S. S. Van Dine
  • The Bride wore Black by Cornell Woolrich


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