Murder mystery series are a timeless love – and there is a type for everyone. There are seven popular sub-genres of murder mystery novels: traditional, crime, cozy, police procedurals, private detective, noir, and capers. Murders, at least fictional ones, seem to happen everywhere, no matter the town, the people, or the circumstances. That’s why you’ll love this list of the best murder mystery series set in Oklahoma.
Readers love to solve the puzzle right alongside the detective, and what’s even more fun is experiencing the location along with them. With the popularity of the celebrated TV show, Ozark, we predict an upswing of interest in that Arkansas-Missouri-Oklahoma region.
You may think, “not many mysteries are set in Oklahoma…” but you’ll be happy to know that there are! Not only are there mystery novels that take place in OK, but there are whole series, too.
Mystery Series set in Oklahoma
Zane Clearwater Mysteries by Lynn Lipinski
Lynn Lipinski’s Zane Clearwater mystery series is set in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Follow good-hearted but flawed Zane Clearwater as he strives to protect his sister, Lettie, and find his way as an outcast into someone who believes justice rules, karma is real, and good people exist. Bloodlines and Serpent Loop are available now and the latest installment, Stalked by Revenge, is available March 21, 2023. Pre-order here!
Family Secrets by Mary Coley
Author Mary Coley has not one but two murder mystery series set in Oklahoma. Her first series, Family Secrets, is a collection of 4 novels about Jamie Aldrich. Follow Aldrich as she learns about the truth of her family’s history and the horrible murders of the Osage tribe in the 1920s. Will she be able to solve the mystery before she is silenced forever?
Coley’s second series, the Oklahoma Mystery series, includes two installments so far. Her main character, Claire Northcutt, is a journalist hunting down a story about Route 66 and its moniker “the Mother Road.” As she travels down the famous highway, a deeper, more sinister story unveils itself.
Read Family Secret Series
Bill Maytubby & Hannah Bond Mystery Series by Kris Lackey
The Bill Maytubby and Hannah Bond murder mystery series set in Oklahoma involves Chickasaw Nation, tribal Lighthorse policeman Bill Maytubby and county deputy Hannah Bond. In the first book, the pair discover the body of Majesty Tate, a young drifter with a blank past. They tirelessly search Oklahoma’s rock prairie, river bottoms, and hard-bitten small towns for traces of the victim’s last days. Ne’er-do-wells start dying off. Maytubby and Bond unite at Nail’s Crossing in a vicious standoff…The fresh voice of Kris Lackey lends intrigue, urgency, and suspense to this crime-solving duo.
Seven More Mystery Series Set in Oklahoma
Bailey Ruth Mysteries by Carolyn Hart
Bailey Ruth loved solving mysteries in life, and in death she is no different. In Carolyn Hart’s Bailey Ruth series, follow ghost detective (not a detective of ghosts but a detective who IS a ghost!) Bailey Ruth as she returns to Adelaide, Oklahoma and solves bigger problems than death. This is a 10-book series by award-winning author Carolyn Hart.
Alafair Tucker Series by Donis Casey
Set in Oklahoma in the early 1900s, the Alafair Tucker mysteries are a 10-book series where hard, tough, and sturdy homesteader Alafair Tucker solves big problems. Alafair is great at uncovering information–and secrets. She walks a fine line between safety and solutions.
Sheriff Milt Kovak series by Susan Rogers Cooper, a mystery series set in Oklahoma
Susan Rogers Cooper’s debut novel The Man in The Green Chevy was published in 1988. It was also the first installment of the Milt Kovak series, a 14-book series about Chief Deputy Milt Kovak from Prophesy County, Oklahoma.
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Sadie Walela Series by Sara Sue Hoklotubbe
Sadie is a blue-eyed Cherokee living in northeastern Oklahoma. She has to adapt to get by in the white man’s world. As she faces adversity at each bend in the road, this banker-turned sleuth comes to terms with murder, romance, and new hopes for a career.
Read Sadie Walela Series.
Ben Kincaid Series by William Bernhardt
This 19-book series stars Ben Kincaid, an Oklahoman lawyer new to the job. When his first client turns up dead, Kincaid turns into investigative sleuth searching for the truth. Things are never as they seem, however, and Ben Kincaid starts down a long, winding, and arduous path.
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Mitch Bushyhead Series by Jean Hager
Part-Cherokee Police chief Mitchell Bushyhead’s life is very much the same as that of his non-Indian neighbors in the little Oklahoma town of Buckskin. Mitch is a conscientious policeman, and when he is confronted with the murder of a local Indian artist named Joe Pigeon, he realizes that he’s going to have to learn more about his Cherokee people and their ways before he can find the killer. Joe Pigeon’s death leads him closer to Buckskin and closer to his people in this four part series.
Mystery Series Set in Oklahoma: Kenny Elliot series by Bob Avey
Kenny Elliot is a Tulsa, Oklahoma Police Detective with a quest. A quest to uncover the truth behind the death of a transient. He becomes a target—from whom or what, he isn’t sure. As he leans on his strength of character, and a sense of right and wrong, he wrestles with deep personal feelings to solve the case because things are never as they seem.
Read Kenny Elliot Series
Marina Crouse is the founder of marinacrousewrites.com and an aspiring author. She is the Managing Editor of GenTwenty.com and co-host of The GenTwenty Podcast.