%% I'm in the middle of making some changes. Please don't mind the "under construction" status of this article.


Related Trope Indexes:
+ CopsAndDetectives
+ MysteryTropes
+ {{Seekers}}
Related Work and Creator Indexes:
+ CrimeAndPunishmentSeries
+ CrimeFiction
+ MysteryStoryCreatorIndex
Related Genres
* DetectiveDrama
* SpyFiction

->'''Albert Wiles:''' If it's murder, who done it?\\
'''Sam Marlowe:''' Who ''[[YouMakeMeSic did]]'' it. \\
'''Albert Wiles:''' ...That's what they say, 'Whodunnit.'
-->-- ''Film/TheTroubleWithHarry''

Also known as a "mystery story" or simply a "mystery", Mystery Fiction is a genre where the plot revolves around a mysterious happening that acts as the DrivingQuestion.

In a standard mystery, the explanation for the mystery is gradually revealed by the investigative process of the protagonists. This is accomplished through a mixture of intelligence, ingenuity, the logical interpretation of evidence, and sometimes sheer luck. Many mysteries use a MysteryArc as the basis of their narrative structure, though variations on the theme can frequently be found.

DetectiveFiction is a type of Mystery Fiction that focuses on a detective solving a crime, and the term is often treated as synonymous with Mystery Fiction.

'''Basic Classes of Mystery'''
* The FairPlayWhodunnit: You know what the detective knows, and if you're smart enough, at a certain point, you can solve it ahead of him without being Genre Savvy.
* The CluelessMystery: The author doesn't provide enough clues for the audience to figure it out.
* The ReverseWhodunnit: The reader knows who, what, where, when, and why, perhaps in more detail than the detective will ever know. For the reader, the question is: How will the detective solve what appears to be a perfect crime?
'''Subgenres of Mystery Fiction'''
* AmateurSleuth: A character with no formal connection to law enforcement regularly solves crimes, but does not get paid for it.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cozy_mystery Cozy Mystery]]: Sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. The detectives in such stories are nearly always amateurs and frequently women. They are typically well-educated, intuitive, and often hold jobs that bring them into constant contact with other residents of their town and the surrounding region. This frequently features the LittleOldLadyInvestigates, and may or may not contain paranormal elements.
* GreatDetective: The classic GreatDetective relies on his personal powers of deduction, education and insight to solve crimes.
* HardboiledDetective: A tough, cynical guy with a gun and a lot of {{Street Smart}}s, who solves mysteries with dogged persistence rather than astounding insight, the Hardboiled Detective was America's Darker and Edgier response to the classic ideal of the GreatDetective. This type of Mystery Fiction is often associated with FilmNoir.
* HistoricalDetectiveFiction: Detective and mystery stories set in the past.
* ParanormalInvestigation: Based on the investigation of actual or alleged paranormal activity, this subgenre by its very nature tends to be less realistic than the others.
* PoliceProcedural: The emphasis is on realistic or at least semi-realistic depictions of modern police investigative techniques.
* For just a few of the other ways of classifying mysteries, see [[http://www.booksnbytes.com/genres_mystery.html here]] and [[http://mysteriousmatters.typepad.com/mysterious_matters_myster/2009/03/the-subgenres-love-em-or-leave-em.html here]].

'''For a brief history of Mystery Fiction, see the [[Trivia/MysteryFiction Trivia page]]'''

* [[MysteryAndDetectiveAnimeAndManga Anime and Manga]]
* [[MysteryFiction.{{Film}} Film]]
** See also MysteryAndDetectiveFilms
* [[MysteryLiterature Literature]]
* [[CrimeAndPunishmentSeries/DetectiveDrama Live Action TV]]

!!Other Examples:


[[folder: Magazine ]]

* ''Magazine/ElleryQueensMysteryMagazine''


[[folder: Pinball ]]

* ''[[Pinball/WHODunnit WHO dunnit]]'' by Creator/WilliamsElectronics, which casts the player as a HardboiledDetective who must solve a series of murders at a hotel and casino.


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* ''Theatre/The39Steps''
* ''Theatre/ThePajamaPartyMurders''


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''Videogame/CaperInTheCastro'' an LGBT first-person whodunnit adventure. First of its kind!
* Creator/{{Infocom}}'s ''Deadline'' is an InteractiveFiction game where the player has 12 (in-game) hours to solve a LockedRoomMystery.
* ''VideoGame/DiscworldNoir'' combines this trope with Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series, casting the player as a citizen who becomes a detective because of the TheoryOfNarrativeCausality.
* ''Videogame/ReadOnlyMemories'' a retraux LGBT first-person adventure.


[[folder: Visual Novels ]]

* ''VisualNovel/{{Imabikiso}}'', partially since the hero is trying to investigate where the drug Vision is being made from.
* ''VisualNovel/War13thDay'' first challenges you to solve the mystery of what happened to the sun. Later, you're tasked with piecing together the truth between two {{unreliable narrator}}s. The True End gives you the biggest mystery of all: [[spoiler:who are you?]]