My Novels

Goodnight Irene (2018)

Available on Amazon

A brilliant detective…A baffling murder…An isolated manor…A list of less than perfect suspects with perfect alibis…No way out…It’s going to be a long and gruesome night. Hired to stop a murder at a birthday party of invited suspects at a Mississippi Manor cut off from the world by The Great Flood of 1927, Detective Rowan Manory needs to solve a 20-year-old case to save his client from unwrapping a deadly and perhaps deserved gift of revenge. Can Manory figure out the identity of the murderer before the bodies start dropping? Goodnight Irene is a locked-room murder mystery that will have you guessing until the final reveal.

One of the best original impossible crime novels of 2018. –

Byrnside delivers a classic, historical murder mystery that maintains focus and tension up until its satisfying conclusion. – The Booklife Report

Goodnight Irene by James Scott Byrnside is an excellent example of a locked-room whodunit, reminiscent of Agatha Christie at her most devious. 4 out of 4 stars –

It’s gratifying to read a modern author who truly gets the genre and applies it with some expertise. –

Goodnight Irene is an ambitiously written, intricately plotted detective novel. –

A masterful performance. – suddenlyathisresidence

The tension and suspense amalgamate well with the eerie atmosphere. – The Book Decoder

“An excellent first novel. – countdownjohn’schristiejournal

The Opening Night Murders (2019)

Available on Amazon

Chicago. 1935. The Great Depression has brought America to its knees, and the people are dying for some entertainment. Luckily for them, a murder has been scheduled for opening night at The Red Rising Theater. When the lead actress receives a death threat, Detective Rowan Manory and his partner Walter Williams agree to take the case. Neither realizes the curtain is rising on the deadliest and most vexing mystery of their career. There will be 200 witnesses in the seats and not a single suspect on the stage. Could this be the perfect murder? The Opening Night Murders is a thrilling impossible crime novel that will keep you guessing from the first clue right up to the shocking finale.

Byrnside may yet be the most exciting talent to emerge in the impossible crime novel in the 21st century. – theinvisibleevent 

[An] excellently positioned and executed impossible crime…in which every single aspect and detail of the story logically dovetailed together in the end. – moonlight-detective

It is a mystery told with reverence for the past without a slavish dependence on it, and with an astonishing sense of authority… – ahsweetmystery

The premise is clever, the solution imaginative and the characters, compelling.- mysteriesahoy

Complicated plots, devious murderers, red herrings, and an ingenious detective all combine to form an excellent mystery that keeps the reader hooked from beginning to end. – onlinebookclub

The Opening Night Murders is marvelous! – The Book Decoder

Once again, Byrnside delivers a brilliant solution which pulls everything together. – Countdown John’s Christie Journal

The Strange Case of the Barrington Hills Vampire (2020)

Available on Amazon

In 1880, a vampire terrorized Barrington Hills, feasting on the locals and leaving their mutilated corpses as evidence. Now, forty years later, it’s happening again. Detective Rowan Manory and his assistant Walter Williams are hired to investigate. They don’t believe in the undead, but nothing else could explain murders so bloodily impossible. How does the killer walk through walls? Why doesn’t it leave footprints in the snow? Who will it kill next? The Strange Case of the Barrington Hills Vampire is a thrilling impossible-crime murder mystery from the author of Goodnight Irene and The Opening Night Murders.

A modern incarnation of the classic detective story. Highly recommended. – MoonlightDetective

A lightning strike of a book. Perfectly plotted and paced. – Suddenlyathisresidence

A masterpiece. A phenomenal novel that contains all the things I love in a mystery book: a horrifying atmosphere, excellent murder methods, and ambiguous and well-defined characters. – Gabriele Crescenzi

Highly suspenseful. – Santosh Iyer

Screwball comedy and gross-out pulp that work in tandem beautifully. – Ahsweetmystery

The impossibilities are rich, dense, and stark in their simplicity. – Theinvisibleevent

A proper mystery that pulled the wool over my eyes. – classicmystery

The 5 False Suicides (2021)

Available on Amazon

It’s 1947 and Gretta Grahame is doing her best. She has successfully escaped her past for several years, settling in the safe, sleepy town of New Sweden, Maine. Besides working at the local library, Gretta is president of her murder-mystery book club. She knows a lot about murder mysteries. She claims there’s no plot she can’t unravel…

Except for the one she’s in.

A suicide in the family leads to the discovery of a curse running through more than 2 generations of Grahames. In fact, Gretta learns that all of her relatives have committed suicide and she will be next. Gretta enlists the help of a witch, a man who was present at the formation of the curse all those years ago.

Gretta must travel to a nearly-deserted isle to lift the curse and save herself from her own hand. Her friends from the book club join her. None of them are suicidal, yet they start killing themselves inside locked rooms. What is causing all these suicides? Is it murder? How? Why? Gretta and her book club will have to solve the mystery before they all do themselves in. The Five False Suicides is a murder mystery like no other.

Minutely-crafted suspense fiction under the guise of a rough-around-the-edges piece of gaudy, cheap, pulp loopiness. – Theinvisibleevent

Byrnside is currently the only writer in the Western world who’s crafting these kind of ambitious, tightly-plotted and fairly clued detective novels commonly associated today with the East. – Moonlight Detective

Make sure you set aside a suitable time to read this in one sitting as once you’ve started you won’t want to stop. – Countdown John’s Christie Journal

The plot of Suicides is stuffed to the rafters and beyond with twists and turns and lots and lots of deaths. – Ah Sweet Mystery