The Hagia Sophia is one of the city's most well-known Byzantine monuments, but it's also home to a lesser-known memorial: a plaque for the man who encouraged the Fourth Crusade's plundering of the city. Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Mary Lou Longworth has set most of her mysteries in Aix-en-Provence, a small city in Southern France. "I liked the idea of this beautiful, beautiful place having a dark side," she says. Ben Bowes via Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Ben Bowes via Flickr

The Empire State Building shines while Greenwich Village remains dark during the 1977 New York City blackout. Carlos Rene Perez/AP hide caption

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Hall sits in a sunny bay window to write. "My first drafts are always in long hand, on legal pads," she explains. "I love putting pen to paper." Andre Ellis hide caption

itoggle caption Andre Ellis

Ann Cleeves, who sets her mysteries in Shetland, once asked a pathologist friend what the perfect murder would be. "He reckoned pushing somebody over a cliff," she says. "Because how would you know whether they'd fallen or just been pushed?" Infinite Ache/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Infinite Ache/Flickr

Julia Keller's crime series about prosecuting attorney Bell Elkins is set in a fictional town inspired by Guyandotte, W. Va., near where she grew up. Melissa Smith-Stanley/Courtesy of The Guyandotte Improvement & Historical Association hide caption

itoggle caption Melissa Smith-Stanley/Courtesy of The Guyandotte Improvement & Historical Association

Jassy Mackenzie was born in Rhodesia and moved to South Africa when she was eight years old. She edits and writes for the annual publication Best of South Africa. Soho Crime hide caption

itoggle caption Soho Crime

The view down Main Street in Concord, N.H., reflects the community's small-town feel. Author Ben Winters doesn't live in Concord, but he sets his mystery novels there — he says the city's peaceful, unpretentious atmosphere makes it an appealing setting. Michel Gagnon/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Michel Gagnon/Flickr

The Santa Barbara County Courthouse, a Spanish-Moorish landmark, was built in 1929. Anna Fox (harshlight)/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Anna Fox (harshlight)/Flickr

The Jersey shore's iconic Star Jet roller coaster was inundated after Superstorm Sandy. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Richard Crompton sets his novel in 2007 Nairobi, a time when a small elite held power over an impoverished, restless majority. Nigel Pavitt/JAI/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Nigel Pavitt/JAI/Corbis

Author Joel Goldman has found there's plenty of true crime to write about in the Kansas City metro area. Charlie Riedel/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Charlie Riedel/AP

From the Toronto Islands, one of many real-life Toronto locales in Robert Rotenberg's legal thrillers, visitors have a clear view of the city's skyline. Sean Dawsean/via Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Sean Dawsean/via Flickr

Little Green opens in 1967 and follows Easy Rawlins' search for a young man who disappeared after visiting the Sunset Strip, seen here in 1966. HF/AP hide caption

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Bonfires light up the Belfast skyline on July 12, 1997, as Protestant loyalists commemorate the 17th century victory of a Protestant king over his deposed Catholic predecessor. Known as the Battle of the Boyne, the confrontation is part of a long history of tensions in the region. Paul McErlane/AP hide caption

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The Dangerous Streets Of ... Ann Arbor? Harry Dolan sets his David Loogan crime series in the university town of Ann Arbor, Mich., which is also home to Borders' flagship book store (right of mural), a now-empty writers landmark. Jens Wessling/via Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Jens Wessling/via Flickr

The canals in LA's Venice neighborhood serve as the scene of a murder in Robert Crais' 2011 novel, The Sentry. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

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For author Victoria Kneubuhl, the lost world of old Hawaii casts a long shadow. But through her writing, she says, readers can see that world again. Getty Images hide caption

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Writer Karin Slaughter has seen the fallout of some of Atlanta's most gruesome crimes and most dramatic transitions. David Goldman/AP hide caption

itoggle caption David Goldman/AP