Jon L. Breen’s contribution to mystery and detective fiction has been twofold. He is first a scholar who has performed invaluable service to those interested in the genre, compiling carefully annotated bibliographies. He is also a recognized reviewer and critic, having written reviews for a number of periodicals, including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The Armchair Detective, and The American Standard. Acknowledged as a critic, he has received the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1982, 1985, and 1991. He was also the winner of the Agatha Award for critics in 2000. With his wife, Rita A. Breen, he coedited an anthology of eleven novelettes selected from the American Magazine.
Breen has also contributed to mystery literature by producing many short stories and novels. In these he has explored parody and pastiche, combined his interest in sports with his love of books, and demonstrated his knowledge of the classic mystery story. His novels have been well received and favorably reviewed in the United States and in Great Britain.