Top 100 Crime Novels according to Mystery Writers of America

Mystery Writers of America have written a book called The Crown Crime Companion where they listed the 100 best Mystery Novels of all time.  I find It´s a great guide to classical crime novels that you should read if you are inte crime novels. Be aware though that it´s mainly Brittish/American novels and was released in 1995. Many of these Novels have been filmed and some of them are better then the books, for instance, Rosemary´s Baby, Rebecca, Silence of the Lambs and The Maltese Falcon.

 

Here are the numbers 1-50 of the List! (The next 50 will come soon)

1. Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle      
Needs no introduction

2. Tales of Mystery & Imagination – Edgar Allen Poe              
A mix of Poes horror stories and Important crime stories with detective Dupin

3. The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins (1868)                  
Is said by many to be the first  crime novel

4. The Woman in White, – Wilkie Collins (1869)           
Early Crime novel

5. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostojevskij (1866)          
Overall classic Novel

6. Trent´s last Case – E.C. Bentley (1913)             
Early brittish Whodunnit novelist – Trent Series

7. The Circular Staircase, Mary Roberts Rineheart (1908)                
Early American whodunnit novelist

8. The Mystery of Edwin Drood – Charles Dickens (1870)            
Overall classical novel

9. The Innocence of Father Brown – G.K. Chesterton (1911)         
Early Brittish Whodunnit Novel – Father Brown series

10. Dracula – Bram Stoker (1897)           
Overall classical novel

11. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier (1938)             
Brittish Psychological Thriller

12. Silence of the Lamb – Thomas Harris (1988)            
US. Thriller –  Hannibal series

13. Red Dragon – Thomas Harris (1993)                
US. Thriller – Hannibal series

14. Where are the Children? – Mary Higgins Clark (1975)        
US. Psychological thriller

15. Laura – Vera Caspary (1942)               
US. Female detective novel with alternating characters.

16. Beast in view – Margareth Millar (1945)             
Early Canadian female crime novelist

17. A Judgment in Stone – Ruth Rendell (1977)             
Brittish Psychological thriller about a female villain.  
      
18. Rosemary´s Baby – Ira Levin (1967)          
Classical Horror thriller

19. The Big Clock – Kennet Fearing (1946)          
Thriller

20. Brighton Rock – Graham Greene (1938)          
Brittish Thriller

21. The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammet (1930)                
Male Hard-boiled – Sam Spade Series

22. The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler (1939)               
Male Hard-boiled – Philip Marlowe Series

23. The Long Goodbye – Raymond Chandler (1953)              
Male Hard-boiled – Philip Marlowe Series

24. Farewell my Love, – Raymond Chandler (1940)          
Male Hard-boiled – Philip Marlowe Series

25. The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammet (1934)           
Male Hard-boiled

26. Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammet (1929)         
Male Hard-boiled – Continental Op Series

27. I, the Jury – Mickey Spillane (1947)           
Male Hard-boiled – Mike Hammer Series

28. A is for Alibi – Sue Grafton (1982)            
Female Hard-boiled novelist – A-Z series

29. Lady in the Lake – Raymond Chandler (1944)          
Male Hard-boiled – Philip Marlowe Series

30. The Doorbell Rang – Rex Stout (1965)          
Controversial novel about the FBI – Genious Nero Wolfe Series

31. Dance Hall of the Dead – Tony Hillerman (1973)            
Navajo Tribe Police Series

32. The Laughing Policeman – Sjöwall & Wahlöö (1972)        
Swedish police procedural

33. Gorky Park – Martin Cruz Smith (1981)           
US. Thriller – Ranko Series

34. A Thief of Time – Tony Hillerman (1990)           
US. Navajo Tribe Police Series

35. The first deadly Sin – Lawrence Sanders (1972)         
US. Police procedureal – Delany Series

36. Last seen wearing – Hillary Waugh (1952)            
Early US. Female crime novelist

37. The Steam Pig – James McCLure (1971)          
South African Crime Novel during the Apartheid.

38. The Choirboys – Joseph Wambaugh (1975)           
Tough police procedural

39. Shroud for a Nightinggale – P.D. James (1971)          
Brittish Police procedural – Dalgliesh Series

40. Ice – Ed McBain (1983)         
Police procedural set in NY

41. In the Heat of the Night – John Ball (1965)         
Controversial US. crime novel for the time with the theme racism. – Filmed

42. The Spy who Came in from the Cold – John Le Carré (1963)          
Brittish Spy novel

43 A Coffin for Dimitrios – Eric Ambler (1939)        
Brittish Spy Novel

44. Eye of the Needle – Ken Follet (1978)           
Brittish Spy Novel

45. The Day of the Jackal – Fredrick Forsyth (1973)         
About the infamous assasin called the Jackal.

46. Tinker Tailor, Solider, Spy- John Le Carré  (1974)         
Brittish Spy Novel – Smiley Series

47. The Thirty-nine steps – John Buchan (1915)          
Brittish Spy Novel

48. The Ipcress file – Len Deighton (1965)            
Brittish Spy Novel

49. Smiley´s People. John Le Carré (1979)              
Brittish Spy Novel – Smiley Series

50. Rogue Male – Geoffrey Household (1939)         
Brittish Thriller

2 comments

  1. I’ve only read one, that’s kinda embarassing…

    Report abuse

    29 September 2010 15:54

  2. Well, then you have a lot to look forward to! If you miss Agatha Christie etc. you will find more whodunnit in the next 50…

    Report abuse

    29 September 2010 19:03