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The Best Mystery Books - Top 100

HAYCRAFTS DETECTIVE STORY BOOKSHELF


This list was compiled by Howard Haycraft and published in 1941 in Murder for Pleasure: The Life and Times of the Detective Story. The list was prepared for “unpretentious detective story fans who may care to assemble for their own pleasure ‘cornerstone’ libraries of the best and most influential writing in the medium.” The titles were published 1841-1938. See also the Haycraft-Queen Cornerstones.

1 The Patience Of Maigret Georges Simenon 1940
2 The Beast Must Die Nicholas Blake 1938
3 LAMENT FOR A MAKER Michael Innes novel 1938
4 The Listening House Mabel Seely 1938
5 The Arabian Nights Murder John Dickson Carr Dr. Gideon Fell' novel 1936
6 Overture To Death Ngaio Marsh 1936
7 The Plague Court Murders John Dickson Carr Sir Henry Merrivale novel as carter dickson 1935
8 The Murder Of My Aunt Richard Hull 1935
9 Death of a Ghost Margery Allingham novels 1934
10 The Nine Tailors Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey novel 1934
11 Fer-de-Lance Rex Stout Nero Wolfe novel 1934
12 The Case of the Sulky Girl Erle Stanley Gardner novel 1933
13 The Red Castle H. C. Bailey Joshua Clunk novel & shorts 1932
14 Reenter Sir John Clemence and Helen Simpson Dane 1932
15 Before the Fact Anthony Berkeley written as Frances Iles novels 1932
16 The Fatal Five Minutes RAJ Walling 1932
17 The Tragedy Of X Ellery Queen Ellery Queen novels witten under the name barnaby ross 1932
18 The Cape Cod Mystery Phoebe Atwood Taylor 1931
19 The Book Of Murder Irving Anderson, Frederick 1930
20 The Hammersmith Murders David Frome 1930
21 The Maltese Falcon Dashiell Hammett novel 1930
22 The Documents in the Case Dorothy Sayers shorts 1930
23 The Poisoned Chocolates Case Anthony Berkeley Roger Sheringham novels 1929
24 The Patient In Room 18 Mignon G Eberhart 1929
25 The Roman Hat Murder Ellery Queen 1929
26 The Bellamy Trial Frances Noyes Hart 1927
27 The Benson Murder Case Or The Canary Murder Case S. S. Van Dine 1927
28 The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle collections 1927
29 The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot Novel 1926
30 The House Without A Key Earl Derr Biggers 1925
31 The Viaduct Murder Ronald Knox novel 1925
32 The Paddington Mystery John Rhode 1925
33 The Mind Of J G Reeder Edgar Wallace 1925
34 Inspector French's Greatest Case Freeman Wills Crofts novel 1924
35 The Rasp Philip MacDonald 1924
36 The Brooklyn Murders G.D.H. Cole & R. Postgate 1923
37 The Eight Strokes of the Clock Maurice Leblanc series 1922
38 The Red House Mystery A.A. Milne 1922
39 The Grey Room Eden Phillpotts 1921
40 Call Mr. Fortune H. C. Bailey Reggie Fortune shorts 1920
41 The Cask Freeman Wills Crofts novel 1920
42 The Middle Temple Murder JS Fletcher 1918
43 Uncle Abner Master Of Mysteries Melville Davisson Post 1918
44 His Last Bow Arthur Conan Doyle collections 1917
45 Max Carrados Ernest Bramah 1914
46 The Valley of Fear Arthur Conan Doyle novels 1914
47 The Lodger Marie Belloc Lowndes 1913
48 The Singing Bone R. Austin Freeman short stories 1912
49 The Silent Bullet Arthur B Reeve 1912
50 The Innocence Of Father Brown G. K. Chesterton collections 1911
51 At The Villa Rose AEW Mason 1910
52 The Old Man In The Corner Emmuska Orczy 1909
53 The Clue Carolyn Wells 1909
54 The Thinking Machine Or The Problem Of Cell 13 Jacques Futrelle 1907
55 The Circular Staircase Mary Roberts Rinehart Miss Cornelia Van Gorder 1907
56 The Mystery of the Yellow Room Gaston Leroux novels 1907
57 The Triumphs Of Eugene Valmont Robert Barr 1906
58 Tracks In The Snow GR Benson 1906
59 The Return of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle collections 1905
60 The Hound Of Baskervilles Arthur Conan Doyle 1902
61 Martin Hewitt Investigator Arthur Morrison 1894
62 The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle collections 1893
63 The Big Bow Mystery Israel Zangwill 1892
64 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle collections 1892
65 The Sign Of The Four Arthur Conan Doyle 1890
66 The Leavenworth Case Anna Katherine Green 1878
67 The History Of Edwin Drood Charles Dickens 1870
68 Monsieur Lecoq Emile Gaboriau novel 1868
69 THE MOONSTONE Wilkie Collins novels 1868
70 L'Affaire Lerouge - Widow Lerouge / The Lerouge Case / Old Tabaret Emile Gaboriau novel 1866
71 Bleak House Charles Dickens 1853
72 Tales Edgar Allan Poe 1845
73 A Coffin For Demetrios Eric Ambler 0
74 Trents Last Case Or The Woman In Black 1913 E. C. Bentley 0
75 The Red Thumb Mark 1907 R. Austin Freeman 0