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The Best Mystery Books - Top 100

BOURGEAU'S CLASSIC MYSTERY BOOKS


In his Mystery Lovers Companion of 1986, Art Bourgeau uses a rating scheme of one to five daggers to indicate the quality of the work he lists and briefly describes. The Mystery Lover's Companion reviews and rates some 2500 books. His highest rating, five daggers, is used to indicate “A True Classic.” These Classics are listed below

1 Dolly And The Bird Of Paradise Dorothy Dunnett 1984
2 The Kings Commissar Duncan Kyle 1984
3 The Tragedy At Tiverton Raymond Paul 1984
4 Fatal Vision Joe McGinniss 1983
5 The Queens Messenger W. R. Duncan 1982
6 Twice Shy Dick Francis 1982
7 The Heights Of Rimring Duff Hart-Davis 1982
8 A Woman Called Scylla David Gurr 1981
9 Paragon Walk Ann Perry 1981
10 Red Dragon Thomas Harris 1981
11 The Big Clock, Harcourt Kenneth Fearing novel 1980
12 The Fifth Horseman Collins & LaPierre 1980
13 Congo Michael Crichton 1980
14 Mantis Peter Fox 1980
15 Mr American George MacDonald Fraser 1980
16 The Mobius Strip William Gardner 1979
17 Shibumi Trevanian 1979
18 Flyaway Desmond Bagley 1978
19 The Eye Of The Needle Ken Follett 1978
20 The Death Freak Irving & Bukholz 1978
21 The Random Factor La Rosa & Tannenbaum 1978
22 Flashmans Lady George MacDonald Fraser 1977
23 Charlie M Brian Freemantle 1977
24 The Punch And Judy Murders George Hart 1977
25 A Judgement in Stone Ruth Rendell novels 1977
26 The Cavanaugh Quest Thomas Gifford 1976
27 The Boys From Brazil Ira Levin 1976
28 Someone Is Killing The Great Chefs Of Europe Nan & Ivan Lyons 1976
29 Best Martin Hewitt Detective Stories Arthur Morrison 1976
30 Cry Wolf Wilbur Smith 1976
31 The Eagle Has Landed Jack Higgins 1975
32 A Big Enough Wreath William Gardner 1975
33 Stealing Lilian Tony Kenrick 1975
34 The Eye Of The Tiger Wilbur Smith 1975
35 The Death Of The Detective Mark Smith 1974
36 Jaws Peter Benchley 1974
37 The Dogs Of War Frederick Forsyth 1974
38 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy John LeCarre novel 1974
39 The Dreadful Lemon Sky John MacDonald 1974
40 Other Paths to Glory Anthony Price David Audley,a historian and spy in England novel 1974
41 The Onion Field Joseph Wambaugh 1974
42 The Defection Of Aj Lewinter Robert Littell 1973
43 The First Deadly Sin Lawrence Sanders 1973
44 If You Cant Be Good Ross Thomas non-series books: 1973
45 The Plot Against Roger Ryder Julian Symons 1973
46 The Loo Sanction Trevanian 1973
47 The Friends Of Eddie Coyle George V. Higgins 1972
48 Blood On A Harvest Moon David Anthony 1972
49 The Rainbird Pattern Victor Canning 1972
50 The Odessa File Frederick Forsyth 1972
51 The Eiger Sanction Trevanian 1972
52 The Laughing Policeman Sjowall & Wahloo 1971
53 The Day Of The Jackal Frederick Forsyth 1971
54 Bear Island Alistair MacLean 1971
55 The Underground Man Ross Macdonald Lew Archer novels 1971
56 Time And Time Again Jack Finney 1970
57 Flashman George MacDonald Fraser 1969
58 Puppet On A Chain Alistair MacLean 1969
59 The Godfather Mario Puzo 1969
60 The Fire Engine That Disappeared Sjowall & Wahloo 1969
61 Green Grow The Tresseso Stanley Hyland 1967
62 The Seersucker Whipsaw Ross Thomas non-series books: 1967
63 Necklace And Calabash Robert Van Gulik 1967
64 In The Heat Of The Night John Ball 1966
65 The Double Image Helen MacInnes 1966
66 Who Is Lewis Pinder L.P. Davies 1965
67 The Quiller Memorandum Adam Hall 1965
68 The Doorbell Rang Rex Stout Nero Wolfe novel 1965
69 Funeral In Berlin Len Deighton 1964
70 The Liquidator John Garner 1964
71 The Night Of The Generals Hans Helmut Kirst 1964
72 The Minuteman Murder Jane Langton 1964
73 This Rough Magic Mary Stewart 1964
74 POP. 1280 Jim Thompson novel 1964
75 Winter Of Madness David Walker 1964
76 The Spy Who Came in from the Cold John LeCarre novel 1963
77 Ice Station Zebra Alistair MacLean 1963
78 The Emperors Pearl Robert Van Gulik 1963
79 The Rose Of Tibet Lionel Davidson 1962
80 The Ipcress File Len Deighton 1962
81 The ZebraStriped Hearse Ross Macdonald Lew Archer novels 1962
82 How Like An Angel Margaret Millar 1962
83 The Will of the Tribe Arthur W. Upfield :novel 1962
84 Watcher In The Shadows Geoffrey Household 1960
85 Psycho Robert Bloch 1959
86 Our Man In Havana Graham Greene 1958
87 Anatomy Of A Murder Robert Traver 1958
88 Landscape For Dead Dons Robert Robinson 1956
89 Wilders Walk Away Herbert Brean 1955
90 The Beast In View Margaret Millar 1955
91 The Talented Mr Ripley Patricia Highsmith 1955
92 The Long Goodbye Raymond Chandler Philip Marlowe novel 1954
93 The Black Mountain Rex Stout Nero Wolfe novel 1954
94 A HELL OF A WOMAN Jim Thompson novel 1954
95 Meatball Fredric Brown 1953
96 The Night Of The Hunter Davis Grubb 1953
97 A Kiss Before Dying Ira Levin 1953
98 The Tiger in the Smoke Margery Allingham novels 1952
99 The Ivory Green Ross Macdonald 1952
100 THE KILLER INSIDE ME Jim Thompson novel 1952
101 The Daughter Of Time Josephine Tey novels 1951
102 The Third Man Graham Greene 1950
103 In A Lonely Place Dorothy Hughes 1950
104 My Gun Is Quick Mickey Spillane 1950
105 To Love And Be Wise Josephine Tey novels 1950
106 The Skeleton in the Clock John Dickson Carr Sir Henry Merrivale novel as carter dickson 1949
107 The Little Sister Raymond Chandler Philip Marlowe novel 1949
108 Buried for Pleasure Edmund Crispin novel 1949
109 Strangers On A Train Patricia Highsmith 1949
110 Cat of Many Tails Ellery Queen Ellery Queen novel 1949
111 Devil Take The Bluetail Fly John Franklin Bardin 1948
112 Sudden Fear Edna Sherry 1948
113 I The Jury Mickey Spillane 1948
114 Rendezvous in Black Cornell Woolrich novel 1948
115 The Moving Toyshop Edmund Crispin novel 1946
116 The Double Take Roy Huggins 1946
117 Ride The Pink Horse Dorothy Hughes 1946
118 The Pavilion Hilda Lawrence 1946
119 Holy Disorders Edmund Crispin novel 1945
120 The Rising Of The Moon Gladys Mitchell 1945
121 The Red Right Hand Joel Townley Rogers 1945
122 The Black Angel Cornell Woolrich novel 1943
123 The Lady In The Lake Raymond Chandler Philip Marlowe novel 1943
124 The Ministry Of Fear Graham Greene 1943
125 Payment Deferred C.S. Forester 1942
126 Laura Vera Gaspary 1942
127 Cue For Murder Helen McCloy 1942
128 Calamity Town Ellery Queen Ellery Queen novel 1942
129 Mildred Pierce James M. Cain 1941
130 A Pinch Of Poison Richard & Francis Lockridge 1941
131 The Black Curtain Cornell Woolrich novel 1941
132 And Then There Were None Agatha Christie 1940
133 Oliver Wiswell Kenneth Roberts 1940
134 The Bride Wore Black Cornell Woolrich novel 1940
135 No Orchards For Miss Blandish James Hadley Chase 1939
136 Rogue Male Geoffrey Household 1939
137 The Mysterious Mickey Finn Eliot Paul 1939
138 Footprints On The Ceiling Clayton Rawson 1939
139 The Beast Must Die Nicholas Blake 1938
140 Ship Of The Line C.S. Forester 1938
141 The Stoneware Monkey R. Austin Freeman novels 1938
142 LAMENT FOR A MAKER Michael Innes novel 1938
143 Death From A Top Hat Clayton Rawson 1938
144 The Code Of The Woosters P.G. Wodehouse 1938
145 HAMLET REVENGE! Michael Innes novel 1937
146 Thou Shell Of Death Nicholas Blake 1936
147 This Gun For Hire Graham Greene 1936
148 Northwest Passage Kenneth Roberts 1936
149 The Lady Vanishes Ethel Lina White 1936
150 The Three Coffins (UK Title: The Hollow Man) John Dickson Carr Dr. Gideon Fell' novel 1935
151 Enter A Murderer Ngaio Marsh 1935
152 The League Of Frightened Men Rex Stout 1935
153 Wax Ethel Lina White 1935
154 The Abc Murders Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot Novel 1935
155 Murder On The Orient Express Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot Novel 1934
156 The Nine Tailors Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey novel 1934
157 Fer-de-Lance Rex Stout Nero Wolfe novel 1934
158 The Mystery Of Cape Cod Tavern Phoebe Atwood Taylor 1934
159 Thank You Jeeves P.G. Wodehouse 1934
160 The Chinese Orange Mystery Ellery Queen Ellery Queen novel 1934
161 Was It Murder James Hilton 1933
162 An Oxford Tragedy J.C. Masterman 1933
163 Rabble In Arms Kenneth Roberts 1933
164 Keeper Of The Keys Earl Derr Biggers 1932
165 Death Under Sail C.P. Snow 1932
166 Darkness At Pemberly T.H. White 1932
167 Death Walks in Eastrepps Francis Beeding novel 1931
168 The Living Shadow Maxwell Grant 1931
169 The Shadow Laughs Maxwell Grant 1931
170 Malice Aforethought: The Story of a Commonplace Crime Anthony Berkeley written as Frances Iles novels 1931
171 The Five Red Herrings Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey novel 1931
172 Mr Pottermack's Oversight R. Austin Freeman novels 1930
173 The Maltese Falcon Dashiell Hammett novel 1930
174 Arundel Kenneth Roberts 1930
175 Strong Poison Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey novel 1930
176 Green Ice Raoul Whitfield 1930
177 The Poisoned Chocolate Case Anthony Berkeley 1929
178 Red Harvest Dashiell Hammett novel 1929
179 The Roman Hat Murder Ellery Queen 1929
180 The Footsteps at the Lock Ronald Knox novel 1928
181 The Greene Murder Case S. S. Van Dine Philo Vance novel 1928
182 The Canary Murder Case S. S. Van Dine Philo Vance novel 1927
183 Meet Mr Mulliner P.G. Wodehouse 1927
184 The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot Novel 1926
185 The Chinese Parrot Earl Derr Biggers 1926
186 John Mcnab John Buchan 1925
187 The Mousetrap Agatha Christie 1925
188 The Red House Mystery A.A. Milne 1922
189 The Mysterious Affair At Styles Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot Novel 1920
190 The Great Impersonation E. Phillips Oppenheim novels 1920
191 The Haunted Bookshop Christopher Morley 1919
192 The Thirtynine Steps John Buchan 1915
193 The Wisdom Of Father Brown G. K. Chesterton collections 1914
194 Trent's Last Case E. C. Bentley novel 1913
195 The Lodger Marie Belloc Lowndes 1913
196 The Innocence Of Father Brown G. K. Chesterton collections 1911
197 The Man Who Was Thursday G. K. Chesterton novels 1907
198 The Scarlet Pimpernell Baroness Orczy 1905
199 Puddnhead Wilson Mark Twain 1894
200 The Mystery Of A Hansom Cab Fergus Hume 1886
201 The Leavenworth Case Anna Katharine Green novel 1878
202 THE MOONSTONE Wilkie Collins novels 1868
203 THE WOMAN IN WHITE Wilkie Collins novels 1860
204 The Postman Always Rings Twice James M. Cain 0
205 Rebecca Daphne DuMaurier 0
206 A Coffin For Demetrios Eric Ambler 0
207 The List Of Adrian Messenger Philip MacDonald 0
208 Seven Days In May Fletcher & Bailey 0
209 The Last Good Kiss James Crumley 0