Mystery Books

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Mystery Authors

The Best Mystery Books - Top 100


In the Appendix to his Detective Fiction, A Collection of Critical Essays, Robin W. Winks includes "A Personal List of Favorites." He writes that “the following list of titles is provided … as a point of entry; authors are limited to no more than three titles. The editor regards all of the books as good, although for a variety of reasons. Not all have contributed to the history of the field and not all are written with equal grace, but each has substantial merit, whether for plot, well-realized setting, characterization, detection, or even trickery. For the most part, books from the early classic period (pre-1930) are omitted.”

The Big Sleep

Raymond Chandler Philip Marlowe novel 1939
The Little Niggers

Agatha Christie 1939
Rogue Male

Geoffrey Household 1939
Brighton Rock

Graham Greene 1938
A Blunt Instrument

Georgette Heyer 1938
Murder On Safari

Elspeth Huxley 1938
The Listening House

Mabel Seely 1938
Too Many Cooks

Rex Stout Nero Wolfe novel 1938
Dancers in Mourning apa Who Killed Chloe

Margery Allingham novels 1937
Background To Danger

Eric Ambler 1937
Trial And Error

Andrew Berkeley 1937
The Case Of The Seven Of Calvary

Anthony Boucher 1937
The Case of the Dangerous Dowager

Erle Stanley Gardner novel 1937
Double Indemnity

James M. Cain 1936
A Shilling For Candles

Josephine Tey novels 1936
The Three Coffins (UK Title: The Hollow Man)

John Dickson Carr Dr. Gideon Fell' novel 1935
The Case of the Caretaker's Cat

Erle Stanley Gardner novel 1935
Enter A Murderer

Ngaio Marsh 1935
Gaudy Night

Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey novel 1935
The Nine Tailors

Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey novel 1934
An Oxford Tragedy

J.C. Masterman 1933
Stamboul Train

Graham Greene 1932
Before The Fact

Francis Iles 1932
The Tragedy Of X

Ellery Queen Ellery Queen novels witten under the name barnaby ross 1932
The Maltese Falcon

Dashiell Hammett novel 1930
Strong Poison

Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey novel 1930
The Crime at Black Dudley apa The Black Dudley Murder

Margery Allingham novels 1929
Red Harvest

Dashiell Hammett novel 1929
The Roman Hat Mystery

Ellery Queen Ellery Queen novel 1929
The Bellamy Trial

Frances Noyes Hart 1927
Ashenden The British Agent

W. Somerset Maugham 1927
The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd

Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot Novel 1926
Inspector French and the Cheyne Mystery aka The Cheyne Mystery

Freeman Wills Crofts novel 1926
The Benson Murder Case

S. S. Van Dine Philo Vance novel 1926
John Macnab

John Buchan 1925
The Red House Mystery

A.A. Milne 1922
The Bat with Avery Hopwood

Mary Roberts Rinehart 1920
The Great Impersonation

E. Phillips Oppenheim novels 1920
The Thirtynine Steps

John Buchan 1915
Trent's Last Case

E. C. Bentley novel 1913
The Innocence Of Father Brown

G. K. Chesterton collections 1911
The Four Just Men

Edgar Wallace 1911
The Riddle Of The Sands

Erskine Childers 1903
Green For Danger

Christianna Brand
Mongoose R

John F. Buckley
The Postman Always Rings Twice

James M. Cain
Thus Was Adonis Murdered

Sarah Caudwell
Wisteria Cottage 1948

Robert M. Coates
The Last Good Kiss

James Crumley