Mystery Books

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The Best Mystery Books - Top 100

HAYCRAFT-QUEEN CORNERSTONES, A DEFINITIVE LIBRARY OF DETECTIVE, CRIME AND MYSTERY FICTION 1748-1952


In 1941, Howard Haycraft compiled a list of detective stories for a book entitled 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.” Ellery Queen (the writing team of Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee) revised the Haycraft list several times expanding it to include a broader range of crime and mystery fiction. The list below is the final revision and includes books from 1748 to 1952. Any entry followed by an * indicates it was added by Ellery Queen.

The Murder Of My Aunt

Richard Hull 1935
No Hero

John P Marquand 1935
The League Of Frightened Men

Rex Stout 1935
Death of a Ghost

Margery Allingham novels 1934
The Nine Tailors

Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey novel 1934
Fer-de-Lance

Rex Stout Nero Wolfe novel 1934
The Case of the Sulky Girl

Erle Stanley Gardner novel 1933
The Case of the Velvet Claws

Erle Stanley Gardner novel 1933
The Red Castle

H. C. Bailey Joshua Clunk novel & shorts 1932
Re

Clemence and Helen Simpson Dane 1932
Before The Fact

Francis Iles 1932
The Fatal Five Minutes

RAJ Walling 1932
The Tragedy Of X

Ellery Queen Ellery Queen novels witten under the name barnaby ross 1932
The Tragedy Of Y

Ellery Queen Ellery Queen novels witten under the name barnaby ross 1932
The Penguin Pool Murder

Stuart Palmer novel 1931
The Cape Cod Mystery

Phoebe Atwood Taylor 1931
Death Walks in Eastrepps

Francis Beeding novel 1931
The Glass Key

Dashiell Hammett novel 1931
Guys And Dolls

Damon Runyon 1931
Murder At School

James Hilton 1931
The Book Of Murder

Irving Anderson, Frederick 1930
The Hammersmith Murders

David Frome 1930
The Maltese Falcon

Dashiell Hammett novel 1930
The Documents in the Case

Dorothy Sayers shorts 1930
The Poisoned Chocolates Case

Anthony Berkeley Roger Sheringham novels 1929
The Patient In Room 18

Mignon G Eberhart 1929
The Roman Hat Murder

Ellery Queen 1929
Little Caesar

W. R. Burnett 1929
Murder By The Clock

Rufus King 1929
Detective Duff Unravels It

Harvey J O’Higgins 1929
Clues Of The Caribbees

TS Stribling 1929
Meet The Tiger

Leslie Charteris 1928
Ashenden Or The British Agent

W. Somerset Maugham 1928
The Murders In Praed Street

John Rhode 1928
The Bellamy Trial

Frances Noyes Hart 1927
The Canary Murder Case

S. S. Van Dine Philo Vance novel 1927
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle collections 1927
The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd

Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot Novel 1926
The Benson Murder Case

S. S. Van Dine Philo Vance novel 1926
The House Without A Key

Earl Derr Biggers 1925
The Viaduct Murder

Ronald Knox novel 1925
The Paddington Mystery

John Rhode 1925
The Mind Of J G Reeder

Edgar Wallace 1925
An American Tragedy

Theodore Dreiser 1925
The Informer

Liam O’Flaherty 1925
Inspector French's Greatest Case

Freeman Wills Crofts novel 1924
The Rasp

Philip MacDonald 1924
The House Of The Arrow

AEW Mason 1924
The Brooklyn Murders

GDH and M Cole 1923
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