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Monday, March 11, 2013

Best Mysteries of All Time

In 1995, the Mystery Writers of America comprised a list of the top 100 crime novels of all time.  Some time has past since this compilation, the most recent publication date is 1990.  So I wonder if there are one or two other mysteries that people would have felt deserved on this list??  

Perhaps there are titles that may not be "all that" on this list.  What do you think?  Do you have an addition or two, or are there some listed that you question?  Please leave comments and share your thoughts.  

I will start, just to get the conversation started.  Dracula, as phenomenal as the book is, I don't think it fit the category.  Ditto for Rosemary's Baby.  But I don't know which books I would suggest, that is a tough one.  Anyone?

  1.     Arthur Conan Doyle: The Complete Sherlock Holmes (1887-1927)
  2.     Dashiell Hammett: The Maltese Falcon (1930)
  3.     Edgar Allan Poe: Tales of Mystery & Imagination (1852)
  4.     Josephine Tey: The Daughter of Time (1951)
  5.     Scott Turow: Presumed Innocent (1987)
  6.     John le Carré: The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (1963)
  7.     Wilkie Collins: The Moonstone (1868)
  8.     Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep (1939)
  9.     Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca (1938)
  10.     Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None (1939)
  11.     Robert Traver: Anatomy of a Murder (1958)
  12.     Agatha Christie: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
  13.     Raymond Chandler: The Long Goodbye (1953)
  14.     James M. Cain: The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934)
  15.     Mario Puzo: The Godfather (1969)
  16.     Thomas Harris: The Silence of the Lambs (1988)
  17.     Eric Ambler: A Coffin for Dimitrios (1939)
  18.     Dorothy L. Sayers: Gaudy Night (1935)
  19.     Agatha Christie: Witness for the Prosecution (1948)
  20.     Frederick Forsyth: The Day of the Jackal (1971)
  21.     Raymond Chandler: Farewell, My Lovely (1940)
  22.     John Buchan: The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915)
  23.     Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose (1980)
  24.     Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Crime and Punishment (1866)
  25.     Ken Follett: Eye of the Needle (1978)
  26.     John Mortimer: Rumpole of the Bailey (1978)
  27.     Thomas Harris: Red Dragon (1981)
  28.     Dorothy L. Sayers: The Nine Tailors (1934)
  29.     Gregory Mcdonald: Fletch (1974)
  30.     John le Carré: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974)
  31.     Dashiell Hammett: The Thin Man (1934)
  32.     Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White (1860)
  33.     E. C. Bentley: Trent's Last Case (1913)
  34.     James M. Cain: Double Indemnity (1943)
  35.     Martin Cruz Smith: Gorky Park (1981)
  36.     Dorothy L. Sayers: Strong Poison (1930)
  37.     Tony Hillerman: Dance Hall of the Dead (1973)
  38.     Donald E. Westlake: The Hot Rock (1970)
  39.     Dashiell Hammett: Red Harvest (1929)
  40.     Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Circular Staircase (1908)
  41.     Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express (1934)
  42.     John Grisham: The Firm (1991)
  43.     Len Deighton: The Ipcress File (1962)
  44.     Vera Caspary: Laura (1942)
  45.     Mickey Spillane: I, the Jury (1947)
  46.     Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö: The Laughing Policeman (1968)
  47.     Donald E. Westlake: Bank Shot (1972)
  48.     Graham Greene: The Third Man (1950)
  49.     Jim Thompson: The Killer Inside Me (1952)
  50.     Mary Higgins Clark: Where Are the Children? (1975)
  51.     Sue Grafton: "A" is for Alibi (1982)
  52.     Lawrence Sanders: The First Deadly Sin (1973)
  53.     Tony Hillerman: A Thief of Time (1989)
  54.     Truman Capote: In Cold Blood (1966)
  55.     Geoffrey Household: Rogue Male (1939)
  56.     Dorothy L. Sayers: Murder Must Advertise (1933)
  57.     G. K. Chesterton: The Innocence of Father Brown (1911)
  58.     John le Carré: Smiley's People (1979)
  59.     Raymond Chandler: The Lady in the Lake (1943)
  60.     Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
  61.     Graham Greene: Our Man in Havana (1958)
  62.     Charles Dickens: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870)
  63.     Peter Lovesey: Wobble to Death (1970)
  64.     W. Somerset Maugham: Ashenden (1928)
  65.     Nicholas Meyer: The Seven-Per-Cent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson (1974)
  66.     Rex Stout: The Doorbell Rang (1965)
  67.     Elmore Leonard: Stick (1983)
  68.     John le Carré: The Little Drummer Girl (1983)
  69.     Graham Greene: Brighton Rock (1938)
  70.     Bram Stoker: Dracula (1897)
  71.     Patricia Highsmith: The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955)
  72.     Edmund Crispin: The Moving Toyshop (1946)
  73.     John Grisham: A Time to Kill (1989)
  74.     Hillary Waugh: Last Seen Wearing … (1952)
  75.     W. R. Burnett: Little Caesar (1929)
  76.     George V. Higgins: The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1972)
  77.     Dorothy L. Sayers: Clouds of Witness (1927)
  78.     Ian Fleming: From Russia, with Love (1957)
  79.     Margaret Millar: Beast in View (1955)
  80.     Michael Gilbert: Smallbone Deceased (1950)
  81.     Josephine Tey: The Franchise Affair (1948)
  82.     Elizabeth Peters: Crocodile on the Sandbank (1975)
  83.     P. D. James: Shroud for a Nightingale (1971)
  84.     Tom Clancy: The Hunt for Red October (1984)
  85.     Ross Thomas: Chinaman's Chance (1978)
  86.     Joseph Conrad: The Secret Agent (1907)
  87.     John D. MacDonald: The Dreadful Lemon Sky (1975)
  88.     Dashiell Hammett: The Glass Key (1931)
  89.     Ruth Rendell: A Judgement in Stone (1977)
  90.     Josephine Tey: Brat Farrar (1950)
  91.     Ross Macdonald: The Chill (1963)
  92.     Walter Mosley: Devil in a Blue Dress (1990)
  93.     Joseph Wambaugh: The Choirboys (1975)
  94.     Donald E. Westlake: God Save the Mark (1967)
  95.     Craig Rice: Home Sweet Homicide (1944)
  96.     John Dickson Carr: The Three Coffins (1935)
  97.     Richard Condon: Prizzi's Honor (1982)
  98.     James McClure: The Steam Pig (1974)
  99.     Jack Finney: Time and Again (1970)
  100.     Ellis Peters: A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977) Tied with Ira Levin: Rosemary's Baby (1967)

 I hope this list also inspires you with some classics that you haven't read yet - it sure has for me.

Reminder: don't forget to join the Historical Mystery Reading Challenge, there is still plenty of time (click here.)

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Marce said...

Rebecca, Silence of the Lambs and And Then There Were None are definites for me. Thanks for the list.

A.F. Heart said...

"Rebecca" and "Then There Were None" definitely are tops! I have been thinking of "The Odessa File," a thriller by Frederick Forsyth, that I read years ago (like 20) but has stuck with me. I would recommend it for the list.

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