27 November 2007

Top 100 mystery novels of all time

Whilst looking for something else this afternoon, I came across this list, which was created (I know not when) by polling the active members of the Mystery Writers of America (MWA).

As usual with lists of this sort, I've bolded the titles of the ones I've read. *

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

Hmmmm. Nothing by Lawrence Block or Thomas Perry, though my favourite book from the Nero Wolfe series (The Doorbell Rang), is there.

I recognise most of these titles as classics, even though I've never read them, but some of the books, and some of the authors, I've never even heard of. Beast in View? Vera Caspary? Some of the better-known authors are well represented, though - I count five by Dorothy L Sayers, and four each by Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and John le Carré. (I tried reading one book by le Carré - no idea which one - but found it incredibly boring.)

* 22 of them, though there should be a couple more - it's been 35+ years since I read anything by Dorothy L Sayers, so I'm not sure which ones of those I've read. And I've probably read most, if not all, of the stories in the Poe collection.

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