Sunday, February 24, 2008

50 Best Crime Novels

The Sunday Telegraph has a list of the top 50 authors of crime fiction selected by their staff. It also comes with reading suggestions which I've listed below :
GK Chesterton - The Complete Father Brown (1986)
Arthur Conan Doyle - The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)
Edgar Allan Poe - The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841)
Ed McBain - King's Ransom (2003)
Kyril Bonfiglioli - The Mortdecai Trilogy (1991)
James Ellroy - The Black Dahlia (1987)
Janwillem van der Wetering - Outsider in Amsterdam (1975)
Carl Hiaasen - Double Whammy (1987)
Dashiell Hammett - The Maltese Falcon (1930)
Dan Kavanagh - The Duffy Omnibus (1991)
Margery Allingham - The Tiger in the Smoke (1952)
Charles Dickens - Bleak House (1852-3)
Georges Simenon - The Yellow Dog (1931)
Agatha Christie - Peril at End House (1932)
Wilkie Collins - The Moonstone (1868)
Jonathan Latimer - The Fifth Grave (1941)
Ruth Rendell - The Water's Lovely (2006)
Ngaio Marsh - Vintage Murder (1937)
Benjamin Black (a.k.a. John Banville!) - Christine Falls (2006)
John Dickson Carr - The Hollow Man (1935)
Michael Innes - The Weight of the Evidence (1943)
Raymond Chandler - Farewell, My Lovely (1940)
Friedrich D├╝rrenmatt - The Pledge (1958)
Michael Gilbert - Even Murderers Take Holidays and other Mysteries (2007)
Donald Westlake 1933 - What's So Funny? (2007)
Colin Bateman - Wild About Harry (2001)
Frances Fyfield - The Art of Drowning (2006)
Reginald Hill - Good Morning Midnight (2004)
Andrea Camilleri - The Patience of the Spider (2007)
Henning Mankell - Sidetracked (1999)
Patricia Highsmith - The Talented Mr Ripley (1955)
James Lee Burke - Black Cherry Blues (1989)
Jim Thompson - The Getaway (1959)
Walter Mosley - Devil in a Blue Dress (1991)
Denise Mina - Garnethill (1999)
Steig Larsson - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2008)
Ronald Knox - The Viaduct Murder (1925)
EC Bentley - Trent's Last Case (1913)
Lawrence Block - All the Flowers Are Dying (2005)
Edmund Crispin - Holy Disorders (1945)
William McIlvanney - Laidlaw (1977)
George V Higgins - The Rat on Fire (1981)
Dorothy L Sayers - Five Red Herrings (1931)
Anthony Boucher - The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars (1940)
Mickey Spillane - I, the Jury (1947)
James Grady - Six Days of the Condor (1974)
George Pelecanos - The Big Blowdown (1996)
Robert Crais - The Watchman (2007)
John Lawton - Black Out (1995)
Elmore Leonard - Maximum Bob (1991)
There's much more about each author on the website, and you can post your thoughts about the listed authors here . Crime novelist Robert B. Parker is interviewed.

(My total from this list is a pathetic 7 which I've now highlighted in bold. Time to get into some more crime fiction methinks now my appetite is whetted.)


GUO SHAO-HUA said...

Ed McBain's King's Ransom was adapted into a very brilliant thriller called High And Low by Akira Kurosawa.

animah said...

You've not read The Moonstone?! Sharon!!

KayKay said...

Sharon, you have never read an Agatha Christie??? "Mon Dieu!" as Poirot would say!
Well, if you enjoy lyrical prose within the pulpy confines of a crime thriller, you must read James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux novels.

bibliobibuli said...

guo - thanks, will look out for it.

animah - actually not sure now if i did or not. we were supposed to read it at school but no trace remains in this tired old brain. time for a reread

i've read something by christie but not this title.

okay yeah, i'm pathetic. but what's your score????

Anonymous said...

They have all my favourites! Simenon (I buy the paperbacks in bulk at fleamarkets here in France, and the one they mention was one of the first I read), Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, Wilkie Collins, G.K. Chesterton. I never thought of Bleak House as a crime novel before, but it is, isn't it? It just has so much other material padding the crime (I don't mean "padding" in a negative way -- it's one of my favourite novels ever).

I've also read the John Dickson Carr and the D├╝rrenmatt. Oh, one name I might've included is Josephine Tey.

Agatha Christie is fabulous at plot but her language sometimes leaves much to be desired -- she's nowhere near as careful a prose stylist as Dorothy Sayers.

-- Preeta

Anonymous said...

I totally aspire to be Miss Marple. ;) Poirot gets a little too twirl-happy with his moustache, but I'm willing to overlook that most of the time. I've just recovered from a bout of chicken pox (!) and all I did the last 2 weeks was reread my Christie paperbacks.

So yes, mysteries are a pleasure for me... but not all types. Don't like modern ones that are too "crimey." I like my mysteries with tea and scones and little old ladies in quiet little villages.

Sharon, yes... The Moonstone is a fun book! Or have you read The Woman in White? That one's even better! (Exclamation mark! I get really excited about Wilkie Collins!)

And I've read a few books by Margery Allingham or Ngaio Marsh, but really wasn't too thrilled...

I love Dorothy L.Sayers but haven't read the one included in that list... Gaudy Night is my absolute favourite.


Anonymous said...

Gaudy Night is one of the best! You're so right! But the one on the list is good too.

-- Preeta

bibliobibuli said...

i'm going to be catching up on wilkie collins in the very near future ... can't remember which i read or anything about it! i cannot bluff my way ala pierre bayard (author of 'how to talk about books you haven't read") so i'm doing penance

do hope you're feeling better subashini. and i found "tiger in the smoke" hardgoing at the time but i was in my teens so i've got an excuse

preeta - as for agatha christie's prose do take a look at this past post

Chet said...

Maybe it was Wilkie Collins' Woman in White that you read, Sharon? It was in my reading list for the women's writing courses at UEA.

bibliobibuli said...

actually i think it was "the moonstone" but in my head not a trace remains ... 34 years is enough time for a book to disappear from between the ears!

Munira Mustaffa said...

Agatha Christie rules as the Queen of Crime, no mistake! In fact, you cannot read a textbook on offender profiling without a reference to the great Hercule Poirot himself - he's the examplary profiler in fiction. The Moonstone is legendary. Sherlock Holmes is the king of forensic sciencetists in fiction - he's often referred to in most forensic science textbooks I've come across and by criminalists. As for Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett... ahhh I'm a sucker for hardboiled detectives addicted to bourbon, whiskey, smokes and flipping on the fedora trapped in the smokey atmosphere of the 20s-40s. I think I've read Poe's Murders In The Rue Morgue but I can't really remember.

Anonymous said...

Some of the books might be hard to find :P Most of Dickens' work is online, as is Poe's :)

Milo said...

the times online link to the list(so thank you much for this listing) is no longer available but I believe Colin Dexter was on the list?

bibliobibuli said...

you could be right and i might have made a mistake when transferring the list. shame if the original has gone down ...

bibliobibuli said...

nope. list is till there. follow link on post. and there is no colin dexter on it.