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100 Great Crime and Mystery Novels

Kumar Paral is a writer, a culture enthusiast, and a bibliophile.

Top 100 Crime and Mystery Novels of All Time

Crime and mystery novels have always a huge following among readers. They try to satisfy the inborn curiosity and wish of human mind to know more about the mysterious phenomena and unexpected incidents that occur in our life. Many of such works has not lost its appeal even after many decades of its publication. TOP 100 CRIME AND MYSTERY NOVELS OF THE WORLD is my list of the most popular crime and mystery novels published in English. Comments and critical opinions are welcome.

Top 20 Crime and Mystery Novels of the World

  1. Arthur Conan Doyle: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
  2. Bram Stoker: Dracula
  3. Agatha Christie: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  4. Elmore Leonard: Stick
  5. Reginald Hill: Underworld
  6. Sue Grafton: "A" is for Alibi
  7. Ross Macdonald: The Chill
  8. Martin Cruz Smith: Gorky Park
  9. Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None
  10. Cyril Hare: Tragedy at Law
  11. Wilkie Collins: The Moonstone
  12. Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca
  13. Barbara Vine: A Dark-Adapted Eye
  14. Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express
  15. Dashiell Hammett: The Maltese Falcon
  16. George V. Higgins: The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  17. Raymond Chandler: The Lady in the Lake
  18. Scott Turow: Presumed Innocent Simon Brett: What Bloody Man Is That?
  19. Ross Thomas: Chinaman's Chance
  20. Ruth Rendell: A Judgement in Stone
Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle

Top 100 Crime and Mystery Novels of the World : 21 - 40

21.Dorothy L. Sayers: The Nine Tailors

22.Sarah Caudwell: The Shortest Way to Hades

23.Susan Moody: Penny Black

24.Thomas Harris: Red Dragon

25.Thomas Harris: The Silence of the Lambs

26.Dick Francis: Twice Shy

27.P. D. James: Innocent Blood

28.Ellis Peters: A Morbid Taste for Bones

29.Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Circular Staircase

30.Graham Greene: Our Man in Havana

31.Michael Gilbert: Smallbone Deceased

32.Edgar Wallace: The Four Just Men

33.Michael Innes: The Journeying Boy

34.Nicholas Blake: The Beast Must Die

35.Eric Ambler: A Coffin for Dimitrios

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36.Ken Follett: Eye of the Needle

37.John Buchan: The Thirty-Nine Steps

38.Elizabeth Peters: Crocodile on the Sandbank

39.John Dickson Carr: The Hollow Man

40.Frederick Forsyth: The Day of the Jackal

Top 100 Crime and Mystery Novels of the World : 41 - 60

41.John le Carré: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

42.G. K. Chesterton: The Innocence of Father Brown

43.Gavin Lyall: Shooting Script

44.Ed McBain: Cop Hater

45.Agatha Christie: The Witness for the Prosecution

46.Geoffrey Household: Rogue Male

47.Edmund Crispin: The Moving Toyshop

48.John le Carré: Smiley's People

49.John Mortimer: Rumpole of the Bailey

50.Josephine Tey: Brat Farrar

51.E. C. Bentley: Trent's Last Case

52.Ed McBain: Sadie When She Died

53.Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White

54.H. R. F. Keating: The Murder of the Maharajah

55.Hillary Waugh: Last Seen Wearing ..

56.Ian Fleming: From Russia, with Love

57.Ira Levin: A Kiss Before Dying

58.J. J. Marric: Gideon's Day

59.Craig Rice: Home Sweet Homicide

60.Graham Greene: Brighton Rock

Top 100 Crime and Mystery Novels of the World : 61 - 80

61.Jack Finney: Time and Again

62.Anthony Berkeley: The Poisoned Chocolates Case

63.James M. Cain: The Postman Always Rings Twice

64.Paula Gosling: A Running Duck

65.Peter Lovesey: Bertie and the Tin Man

66.Jim Thompson: The Killer Inside Me

67.Raymond Chandler: Farewell My Lovely

68.John Fowles: The Collector

69.Dorothy L. Sayers: Clouds of Witness

70.John Grisham: A Time to Kill

71.Dorothy L. Sayers: Gaudy Night

72.John Grisham: The Firm

73.Erskine Childers: The Riddle of the Sands

74.Francis Iles: Malice Aforethought

75.Jack Higgins: The Eagle Has Landed

76.Donald E. Westlake: The Hot Rock

77.Edgar Allan Poe: Tales of Mystery & Imagination

78.John Dickson Carr: The Three Coffins

79.Agatha Christie: Death Comes as the End

80.Josephine Tey: The Franchise Affair


Top 100 Crime and Mystery Novels of the World : 81 - 100

81.Julian Symons: The Colour of Murder

82.Ken Follett: The Key to Rebecca

83.Lawrence Sanders: The First Deadly Sin

84.Dorothy L. Sayers: Murder Must Advertise

85.Len Deighton: Game, Set & Match

86.Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö: The Laughing Policeman

87.Margaret Millar: Beast in View

88.Graham Greene: The Third Man

89.Barbara Vine: A Fatal Inversion

90.Colin Dexter: The Dead of Jericho

91.Donald E. Westlake: Bank Shot

92.Mary Higgins Clark: Where Are the Children?

93.Donald E. Westlake: God Save the Mark

94.Dorothy L. Sayers: Strong Poison

95.Robert Traver: Anatomy of a Murder

96.Mary Stewart: Nine Coaches Waiting

97.Josephine Tey: The Daughter of Time

98.Margery Allingham: The Tiger in the Smoke

99.Gregory Mcdonald: Fletch

100.Dick Francis: The Danger


Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 10, 2020:

Interesting compilation. Useful for the readers.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on March 24, 2014:

Is your list based on copies sold or some other methodology? I found it interesting (but not surprising) that I've read most of the books in the list plus others written by several of the authors represented. I've avidly read books in the mystery/suspense/thriller genre since I was a very young girl, and I'm now 70...and am still reading them (several per week).

Many of the older mysteries written during what was termed "the golden age of the mystery" hold up well to re-reading now. In fact, I periodically re-read Dorothy Sayers, Conan Doyle, Josephine Tey, and others, enjoying them just as much the second, third, etc. times around.

Voted Up and Interesting


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