Top 100+ Crime and Mystery Novels Reviews

Top 100+ Crime and Mystery Novels Reviews

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I’ve compiled a reading list by combining The Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time created by the British-based Crime Writers Association, published in Hatchards Crime Companion in 1990, with the Mystery Writers of America‘s  The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time,  published in The Crown Crime Companion in 1995. You’ll find detailed information on these two Top 100 lists in My Reading List of Top 100+ Crime and Mystery Novels of All Time post.

My Author Reviews

I’m reviewing each author’s novels as I finish reading their novels in the list.

Here are the authors I’ve reviewed so far:

  1. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Complete Sherlock Holmes
  2. John Buchan and Richard Hannay spy thrillers

My Reading List

Below is what my reading list looks like, with duplicates removed, the date published included and category, if known, added.   The novel title is linked to the review if I’ve completed a review of that author, and their novels.

1. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1887 – 1927) Classic

The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes is all the Sherlock Holmes novels, his four novels, and his fifty six Holmes short stories, published in The Strand magazine from 1891 to 1927.  The order of the novels and stories in the Complete Sherlock Holmes are compiled in a logical reading order and brings to life Conan Doyle’s brilliant sleuth and his sidekick Watson as originally written as opposed to how their characters have been portrayed in different movie and TV adaptations.

You’ll find my Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Complete Sherlock Holmes review here.

1. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey (1951) History Mystery
2. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939) Hard-boiled/Private Eye
2. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1930) Hard-boiled/Private Eye
3. Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe (1845) Classic
3. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carré (1963) Espionage Fiction Espionage/Thriller
4. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers (1935) The Golden Age (1914 – 1939)/ Romantic Suspense Cozy/traditional
5. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (1926) The Golden Age (1914 – 1939) Cozy/traditional
5. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow (1987) Whodunnit Legal/courtroom
6. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938) Romantic Suspense/Suspense
7. Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler (1940) Hard-boiled/Private Eye
7. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1968) Classic
9. The Ipcress File by Len Deighton (1962) Espionage Fiction Espionage/Thriller
10. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (1939) The Golden Age (1914 – 1939) Cozy/traditional
11. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey (1948) Whodunnit Cozy/traditional
11. Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver (1958) Legal/courtroom
12. Last Seen Wearing… by Hillary Waugh (1952) Police Procedural
13. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (1953) Hard-boiled/Private Eye
13. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (1980) History Mystery
14. The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain (1934) Hard-boiled Criminal
14. Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household (1939) Thriller, Espionage/Thriller
15. The Godfather by Mario Puzo (1969) Criminal
16. The Silence Of The Lambs by Thomas Harris (1988) Suspense
16. Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles (1931) Psychological suspense
17. A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler (1939) Espionage/Thriller
17. The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth (1971) Thriller Espionage/Thriller
18. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers (1934) The Golden Age (1914 – 1939) Cozy/traditional
19. The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories by Agatha Christie The Golden Age (1914 – 1939)/ Cozy/traditional Legal/courtroom

20. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (1915) Founding Fathers Classic Espionage/Thriller

John Buchan’s Thirty-Nine Steps espionage thriller first appeared as a serial in Blackwood’s Magazine in August and September 1915 before being published as a novel in October 1915.   It was the first of his five novels feature Richard Hannay, his all action hero who had a knack for getting himself out of trouble.

You’ll find my John Buchan and Richard Hannay spy thriller review here.

22. Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers (1933)
24. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866) Classic
23. The mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler (1939) Thriller
23. The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin (1946) Whodunnit Cozy/traditional Humorous
25. Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett (1978) Espionage/Thriller
26. The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham (1952) The Golden Age (1914 – 1939) Cozy/traditional
26. Rumpole of the Bailey by John Mortimer (1978) Legal/courtroom
27. Red Dragon by Thomas Harris (1981) Suspense
27. The False Inspector Dew by Peter Lovesey (1982) History Mystery
28. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (1860) Classic
29. Fletch by Gregory Mcdonald (1974) Humorous
29. A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine (1986) Psychological suspense
30. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré (1974) Espionage Fiction Espionage/Thriller
31. The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett (1931) Hard-boiled/Private Eye
31. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett (1931) Hard-boiled/Private Eye
34. Trent’s Last Case by E. C. Bentley (1913) Founding Fathers / Classic
34. Double Indemnity by James M. Cain (1943) Criminal
35. Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith (1981) Police Procedural/Thriller
35. From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming (1957) Espionage Fiction Espionage/Thriller
36. Cop Hater by Ed McBain (1956) Police Procedural
36. Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers (1930) Cozy/traditional
36. The Dead of Jericho by Colin Dexter (1981) Police Procedural
37. Dance Hall of the Dead by Tony Hillerman (1973) Police Procedural
38. Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith (1950) Psychological suspense
38. The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake (1970) Humorous
39. Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett (1929) Hard-boiled/Private Eye
39. A Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell (1977) Psychological suspense Suspense
40. The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1909) Romantic Suspense Classics
40. Three Coffins (or The Hollow Man) by John Dickson Carr (1938) – known by two different titles. The Golden Age (1914 – 1939) Cozy/traditional
41. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (1934) Cozy/traditional
41. The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley The Golden Age (1914 – 1939) Cozy/traditional
42. The Firm by John Grisham (1991) Legal/courtroom
42. A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters (1977) History Mystery
42. The Leper of Saint Giles by Ellis Peters (1981) History Mystery
44. Laura by Vera Caspary (1942) Suspense
44. A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin (1953) Psychological suspense
45. I, the Jury by Mickey Spillane (1947) Hard-boiled/Private Eye
45. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1955) Psychological suspense Criminal
46. The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjöwall (1970) Police Procedural
46. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene () Psychological suspense Suspense
47. Bank Shot by Donald E. Westlake (1972) Humorous
47. The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler (1943) Hard-boiled/Private Eye
48. The Third Man by Graham Greene (1950) Espionage Fiction Espionage/Thriller
49. The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson (1952) Criminal
49. A Demon in My View by Ruth Rendell (1976) Psychological suspense
50. Where Are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark (1975) Suspense
50. The Devil in Velvet by John Dickson Carr (1951) History Mystery
50. A Fatal Inversion by Barbara Vine (1987)
51. A Is for Alibi by Sue Grafton (1982) Hard-boiled/Private Eye
52. The First Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders (1973) Police Procedural
52. The Journeying Boy by Michael Innes (1987) Whodunnit
53. A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman (1989) Police Procedural
53. A Taste for Death by P. D. James (1986) Whodunnit
54. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1966) Criminal
54. The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins (1975) Thriller
55. My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart (1960) Romantic Suspense
56. Bertie and the Tinman by Peter Lovesey (1987) History Mystery
57. The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton (1911 ) Founding Fathers Classic
56. Penny Black by Susan Moody (1984) Whodunnit
58. Smiley’s People by John le Carre (1979) Espionage/Thriller
58. Game, Set & Match (Berlin Game ; Mexico Set ; London Match) by Len Deighton (1984, 1985, 1986) Espionage Fiction / Espionage/Thriller
59. The Danger by Dick Francis (1983) Thriller
60. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960) Legal/courtroom
60. Devices and Desires by P. D. James (1989)
61. Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene (1958)
61. Under World by Reginald Hill (1988) Police Procedural
62. The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens (1870) Classic
62. Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (1958) Romantic Suspense
63. Wobble to Death by Peter Lovesey (1970) Historical
63. A Running Duck by Paula Gosling (1978) Whodunnit
64. Ashenden, or, The British Agent by W. Somerset Maugham (1928)
64. Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert (1950) Whodunnit
65. The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer (1974) Historical
65. The Rose of Tibet by Lionel Davidson (1962) Thriller
66. The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout (1965) Hard-boiled/Private Eye
66. Innocent Blood by P. D. James (1980)
67. Stick by Elmore Leonard (1983) Criminal
68. Hamlet, Revenge! by Michael Innes (1937)
70. Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897) Classic
70. A Bullet in the Ballet by Caryl Brahms (1937) The Golden Age (1914 – 1939) Cozy/traditional Police Procedural
71. Deadheads by Reginald Hill (1983) Police Procedural
73. A Time to Kill by John Grisham (1989) Legal/courtroom
73. The Labyrinth Makers by Anthony Price (1974) Espionage Fiction
74. The Quiller Memorandum by Adam Hall (1965) Espionage Fiction
75. Little Caesar by William Riley Burnett (1929)
75. Beast in View by Margaret Millar (1955) Psychological suspense / Suspense
76. The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins (1972) Criminal
76. The Shortest Way to Hades by Sarah Caudwell (1984) Whodunnit
77. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers (1927) Cozy/traditional
77. Running Blind by Desmond Bagley (1970)
78. Twice Shy by Dick Francis (1981) Thriller
79. The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon (1959)
80. The Killings at Badger’s Drift by Caroline Graham (1987) Whodunnit
81. The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake (1938) The Golden Age (1914 – 1939) Cozy/traditional/
82. The Case of the Abominable Snowman by Nicholas Blake
82. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (1975) Historical
83. Shroud for a Nightingale by P. D. James (1971) Police Procedural
83. Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie (1945) History Mystery
84. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy (1984)
84. Green for Danger by Christianna Brand (1945) Cozy/traditional
85. Chinaman’s Chance by Ross Thomas (1978)
85. Tragedy at Law by Cyril Hare (1942) Legal/courtroom
86. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad (1907)
86. The Collector by John Fowles (1963) Psychological suspense
87. The Dreadful Yellow Sky by John D. MacDonald (1975) Hard-boiled/Private Eye
87. Gideon’s Day by J. J. Marric (1955) Police Procedural
88. The Sun Chemist by Lionel Davidson (1976) Thriller
89. The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean (1957) Thriller
90. Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey (1947) Romantic Suspense
90. The Color of Murder by Julian Symons (1957)
91. The Chill by Ross Macdonald (1963) Hard-boiled/Private Eye

91. Greenmantle by John Buchan (1916) Espionage/Thriller

John Buchan’s Greenmantle was the second of his five novels featuring Richard Hannay.  It was one of his two novels set during World War I.  Hannay’s first and best-known adventure, The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915), is set in the period immediately preceding the war.

You’ll find my John Buchan and Richard Hannay spy thriller review here.

92. Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley (1990) Historical
92. The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers (1903) Espionage Fiction
93. The Choirboys by Joseph Wambaugh (1975) Police Procedural
94. God Save the Mark by Donald E. Westlake (1967) Humorous
95. Home Sweet Homicide by Craig Rice (1944)
95. The Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett (1980) Espionage Fiction
97. Prizzi’s Honor by Richard Condon (1982) Criminal
96. Sadie When She Died by Ed McBain (1972) Police Procedural
97. The Murder of the Maharajah by H. R. F. Keating (1980) Police Procedural
98. The Steam Pig by James McClure (1974) Police Procedural
98. What Bloody Man is That? by Simon Brett (1987)
98. Shooting Script by Gavin Lyall (1966)
99. Time and Again by Jack Finney (1970) Historical
100. The Four Just Men by Edgar Wallace (1906)

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