The Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time

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The two Crime Companions

The Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time is a list published in book form in 1990 by the British-based Crime Writers' Association. Five years later, the Mystery Writers of America published a similar list entitled The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time. Many titles can be found in both lists.[1]

The CWA List[edit]

  1. Josephine Tey: The Daughter of Time (1951)
  2. Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep (1939)
  3. John le Carré: The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (1963)
  4. Dorothy L. Sayers: Gaudy Night (1935)
  5. Agatha Christie: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
  6. Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca (1938)
  7. Raymond Chandler: Farewell My Lovely (1940)
  8. Wilkie Collins: The Moonstone (1868)
  9. Len Deighton: The IPCRESS File (1962)
  10. Dashiell Hammett: The Maltese Falcon (1930)
  11. Josephine Tey: The Franchise Affair (1948)
  12. Hillary Waugh: Last Seen Wearing ... (1952)
  13. Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose (1980)
  14. Geoffrey Household: Rogue Male (1939)
  15. Raymond Chandler: The Long Goodbye (1953)
  16. Francis Iles: Malice Aforethought (1931)[note 1]
  17. Frederick Forsyth: The Day of the Jackal (1971)
  18. Dorothy L. Sayers: The Nine Tailors (1934)
  19. Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None (1939)
  20. John Buchan: The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915)
  21. Arthur Conan Doyle: The Collected Sherlock Holmes Short Stories (1892-1927)[note 1]
  22. Dorothy L. Sayers: Murder Must Advertise (1933)
  23. Edgar Allan Poe: Tales of Mystery & Imagination (1852)
  24. Eric Ambler: The Mask of Dimitrios (1939)
  25. Edmund Crispin: The Moving Toyshop (1946)
  26. Margery Allingham: The Tiger in the Smoke (1952)[note 1]
  27. Peter Lovesey: The False Inspector Dew (1982)[note 1]
  28. Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White (1860)
  29. Barbara Vine: A Dark-Adapted Eye (1986)[note 1]
  30. James M. Cain: The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934)
  31. Dashiell Hammett: The Glass Key (1931)
  32. Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)[note 1]
  33. John le Carré: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974)
  34. E. C. Bentley: Trent's Last Case (1913)
  35. Ian Fleming: From Russia, with Love (1957)
  36. Ed McBain: Cop Hater (1956)[note 1]
  37. Colin Dexter: The Dead of Jericho (1981)[note 1] (tie for #36)
  38. Patricia Highsmith: Strangers on a Train (1950)[note 1]
  39. Ruth Rendell: A Judgement in Stone (1977)
  40. John Dickson Carr: The Hollow Man (1935)
  41. Anthony Berkeley: The Poisoned Chocolates Case (1929)[note 1]
  42. Ellis Peters: A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977)
  43. Ellis Peters: The Leper of Saint Giles (1981)[note 1] (tie for #42)
  44. Ira Levin: A Kiss Before Dying (1953)[note 1]
  45. Patricia Highsmith: The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955)
  46. Graham Greene: Brighton Rock (1938)
  47. Raymond Chandler: The Lady in the Lake (1943)
  48. Scott Turow: Presumed Innocent (1987)
  49. Ruth Rendell: A Demon in My View (1976)[note 1]
  50. John Dickson Carr: The Devil in Velvet (1951)[note 1]
  51. Barbara Vine: A Fatal Inversion (1987)[note 1] (tie for #50)
  52. Michael Innes: The Journeying Boy (1949)[note 1]
  53. P. D. James: A Taste for Death (1986)[note 1]
  54. Jack Higgins: The Eagle Has Landed (1975)[note 1]
  55. Mary Stewart: My Brother Michael (1960)[note 1]
  56. Peter Lovesey: Bertie and the Tin Man (1987)[note 1]
  57. Susan Moody: Penny Black (1984)[note 1] (tie for #56)
  58. Len Deighton: Game, Set & Match (1984-1986)[note 1]
  59. Dick Francis: The Danger (1983)[note 1]
  60. P. D. James: Devices and Desires (1989)[note 1]
  61. Reginald Hill: Underworld (1988)[note 1]
  62. Mary Stewart: Nine Coaches Waiting (1958)[note 1]
  63. Paula Gosling: A Running Duck (1978)[note 1]
  64. Michael Gilbert: Smallbone Deceased (1950)
  65. Lionel Davidson: The Rose of Tibet (1962)[note 1]
  66. P. D. James: Innocent Blood (1980)[note 1]
  67. Dorothy L. Sayers: Strong Poison (1930)
  68. Michael Innes: Hamlet, Revenge! (1937)[note 1]
  69. Tony Hillerman: A Thief of Time (1989)[note 1]
  70. Caryl Brahms & S. J. Simon: A Bullet in the Ballet (1937)[note 1]
  71. Reginald Hill: Dead Heads (1983)[note 1]
  72. Graham Greene: The Third Man (1950)
  73. Anthony Price: The Labyrinth Makers (1974)[note 1]
  74. Adam Hall: The Quiller Memorandum (1965)[note 1]
  75. Margaret Millar: Beast in View (1955)
  76. Sarah Caudwell: The Shortest Way to Hades (1984)[note 1]
  77. Desmond Bagley: Running Blind (1970)[note 1]
  78. Dick Francis: Twice Shy (1981)[note 1]
  79. Richard Condon: The Manchurian Candidate (1959)[note 1]
  80. Caroline Graham: The Killings at Badger's Drift (1987)[note 1]
  81. Nicholas Blake: The Beast Must Die (1938)[note 1]
  82. Martin Cruz Smith: Gorky Park (1981) (tie for #81)
  83. Agatha Christie: Death Comes as the End (1945)[note 1]
  84. Christianna Brand: Green for Danger (1945)[note 1]
  85. Cyril Hare: Tragedy at Law (1942)[note 1]
  86. John Fowles: The Collector (1963)[note 1]
  87. J. J. Marric: Gideon's Day (1955)[note 1]
  88. Lionel Davidson: The Sun Chemist (1976)[note 1]
  89. Alistair MacLean: The Guns of Navarone (1957)[note 1]
  90. Julian Symons: The Colour of Murder (1957)[note 1]
  91. John Buchan: Greenmantle (1916)[note 1]
  92. Erskine Childers: The Riddle of the Sands (1903)[note 1]
  93. Peter Lovesey: Wobble to Death (1970)
  94. Dashiell Hammett: Red Harvest (1929)
  95. Ken Follett: The Key to Rebecca (1980)[note 1]
  96. Ed McBain: Sadie When She Died (1972)[note 1]
  97. H. R. F. Keating: The Murder of the Maharajah (1980)[note 1]
  98. Simon Brett: What Bloody Man Is That? (1987)[note 1]
  99. Gavin Lyall: Shooting Script (1966)[note 1]
  100. Edgar Wallace: The Four Just Men (1906) [note 1]

The U.S. list (1995)[edit]

  1. Arthur Conan Doyle: The Complete Sherlock Holmes (1887-1927)[note 2]
  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)[note 2]
  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)[note 2]
  16. Thomas Harris: The Silence of the Lambs (1988)[note 2]
  17. Eric Ambler: A Coffin for Dimitrios (1939)
  18. Dorothy L. Sayers: Gaudy Night (1935)
  19. Agatha Christie: The Witness for the Prosecution (1948) [note 3]
  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)[note 2]
  25. Ken Follett: Eye of the Needle (1978)[note 2]
  26. John Mortimer: Rumpole of the Bailey (1978)[note 2]
  27. Thomas Harris: Red Dragon (1981)[note 2]
  28. Dorothy L. Sayers: The Nine Tailors (1934)
  29. Gregory Mcdonald: Fletch (1974)[note 2]
  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)[note 2]
  35. Martin Cruz Smith: Gorky Park (1981)
  36. Dorothy L. Sayers: Strong Poison (1930)
  37. Tony Hillerman: Dance Hall of the Dead (1973)[note 2]
  38. Donald E. Westlake: The Hot Rock (1970)[note 2]
  39. Dashiell Hammett: Red Harvest (1929)
  40. Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Circular Staircase (1908)[note 2]
  41. Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express (1934)[note 2]
  42. John Grisham: The Firm (1991)[note 2]
  43. Len Deighton: The IPCRESS File (1962)
  44. Vera Caspary: Laura (1942)[note 2]
  45. Mickey Spillane: I, the Jury (1947)[note 2]
  46. Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö: The Laughing Policeman (1968)[note 2]
  47. Donald E. Westlake: Bank Shot (1972)[note 2]
  48. Graham Greene: The Third Man (1950)
  49. Jim Thompson: The Killer Inside Me (1952)[note 2]
  50. Mary Higgins Clark: Where Are the Children? (1975)[note 2]
  51. Sue Grafton: "A" is for Alibi (1982)[note 2]
  52. Lawrence Sanders: The First Deadly Sin (1973)[note 2]
  53. Tony Hillerman: A Thief of Time (1989)
  54. Truman Capote: In Cold Blood (1966)[note 2]
  55. Geoffrey Household: Rogue Male (1939)
  56. Dorothy L. Sayers: Murder Must Advertise (1933)
  57. G. K. Chesterton: The Innocence of Father Brown (1911)[note 2]
  58. John le Carré: Smiley's People (1979)[note 2]
  59. Raymond Chandler: The Lady in the Lake (1943)
  60. Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)[note 2]
  61. Graham Greene: Our Man in Havana (1958)[note 2]
  62. Charles Dickens: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870)[note 2]
  63. Peter Lovesey: Wobble to Death (1970)
  64. W. Somerset Maugham: Ashenden (1928)[note 2]
  65. Nicholas Meyer: The Seven Per-Cent Solution (1974)[note 2]
  66. Rex Stout: The Doorbell Rang (1965)[note 2]
  67. Elmore Leonard: Stick (1983)[note 2]
  68. John le Carré: The Little Drummer Girl (1983)[note 2]
  69. Graham Greene: Brighton Rock (1938)
  70. Bram Stoker: Dracula (1897)[note 2]
  71. Patricia Highsmith: The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955)
  72. Edmund Crispin: The Moving Toyshop (1946)
  73. John Grisham: A Time to Kill (1989)[note 2]
  74. Hillary Waugh: Last Seen Wearing ... (1952)
  75. W. R. Burnett: Little Caesar (1929)[note 2]
  76. George V. Higgins: The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1972)[note 2]
  77. Dorothy L. Sayers: Clouds of Witness (1927)[note 2]
  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)[note 2]
  83. P. D. James: Shroud for a Nightingale (1971)[note 2]
  84. Tom Clancy: The Hunt for Red October (1984)[note 2]
  85. Ross Thomas: Chinaman's Chance (1978)[note 2]
  86. Joseph Conrad: The Secret Agent (1907)[note 2]
  87. John D. MacDonald: The Dreadful Lemon Sky (1975)[note 2]
  88. Dashiell Hammett: The Glass Key (1931)
  89. Ruth Rendell: A Judgement in Stone (1977)
  90. Josephine Tey: Brat Farrar (1950)[note 2]
  91. Ross Macdonald: The Chill (1963)[note 2]
  92. Walter Mosley: Devil in a Blue Dress (1990)[note 4]
  93. Joseph Wambaugh: The Choirboys (1975)[note 2]
  94. Donald E. Westlake: God Save the Mark (1967)[note 2]
  95. Craig Rice: Home Sweet Homicide (1944)[note 2]
  96. John Dickson Carr: The Three Coffins (1935)
  97. Richard Condon: Prizzi's Honor (1982)[note 2]
  98. James McClure: The Steam Pig (1974)[note 2]
  99. Jack Finney: Time and Again (1970)[note 2]
  100. Ellis Peters: A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977) and Ira Levin: Rosemary's Baby (1967)[note 2] (tie)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be Not included in the list compiled by the Mystery Writers of America.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb Not included in the list compiled by the Crime Writers' Association.
  3. ^ The Crown Crime Companion notes: "As worthy as this brilliant courtroom thriller is, it should not have been ranked as one of the top 100 mystery books because, well, there is no such book. Those who voted for it presumably remember the superb stage play, the equally superb movie, or the excellent short story on which they were both based (though the story's ending is quite different from that of the dramatic presentations)."
  4. ^ Published after the publication of the British list.


References[edit]

  1. ^ The Crown Crime Companion "The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time Selected by the Mystery Writers of America", annotated by Otto Penzler and compiled by Mickey Friedman New York, (1995) ISBN 0-517-88115-2

See also[edit]