100 Best Crime and Mystery Books

In 1987, HRF (Henry Raymond Fitzwarren) Keating (1926-2011 ) compiled his list of the ‘100 Best Crime & Mystery Books’ for the London Times, for whom he reviewed crime fiction for 15 years.

1845: Edgar Allan Poe, Tales of Mystery and Imagination
1868: Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
1870: Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
1892: Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
1899: E W Hornung, The Amateur Cracksman
1902: Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles
1907: Jacques Futrelle, The Thinking Machine
1908: Mary Roberts Rinehart, The Circular Staircase
1911: G K Chesterton, The Innocence of Father Brown
1918: Melville Davisson Post, Uncle Abner
1925: Edgar Wallace, The Mind of J. G. Reeder
1926: Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
1929: Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest
1929: C H B Kitchin, Death of My Aunt
1930: Dorothy L Sayers, The Documents in the Case
1930: Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
1931: Arthur W Upfield, The Sands of Windee
1932: Francis Iles, Before the Fact
1933: Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Sulky Girl
1934: Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express

100 Best Crime And Mystery Books
1934: James M Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice
1934: Dorothy L Sayers, The Nine Tailors
1935: John Dickson Carr, The Hollow Man (T Three Coffins)
1935: Rex Stout, The League of Frightened Men
1936: Ethel Lina White, The Wheel Spins
1938: Nicholas Blake, The Beast Must Die
1940: Cornell Woolrich, The Bride Wore Black
1940: Ngaio Marsh, Surfeit of Lampreys or Death of a Peer
1942: Ellery Queen, Calamity Town
1942: Cyril Hare, Tragedy at Law
1942: Raymond Chandler, The High Window
1944: Christianna Brand, Green for Danger
1945: Michael Innes, Appleby’s End
1946: Elizabeth Ferrars, Murder Among Friends
1946: Helen Eustis, The Horizontal Man
1946: Edmund Crispin, The Moving Toyshop
1947: Frederick Brown, The Fabulous Clipjoint
1948: Josephine Tey, The Franchise Affair
1948: John Franklin Bardin, Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly
1948: Margery Allingham, More Work for the Undertaker
1949: Georges Simenon, My Friend Maigret
1949: W R Burnett, The Asphalt Jungle
1950: Michael Gilbert, Smallbone Deceased
1950: Georges Simenon, The Stain on the Snow, The Snow Was Black.
1951: Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
1952: Hillary Waugh, Last Seen Wearing
1952: Margery Allingham, The Tiger in the Smoke
1953: John Bingham, Five Roundabouts to Heaven
1953: Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
1953: Guy Cullingford, Post Mortem
1954: Shelley Smith, The Party at No. 5
1955: Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley
1955: Margaret Millar, The Beast in View
1956: John Creasey (JJ Marric) Gideon’s Week
1956: Stanley Ellin, Mystery Stories
1960: Georges Simenon, Maigret in Court
1960: Michael Innes, The New Sonia Wayward
1963: Nicholas Freeling, Gun Before Butter
1963: Dorothy Hughes, The Expendable Man
1964: Jim Thompson, Pop. 1280
1966: E B Eberhart, R. S. V. P. Murder
1967: Julian Symons, The Man Who Killed Himself
1967: Emma Lathen, Murder Against the Grain
1967: Maj Sjowall, Per Wahloo: Roseanna
1967: George Sims, The Last Best Friend
1968: Peter Dickinson, The Glass-Sided Ants’ Nest
1968: Helen McCloy, Mr. Splitfoot
1969: Patricia Highsmith, The Tremor of Forgery
1969: Chester Himes, Blind Man With a Pistol
1970: Joan Fleming, Young Man, I Think You’re Dying
1970: Margaret Millar, Beyond This Point are Monsters
1972: Ed McBain, Sadie When She Died
1972: George V Higgins, The Friends of Eddie Coyle
1972: Julian Symons, The Players and the Game
1972: Stanley Ellin, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
1973: Tony Hillerman, Dance Hall of the Dead
1974: Peter Dickinson, The Poison Oracle
1974: Gregory McDonald, Fletch
1975: P. D. James, The Black Tower
1975: Celia Fremlin, The Long Shadow
1975: Colin Watson, The Naked Nuns or Six Nuns and a Shotgun.
1976: Ross Macdonald, The Blue Hammer
1976: Agatha Christie, Sleeping Murder
1976: Dorothy Salisbury Davis: A Death in the Life
1976: Dorothy Uhnak, The Investigation
1977: Ruth Rendell, A Judgement in Stone
1977: William McIlvanney, Laidlaw
1977: Donald Westlake, Nobody’s Perfect
1978: Reginald Hill, A Pinch of Snuff
1979: Joseph Hansen, Skinflick
1979: P. M. Hubbard, Kill Claudio
1979: John D. MacDonald, The Green Ripper
1981: John Wainwright, All On a Summer’s Day
1981: Amanda Cross, Death in a Tenured Position
1981: Joseph Wambaugh, The Glitter Dome
1982: June Thomson, To Make a Killing
1982: Peter Lovesey, The False Inspector Dew
1984: James McClure, The Artful Egg
1986: P D James, A Taste for Death

So, that was the list of 100 Best Crime and Mystery Books chosen for the London Times in 1987. There are many there it is hard to argue against and a few that have not stood the test of time.

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