Agatha Christie remains my number one favorite - she is the first mystery writer I ever read, when I was 14 years old or so. And her play The Mousetrap was the first play I ever saw, too.
Other favorite authors are ... Elizabeth Peters, Charlotte Macleod and Simon Brett.
Although I haven't read him for awhile but I think Raymond Chandler and his followers are always good.I also think William X. Kienzle is very good.
I love the sophisticated British mysteries by Dorothy Sayers, Wilkie Collins, and Agatha Christie best, because they are novels first, mysteries second.
I also like Agatha Christie. My gandmother had her full collection and I used to read them when I visited for the holidays.
Right now my favorites are Dean Koontz and Jonathan Kellerman.
Both are fantastic writers first and their mysteries grab you from the first page and keep you running with them right to the last page.
I love these authors, too--Dean Koontz is my all time favorite, and has been for years and years.
Nora Roberts writes great mysteries, too, and I love the realistic characters, and the interaction between men and women...honest, candid, with no games or "I am woman, hear me roar" type female characters.
Iris Johansen is good, too--great plots, but all too often her female characters are the angry, chip on my shoulder type, and those get tiring sometimes, lol...but, I still read them once in awhile.
Arthur Conan Doyle
John D MacDonald
Phyliss Whitney was my favorite in high school. One mystery writer I loved reading Charlotte Armstrong - The Gift Shop.
Wow, that's a hard one. Of the classics, I love Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Ngaio Marsh, Of the current writers, Ruth Rendell, Marcia Muller, and Sue Grafton are some of my very favorites.
I'm reading a mystery, Moonstone by Willkie Collins, and so far it's proved to be good
Donis Casey. I love expecially her Alafair Tucker mystery series.
I've never gotten into reading adult mysteries, but right now I am reading "The Three Investigators" series to my kids. They are loving the books.
Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, Dorothy Sayers, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Elizabeth Peters, Kate Ross, Sharon Kay Penman (though I like her historical fiction better than her mysteries), Lindsey Davis, Ellis Peters...
I feel like I'm forgetting some favorites, but that's a good start.
My favorite mystery writer is Stuart Woods. He brings back a lot of his characters in his stories. I especially enjoy the Stone Barrington novels. Stuart Woods always has surprise me at the end of the story. Just when I think I have it figured out. I have read all of his books to date.
All day long I will give the same answer: Dick Francis
I love classic mystery authors like Agatha Christie and her peers-Sayers, Marsh, Chesterton, etc. I also love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and R. Austin Freeman. I try to read several sub-genres. My favourite gothic writer is Mary Roberts Rinehart. My favourite hard boiled writers are dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Since I love cars I love to read lillian Jackson Brawn. In general, I do not read current mystery writers who started writing after I was born-1976. There are exceptions, but as this is asking for my favourite...oh, and as you ask for one favourite overall-it has to be Agatha Christie.
That is supposed to read since I love CATS!
oh dear. I love typing with one hand.
Reading a Mary Roberts Rineheart book is really like traveling back in time! I recall reading Circular Staircase when I was a young woman and loving it. Mysteries have always been my favorite fiction genre. I'd simply forgotten Rineheart until I read your post.
I love the opportunity to reply to this question, late though I am in finding it.
My absolute favorite contemporary mystery writers are: Micheal Connelly (especially his Lincoln Lawyer series), Ian Rankin, Louise Penny, Laurie King, Ruth Rendall, Minette Walters, P.D. James, Caroline Graham, John Grisham, Scott Turow, Sue Grafton and Dick Francis. Unfortunately, Dick Francis died not long ago, but his son (who did research for him for many years) co-authored his last couple of books, so he will probably continue the Francis tradition. Will have to wait and see.
Favorite mystery writers from the genre's "golden age" include: Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh and Josephine Tey.
If there appears to be a preponderance of authors from the UK, that is not a coincidence.
Of all the many, I love two of the dozen or so books by Susan Isaacs. I keep pulling for her to write another one from the talent that produced Shining Through and Magic Hour. I know she has it in her!
Rex Stout was always fun.
Not sure he belongs here, but: early Tom Clancy.
and... the most stellar Ngaio Marsh.
I agree with the reviewers who say Christie should be compared to Marsh, not the other way around. (But I do enjoy Dame Agatha too.)
I too love Agatha Christie. I also love P.D. James, Anne Perry and more recently Kate Atkinson. I also loved Donna Tartt's The Secret History.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I love all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and rarely go a day without either reading one, or watching some of the large collection of Sherlock Holmes DVDs I have. I find Agatha Christie too complicated. I usually am none the wiser when the crime has been solved than at the beginning.
Another Sherlockian! I, too, have all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, plus all of the DVDs (from the BBC series starring Jeremy Brett, the definitive screen Sherlock, in my humble opinion). I also read SH pastiches, and some are pretty good, though some are awful, but I can't seem to help myself! Can't get too much Sherlock Holmes....
I love Jeremy Brett. Before I discovered him I didn't read Holmes regularily.
I agree. Some actors played Sherlock Holmes, but Jeremy Brett was Sherlock Holmes. It was a shame though, that his manic-depression made Holmes take over his life. Apparently, he couldn't put the character aside, when filming had finished. The only Holmes stories I don't like are the several films, which have Holmes solving the mystery of Jack the Ripper. The mixing of a fictional character with a real one, I never think is a good idea. Peter Cushing was very good, but nothing to compare with Brett. I always end every day with at least a couple of Brett's Sherlock, and even though I have seen them hundreds of times, I never tire of them.
I forgot about Sir Doyle. I do like the Victorian Era mystery novels.
I will mine this hub for future mystery reading! Some great recommendations here. My favorite mystery is usually the one I'm reading now, which at the moment is the first of the Wallander cases, "The Pyramid" by Swedish writer Henning Mankell. I got into Swedish writers after being swept away with "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy by Stieg Larsson. If only there were more Larsson books! Sigh. So I'm making do with Mankell. Next month...on to something else, although there are eight or so Wallander books. Happy reading!
I haven't read the Wallander books, but recently watched DVDs of the first BBC season. I assume this is the same character? Really good stories, though I realize that TV treatments rarely match the books.
I too got into Swedish mystery/crime fiction to help me through my mourning period at the end of the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. (Though I'm holding out hope that his longtime partner will finish and publish the 4th book...when I first read there were meant to be 12 books in the series I think I actually cried, knowing what could have been if Steig Larsson hadn't died!) Right now I'm reading Camilla Lackberg's The Ice Princess, which is the first of a trilogy. (I read the second one, The Preacher, before I realized it was part of a series!) Have you tried any of Mankell's non-Wallander books? I've read a couple of the Wallander series but got sidetracked by more recent books of his, namely Kennedy's Brain and The Man From Beijing, both of which were FANTASTIC. I'm not really sure why Sweden seems to produce some of the best crime fiction in the world given their comparatively low crime rate, but there you have it!
I would like to tell everyone about Merlin Fraser he is a writer and he has written three book 's please checkout his hub
Merlin was the first person to post a comment on a hub of mine. His books combine mysteries with the supernatural. Quite fascinating.
For those of you who like mystery writers ...and there seems to be quite a few, may I add to the list of Mystery Authors the name MERLIN FRASER ..he has a trilogy of books which are a must to read for the lover of Mystery books...available on Amazon .
Merlin isnt a well known author but very worthy of a read ...I have read all three of his mystery novels and altough not my usual bedtime reading I have to confess I found them good reading....
If I tell you that Merlin is a well respected member of HUBS then maybe you will give his books a read...if you do tell him where you learnt about his work I may be up for commission!! lol
My top ten mystery writers and novels are :
1. Eric Ambler ( Passage of Arms )
2. John le Carre' ( The Spy who came in from the Cold )
3. Ken Follett ( Flight over Water )
4. Michael Connelly ( The entire Harry Bosch series )
5. John Sanford ( The entire Davenport series )
6. Robert B. Parker ( The entire Spenser series )
7. Jeffery Deaver ( The entire Lincoln Rhyme series )
8. Graham Greene ( The Human Factor )
9. Len Deighton ( The Ipcress File )
10. Joseph Wambaugh ( The Secrets of Harry Bright )
I don't read mystery novels in general but, I do like Anne Perry. I have only read the Charlotte and Thomas Pit series.
Someone said the other day that she helped her friend murder her father in Australia with a rock when she was a kid. Currently she lives in Scotland. I was wondering if anyone knew this to be true?
Actually, it was the friend's mother who was murdered by the two girls. Because they were young teens, they each only served five years in prison for the crime. The story is quite ghastly. The first blow to the mother's head with a brick did not kill her, so she was hit repeatedly until she died. If it had happened today, they two girls might have been tried as adults, for the crime was premeditated. The reason for the murder is because the girl's mother was divorcing her father, and the girl (Perry's friend) did not want to move away. Ironic that Perry began writing murder stories as an adult, isn't it?
Wow, I actually loved her books but, had no idea that this was at all true. First I heard of it was Thursday. It is very interesting the transition into murder mysteries. Probably why she moved away from Australia.
Yes, it is an amazing story, isn't it? If I recall correctly, part of the prison release deal for both girls was that they never have any contact again.
I like Dorothy Sayers, from WAY back, also someone new to me, the lady who fixed my computer turned me on to this author:
She writes period mysteries. They're set in the medieval period with a group of traveling actors as the repeating characters. Very cool!
Sandra Brown and Mary Higgens Clark has to be the best today I think. They always have fresh material and interesting from page one to the end.
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