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5 Best Mystery Novels Of All Time

Updated on November 3, 2015

Some Of The Best Mystery And Crime Novels Ever

I love reading, have been a true bookaholic ever since I was a kid, and this passion never left me. My most favorite book types to read have always been mystery novels. During one of our chats among friends the other day came up the question: which are some of the best mystery novels of all times? And all 5 friends gathered together started to list our own most favorites based on the ones we've read.

Actually this discussion sparked in me the need for further research, which led me to talk with other friends on Facebook and in other book groups, and finally I managed to compile a list of 5 books that seemed to be the most popular among every listed novel. All murder mysteries and the books didn't have to be new. Some are actually as old as time itself.

Just to create this page I went with my camera and took pictures of some of the books I have at home. Last I counted I had over 2000 scattered on various bookshelves, in nooks and crannies, on the floor, in drawers and other weird places. I only took a few for illustration, but I think with the novels I have currently in my personal collection, I could start a small local library!

Coming back to the topic of murder mysteries, I hope you will enjoy the list, and if you have some other favorites than what I have reviewed below, feel free to list them in the Guestbook section below - it is open for everyone to comment, not only to members of this site.

Image copyright: Marciag. Please do not use these photos without permission

A few of the many books I have at home that I can't part with

Just a few of the books I have at home that I can't part with
Just a few of the books I have at home that I can't part with | Source

Best Hardboiled Mystery Novels Ever Written

I love this genre - it was my first type of crime books I've read as a child, and these stayed with me ever since.

The hardboiled mystery novels are those that feature a tough private investigator (PI or private eye) who is hired to solve a crime. These guys are tough because they have to be. They come across nasty criminals and their strong sense of perception, fast reflexes and fighting (or shooting) knowledge will save them more than once. These stories are very realistic in nature and there is not much romance (and 0 supernatural) going on in here.

In most cases a PI novel is written in the first person, and usually the case starts with a damsel in distress visiting the office of the PI to ask for help.

The modern hardboiled novels also include detectives, not only PIs (in some cases the detectives have become private eyes because they can work better on their own), and often times they are rather rebelious, sometimes heavy drinkers, and above all, very, very tough. You know, in the style of the typical American crime story.

Having said that, I've noticed that many elements of other subgrenres seep into these novels, and there is at least a light cross-mix, so it will be difficult to find a hardboiled detective novel that is 'pure' as the definition goes.

The Maltese Falcon

I think the Maltese Falcon is the first and most famous private eye mystery novel that really shaped the genre to what it is now.


Sam Spade is the main hero in this novel, who is by all current standards the typical 'tough guy' as portrayed in a mystery novel. I loved it (and the movie as well).He is tougher than nails, and takes no prisoners.

There are several novels written by Dashiell Hammet featuring Sam Spade, but I think it is the book that truly stands out not only from the rest of his books, but from many other hardboiled PI novels written long after him.

The Elvis Cole Mysteries by Robert Crais Starting With The Monkey's Raincoat

The Elvis Cole novels by Robert Crais are also some of the best of the best in the modern hardboiled crime fiction. I've also reviewed it separately (link shown below), and I loved them. The writing style is totally engaging, and once I've started reading the books, I couldn't stop till I read the rest just to see what happens next.

Elvis is a smart-mouthed (and smart character - my kind of guy!) PI who is also a bit eccentric. He is talkative like no others (which is actually at odds with the typical characters in this genre), but he has his friend Pike (who has devoted to him an entire series as well) to keep him balanced and calm. At some point I was not sure which I liked more, Elvis or Pike. Both are let's say...attractive as heck.

One other thing that I love about this series which doesn't really exist in previous books of his type is how funny the novels are. I found myself chuckling and even laughing out loud at times and shaking my head in wonder. Truly a gem, worth keeping on the permanent bookshelf.

Click here for a full list of the Robert Crais books in order.

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Another old favorite of mine. Raymond Chandler is another father of the hardboiled detective mystery genre with his Philip Marlowe character, a tough PI who is hired by a dying millionaire to find who is blackmailing him.

I love reading about tough guys. And this guy is a take no prisoners kind of tough character, so it's no wonder I loved this great read. Btw he features in other novels as well by Raymond Chandler, but I think The Big Sleep is the most popular one ever, at least in my mind it is.

It's actually the first detective mystery novel I've read back when I was 9 or 10 and I can never forget it.

The Harry Bosch Novels by Michael Connelly Starting With The Black Echo

When it comes to contemporary authors, one of the best of the best is Michael Connelly with his Harry Bosch novels.

Harry Bosch is an LAPD homicide detective, as tough as it goes, a loner, and one who even though is still in the 'system' so to speak, totally hates political games and what come it.

I've read all the 18 books in the series, and I loved every single one of them. Michael Connelly has a way of weaving the storyline and suspense together that not many others can.

I've listed all the Harry Bosch books in order in another article (shown below), so if you're thinking of starting with this series, I urge you to read them in order, so it all makes sense. You'd be surprised just how many cross-references you'll find in the books, and if you read them out of order, you might find a few things confusing.

Here are all the Harry Bosch novels in order.

A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries, No. 1)
A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries, No. 1)

Some might disagree with my last choice here, but I've added Sue Grafton because well, I wanted to show that women also can be tough as nail hardboiled PIs.

Kinsey Millhone, an ex cop, now a private investigator is very realistic in her actions and she knows her stuff pretty well.

There are quite a lot of novels in the series featuring Kinsey Millhone, and each of them starts with a letter of the alphabet. Granted, the first one in the series is not my very favorite (R is for Ricochet is), but it's good to read the books in order to get a real feel for the main character.

Also the action is not so 'hardboiled' as in some other novels of the type, but you can't also call it 'soft boiled' because it's definitely not a cozy novel.

Regardless of the subgenre, I think Sue Grafton earned her name to be put along the best in the hardboiled mystery authors.

 

What Exactly Are Mystery Novels?

Before we go on listing the top 10 of my (probably biased) list, let's first define what a mystery novel is.

In a nutshell, it is a fiction genre that in fact quite loose in definition, and this is why probably my list will not be on everyone's top 10. The novels usually involve some kind of puzzle (in most cases to find who is the killer before the author reveals him or her at the end of the books). But the puzzles can also be in the style of Dan Brown, where we get to solve ancient and mystical ones. But really the 'whodunit' defines it best. There is always a crime involved, either through murder, or kidnapping.

The mystery novels have a few specific subgenres, such as the hardboiled detective fiction, which is a classic mystery novel style (think Agatha Christie novels). Then we have the police procedural where a detective or group of police officers solver various crimes. Then we also have romantic mystery novels, paranormal mysteries, CSS style forensic mysteries, and so on.

This is what makes finding the best mystery novels to hard because of the many subgenres and cross genres available, and this is why I will split the list in a few more popular genres and categories.

Source

Best Cozy Mystery Novels of All Time

I love cozies because they're the perfect beach read. Basically punny titles cozy mysteries are a fun genre to read, light, where nothing gory happens in them. The main character who usually ends up solving the crime is either a grandma, or a spice shop owner, or a librarian, or a group of quilters - most of the times these are women who in usual circumstances should be as far away from crimes as humanly possible. And they're fun as well. Sometimes I'm laughing in tears when reading one of these novels, even hubby comes over to read the page I'm currently on just to see what get all my chuckles going hard.

So yes, these cozies have some humor - some more than others, and as I said above, the murders are not grizzly or violent - they victims are either poisoned, or the crimes are staged in one way or another. And these paperbacks are very safe for kids to read, as there is hardly any (or none at all) profanity spoken by the characters.You can even call these types of books 'mysteries in good taste'.

Oh and most of them have something extra, a small gift if you want in the form of a cake recipe, a drink recipe, a design of sorts, a bath salt mix recipe, or something equally fun and totally unrelated to murders. I LOVE this genre!

Having said that, let's see which are some of the best cozy mysteries of all times, shall we?

Aunt Dimity Mysteries by Nancy Atherton

The Aunt Dimity series is another one that is really close to my heart. I'd almost want to put this series as #1, but it does have a bit of paranormal in it (not much, mind you) and I know that not everyone is a fan of paranormal elements in a book.

The premise is really fun - Lori Shepperd is an American woman who has heard of Aunt Dimity from her mom, but she always thought she's just some imaginary character. Until she inherits the estate (the cottage) of said Aunt in England.

This is where the story really starts. She moves to England and starts a new life there with her husband.

So far everything is very down to earn and boring almost, until we learn the fun part: there is a journal which Aunt Dimity uses from her grave to write to Lori. But if you're reluctant to read this series because of the supernatural elements, that's really the extent of it.

Pretty much everything else is about Lori solving cases after cases, and her relationship with the other village natives.

It is truly an adorable cozy mystery that lots of people enjoy because it's written in a very fun way that also engages.

A Tea Shop Mystery Series by Laura Childs Starting With Death by Darjeeling

This is another beginning of a series that I loved. It's a bit older (the first book was written in 2001), but it does stand the test of time methinks.

This book again has all the characteristics of a typical cozy mystery. It all happens in a tea shop, and the poor victim does from ingested tea. Oh and there is a cute recipe in there as well - actually every book in the series has it.

An adorable series with a witty main character called Theodosia Browning who owns the said tea shop, with tea that you simply have to make when reading it (especially if you are a tea drinker), and with the book being a rather quick read, which can be read in a few hours at the beach. What's not to like about it really?

Gourmet Pet Food Mystery Series by Liz Mugavero Starting With Kneading to Die

Ok and now for something new - and I mean really new. The book was published very recently, this spring, and I got the ebook version of it as soon as it was available. Kneading to Die is the first in the Gourmet Pet Food Mystery series and already it's one that has some of the best reviews for cozy suspense novels ever.

Stan Connor (and yes, it's a 'she', her real name being Kristan) settled down to a Connecticut small town after leaving behind her stressful PR job, and she starts a kind of organic pet food in her home, attracting all the neighborhood mutts and pets to her doorsteps for a 'treat'.

Sadly very soon she becomes the main suspect in the murder of the local vet - and as she's new and all that, well let's just say that her job to find the real killer and clear her name proves to be quite a tough challenge.

I've only read this one book, but truly is one of the most engaging cozies I've read recently. All my friends who also read it (we're all a member of the local book club so we discuss books regularly) loved it to bits as well.

The Agatha Raisin Mystery Series by M. C. Beaton Starting With The Quiche of Death

This is the first book in the popular Agatha Raisin mysteries series. There are currently 23 books to read, so if you liked the first, you'll be set for the whole summer!

So what is Agatha's main 'job' or hobby? Well baking cakes, of course. Or maybe not, because her lack of knowledge on cake baking gets a victim killed. And Agatha has to solve the crime only to ease her conscience.

It is a very fun and witty crime novel, one that I couldn't put down, and yes, I've read all the series (and in order too!).

It is a very light mystery novel that can be read when you want something rather mindless just to take your own mind off problems without having to focus way too much on what you're reading.

And definitely this is the book to start with if you like reading in the night before turning to sleep but don't want to end up having nightmares based on what you've read. It's indeed, a very safe read. And a very fun one at that too!

The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich Starting With One For The Money

My third favorite cozy mystery series is the one involving Stephanie Plum. You might know her from the movie with Katherine Heigl, movie released in 2013. Honestly if you've watched the movie and said it's 'crap', forget about it, because indeed the books are way better - and much more fun too!

I'm actually now re-reading the 12th book in the series because this was my most favorite and I just wanted something light to read again and chuckle.

Basically Stephanie got kicked out of Macys and now is jobless. Until she blackmails Vinnie, her cousin, to give her work as a bounty hunter in his office to catch criminals and make some money. Vinnie reluctantly agrees.

And here is where the fun starts. I was truly laughing out loud in every single book. Stephanie is extremely lucky and she always gets her guys. And just because, she has the hots for two guys, another bounty hunter and a coop, both as hot as they come.

But I don't want to spoil it. If you haven't read this series, I think you'll be soon in a world of fun and with summer coming soon, it makes for a darn good beach read too!

Holding in my hands Twelve Sharp, as I'm about to re-read it. It was so good!

Holding in my hands Twelve Sharp, as I'm about to re-read it. It was so good!
Holding in my hands Twelve Sharp, as I'm about to re-read it. It was so good! | Source

And Now For The Best Mysteries Of All Time - Regardless of the sub-genre

I could go on and split the mystery genre further in a few other section and categories, but then this page would be so long, that it's beyond its scope, really.

This is why I've really looked hard into what my top favorites are from all the thousands of novels I've read over the years. And interestingly enough, for me the more modern, contemporary authors really did it. Don't get me wrong, Raymond Chandler and the other classics are truly great - really the best ever, however when it comes to my personal tastes, I do love a good mystery that has evolved from the earlier times. So here are my top 5. What is your top 5? Let me know in the Guestbook section below.

The Temperance Brennan Series by Kathy Reichs Starting With Deja Dead

One of my favorite series is the one involving Tempe Brennan. It is part of another mystery sub-genre, called forensic mysteries. I just love this type of books (think CSI in terms of TV series).

Btw if you think this is familiar somewhat but you're not sure why, it might be because you watched the Bones TV series - the TV show is made based on the Kathy Reichs novels, although they are not extremely similar at all. So if you've watched the TV series, you can easily start with the books in order because not much is in common between the two.

Below I have given a full review of the entire series (and the one involving Tempe Brennan's niece, Tory Brennan, so I will not review this book here separately again.

The Kay Scarpetta Series by Patricia Cornwell Starting With Postmortem

The Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell are great too - although truth be said, the first 3 or 4 are great, and the rest not so much. My favorite is the first book (shown here) which is truly an amazing book - again a forensic investigation type that has rather grizzly and gory details with some profanities included in the dialogue, so if you're squirmish, maybe it's not for you.

This book is rather old, back from 1990, but it's really top notch and worth reading. It is one that really grips you and doesn't let you go until you find out who did it. It can be truly scary, but boy so good!

There is a lot of scientifical explanation (CSI style) included, so if you like this in a book, again, you'll be thrilled to read it.

I highly recommend reading the first few in the series, but if you are like me, you'll probably get bored around book 5-6, which I did as well.

The Jack Reacher Series Starting With Killing Floor

Next is another great series - with one of my most favorite characters ever - the famous Jack Reacher (which has been recently filmed with Tom Cruise - if you want to have your say about whether the actor did the character justice, head over to my article shown below and join in the conversation!).

Jack Reacher is something else really. He is ex-army, a loner who is an extremely tough guy loosely resembling a bit of Rambo, a bit of Dirty Harry and a lot of vigilante in him as well.

I've reviewed the entire Jack Reacher series, so I won't do it again, but let me say that every time Lee Child comes up with a new book in this extremely popular series, I'm one of the first to get it! Truly.

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

The Name Of The Rose is another one of my top favorites, albeit in a different sub-genre. It is a historical mystery novel set in the 14th Century about a monk (brother William) who with the help of his assistant, Adso, tries to solve a crime.

This is a book that actually transcends the genre and it become something much more than that. People who usually don't like to read murder mysteries have loved this novel.

I'm not sure if you've seen it, but there is a great movie featuring Sean Connery based on this movie, and in fact I loved both. The acting was great, and the storyline also (which is usually rare when a movie is made based on a book).

I truly love it and I think this book will soon become one the classics in the murder crime genre.

The Entire Sherlock Holmes Series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Finally it's impossible to ignore Sherlock Holmes. He is probably the most famous detective ever, who has been featured in more movies than I can count. Has been dissected and talked about on more blogs, websites and online journals than you have time to read. Sherlock Holmes is special and there's a good reason for it.

So why is Sherlock Holmes so popular right now? I mean it's been almost 160 years since the first novels were published from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

I think one reason is that Sherlock Holmes uses his intuition a lot. While modern novels use all those gadgets and computers and whatnot, Sherlock Holmes uses his brain and his deductive reasoning is unlike not many others.

He is also the typical rebel, with a very independent nature who has no problems stepping outside of the rules if the need arises to solve the crimes. He almost seems to have superhuman traits that so many people secretly would love to have. He's just special and I don't think there is so far any other hero quite like him in books.

Do You Agree With This List Of The Best Crime Novels Of All Times?

Feel free to discuss if you agree or disagree and with which ones

I think they're really the best

I think they're really the best

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    • Marika 2 years ago from Cyprus

      The Eve Dallas series is another favorite. I can't wait to read another one of J.D. Robb's books (and the series already includes close to 50 books!

    • bobtyndall 2 years ago

      Great List. You have a bunch of my favorite authors with great characters. One that I would included is the J.D Robb in death series with Eve Dallas

    • Michelllle 3 years ago

      I love Harry Bosch novels.

    • treasuresabound 4 years ago

      I love mysteries as well and have read a few but girl, you do have quite a collection. One of these days, I will find time to start reading as much as I used to. Well done, beautifully done!

    • Eileen 4 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      Fascinating lens with great suggestions !

    • Nnadi bonaventure Chima 4 years ago from Johanesburg

      I think you really exhausted the list

    • JeffGilbert 4 years ago

      By including Conan Doyle, Dashiell Hamett, and Raymond Chandler, you've basically covered the guys who invented the genre. Great list.

    • tinamojojojo 4 years ago

      Great lens! Definitely gave me an idea what to read in the summer.

    • InnovativeToys 4 years ago

      I'm glad Sherlock Holmes got in there!

    • Maria Burgess 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Love Connelly and Grafton! These others look good too!

    • Cathy at The Small Garden Corner 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Love the Tea Shop series, I have them all. Same with Agatha Christie, and Sherlock Holmes. The rest I will have to check out. A fave series of mine is the JD Robb series by Nora Roberts, about police detective Eve Dallas. Pretty hard boiled, and an excellent female detective model.

    • CalobrenaOmai 4 years ago

      Can't really agree nor disagree but the collection is wonderful nonetheless. I prefer non-romance novels any day and these fit the bill quite well.

    • LUMOSE 4 years ago

      Great lens. I must find out if they have a Twelve Sharp in my language in the library.

    • Kristen 4 years ago from Boston

      Great list and I couldn't agree with you more about the Kay Scarpetta series. The earlier books by Patricia Cornwell are better. That's my opinion of most authors actually. They either lose stream or get off course as the years go on.

    • Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Congratulations on LOTD, you deserve it for such a fine lens. These are some of my favorites too.

    • tfsherman lm 4 years ago

      I read murder mysteries for their settings -- Tony Hillerman if I'm going out west, Kellerman to remind me of L.A., Christopher Fowler when I'm in London, Agatha Christie when I'm climbing into my time machine... But the ones you picked are excellent.

    • Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

      I think I'm gonna be alone on this side, so I'll give myself a vote here :)

    Not really, you forgot my favorite...

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      • shell93013 3 years ago

        Love the Stephanie Plum books. I like a little humor in my mystery. I also like the "Cat who..." mysteries. For me, lighter is better. Can't follow some of the really detailed mysteries.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Great list - Here are 5 that I also like -- Five Red Herrings; Bleak House; The Lodger (Lowndes); Malice Aforethought {(Francis Iles) - A.B. Cox)}; and The Nine Tailors

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Dude, I would add And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie here. It's my absolute favorite crime novel. Murder on the Orient Express too. Anyhow,great list.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Any list that omits the literate work of PD James is incomplete. Her rich characterization is unrivaled in this genre.

      • flycatcherrr 4 years ago

        I think you're terribly brave to have even attempted a list like this! My own list would be quite different, but that is one of the pleasures of crime/mystery novels - they come in so many different flavours, there's something for everyone, really.

      • Jackiex4 4 years ago

        I love crime novels. It's strange how I can read a gruesome book but can't watch a hospital documentary!! I love Kathy Reichs and Lee Child. I've read all of James Patterson, Tess Gerritsen and Martina Cole and love finding new authors. I'm ashamed to say I've not read Sherlock Holmes. I think this is something I need to rectify.

      • AGreeneGirl 4 years ago

        I love Janet Evanovich and Nora Roberts. Sherlock Holmes is a classic for sure and a lot of fun. I used to read Susan Grafton, but lost track, I want to pick them up again though. There are so many good mysteries so who is to say what is the best. I love your list and may have to pick them up and read them this summer! Thanks for a fun lense

      • Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

        @theserpentisris: Oh I love Jeffrey Deaver as well, but it's a really tight space to get into my top 5 favorites. But it IS right up there in top positions. I've read all of his books, including the Lyncoln Rhyme series.

      • theserpentisris 4 years ago

        No Jeffrey Deaver? His Lincoln Rhyme novels have more twists than a barbed wire fence. Also, I find Sherlock Holmes stories more frustrating than entertaining; the solutions are rarely based on any details provided throughout the story. I like a chance at solving a whodunit.

      • Fiorenza 4 years ago from UK

        You left off Agatha Christie (tsk)! Also, I love the Inspector Rebus novels of Ian Rankin though maybe those are classed as 'police procedural' and therefore did not make the list?

      • jknake lm 4 years ago

        Boy, these are all really off the wall titles that I have never heard of. I love to read in my spare time. One of my favorites is "The winner" by David Baldacci. He always keeps you guessing as to what he'll think up next. I've read most of Jane Evanovich's books and they are a "hoot"!

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey, has to be one of the best mystery/detective novels ever. Ditto whoever mentioned The Cat Who series, and all of Agatha Christie.

      • Katherine Tyrrell 4 years ago from London

        You left out "Who murdered Roger Ackroyd?"! Got to be one of the best mysteries ever.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I think a list of the greatest mysteries should have at least one Agatha Christie novel to be complete. And as far as cozy mysteries go? The Cat Who series by Braun is leagues better than any of Evanovich

      • Kay 4 years ago

        I grew up reading Agatha Christie. For that reason, those ones will always be at the top of my list!

      • JeffSilverheadDudley 4 years ago

        Some great books here but I'd also like to add Ellis Peter's Cadfael series, McBain's 37th Precinct novels and the grandaddy of all detective stories The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

      • LabKittyDesign 4 years ago

        I would add Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

      • Northerntrials 4 years ago

        I have read The Name of The Rose. and thought it wonderful. I mostly read fantasy but of the mystery genre I read Steve Berry and Dan Brown. I like the books set in real world settings where it makes them more plausible. If you know what I mean.

      • Keeah 4 years ago

        I've only read a few of the books listed so can't say yes for sure. I would have added "Cat Among Pigeons" by Agatha Christie it's a Hercule Poirot novel.

      • Viennagirl LM 4 years ago

        I don't agree with the inclusion of the Reichs and Cornwell titles, compared to the best of the genre they are merely so-so. I find Reichs boring, personally.

      Do You Have A Large Collection Of Mystery Novels At Home?

      Do You Have A Large Collection Of Mystery Novels At Home?

      See results

      A Few More Notable Mysteries That Didn't Make The Cut For The Top 5

      There are literally thousands of mysteries written over the years, and my list is rather short (I didn't want to stretch it needlessly). I could list over 100 ones that are some of my favorites ever, but again that would be quite a long list. So here are a few more that I consider top novels or series to read, along with other favorites voted by readers of this page.

      * All of the Agatha Christie novels

      * The entire Alex Cross series by James Patterson

      * The Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn

      * The J.D. Robb series featuring Eve Dallas

      * Most of what David Baldacci has written

      * The Lincoln Rhyme novels by Jeffrey Deaver

      * All the Tom Clancy books (whether written by him or his successors)

      * The Burglar Who series by Lawrence Block

      * The Anne Perry historical mystery series

      * The Cat Who series

      * The Jo Nesbo books

      * The Brad Thor books

      Do You Like To Read Mystery Novels?

      Do You Like To Read Mystery Novels?

      See results

      Which Are Your Most Favorite Crime Novels Of All Times? - I will add the popular ones to the list above that didn't make my top 5 list

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          bdkz 4 years ago

          I am definitely adding some of these to my reading list!

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          Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

          What a fabulous resource! I love mystery novels, too. One series I enjoyed was "The Cat Who" series by Lilian Jackson Braun. I haven't read as much in recent years, but your lens is now my new gotta-read list!

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          writerkath 4 years ago

          Although the crime novels, per se, aren't my favorite genres, I have enjoyed certain mysteries (Tony Hillerman books that take place in the Navajo community). BTW: If you have a 1st edition "A is for Alibi," it might be worth a couple $$. :) You did an awesome job on this lens, and I can tell that your passion led your way! :)

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          Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

          Great variety of mysteries here! I love to read and mix mystery novels in with my other book choices. Congrats on your purple star!

        • MarcStorm LM profile image

          MarcStorm LM 4 years ago

          I haven't read any of these but I'm a big fan of Sherlock Holmes. That's quite the collection of books you have. I've watched the movie, for that book, "The Name of The Rose" it starred Sean Connery & Christian Slater. I really liked it! it was like Sherlock Holmes, as a monk lol Great List Marika!

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          goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

          The Maltese Falcon and anything else by Hammett is definitely at the top! The Big Sleep is simply a magnificent novel and can stack up to anything -- the younger half of Goldenrulecomics and I had a discussion the other day about the final passages of the book and what they mean...and you can never go wrong with Holmes...

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          seth godin 4 years ago

          A great lens! Thanks for making the effort.

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          April Wier 4 years ago

          I've just recently gotten into mysteries. I'm a science fiction/non-fiction gal most of the time. In the last few weeks, I've read a Kathy Reichs, Mary Higgins Clark and Sue Grafton.

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          audrey07 4 years ago

          I have read every single book by Patricia Cornwell. I find her earlier books are much better - more suspense.

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          Patricia Cornwell is one of my favourites :)

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          Camden1 4 years ago

          The Cozy Mystery selections sound most interesting to me.

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          RinOfAllTrades 4 years ago

          Great lens! Particularly the Patricia Cornwell, and the classics.

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          Meganhere 4 years ago

          I love the Harry Bosch and Stephanie Plum novels, but also Ross McDonald and, more recently, Irish author John Connolly, who sets his novels in Maine.

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          Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

          I think this is a terrific lens, but still loved Maigret, Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes books. Also Dick Francis wrote many good books too.

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          Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

          I have only read a couple of the ones you feature here so I appreciate knowing about all of these mysteries. I do love a good mystery.

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          SteveKaye 4 years ago

          Congratulations on receiving the LOTD. Now I'm wondering if "Horton Hears a Who!" was a mystery novel?

        • DecoratingEvents profile image

          DecoratingEvents 4 years ago

          Congrats on LOTD! This is a wonderful list of mysteries and you know I love them all!

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          Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

          I've read a lot of the books you listed, and now you've given me some new ideas. My favorite mystery books are the ABC series by Sue Grafton and Jack Reacher series (both you mentioned), plus the Miss Marple series. For a light, fun mystery, try The Cat Who series by Lillian Jackson Braun. Congratulations on LotD!

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          SheilaMilne 4 years ago from Kent, UK

          Quite a few here that I'll have to try!

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          Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

          Hi congrats on LOTD. You have some great crime novels here. I love to read.

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          Marja79 4 years ago

          Well done LOTD =) I love mystery novels. Love, love, love them. I am an addict! You had some of my favorite books on your list.

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          anka05 4 years ago

          There are some nice reading ideas. Thanks for sharing and congrats for the LOTD!

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          Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

          What a great selection. I will bookmark this and choose some for summer reading. Congratulations on LOTD, very nicely done.

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          AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

          I haven't read any of these! The Name of the Rose sounds like one I might like though. Congrats on your LOTD!

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          DrLibby 4 years ago

          the above list were authors I was not familiar with. Will have to catch up on reading to go back over your list & check them out.

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          Kristen 4 years ago from Boston

          Can't believe your collection of books. I just boxed up a bunch of my books and I thought that I had a lot, lol. I like the David Baldacci books too.

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          Susan Hazelton 4 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

          Your selection of best mystery books looks a lot like my list. I just bough the Darjeeling Mystery Series at a yard sale. I can't wait to dive into them. Also, the Deja Dead mystery is definitely top notch.

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          Jogalog 4 years ago

          It's a great selection - I just wish I had more time for reading. Congrats on LOTD too!

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          Emily Tack 4 years ago from USA

          Love the Lens, and congratulations, too! I have so many others, that weren't mentioned, but your list is great!

        • Shades-of-truth profile image

          Emily Tack 4 years ago from USA

          P.S. I had so many books at one time, that I just about filled up a big conversion van with them, before they went to the Salvation Army. I still had enough left to fill it up a few more times. At some point in time, I figured that we probably didn't need five sets of encyclopedias! :)

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          CalobrenaOmai 4 years ago

          First, the Sherlock Holmes series. There is a past Sherlock Holmes show that came out many years ago that featured Nigel Bruce and Basil Rathbone. The series with these two are very intriguing and worth a watch. Now, the listings are nice though I prefer straight up mystery/suspense. I also tend to read novels based on video game series like Halo and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell for example (Operation Barracuda is my current favorite). Looking at your book collection, you're starting to appear like a modern day Yomiko Readman. In all, awesome lens.

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          blestman lm 4 years ago

          I moved into a place with bookcases that are two stories high. I am in heaven. I love to read an occasional mystery

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          Itaya Lightbourne 4 years ago from Topeka, KS

          We've been watching the Sherlock Holmes TV show and are enjoying it so far. Wonderful article! Glad to see I'm not the only book collector out there. :)

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          ronpass lm 4 years ago

          Congrats on the LOTD - well deserved. I used to enjoy Patricia Cornwell and Janet Evanovich but my favorite now is Donna Leon who uses Venice for the setting of her novels.

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          Maria Burgess 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

          I have to keep packing up my paperbacks because I read so many of them. I will check out the authors on your list as I am reading a few books a week these days. Its better than tv! Congrats on your LoTD!

        • BMXmomof4 profile image

          BMXmomof4 4 years ago

          Great lens! I am an avid reader and so are my children. There are a couple of books on your list that I actually have not read, or at least I don't think I have. I have been known to buy a book and then by page 30 or so realize I have already read it lol.

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          Namsak 4 years ago

          The Name of the Rose was both an excellent book and a great film. Basil Rathbone is the true Sherlock Holmes!

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          golfspice 4 years ago

          You've created a good list of crime novels here. Always liked Sherlock Holmes stories. I recommend Inspector Rebus novels by Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin. And for the cozy category Inspector Morse and Lewis novels by Colin Dexter set in Oxford, England. I look forward to trying some of your recommendations.

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          You have created a great list filled with excellent books in this lens but let me suggest; Walter Mosley, "Devil with a Blue Dress" and "A Little Yellow Dog." Congratulations on getting LotD!

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          HalloweenRecipes 4 years ago

          I love mystery and crime novels! Congrats on LoTD.

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          cleanyoucar 4 years ago

          Great collection!

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          Delia 4 years ago

          Congratulations on LOTD! I don't have time to read, but do take time to read the Bible.

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          michellequetua 4 years ago

          Sherlock Holmes is a very nice detective.

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          CrazyHomemaker 4 years ago

          Good lens. Congrats on the Purple Star and LOTD! I love books! I have a nice-sized bookcase my husband made for me packed with mostly books and a few magazines I keep. I pick up a few at the library sales and other shops I find them in. A book in paper can never be replaced by e-books.

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          noner 4 years ago

          I've just started reading J.D Robb's "In Death" series (the ones with Eve Dallas.) And a friend has recommended Evanovich so I picked up a couple of those books at the library sale. I've never been a huge reader of mystery novels and am just not starting to branch into them more.

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          A lot of the stuff here doesn't seem to be weighted on quality but on how well it sold. Bestsellers don't always equal great writing.

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          Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

          @anonymous: It might seem so to some people, but for me it's what I liked most. To be honest the Cat who series bored me quite bad. Not sure why but it just didn't do it for me. But I loved the Janet Evanovich series. If my tastes go towards what is a bestseller, so be it :)

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          Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

          @golfspice: Oh yes I love the Ian Rankin books as well, they're actually also some of my favorites, definitely among the top 10!

        • kislanyk profile image
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          Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

          @Nancy Hardin: You're so right Nancy, having a real book in hands and turning the real pages while reading, it's still an experience that electronic book readers can't compete with!

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          Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

          @Faye Rutledge: Oh the Miss Marple series, I forgot about it, but it was a great read indeed, Thanks for the tips! I didn't enjoy so much the Cat Who series, honestly not sure why...it was just not my cup of tea for some reason. But I know many enjoy it a lot.

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          Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

          @seth godin: Thank you Seth - a true honor to have a comment by you. Much appreciated and much humbled!

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          Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

          @bdkz: Thank you Bonnie for stopping by!

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          Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

          @writerkath: Sadly my edition of A is for Aliby is not the first edition, I bought it at a local church yard sale and it's also tattered and battered. But that brought me to have to go out and buy the rest of the series, it was so good!

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          Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

          I loved looking at the photos of your book piles, reminds me of all the books we have here! We have just culled loads of books, but still have to full bookcases of keepers! The whole family reads quite a bit, especially my wife and daughter who devour books! Congrats on LOTD :-)

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          InnovativeToys 4 years ago

          Awesome that you've read all those (and more). Long live real books (even if I love my Kindle)!

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          Hurlserv 4 years ago

          You may wish to add Lawrence Block's burglar extraordinaire, Bernie Rhodenbarr, to the mix. Great comic mysteries with witty dialog. For classic mysteries Agatha Christie is unbeatable. With minimal profanity and only veiled references to sex or unseemly activity they're safe for all ages. Keeping with English authors it's difficult to beat Dick Francis. Particularly if you like horses. Congratulations on LOTD!

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          PennyHowe 4 years ago

          I loved the Jack Reacher series! He kicks ass and is a great read!

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          Terrie_Schultz 4 years ago

          You have given me a lot of books to put on my to-read list! Probably my favorite mystery novel is Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I also really love all of Dorothy Sayers novels.

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          prakash-mishra-9212 4 years ago

          I prefer Sherlock Holmes . I like the mystery novels as well as the thrillers.

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          Rhonda Albom 4 years ago from New Zealand

          Some fantastic books here. Congratulations on LOTD!

        • JeffGilbert profile image

          JeffGilbert 4 years ago

          Yeah, you've included a lot of the great ones. The thing is, you can go and say, you forgot this or that one, but that could go on forever. I could say, oh, you forgot Lawrence Block and his "the burglar who... " series!! It would never end... :) Great lens!!

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          Nnadi bonaventure Chima 4 years ago from Johanesburg

          Nice lens, interesting list , thanks for sharing

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          Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

          @JeffGilbert: Thanks Jeff, that's the thing there are practically hundreds of great mystery authors out there that are worth mentioning, but on this page I tried to focus on the top 5, with a notable mention at the end of the page with other popular ones voted by readers like you.

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          educator4students 4 years ago

          Great lens! Actually bought a book this weekend only to find out that I already own it but haven't gotten around to reading it yet.. I do love books even if I don't always have the time to get to them.

        • someone111 profile image

          someone111 4 years ago

          Great lens! You seem to have quite the collection!

        • Pavel Polcr profile image

          Pavel Polcr 4 years ago

          Wow great lens. Hopefully one day I will be able to create lens of this size and quality. Thanks for interesting info.

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          Rose Jones 4 years ago

          Excellent lens, I will be returning here for mystery recommendations. It is not a genre I think about much but you have whetted my appetite. I loved watching Columbo and Monk, so I probably could get into these books if I tried.

        • kislanyk profile image
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          Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

          @Gypzeerose: Oh yes, definitely if you're watching Colombo (one of my favorites ever) and Monk, then you'll enjoy reading some of these books for sure.

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          Nice list....I had never heard about some of authors in your list. Will try to read most of the books ASAP. However, i think Miss Marple series of Agatha Christie and Philo Vance series by S S Van Dine and Perry Mason series of Erle Stanley Gardner are also nice to read. But it is a very good effort...

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          SamiPearl 3 years ago

          Very nice lens. I would add Greg Iles and James Lee Burke.

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          RANADEEP 3 years ago

          Very well collected and displayed here,anyway Very good and informative and also I like it very much!!

          Thanks for sharing a great deal of knowledge here!!

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          Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

          Great lens! I agree with a lot of your choices, though I haven't read Evanovich. Stephen White is another good author, and for cozies, Lorna Barrett (Booktown Mysteries) is entertaining. I'll definitely have to try the organic pet store cozy too. Lawrence Block's "the Burglar who..." series is very entertaining too! Fun to think about which shows what a good lens this is!

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          SusanM17 3 years ago

          I just started to get into mystery novels. Started with Sherlock Holmes (Amazing!) and definitely gonna check out your favorites. Great lens!

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          Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

          I've become a recent fan of the Jack Reacher series. My favorites are by Charlaine Harris, The Shakepeare series and the Grave Walker Series.

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          Barbara Radisavljevic 2 years ago from Templeton, CA

          I think there's enough on this list and some of your other lists to keep me reading the rest of my life. Except for the In Death books and a couple of others you mentioned here, I haven't heard of most of them. Some of my favorites are the Midnight Louie Series by Carole Nelson Douglas, which I've reviewed on this account and Earlene Fowler's books based on quilt pattern themes. They are set in the county where I live and that's another reason I enjoy them. I didn't care much for the Cat Who Series. I like Midnight Louie better, and also the Mrs. Murphy Series by Rita Mae Brown, which also includes dogs. All these series let you follow the lives of the characters from book to book.

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