Best crime books are our passion and we will not countenance anything but the best, you understand. North American readers may be confused by our title: what you call mysteries are what we call crime books. This mighty genre covers a wealth of writing, from thrillers and suspense novels, to survival, hard-boiled noir and Golden Age mysteries. We enjoy such sub-genres as the political thriller, courtroom dramas, the techno-thriller, police procedurals, private dicks, a spot of adventure and even a heist or two.
Our favourite authors include (no particular order), James Crumley, James Elroy, Elmore Leonard, Patricia Highsmith, Colin Dexter, James Lee Burke, Alfalfa Burke, George V Higgins, W R Burnett, Agatha Christie, Anthony Boucher, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Andrea Camilleri, Henning Mankell, Steig Larsson, Robert B Parker, Mark Timlin, Lawrence Block, Edmund Crispin, Mary Higgins Clark, Margaret Millar, Elizabeth Peters, William McIlvanney, John Creasey, Ken Follett, Lee Child, Ian Fleming, Ed McBain/ Peter Leonard, Evan Hunter, Loren D. Estleman, Charles Willeford, Reginald Hill, James Follett, David Peace, James Patterson, Ross Thomas, Joseph Conrad, Robert Crais, George P Pelecanos, Frances Fyfield, Colin Bateman, Michael Gilbert, Michael Innes, Ngaio Marsh, Jonathan Latimer, Margery Allingham, Dan Kavanagh, Carl Hiaasen, Michael Crichton, Scott Turow, John le Carré, Gérard de Villiers, Charles Dickens, John D MacDonald, Ross McDonald, Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell, Kyotaro Nishimura, Ira Levin, Mickey Spillane, Irving Wallace, John Dickson Carr, John Grisham, Walter Mosley, John Dickson Carr, Peter Lovesey, Robert Ludlum, Dashiell Hammett, Wilkie Collins, Raymond Chandler, Daphne du Maurier, James M Cain, Mario Puzo, Edgar Wallace, Erle Stanley Gardner, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Georges Simenon, Jim Thompson, Eric Ambler, Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, Len Deighton, Dorothy L Sayers, Donald E Westlake, Thomas Harris, Umberto Eco, Tony Hillerman, Edgar Allan Poe and E C Bentley.
Best Crime Books: 5 Great Crime Novels
Sometimes we don’t why the best crime books are our favourites. Sometimes they’re not even classed as proper crime or mystery books.
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
The Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips
Wobble To Death by Peter Lovesey
Killshot by Elmore Leonard
Those are five wonderful novels but are they really the best crime books of all time. Of course not, but you’ve got to start somewhere. On a different day a different person would pick a totally different list of best crime novels. On a different day the same person would also pick a completely different list.
The thing about crime and mystery novels is that much of it comes down to preference. A big factor is style. Then there’s mood. Some aficionados rate P.D. James as one of our greatest living (or dead) authors; others can’t stand her or her writing. Elmore Leonard is seen by many as the finest author ever to pen a thriller, whereas others can’t see what the fuss is all about. During his lifetime, Edgar Wallace was one of the most read authors on the planet, who could write a novel in a week or less. Now it is hard to see what all the fuss was about. Different times, different styles, different likes and dislikes.
When it comes to the best crime books, everyone has an opinion and every opinion is valid. Happy reading!