The CWA Top 100

OK, so here’s a bit of a challenge. In 1990 the Crime Writers’ Association published a list of the top 100 crime novels of all time.

In the UK this was published as Hatchard’s Crime Companion, edited by Susan Moody. This is worth picking up as it also has essays by the likes of Peter Lovesey, Reginald Hill and Julian Symons.

Eventually I’d like to get all 100 titles reviewed on here, unless it seems completely superfluous – I’m not sure additional opinions on Conan Doyle are going to be any use to anyone.

Annoyingly, I’ve read a fair proportion already so have some back-tracking to do. I’ve asterisked these. A surprising number I actually found unreadable. I’ve had three attempts at Trent’s Last Case (34) and never finished it.

I’m just over halfway through…

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)
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)
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) 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
27. Peter Lovesey: The False Inspector Dew* (1982)
28. Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White (1860)
29. Barbara Vine: A Dark-Adapted Eye (1986)
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)
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)
36=. Colin Dexter: The Dead of Jericho (1981)
38. Patricia Highsmith: Strangers on a Train* (1950)
39. Ruth Rendell: A Judgement in Stone (1977)
40. John Dickson Carr: The Hollow Man* (1935)
41. Anthony Berkeley: The Poisoned Chocolates Case (1929)
42=. Ellis Peters: A Morbid Taste for Bones* (1977)
42=. Ellis Peters: The Leper of St. Giles (1981)
44. Ira Levin: A Kiss Before Dying (1953)
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)
50=. John Dickson Carr: The Devil in Velvet (1951)
50=. Barbara Vine: A Fatal Inversion (1987)
52. Michael Innes: The Journeying Boy (1949)
53. P. D. James: A Taste for Death (1986)
54. Jack Higgins: The Eagle Has Landed (1975)
55. Mary Stewart: My Brother Michael (1960)
56=. Peter Lovesey: Bertie and the Tin Man* (1987)
56=. Susan Moody: Penny Black (1984)
58. Len Deighton: Game, Set & Match (1984-1986)
59. Dick Francis: The Danger (1983)
60. P. D. James: Devices and Desires (1989)
61. Reginald Hill: Underworld (1988)
62. Mary Stewart: Nine Coaches Waiting (1958)
63. Paula Gosling: A Running Duck (1978)
64. Michael Gilbert: Smallbone Deceased (1950)
65. Lionel Davidson: The Rose of Tibet (1962)
66. P. D. James: Innocent Blood (1980)
67. Dorothy L. Sayers: Strong Poison* (1930)
68. Michael Innes: Hamlet, Revenge!* (1937)
69. Tony Hillerman: A Thief of Time (1989)
70. Caryl Brahms & S. J. Simon: A Bullet in the Ballet* (1937)
71. Reginald Hill: Dead Heads (1983)
72. Graham Greene: The Third Man (1950)
73. Anthony Price: The Labyrinth Makers (1974)
74. Adam Hall: The Quiller Memorandum (1965)
75. Margaret Millar: Beast in View* (1955)
76. Sarah Caudwell: The Shortest Way to Hades (1984)
77. Desmond Bagley: Running Blind (1970)
78. Dick Francis: Twice Shy (1981)
79. Richard Condon: The Manchurian Candidate (1959)
80. Caroline Graham: The Killings at Badger’s Drift (1987)
81=. Nicholas Blake: The Beast Must Die* (1938)
81=. Martin Cruz Smith: Gorky Park* (1981)
83. Agatha Christie: Death Comes as the End (1945)
84. Christianna Brand: Green for Danger* (1945)
85. Cyril Hare: Tragedy at Law* (1942)
86. John Fowles: The Collector (1963)
87. J. J. Marric: Gideon’s Day (1955)
88. Lionel Davidson: The Sun Chemist (1976)
89. Alistair MacLean: The Guns of Navarone (1957)
90. Julian Symons: The Colour of Murder (1957)
91. John Buchan: Greenmantle (1916)
92. Erskine Childers: The Riddle of the Sands* (1903)
93. Peter Lovesey: Wobble to Death* (1970)
94. Dashiell Hammett: Red Harvest (1929)
95. Ken Follett: The Key to Rebecca (1980)
96. Ed McBain: Sadie When She Died (1972)
97. H. R. F. Keating: The Murder of the Maharajah (1980)
98. Simon Brett: What Bloody Man Is That? (1987)
99. Gavin Lyall: Shooting Script (1966)
100. Edgar Wallace: The Four Just Men (1906)