There are two great lists newly available on the Web, both by bloggers who’ve demonstrated fine knowledge of the crime-fiction field.
The first comes from the mysterious “Sergio” at Tipping My Fedora, who offers a rundown of his top 100--really, top 78--mystery novels. It’s a good mix of classic and more contemporary works, including most of the authors you’d expect (George V. Higgins, Raymond Chandler, Margaret Millar, Ellery Queen, John le Carré, etc.) and some rather less familiar choices (such as Leonardo Sciascia and C. Daly King). Click here to investigate Sergio’s picks, and suggest additions if you’d like. He seems amenable to adding works he might have forgotten.
Also worth your study is Cullen Gallagher’s compilation of “50 Great Gold Medal Titles.” During the mid-20th century, you’ll recall, Fawcett Publications launched a then-innovative line of inexpensive paperback originals, most which were crime, mystery, or western novels. Those Gold Medal Books were largely unappreciated in their time, but they’ve become collectors items since. Among the wordsmiths represented on Gallagher’s list: Mike Avallone, Jonathan Craig, Gil Brewer, Charles Williams, and Donald Hamilton. Click here to see all the titles.