100 Must-Read Crime Novels

A unique selection of stunning examples of the genre

This handy guide by Richard Shephard and Nick Rennison provides a treat for all lovers of detective fiction by choosing 100 books to give readers an overview of the rich and diverse crime writing that has been produced over the years.

The authors did not intend to provide a list of the 100 best crime novels because of the difficulty of comparing books written in different eras and with varied intentions.

An invaluable guide for beginners and 
established fans of the crime fiction genre

They aimed to provide a book that would be useful as a starting point for readers wanting to explore the genre. Their selections are arranged A to Z by author and describe the plot of the novel without spoiling it for prospective readers. They include information about the authors and where they are placed in the history of crime fiction.

At the end of each entry there is a Read On list with suggestions of books to read by stylistically similar authors. Most authors have one entry only, but Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have been allowed two entries, because they have been judged so important to the genre. 

There is also a brief history of crime fiction and lists of the winners of the Edgar Award and the CWA Golden Dagger Award right from the beginning.

The book selects many well-known crime writers but there are also some names that are less familiar. E C Bentley has an entry for his ground-breaking 1913 novel, Trent’s Last Case. Lawyer Michael Gilbert has been chosen for his 1950 legal mystery Smallbone Deceased and Cyril Hare, who was a judge in real life, for his legal mystery When the Wind Blows, published in 1949.

Francis Iles, with Malice Aforethought, and Michael Innes, with Hamlet Revenge! have both been chosen for novels written in the 1930s.

Having to pick just one Dorothy L Sayers novel, it is fascinating to see that  they went for The Nine Tailors, published in 1934.  For Josephine Tey, they picked her 1948 novel, The Franchise Affair.

Ruth Rendell manages to get two entries, both as herself with An Unkindness of Ravens (1985) and as Barbara Vine, with A Fatal Inversion (1987).

European writers are represented with entries on Gaston Leroux, Georges Simenon, Henning Mankell and Manuel Vasquex Montalban.

American writers featured include Eric Ambler, Dashiell Hammett, Donna Leon and Vera Caspary.

This guide offers readers an invaluable introduction to authors they may never have tried before but might grow to love.

100 Must-Read Crime Novels is packed with useful book suggestions and fascinating information for crime fiction fans.

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