50 Essential Mystery Novels - List by Flavorwire™

List of 50 Essential Mystery Novels

Books in list (50)


Title: The Hound of the Baskervilles

Brilliantly plotted and richly atmospheric, this thrilling tale of suspense is must reading for every lover of detective fiction. The Hound of the Baskervilles is the tale of an ancient curse suddenly given a terrifying modern application.
Author(s): Arthur Conan Doyle
ISBN 13: 9780486282145
Pages: 124
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Title: Gaudy Night

When Harriet Vane attends her Oxford reunion, known as the Gaudy, the prim academic setting is haunted by a rash of bizarre pranks: scrawled obscenities, burnt effigies, and poison-pen letters, including one that says, "Ask your boyfriend ...
Author(s): Dorothy L. Sayers
ISBN 13: 9780062196538
Pages: 544
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Title: A Coffin for Dimitrios

While vacationing in Istanbul, English novelist Charles Latimer decides to investigate the intriguing past of one of Europe's most sinister criminals, the notorious Dimitrios, a search that will lead him into a shadowy web of espionage, ...
Author(s): Eric Ambler
ISBN 13: 9780375726712
Pages: 304
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Title: Arthur and George

Chronicles the lives of two boys--the son of a Midlands vicar and the creator of the world's most famous detective--as they pursue separate destinies until meeting and forming a remarkable alliance.
Author(s): Julian Barnes
ISBN 13: 9781400097036
Pages: 445
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Title: The Big Sleep

Philip Marlowe, a private eye who operates in Los Angeles's seamy underside during the 1930s, takes on his first case, which involves a paralyzed California millionaire, two psychotic daughters, blackmail, and murder
Author(s): Raymond Chandler
ISBN 13: 9780394758282
Pages: 231
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Title: Murder on the Orient Express

The Queen of Mystery has come to Harper Collins! Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspensecreator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable charactersbrings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to Harper Paperbacks
Author(s): Agatha Christie
ISBN 13: 9780062073501
Pages: 336
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Title: The Maltese Falcon

A murder involves Sam Spade in a dangerous search for a valuable statue
Author(s): Dashiell Hammett
ISBN 13: 9780679722649
Pages: 217
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Title: An Unsuitable Job for a Woman

Left alone by her partner's suicide, Cordelia Gray struggles to manage the private detective agency they once shared.
Author(s): P.D. James
ISBN 13: 9780743219556
Pages: 256
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Title: The First Detective

The 'first detective' of fiction steps out 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' by Edgar Allan Poe is widely considered to be the first true detective story; also in this volume are the author's two other detective fiction classics featuring the ...
Author(s): Edgar Allan Poe
ISBN 13: 9781846776991
Pages: 136
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Title: Rebecca

This special edition of Rebecca includes excerpts from Daphne du Maurier's The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories, an essay on the real Manderley, du Maurier's original epilogue to the book, and more.
Author(s): Daphne Du Maurier
ISBN 13: 9780380730407
Pages: 416
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Title: The Alienist

When a madman begins stalking victims on the streets of 1896 New York, a team of investigators is forced to apply radical and untested techniques that include fingerprinting and the controversial science of psychology.
Author(s): Caleb Carr
ISBN 13: 9780812976144
Pages: 498
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Title: The Intuitionist

As two factions at the Department of Elevator Inspectors--the Empiricists and the Intuitionists--wage war on each other, Intuitionist Lila Mae, the first black elevator inspector, faces bedlam when an elevator freefalls on her watch and the ...
Author(s): Colson Whitehead
ISBN 13: 9780385493000
Pages: 255
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Title: The Yiddish Policemens Union

At once a gripping whodunit, a love story, and an exploration of the mysteries of exile and redemption, The Yiddish Policemen's Union is a novel only Michael Chabon could have written.
Author(s): Michael Chabon
ISBN 13: 9780007149834
Pages: 464
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Title: When We Were Orphans

Sent to live in England after the disappearance of his parents, Christopher Banks returns to Shanghai, the city of his birth, more than twenty years later to uncover the truth about the tragedy that transformed his childhood.
Author(s): Kazuo Ishiguro
ISBN 13: 9780375724404
Pages: 335
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Title: A Rage in Harlem

Goldy, Jackson's crafty twin brother, tries to help Jackson recover his life savings from the con man who cheated him For the love of fine and wily Imabelle, hapless Jackson loses his life savings to a con man who knows the secret of ...
Author(s): Chester B. Himes
ISBN 13: 9780679720409
Pages: 159
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Title: The Woman in White

Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Matthew Sweet.
Author(s): Wilkie Collins
ISBN 13: 9780141439617
Pages: 671
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Title: Dust and Shadow

In Dust and Shadow, she brings an unveiled authenticity to the legendary hero.. • A thoroughly gripping, old-fashioned investigator: Penned as a pastiche by the loyal and courageous Dr. Watson, Dust and Shadow tells the harrowing story of ...
Author(s): Lyndsay Faye
ISBN 13: 9781416583318
Pages: 336
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Title: The New York Trilogy

Quinn, a mystery writer, becomes involved in a puzzling case; Blue is hired by White to spy on Black; and Fanshawe, a gifted novelist, disappears, leaving his family and work behind, in an omnibus edition containing three interconnected ...
Author(s): Paul Auster
ISBN 13: 9780143039839
Pages: 308
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Title: Devil in a Blue Dress

Devil in a Blue Dress, a defining novel in Walter Mosley’s bestselling Easy Rawlins mystery series, was adapted into a TriStar Pictures film starring Denzel Washington as Easy Rawlins and Don Cheadle as Mouse.
Author(s): Walter Mosley
ISBN 13: 9780743451796
Pages: 272
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Title: The Postman Always Rings Twice

The sultry young wife of a diner owner conspires with an aimless drifter to murder her husband
Author(s): James M. Cain
ISBN 13: 9780679723257
Pages: 128
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Title: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall, Alec Leamas watches as his last agent is shot dead by East German sentries. For Leamas, the head of Berlin Station, the Cold War is over. As he faces the prospect of retirement or worsea desk jobControl offers him a unique opportunity for revenge. Assuming the guise of an embittered and dissolute ex-agent, Leamas is set up to trap Mundt, the deputy director of the East German Intelligence Servicewith himself as the bait. In the background is George Smiley, ready to make the game play out just as Control wants.
Author(s): John le Carr
ISBN 13: 9780143124757
Pages: 240
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Title: Fadeout: A Dave Brandstetter Mystery

Fadeout is the first of Joseph Hansen's twelve classic mysteries featuring rugged Dave Brandstetter, an insurance investigator who is contentedly gay. When entertainer Fox Olson's car plunges off a bridge in a storm, a death claim is filed, but where is Olson's body? As Brandstetter questions family, fans, and detractors, he grows certain Olson is still alive and that Dave must find him before the would-be killer does. Suspenseful and wry, shrewd and deeply felt, Fadeout remains as fresh today as when it startled readers more than thirty years ago.
Author(s): Joseph Hansen
ISBN 13: 9780299205546
Pages: 190
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Title: The Name of the Rose

It is the year 1327. Franciscans in an Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, but Brother William of Baskerville’s investigation is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths. Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Author(s): Umberto Eco
ISBN 13: 9780156001311
Pages: 536
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Title: The Circular Staircase

The Circular Staircase, Mary Roberts Rinehart's classic tale of murder and intrigue in a pre-World War I mansion, is evocative yet strangely modern, a sort of CSI: Downton Abbey, with butlers and maids sprinkled in amongst the bodies and evidence.
Author(s): Mary Roberts Rinehart
ISBN 13: 9781610530132
Pages: 270
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Title: True Confessions

Investigating the 1940s Los Angeles murder of an unidentified victim whose case has been sensationalized by the media, homicide detective Tom Spellacy and his priest brother, Des, find their loyalties tested, in a new edition of a popular ...
Author(s): John Gregory Dunne
ISBN 13: 9781560258155
Pages: 341
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Title: Beast in View

A classic whodunit and a deep, disturbing study of the dark places of the human psyche...At thirty, Helen Clarvoe is alone: her only visitors are the staff at the hotel where she lives, and her only phone calls come from a stranger. Until that stranger, with a quiet, compelling voice, lures the aloof and financially secure Miss Clarvoe into a world of extortion, pornography, vengeance, madness and murder.
Author(s): Margaret Millar
ISBN 13: 9781780220222
Pages: 176
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Title: The Daughter of Time

A hospitalized English policeman reconstructs historical evidence concerning Richard III's role in the murder of Edward IV's two sons.
Author(s): Josephine Tey
ISBN 13: 9780684803869
Pages: 206
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Title: From Russia with Love

When Soviet spy Tatiana Romanova declares she wants to defect to Britain, James Bond chaperones her on a journey aboard the Orient Express, but despite his physical attraction to her, Bond does not trust Romanova's intentions.
Author(s): Ian Fleming
ISBN 13: 9781612185477
Pages: 268
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Title: The Talented Mr. Ripley

In order to convince his son to come home, Herbert Greenleaf, a rich shipbuilder, sends the suave con man Tom Ripley to Italy, but is unaware of his son's friend's criminal activities. Reprint.
Author(s): Patricia Highsmith
ISBN 13: 9780393332148
Pages: 273
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Title: Presumed Innocent

Now available in trade paperback, "Presumed Innocent" brings to life our worst nightmare: that of an ordinary citizen facing conviction for the most terrible of crimes. Prosecutor Rusty Sabich is transformed from accuser to accused when he is handed an explosive case--that of the brutal murder of a woman who happens to be his former lover.
Author(s): Scott Turow
ISBN 13: 9780446676441
Pages: 512
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Title: Mystic River

When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends.
Author(s): Dennis Lehane
ISBN 13: 9780062068408
Pages: 608
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Title: Sneaky people

Somewhere in the American Midwest of the 1930s, adulterous used-car lot proprietor Buddy Sandifer decides to murder his wife and marry his mistress, while his fifteen-year-old son discovers all he can about sex.
Author(s): Thomas Berger
ISBN 13: 9780743257954
Pages: 315
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Title: In the Woods

Twenty years after witnessing the violent disappearances of two companions from their small Dublin suburb, detective Rob Ryan investigates a chillingly similar murder that takes place in the same wooded area, a case that forces him to piece ...
Author(s): Tana French
ISBN 13: 9780143113492
Pages: 451
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Title: A Dark-Adapted Eye

The story of a family's long-buried secret past is revealed--and the deadly consequences. Mystery Guild Selection. Doubleday Alternate.
Author(s): Ruth Rendell
ISBN 13: 9780452270640
Pages: 278
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Title: Anatomy of a Murder

Defense attorney Paul Biegler represents a young Army lieutenant who claims that the man he shot had raped his wife
Author(s): Robert Traver
ISBN 13: 9780312033569
Pages: 437
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Title: The Thirty-Nine Steps

The Thirty-Nine Steps is a work by John Buchan now brought to you in this new edition of the timeless classic.
Author(s): John Buchan
ISBN 13: 9781482673197
Pages: 134
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Title: Eye of the Needle

Author(s): Ken Follett
ISBN 13: 9780062020895
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Title: I, the Jury

Before Jack Reacher . . . there was Mike Hammer When Jack Williams is discovered shot dead, the investigating cop Pat Chambers calls his acquaintance, and Jack's closest friend, PI Mike Hammer.
Author(s): Mickey Spillane
ISBN 13: 9781409158646
Pages: 240
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Title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.
Author(s): Stieg Larsson
ISBN 13: 9780307269751
Pages: 465
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Title: Blanche on the Lam

Certain that she will be the number one suspect in the murder when someone in the house where she is working is killed, forty-year-old domestic and reluctant sleuth Blanche White decides to uncover the real killer herself.
Author(s): Barbara Neely
ISBN 13: 9780312069087
Pages: 180
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Title: Smillas Sense of Snow

When her six-year-old neighbor falls to his death, and no one is willing to suspect foul play, Smilla Qaavigaaq Jasperson finds her own investigation taking her into the files of a Danish company. 40,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo.
Author(s): Peter Hoeg
ISBN 13: 9780374266448
Pages: 453
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Title: The Secret Agent

"The Secret Agent" is considered to be one of Joseph Conrad's finest works and was ranked the 46th best novel of the 20th century by the Modern Library.
Author(s): Joseph Conrad
ISBN 13: 9781484879443
Pages: 218
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Title: The Third Man

Just arrived in Vienna, Rollo Martins discovers that the friend he has come to visit is dead
Author(s): Graham Greene
ISBN 13: 9780140286823
Pages: 157
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Title: The Black Dahlia

The victim makes headlines as the Black Dahlia-and so begins the greatest manhunt in California history.Caught up in the investigation are Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard: Warrants Squad cops, friends, and rivals in love with the same ...
Author(s): James Ellroy
ISBN 13: 9780446618120
Pages: 384
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Title: The Snowman

One night, after the first snowfall of the year, a boy named Jonas wakes up and discovers that his mother has disappeared. Only one trace of her remains: a pink scarf, his Christmas gift to her, now worn by the snowman that inexplicably appeared in their yard earlier that day. Inspector Harry Hole suspects a link between the missing woman and a suspicious letter hes received.
Author(s): Jo Nesbo
ISBN 13: 9780307742995
Pages: 512
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Title: Laura

Basis for the famous film noir: a woman who kept men spellbound--even after her death.
Author(s): Vera Caspary;A. B. Emrys
ISBN 13: 9781558615052
Pages: 219
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Title: LaBrava

Joe LaBrava first fell in love with femme fatale movie queen Jean Shaw in a darkened theater when he was twelve. Now he's finally meeting his dream woman in the flesh, albeit in a rundown Miami crisis center. Cleaned up and sober, though, she still makes LaBrava's heart race. And now that Jean's being terrorized by redneck thug Richard Nobles and his slimy Marielito partner Cundo Rey, Joe has a golden opportunity to play the hero.
Author(s): Elmore Leonard
ISBN 13: 9780061767692
Pages: 432
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Title: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Working in Gaborone, Botswana, Precious Ramotswe investigates several local mysteries, including a search for a missing boy and the case of the clinic doctor with different personalities for different days of the week.
Author(s): Alexander McCall Smith
ISBN 13: 9781400034772
Pages: 235
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Title: The Day of the Jackal

After six men fail in individual attempts to assassinate President de Gaulle, Jackal accepts the task and lays careful plans to insure his success.
Author(s): Frederick Forsyth
ISBN 13: 9780451239372
Pages: 420
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Title: The Blue Hammer

The desert air is hot with sex and betrayal, death and madness and only Archer can make sense of a killer who makes murder a work of art. Finding a purloined portrait of a leggy blonde was supposed to be an easy paycheck for Detective Lew Archer, but that was before the bodies began piling up. Suddenly, Archer find himself smack in the middle of a decades-long mystery of a brilliant artist who walked into the desert and simply disappeared. He left behind a bevy of muses, molls, dolls, and dames-each one scrambling for what they thought was rightfully theirs.
Author(s): Ross Macdonald
ISBN 13: 9780307279064
Pages: 270
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List of 50 Essential Mystery Novels


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