Best Crime & Mystery Books
101 Shadow Roll (A Sam Russo My...
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 589 ratings
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102 China Blues
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 859 ratings
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103 Houdini Heart
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4.31 of 5 stars 4.31 avg rating — 1,239 ratings
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104 The Pillars of the Earth  (...
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4.26 of 5 stars 4.26 avg rating — 343,998 ratings
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105 The Ice House
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 5,133 ratings
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106 The Club Dumas
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 20,594 ratings
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107 Strangers on a Train
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 6,051 ratings
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108 Cover Her Face (Adam Dalgli...
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 17,099 ratings
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109 Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs,...
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 31,298 ratings
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110 Mistress of the Art of Deat...
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 22,588 ratings
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111 Helter Skelter: The True St...
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 69,062 ratings
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112 The Manson File: Myth and R...
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4.3 of 5 stars 4.30 avg rating — 261 ratings
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113 The Memoirs of Sherlock Hol...
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4.33 of 5 stars 4.33 avg rating — 46,431 ratings
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114 Déjà Dead (Temperance Brenn...
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 75,461 ratings
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115 The Yiddish Policemen's Union
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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 41,369 ratings
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116 Good Dog, Bad Dog (A Sam Ru...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 563 ratings
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117 The Beach House
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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 59,097 ratings
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118 A Morbid Taste for Bones (C...
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 18,095 ratings
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119 The Turn of the Screw
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3.44 of 5 stars 3.44 avg rating — 41,384 ratings
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120 The Hound of the Baskervill...
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 109,776 ratings
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121 Appointment with Death (Her...
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 15,738 ratings
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122 Knots and Crosses (Inspecto...
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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 18,345 ratings
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123 Blindsighted (Grant County,...
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 29,650 ratings
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124 Dark Places
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 146,234 ratings
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125 The Odessa File
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 30,378 ratings
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126 Caught
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 26,808 ratings
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127 A Dark-Adapted Eye
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 4,030 ratings
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128 The Sculptress
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 5,835 ratings
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129 The 39 Steps (Richard Hanna...
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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 12,739 ratings
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130 One Shot (Jack Reacher, #9)
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 46,810 ratings
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131 The Prince of Tides
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 124,516 ratings
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132 Alias Grace
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 43,381 ratings
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133 The Silence of the Lambs  (...
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 283,798 ratings
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134 The Girl in the Next Room (...
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 532 ratings
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135 Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1)
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 168,499 ratings
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136 After the Funeral (Hercule ...
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 10,519 ratings
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137 The Secret Life of Bees
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 753,061 ratings
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138 The Face of a Stranger (Wil...
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 8,599 ratings
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139 Dolores Claiborne
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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 72,516 ratings
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140 The Last Coyote (Harry Bosc...
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 26,520 ratings
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141 Murder on the Orient Expres...
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 102,384 ratings
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142 Nemesis (Harry Hole, #4)
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 19,010 ratings
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143 Red Harvest
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 12,798 ratings
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144 Darkness, Take My Hand (Ken...
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 14,966 ratings
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145 The Snowman (Harry Hole, #7)
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 35,249 ratings
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146 The Moving Finger (Miss Mar...
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 11,539 ratings
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147 What the Dead Know
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3.53 of 5 stars 3.53 avg rating — 11,826 ratings
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148 Cross Bones (Temperance Bre...
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 14,296 ratings
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149 Four to Score (Stephanie Pl...
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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 87,459 ratings
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150 Black and Blue (Inspector R...
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 7,009 ratings
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151 Skinwalkers (Navajo Mysteri...
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 7,465 ratings
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152 Weep No More, My Lady
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 9,827 ratings
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153 Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2)
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 43,936 ratings
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154 Cross Roads
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 63 ratings
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155 The Deep Blue Good-By (Trav...
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 5,994 ratings
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156 On the Road to Death's Door
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 48 ratings
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157 One Step Behind (Wallander,...
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 9,148 ratings
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158 Faithful Place (Dublin Murd...
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 33,656 ratings
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159 The Brass Verdict (Harry Bo...
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 27,095 ratings
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160 When Will There Be Good New...
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 19,741 ratings
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161 Dance Hall of the Dead (Nav...
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 6,158 ratings
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162 Before I Go To Sleep
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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 114,590 ratings
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163 Mallory's Oracle (Kathleen ...
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 3,367 ratings
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164 The Scold's Bridle
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 4,981 ratings
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165 Bill of Human Wrongs
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4.46 of 5 stars 4.46 avg rating — 52 ratings
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166 American Psycho
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 124,163 ratings
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167 Booked To Die (Cliff Janewa...
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 4,227 ratings
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168 The Man With a Load of Misc...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 9,157 ratings
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169 Dissolution (Matthew Shardl...
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 16,193 ratings
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170 1984
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 1,392,816 ratings
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171 Death of an Expert Witness ...
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 5,331 ratings
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172 NO FEAR!
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4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 34 ratings
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173 The Children of Men
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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 23,472 ratings
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174 Alone (Detective D.D. Warre...
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 27,733 ratings
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175 With No One as Witness (Ins...
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 7,100 ratings
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176 A Grave Talent  (Kate Marti...
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 4,116 ratings
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177 Ten Big Ones (Stephanie Plu...
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 63,390 ratings
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178 Fletch (Fletch, #1)
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 3,084 ratings
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179 The Flanders Panel
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 10,933 ratings
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180 Triptych (Will Trent, #1)
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 18,384 ratings
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181 Echo Burning (Jack Reacher,...
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 27,795 ratings
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182 The Mermaids Singing (Tony ...
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 8,449 ratings
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183 The Dreadful Lemon Sky (Tra...
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 2,054 ratings
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183 The Broken Window (Lincoln ...
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 9,486 ratings
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185 The Laughing Policeman (Mar...
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 3,634 ratings
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186 Absolute Power
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 53,068 ratings
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187 Kisscut (Grant County, #2)
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 13,135 ratings
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188 Dancing with a Dead Horse
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4.45 of 5 stars 4.45 avg rating — 85 ratings
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189 The Gold Coast
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 15,615 ratings
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190 The Sign of Four (Sherlock ...
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 43,322 ratings
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191 The Hangman's Beautiful Dau...
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 2,903 ratings
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192 Have His Carcase  (Lord Pet...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 7,665 ratings
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193 The First Deadly Sin (Deadl...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 4,486 ratings
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194 G is for Gumshoe  (Kinsey M...
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 18,312 ratings
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195 The Fifth Woman (Wallander,...
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 14,142 ratings
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196 The Bridge To Caracas (The ...
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4.65 of 5 stars 4.65 avg rating — 98 ratings
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197 A Taste for Death (Adam Dal...
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 7,000 ratings
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198 The Blessing Way (Navajo My...
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 10,872 ratings
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199 Bold Counsel (The Trials of...
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 109 ratings
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200 Weekend Warriors (Sisterhoo...
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 4,848 ratings
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4,513 books · 10,335 voters · list created June 9th, 2008 by deleted user.
681 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


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Comments (showing 1-50 of 98) (98 new)


message 1: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Hecht An interesting list, but really notable for it's absences. Henning Mankell doesn't make an appearance until #412 (as of Oct 17th, 2008), but his fellow Scandinavians, Indriadson, Nesser, Fossum, Ericksson, et. al. don't make an appearance at all. It's safe to say that, for one example, every of Nesser's books is superior to John MacDonald, just to name one author. I'd say he's better than Chandler, Christie, Stout, Hammett and many others. Also, the fact that anything by Dan Brown is listed as number 2 is just disturbing to me.


message 2: by Beth (new)

Beth Can't find alot of Caleb Carr or Kathy Reichs


message 3: by Harlequin (new)

Harlequin Historical I read a few Crime and Mystery books but not enough to be a good judge on who writes the best. I would end up voting for Christie, Poe or Koontz just because I recognize their name and have read some of the books, not because I truly knew they were the best.


message 4: by Catherine (last edited Jan 15, 2009 03:19PM) (new)

Catherine Chillwater Cove by Thomas LakemanChillwater Cove Lakeman has the pacing of Dan Brown, but with literary chops as well! I believe I have stumbled upon the next James Lee Burke. I look forward to reading Lakeman's next novel in this series, BROKEN WING.


message 5: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed Andrew : Mankell might be good but Chandler is one of the most literary talented american writers of the last century. To compare him is too much imo....

John D. Macdonald is great too.

You must hate Hardboiled fiction....


message 6: by Ikra (new)

Ikra Amesta I like Motherless Brooklyn, so funny and entertaining!


message 7: by Marty (last edited Nov 25, 2009 11:54AM) (new)

Marty This is a great list, but there are some pretty stark omissions, IMO. First, nothing by Ross Thomas? Really? Could he have been forgotten already? He was one of the best satirical/political mystery writers ever. And the list is a bit skimpy on the the Donald Westlake/Richard Stark oeuvre. I would put his relatively recent book The Ax, about a downsized chemist who conspires to kill all of his potential rivals in the job market, in the top 5 best all-time mystery books. Also, many of James Lee Burke's excellent early books did not make the list. Surely anything he has written outshines most of what passes for good mystery writing these days. He's at least as good as, say, Dennis Lehane (who I also love.) Also Michael Dibdin deserves much more of a presence. Finally, where's Robert Wilson? He's written at least three really excellent mystery novels this decade.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Why don't you add them? The form is at the right hand side of the page.


message 9: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn In Cold Blood and Fatal Vision are both TRUE CRIME non-fiction works.....IF we put True Crime on this list, then clearly Anne Rule and Doc Olsen should listed.


message 10: by Marty (new)

Marty Susanna wrote: "Why don't you add them? The form is at the right hand side of the page."

Thanks - I will.


message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa I cannot find anything by Harlan Coben on this list, maybe I did not look far enough, but he is too good of a suspense writer NOT to be included


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Why don't you add him?


message 13: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I'm not an Isaac Asimov reader, but isn't he sci-fi rather than crime/mystery?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Isaac Asimov wrote several novel-length mysteries (albeit often ones with a science fiction setting): The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, and Murder at the ABA, are the ones I can think of. From what I recall of reading my grandfather's Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazines while I was growing up, he was a pretty frequent contributor. I remember the "Black Widower" stories in particular.


message 15: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Did not know that.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads He was pretty prolific, Asimov, and wrote in a number of genres.


message 17: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Lobstergirl wrote: "Did not know that."

Susanna wrote: "Isaac Asimov wrote several novel-length mysteries (albeit often ones with a science fiction setting): The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, and [book:Murder at the ABA|470356..."

Murder at the ABA is a readable non-SF mystery....If I remember rightly, ABA is the American BOOKSELLERS Assoc.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads It's been years since I've read it, but I think you're right, Thom.


message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 13, 2010 05:18PM) (new)

Thom wrote: "In Cold Blood and Fatal Vision are both TRUE CRIME non-fiction works.....IF we put True Crime on this list, then clearly Anne Rule and Doc Olsen should listed."

I found In Cold Blood but not any by Ann Rule and was wondering. There is nothing so terrifying as The Stranger Beside Me!..... and it took them so long to catch him!


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

I went to 781 or so and NEVER found Ann Rule! Did overlook her? She should be number ONE!


message 21: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn As wrote: "I went to 781 or so and NEVER found Ann Rule! Did overlook her? She should be number ONE!"

Ann Rule is probably listed under TRUE CRIME


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Think I created a list like that last night but will double check in case I duplicated lists.

falling asleep,
Alice


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, I did a dup list. How can I delete it?


message 24: by Flashdawg (new)

Flashdawg totally cool book, THO


message 25: by Doug (new)

Doug Where in the world is John Sandford? He is arguably among the top five active American mystery writers.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You could vote for him.


message 27: by John (new)

John Really sad that Crime and Punishment is hundreds of spaces below Dan Brown. And what the hell is Interview with the Vampire doing here?


message 28: by Luis (new)

Luis Gutierrez-Poucel I am a little surprised that (1) Robert B. Parker's Looking for Rachel Wallace, Mortal Stakes, Small Vices, etc. and (2) Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Identity, or The Janson Directive... are not here.
Well, I'll vote for them!


message 29: by Doug (new)

Doug I agree with Luis, Robert B. Parker belongs on the list on the basis of his great body of work.


message 30: by Luzalbe (new)

Luzalbe brillantes haha..never thought interview with the vampire was a book.LOL.i recommend you guys to read list of 7 by mark frost,,,,best book i've ever read...better than the lost symbol,though it's also satisfactory.:))


message 31: by Bob (new)

Bob M. Doug wrote: "Where in the world is John Sandford? He is arguably among the top five active American mystery writers."

Agreed. His 'Prey' series with Davenport is excellent.


message 33: by Claudia (new)

Claudia Mcgarry Great debut novel. Could hardly put it down.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You add books to the list up at the top, next to "all votes."


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You add books to the list up at the top, next to "all votes."


message 37: by Senordaffy (new)

Senordaffy Andrew wrote: "An interesting list, but really notable for it's absences. Henning Mankell doesn't make an appearance until #412 (as of Oct 17th, 2008), but his fellow Scandinavians, Indriadson, Nesser, Fossum, Er..."


message 38: by Senordaffy (new)

Senordaffy to andrew:
will try more scandinavians. list is not by quality
of writing, obviously. where are martha grimes, len
deighton, le carre, steinhauer, and many others ?
agree with dan brown observation. so illiterate that he used 'from vinci' rather than leonardo in his title, as in 'the from vinci code'. not even a writer. popular only because his 'sacred feminine' gimmick appealed to u.s. women's vanity.
larsson not so good, either. pubishing these days
is getting to be like a hollywood insider called the
movie business - 'all hype'.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Senordaffy wrote: "where are martha grimes, len
deighton, le carre, steinhauer, and many others ?"



You could try voting for them.


message 40: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Im normally into historic fiction


message 41: by Abbey (new)

Abbey I'd love to have a list with just the title/author for all of 'em - yeah, I'm quite mad, but I love lists! (and mysteries...) Anybody know how I might arrange for that? The only way I've thought of is extremely cumbersome - going through, one-by-one and adding them to a new shelf! ick. Please, please tell me that *somewhere* there's an actual list (no covers or blurbs, etc.) just the titles and authors???


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You can add books to the list at the top of the page, next to where it says "all votes."


message 43: by Lane (new)

Lane Abbey wrote: "I'd love to have a list with just the title/author for all of 'em - yeah, I'm quite mad, but I love lists! (and mysteries...) Anybody know how I might arrange for that? The only way I've thought o..."

I would like a downloadable list of this kind as well. and/or the ability to "select all" of the books and add them to a category like "For consideration."


message 45: by Kim (new)

Kim Horner McCoy I managed to get a quarter of the way through this list before deciding it was a) too long and b) incoherent. Why is Diary of Anne Frank on here? Or Lolita? For a list to be meaningful, its entries should conform to the definition. Since the list was created by a "deleted user," has it gone feral?


message 46: by Aini (new)

Aini This is my favourite genre! My favourites are The Three Investigators (because they introduced me to the genre) and Agatha Christie because her use of psychology and human nature to solve mysteries.


message 47: by Yehia (new)

Yehia Shehata So I was thinking of reading either is Dark materials or The Millennium trilogy. I already read materials 1 & 2, and Millennium 1. Any recommendations?


message 48: by The Treeman (new)

The Treeman This list is laughable. It is full of books that shouldn't be there and books that are basically horrible written.


message 49: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix The "only vote for the first volume of a series" instruction wasn't originally on this list. I believe it is wrong to change it now and start deleting books.

Furthermore, especially in mystery series, the books are often stand alone, even if they are part of a series. It makes perfect sense, therefore, to vote for each volume separately.


message 50: by Mike (new)

Mike Anyone know of a mystery series set in Germany, preferably Frankfurt, that they can recommend?


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