Best Hardboiled PI & Noir

This is a list for the best Noir or PI Hardboiled books
1

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4.04 avg rating — 91,369 ratings
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2

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3.92 avg rating — 67,933 ratings
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3

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4.22 avg rating — 25,221 ratings
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4

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4.17 avg rating — 24,265 ratings
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5

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3.81 avg rating — 23,446 ratings
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6

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4.12 avg rating — 14,915 ratings
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7

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4.20 avg rating — 24,114 ratings
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8

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3.89 avg rating — 14,166 ratings
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9

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3.99 avg rating — 18,279 ratings
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10

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4.06 avg rating — 13,434 ratings
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11

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3.97 avg rating — 22,059 ratings
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12

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3.75 avg rating — 65,972 ratings
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13

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4.08 avg rating — 12,385 ratings
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14

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3.93 avg rating — 38,049 ratings
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15

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4.13 avg rating — 111,012 ratings
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16

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4.03 avg rating — 9,933 ratings
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17

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4.05 avg rating — 405,269 ratings
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18

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4.21 avg rating — 11,629 ratings
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19

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 7,348 ratings
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20

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4.07 avg rating — 6,150 ratings
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21

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3.82 avg rating — 11,697 ratings
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22

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4.11 avg rating — 10,565 ratings
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23

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3.85 avg rating — 4,816 ratings
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24

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3.91 avg rating — 14,328 ratings
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25

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3.97 avg rating — 9,017 ratings
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26

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4.05 avg rating — 9,514 ratings
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27

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4.06 avg rating — 6,919 ratings
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28

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4.05 avg rating — 5,148 ratings
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29

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4.08 avg rating — 109,658 ratings
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30

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4.17 avg rating — 4,931 ratings
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31

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3.96 avg rating — 29,881 ratings
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32

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3.93 avg rating — 6,445 ratings
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33

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4.03 avg rating — 2,560 ratings
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34

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3.99 avg rating — 5,692 ratings
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35

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3.96 avg rating — 4,810 ratings
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36

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3.94 avg rating — 1,219 ratings
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37

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3.94 avg rating — 6,380 ratings
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38

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3.84 avg rating — 5,497 ratings
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39

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3.83 avg rating — 2,218 ratings
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40

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4.17 avg rating — 21,903 ratings
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41

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4.01 avg rating — 929 ratings
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42

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4.14 avg rating — 27,439 ratings
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43

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4.10 avg rating — 2,556 ratings
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44

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4.18 avg rating — 449,717 ratings
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45

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4.01 avg rating — 1,068 ratings
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46

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3.57 avg rating — 2,709 ratings
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47

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3.88 avg rating — 4,268 ratings
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48

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3.84 avg rating — 13,298 ratings
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49

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3.89 avg rating — 3,343 ratings
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50

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4.36 avg rating — 14,711 ratings
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51

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4.07 avg rating — 851 ratings
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52

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3.91 avg rating — 3,356 ratings
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53

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3.98 avg rating — 1,037 ratings
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54

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3.90 avg rating — 712 ratings
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55

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4.07 avg rating — 2,222 ratings
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56

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3.71 avg rating — 378 ratings
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57

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3.91 avg rating — 3,814 ratings
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58

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4.22 avg rating — 23,596 ratings
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59

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4.11 avg rating — 810 ratings
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60

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4.15 avg rating — 5,054 ratings
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61

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3.64 avg rating — 2,313 ratings
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62

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4.10 avg rating — 47,257 ratings
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63

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3.95 avg rating — 2,662 ratings
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64

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4.14 avg rating — 2,688 ratings
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64

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4.02 avg rating — 1,283 ratings
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66

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4.09 avg rating — 4,663 ratings
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67

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4.22 avg rating — 5,944 ratings
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68

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4.17 avg rating — 6,896 ratings
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69

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4.04 avg rating — 3,472 ratings
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70

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3.97 avg rating — 2,653 ratings
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71

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3.83 avg rating — 1,180 ratings
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71

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3.96 avg rating — 1,833 ratings
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73

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3.92 avg rating — 23,194 ratings
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74

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4.19 avg rating — 61,279 ratings
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75

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4.04 avg rating — 1,834 ratings
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76

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4.03 avg rating — 1,644,145 ratings
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77

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4.05 avg rating — 1,371 ratings
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78

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3.81 avg rating — 1,523 ratings
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79

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4.15 avg rating — 40,473 ratings
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80

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3.70 avg rating — 907 ratings
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81

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3.70 avg rating — 2,939 ratings
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82

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3.99 avg rating — 698 ratings
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83

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4.01 avg rating — 3,902 ratings
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84

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4.14 avg rating — 113 ratings
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85

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3.82 avg rating — 502 ratings
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86

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4.39 avg rating — 378 ratings
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87

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3.92 avg rating — 360,072 ratings
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88

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3.79 avg rating — 1,494 ratings
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89

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3.72 avg rating — 72 ratings
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90

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3.86 avg rating — 3,885 ratings
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91

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4.08 avg rating — 16,872 ratings
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92

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3.90 avg rating — 454 ratings
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93

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3.76 avg rating — 2,268 ratings
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94

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4.09 avg rating — 31,607 ratings
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95

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3.82 avg rating — 598 ratings
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96

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4.08 avg rating — 1,332 ratings
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97

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4.15 avg rating — 3,065 ratings
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98

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4.36 avg rating — 710 ratings
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99

by
3.77 avg rating — 906 ratings
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100

by
3.47 avg rating — 5,939 ratings
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579 books · 702 voters · list created January 21st, 2009 by Mohammed (votes) .
361 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Mohammed 1259 books
251 friends
Bevin 1321 books
54 friends
Tom 2773 books
5 friends
Osvaldo 323 books
30 friends
Nick 659 books
166 friends
Pedro 1438 books
120 friends
John 631 books
40 friends
jfjr 71 books
24 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-30 of 30) (30 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed Hi Bevin

if you have read more Noir, it would be interesting to see other favs that make the list.


message 2: by Tom (new)

Tom How do we add to this list? The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler, also his The Lady in the Lake, The Little Sister, for that matter, everything by Chandler and Hammett, and then there is the author who created what is now known as noir: Cornell Woolrich.


message 3: by Osvaldo (last edited Apr 18, 2009 07:35AM) (new)

Osvaldo Ortega I wonder if John D. McDonald's Travis McGee could be included in this list? If so, I'll throw some on there. Also I wonder if Burke's Robicheaux could fall into this genre. Though what is the difference between noir, and 1st person detective fiction. That opens up Spencer as well.

Perhaps not Noir but definitely hard-boiled!


message 4: by Julie (new)

Julie add PoisonvillePoisonville


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You add books at the top of the list, at the tab labeled "add books to this list." It's next to "all votes."


message 6: by Mr (new)

Mr The difference between noir and 1st person detective fiction ?

Noir's about small, sometimes meaningless, battles in back-alleys and smokey rooms. Its about conflict between small people. You don't save the world. You are lucky if you save yourself.

So yeah, a lot of these titles wouldn't qualify - best crime/detective fiction would be more accurate.

Jim Thompson would be one of the exclusively noir writers on this list I'd reckon.


message 7: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Am I the only one who thinks that The Long Goodbye is WAY better than The Big Sleep?


message 8: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed Alberto wrote: "Timothy wrote: "Am I the only one who thinks that The Long Goodbye is WAY better than The Big Sleep?"

No, you aren't. I agree with you."


I havent read the LOng Goodbye but i thought Farewell,My Lady was stronger,less convulted than Big Sleep.


message 9: by Mohammed (last edited Sep 10, 2012 08:16AM) (new)

Mohammed Alberto wrote: "The Long Goodbye is simply perfect. Strong plot and chandlerish prose at its best."

I will get back to Chandler soon, Ross Macdonald is my second fav PI author from the old school so i have been focusing on Lew Archer. But i do miss Marlowe.


message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert kennedy Great list of reads!


message 11: by Still (last edited Feb 17, 2013 08:41PM) (new)

Still Mohammed wrote: "Alberto wrote: "Timothy wrote: "Am I the only one who thinks that The Long Goodbye is WAY better than The Big Sleep?"

No, you aren't. I agree with you."

I havent read the LOng Goodbye but i thoug..."


Mohammed wrote: "Alberto wrote: "Timothy wrote: "Am I the only one who thinks that The Long Goodbye is WAY better than The Big Sleep?"

No, you aren't. I agree with you."

I havent read the LOng Goodbye but i thoug..."


Mohammed wrote: "Alberto wrote: "Timothy wrote: "Am I the only one who thinks that The Long Goodbye is WAY better than The Big Sleep?"

No, you aren't. I agree with you."

I havent read the LOng Goodbye but i thoug..."


Mohammed wrote: "Alberto wrote: "Timothy wrote: "Am I the only one who thinks that The Long Goodbye is WAY better than The Big Sleep?"

No, you aren't. I agree with you."

"I havent read the LOng Goodbye but i thought Farewell,My Lady was stronger,less convulted than Big Sleep. "


I've read all of the Chandler novels and all of the various short stories and novellas.
For some reason Farewell My Lovely remains my all time favorite Raymond Chandler item.


message 12: by Dan (new)

Dan Sallberg andrew vachss
george pellacanos
henning mankell
lawrence block's scudder series


message 13: by Jools (new)

Jools I am reading my first Chandler book at the moment - Farewell My Lovely and really enjoying it. Hope it doesn't disappoint as crime noir is not really my forte but needed something fun to get my had around.


message 14: by Matt (new)

Matt Mr wrote: "The difference between noir and 1st person detective fiction ?

Noir's about small, sometimes meaningless, battles in back-alleys and smokey rooms. Its about conflict between small people. You don..."


Agreed. While I am a big fan of many of these, I would argue some of them don't make the "Noir" definition, despite the underlying flavor...

I will get back to Chandler soon, Ross Macdonald is my second fav PI author from the old school..."


message 15: by Tom (new)

Tom Timothy wrote: "Am I the only one who thinks that The Long Goodbye is WAY better than The Big Sleep?"

No. I think The Long Goodbye is one of the best American novels - not just detective/mystery but best American - ever written.


message 16: by Bettie☯ (last edited Apr 15, 2014 03:31PM) (new)

Bettie☯ How nice to see Norton's The Borrowers at #204

and The Little Prince @ #325


message 18: by Bettie☯ (new)

Bettie☯ Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "!?!?"

Fun to see what others consider as 'noir'
;OD


message 19: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed Talk about this list of mine is a beast that grew and grew. 447 books added!


message 20: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 14 books removed.


message 21: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Removed five miscategorized books.


message 22: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 1 book removed.


message 23: by Mohammed (last edited Jan 27, 2015 12:07PM) (new)

Mohammed I feel like the popular vote is betraying Red Harvest:p

Sure its not as popular as Bogart /Spade book Maltese Falcon but the third popular Hammett after Thin Man come on people forget the movies hehe


message 24: by Saumitra (new)

Saumitra Baishya excellent reading


message 25: by Mizuki (new)

Mizuki How about noir written by Asian authors, can they be listed here?


message 26: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed Mizuki wrote: "How about noir written by Asian authors, can they be listed here?"

Why not this list is for noir from the whole world.

I need more recs for noir from Asia anyway. I love reading several japanese authors for example and i need to try their hardcore crime authors.


message 27: by Mizuki (last edited Sep 16, 2015 05:18AM) (new)

Mizuki Mohammed wrote: "Mizuki wrote: "How about noir written by Asian authors, can they be listed here?"

Why not this list is for noir from the whole world.

I need more recs for noir from Asia anyway. I love readin..."


Thanks, I will bring them on. In fact I'd already added a few into the list.


message 28: by Mark (new)

Mark Timothy wrote: "Am I the only one who thinks that The Long Goodbye is WAY better than The Big Sleep?"

Definitely better


message 29: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed Mark wrote: "Timothy wrote: "Am I the only one who thinks that The Long Goodbye is WAY better than The Big Sleep?"

Definitely better"


I agree too and i was surprised how clear it was that the Long Goodbye was better.


message 30: by Manray9 (new)

Manray9 I suppose many readers don't understand the definition of noir with respect to fiction or cinema?


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