No magic or deus ex machina will send the plot off in an entirely unexpected direction. KGB moles known as the Cambridge Five had been unmasked in Britain throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, and the threat of Soviet spies in their midst felt very real to the western world, especially to a former British intelligence officer like author le Carré. The plot twists and turns across the marshes of Florida, clashing Decker with a televangelist, a swamp hermit, and a glib reporter, on a trail that leads deep into the bigoted heart of Florida’s upper class. The Deep Blue Good-by was the first book in a 21-book series that introduced the mystery-reading world to “salvage consultant” and sometimes-private dick Travis McGee, who lives and works in Fort Lauderdale on a houseboat called the Busted Flush (he won her thanks to a great run of luck at poker). The original Mistress of Mysteries is also the queen of the cozy mystery. As our name implies, we offer a suite of expert guides on a wide range of topics, including fashion, food, drink, travel, and grooming. Over the course of 42 years, Simenon wrote 77 Maigret books and short stories. Instead, Hammett holds us at arm’s length from his characters, with third-person narration throughout, never letting us into their interior life, never revealing a thought in their heads that isn’t spoken out loud. Her Miss Marple series follows a woman in a small town with an uncanny knack for solving crimes. Returned from war to live a remote life off the grid, Ash is summoned to investigate the suicide of one of his wartime comrades in arms, only to discover a duffel full of explosives and cash, and a mystery even thornier than the ones he left behind in the sand. By Olivia Hosken When the diamond goes missing at a drawing room party and detectives fail her, Rachel embarks on a year-long quest, with the help of her love interest Franklin, through the laudanum-high streets of nineteenth-century London. The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Five years later, the Mystery Writers of America published a similar list titled The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time. In this case, the protagonist is on the run trying to protect a book filled with state secrets of the United Kingdom that just might change the outcome of the coming global conflict. 4.5 out of 5 stars 1,092. from $9.80, 14 new It’s creepy and alienating, creating a mystery not only in the outward circumstances of the detective story, but makes a mystery of each character—who are they? The new books … The plot concerns a mysterious murder discovered in Palm Springs, the LA suburb known for having been a playground of the stars in Hollywood’s golden age. Chandler’s writing is like a great Old Fashioned cocktail: Not too complicated but carrying certain subtleties, and such a pleasure to consume you want more and more. Lurid, surprising, and rich with subtext, it’s no wonder that a book about monks caught the global imagination and went down as one of the era’s best murder mystery books–considering it was this book. As you would expect, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle make the list. It has five books in this series which are The Maze Runner, The Kill Order, The Fever Code, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure (2009-2016). 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Ash is stricken by a PTSD symptom he calls “white static”—a constant, claustrophobic anxiety that reflects the reported experience of many veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. John le Carré, pen name of David John Moore Cornwell, served as an MI5 officer for several years in the late 1950s and for MI6 in the early 1960s. It’s also one of the best murder mystery books set in the past. Arguably the best of le Carré’s many novels, this 1963 masterwork of the spy genre features espionage, assassination, international intrigue, and up-close and personal human struggle, all against the chilling backdrop of the Cold War. The book kicks off with ten characters invited to a country chateau in Devon—including a war hero, a rich dandy, a pious spinster, a hired gun, a kindly doctor, a girl’s school teacher, and more. Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! Funny and full of twists, Elmore Leonard centers this rolicking mystery around an indelible would-be victim that could just as easily be the villain—Judge Bob Gibbs, aka “Maximum Bob,” a Florida justice of the peace so named for his tendency to hand out maximum sentences. Maybe others might surprise you. If you love mystery novels, you may almost feel like a detective yourself, trying to stay one step ahead of the intrepid protagonist as he or she attempts to piece the puzzle together. The novel is unique in that Hammett never shares Spade’s internal monologue; we must come to know him through what he says and does, never what he thinks. Best Thrillers of All Time. The best mystery books keep us guessing. Have a look- Best Mystery Books of All Time . The Best Murder Mystery Thriller & Crime TV Shows. from $11.30, 16 new As Bram Stoker would do with Dracula 30 years later, Collins makes excellent use of the epistolary technique—crafting a twisty narrative about a stolen diamond and the hunt for the perpetrator from the letters and diary entries of his fictitious characters. from $6.62, 42 new Ten Little Indians remains powerful for its claustrophobia, snappy dialogue, gloomy outlook, and startling epilogue—ending the book with a shocking confession. When an attempt is made on the heavy-handed judge’s list, the problem facing probation officer Kathy Baker is not a lack of suspects, but a surplus of them. That protagonist, private investigator Joe Leland, is hired to investigate the death by suicide of a WWII vet, whose wife suspects foul play and who claims that her dead husband had mentioned Leland as a war acquaintance. as it “really was,” without the usual genre hoopla. For avid readers, finding a series you love is especially nice, providing easy entertainment without the risk that the book will be a dud. Unfortunately, because this is strictly a list of mystery series, the American series "Columbo" does not feature here. After decades of noir sensationalism, Thorp set out to write an unsentimental detective story that cast the life of a P.I. If you like this book, you are at the start of a long, enjoyable journey. All these series have one or both of two things in common: the protagonist is the same from one book to the next, or (in just two cases) the series are rooted in a particular time and place, though the cast of characters varies. Hammett is, of course, one of the granddaddies of film noir with the 1941 movie adaptation of The Maltese Falcon, and that plays out on the page in the story of the private gumshoes who are approached by a mysterious femme fatale to track down a priceless artifact—the bejeweled “falcon” of the title. Best Mystery/Thriller Audiobooks. The last two are the prequel novels of this series. Next thing you know, the burgess is murdered under strange circumstances, leaving the monks to sort through a whodunit before they can claim their sacred bones from a cloud of medieval scandal. But The Silence of the Lambs is well worth the read, not only for the murder mystery at its heart but for its psychological interrogation of the protagonist, FBI cadet Clarice Starling, a woman with something to prove and a dark past. Set in 12th-century England and Wales, against the backdrop of pre-Reformation church ritual and herbology, A Morbid Taste for Bones is a feast for lovers of historical fiction set in the mists of the deep past. 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Raymond Chandler (we’ll get to him soon enough) is considered by many as the best writer of classic American crime noir; by others, Dashiell Hammett holds that title. from $11.39, 1 new If you don’t know how this book ends, suffice it to say you will likely not see it coming. One of the best-selling novels and best mystery books of all time, Eco’s debut sets a murder mystery in a 14th-century monastery. I have a dirty little secret that I feel I need to air here, as it is perfectly in keeping with the subject at hand: I generally try to avoid any book that’s less than 20 to 30 years old (with exceptions, of course). One email. Get the Best in Mystery and Thriller Delivered to Your Inbox. 67,778 120 The Current Library of an Unapologetic Book Hoarder. It won’t be the last time Marlowe faces death. These books will keep you at the edge and be flipping through the pages. jQuery(function($){ jQuery(".ctc_external_url").click(function(e){ e.preventDefault(); jQuery("input[name='merge_fields[5]']").val(window.location.href); jQuery("input[name='merge_fields[3]']").val( $(this).parents(".r_offer_details").find(".ctc_title_link a").html()); }); }); jQuery(function($){ jQuery(".ctc_external_url, .cta-btn-business").click(function(e){ e.preventDefault(); jQuery("input[name='merge_fields[5]']").val(window.location.href); jQuery("input[name='merge_fields[3]']").val( $.trim( $(this).parents(".r_offer_details").find(".ctc_title_link a, .bz-title a").html()) ); }); }); "Killer's Payoff" is our FAVORITE mystery book pick. Menu. In The Woods by Tana French. Cool Things to Do. When the twist arrives, the best mystery books make us think back to the foreshadowing of ten chapters previously and think “I should have seen that coming!”. Buy with Confidence! They unfurl like infernal machines, devious in their internal logic. Here are our picks for the 18 best mystery books to read in 2021. We looked at top mystery novels from the Mystery Writers of America, Publisher’s Weekly, and Goodreads’ highest rated mysteries of all time. As Inspector Grant and Marta Holland dig deeper, however, they come closer and closer to the lie at the heart of one of England’s greatest scandals. If you are interested in legal mystery novels, this is a must read. One of his finest books and surely one of my favourites. Still Life book. The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of the best mystery books ever written; it’s certainly one of the most-read books of all time. Just forget about that hint I dropped there, eh? Oh, and for this other movie you might have heard of called The Big Sleep, which is a Bogie and Bacall classic well worth the post-read watching. The best mystery book readers sometimes do see it coming. Not only an engaging mystery but an important book that questions the way we make and understand history. Take a closer look! But Columbo has to be one of the best crime series … Conan Doyle's legendary detective, Sherlock Holmes, presumed dead, returns to the land of the living to shed light on the petrifying death of his friend, Charles Baskerville. We meet the creepy Mrs. Danvers, who gaslights the new wife and rhapsodizes about the deceased first wife, Rebecca. I picked up The Big Sleep years ago and then proceeded to read three of his books back to back. We have made a decision early on to only focus on the positives – there’s plenty of Chicago news out there to scare and terrify you. The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time - Mystery Writers of America show list info. We’ve rounded up some of the best detective novel series of all time. Repeatedly voted one of the best mystery books of all time, The Daughter of Time offers an intriguing twist on the detective genre. The sixth book in the series, it expands the role of tall, handsome dandy detective Cotton Hawes, who transferred from the upscale 30th Precinct to the much grittier central 87th Precinct of Isola, a metropolis that stands in as a very-lightly-fictionalized version of New York City. CoolThingsChicago is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. It practically invented the popcorn shout “The butler! Of the 55 books in McBain’s sprawling 87th Precinct series, Killer’s Payoff has to be the best in the series and one of the best murder mystery books. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s immortal protagonist Sherlock Holmes lived primarily in the pages of short stories, of which Doyle wrote dozens. It was the butler who did it!” (Or was it …?). They work in a seedy underbelly of racism, bigotry, and corruption where there is no real justice, even when a killer gets caught. from $14.99, 21 new from $7.68, 20 new The central plot starts as a quest for a monastery to claim the bones of long-dead St. Winifred as relics to enhance the power and healing capabilities of the clerics. Double Whammy builds its unlikely premise on a PI hired by a champion bass fisherman to expose a rival bass fisherman as a cheat. The Origin by Dan Brown. Many credit this series for popularizing the mystery genre. Often called “The Queen of Mystery,” Agatha Christie is at her best in this classic whodunit novel. If you don’t, then you should probably just switch genres. Whereas The Moonstone lives in the minds and pens of its letter-writing main characters, Hammett uses the opposite technique in The Maltese Falcon—and, incredibly, it works just as well. Set at the outbreak of World War I, this classic adventure mystery is a wonderful example of a tried-and-true formula: The ordinary man thrust into extraordinary situations. So good places for source material, basically. How did the author write such compelling, realistic spy fiction? Nicholas Petrie took the Iraq War era by storm with this explosive novel about the consequences and intrigues of men returning from a deadly foreign debacle. Using bestseller lists, Amazon rankings, and Goodreads ratings, Stacker has compiled a list of the 100 best thriller novels of all time. The Best Cozy Mystery Series 1. If courtroom drama isn’t your cup of tea then, well, it’s not. The series takes you back to the ’80s, when it was started, and follows Kinsey Millhone: a twice divorced, childless ex-cop turned California PI. Neely was just past 50 when the first of her four mystery novels was published. finishes the job. Many titles can be found in both lists. Few book series have all included books on the bestseller list, much less all sixteen! #4 In the Woods, Tana French. A complicated figure, Richard III has nevertheless always been implicated in the disappearance of the princes, since the cunning king most directly benefited from it. — but standing the test of time is the best litmus test for a book. Or … killers? This first novel by Chandler is one of the high water marks for 20th-century noir writing, and yes, it was the source material for The Big Lebowski. In True Confessions, Dunne cast a bleak retro-noir story in a 1977 book, inspired by the 1947 “Black Dahlia” incident, wherein a young woman was found brutally murdered in a park in Los Angeles in a case that was never solved. Barbara Neely came to writing fiction almost exactly halfway through her life, which ended the very month of this writing. There are 25 books in this Alphabet murder mystery series because each book is a letter of the alphabet—except for Z because Sue Grafton passed away after Y was published. 10 Best Mystery Books of All Time Life is all about challenges, riddles and our thrive to explaining the impossible and that’s exactly what mystery is, something puzzling, mind-boggling and difficult to understand, these challenges excite our glial cells and neurotransmitters, thrill … An intrigue of disappearances, illicit sex, forbidden literature, and more murder unfurls before William, as he tracks down a conspiracy that may be linked to prophecies of the apocalypse and the coming of the Antichrist. 1. from $9.55, The Best Fantasy Novels to Lose Yourself in This Year, The 40 Best Baby Books for New Parents in 2021, Top 14 Marketing Books Every Marketer Should Read in 2021, 22 Best Artificial Intelligence Books to Read in 2021, 10 Tips to Get Your First Remote Web Developer Job in 2021, 2- The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, 4- The Deep Blue Good-by by John D. MacDonald, 6- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré, 7- True Confessions by John Gregory Dunne, 9- The Secrets of Harry Bright by Joseph Wambaugh, 11- The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, 12- A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters, 16- The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey, 17- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. from $8.00, 28 new This is one of the best murder mystery books I have read. It’s also the first novel to star Petrie’s recurring protagonist Peter Ash, a veteran on the run from the demons of his foreign service, only to find those demons chasing him back home. Read 1930’s The Maltese Falcon and you’ll little wonder why. A word of warning: Once you start into the dark, seedy world of Phillip Marlowe, the flawed protagonist of this and many other classic noir mysteries by Chandler, master of the genre, you’re probably going to get sucked in deep. from $15.18, 2 new But Christie’s 1939 mystery novel (which doesn’t feature her famous detective protagonist Hercule Poirot and rather acts as a standalone story) endures because it is one of the best mystery books of all time. A good example is the Sherlock Holmes series, which includes some of the best books to read. Discover the best Mystery Series in Best Sellers. If you love a great mystery, then these classics need to in your queue, if not already on your nightstand. Hammett was a master of the genre largely because he had lived it himself, serving as a Pinkerton agency detective for a number of years. 20 Best Book Series Ever It seems we all love a great series - we can't get enough of the characters we fall in love with and can't wait to see what happens next. A century before George R.R. from $11.29, 15 new Spade finds himself in a race with a whole cast of dangerous characters on a scavenger hunt littered with red herrings and dead ends, cast in one of the best mystery books of all time. The book introduced the steely Sam Spade, a detective who never misses a detail and rarely misses a shot. A lengthy cast of ex-con petty criminals would just love to see Maximum Bob put in his place, and as Maximum Bob throws his weight around as a petty tyrant and lecherous seducer, it’s hard to blame him. Admittedly, John Grisham has cranked out a number of formulaic books that don’t warrant too much excitement, but this, his debut novel, is a fine read. 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