Puget Sound English Department

May 22, 2009

Top 100 Detective-Novels (According to Whom?)

Filed under: Literature — O. @ 12:09 am

bogart(Image: Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon–one hand on a cigarette, the other on the black bird, also known as “the stuff dreams are made of.”  John Huston‘s script borrowed heavily, to say almost the least, from Dashiell Hammett’s novel; much dialogue was lifted directly.)

Summer can be a good time to catch up on your heavy reading. Dickens’ Bleak House and Tolstoy’s War and Peace come to mind.  It can also be a good time to do no reading, although some of us have a hard time wrapping our minds around that concept.  And it can be a good time to catch up on your reading of detective fiction. Of course, if you’re already enthralled with detective fiction, you know that every season is a good in which to read books and stories from the genre.

David Lehman, who wrote The Perfect Murder: A Study of Detection (1989), created a list of 100 “top” detective novels, based on the novels’ own worth but also on their importance to the development of the genre–their influence.  The list–and lots of other material related to detective fiction–may be found via the following link:


…And do remember to pay attention to the dog that doesn’t bark in the night-time.

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