The Guardian- 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read- Crime Novels

1000 novels everyone must read

In 2009 The Guardian compiled the 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read list, and although I would question the veracity of some of the titles selected in the crime section as strictly ‘crime’ novels, the list provides a good number of essential reads for any discerning crime fan. (As I am eager to read many of those mentioned I have highlighted in bold my reading progress so far for my personal reference).

Alexandre Dumas: The Count of Monte Cristo (1844-45)

Wilkie Collins: The Woman In White (1860)

Mary E Braddon: Lady Audley’s Secret (1862)

Fyodor Dosteoevsky: Crime and Punishment (1866)

Emile Zola: Therese Raquin (1867)

Wilkie Collins: The Moonstone (1868)

José Maria de Eça de Queiroz: The Crime of Father Amaro (1875)

Mark Twain: Pudd’nhead Wilson (1894)

Rudyard Kipling: Kim (1901)

Erskine Childers: The Riddle of the Sands (1903)

Edgar Wallace: The Four Just Men (1905)

Joseph Conrad: The Secret Agent (1907)

Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre: Fantômas (1911)

Joseph Conrad: Under Western Eyes (1911)

 EC Bentley: Trent’s Last Case (1913)

John Buchan: The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915)

John Buchan: Greenmantle (1916)

E Phillips Oppenhein: The Great Impersonation (1920)

 Dorothy L Sayers: Whose Body? (1923)

Theodore Dreiser: An American Tragedy (1925)

Anthony Berkeley: The Poisoned Chocolates Case (1929)

Dashiell Hammett: Red Harvest (1929)

Dashiell Hammett: The Maltese Falcon (1930)

William Faulkner: Sanctuary (1931)

Dashiell Hammett: The Glass Key (1931)

Frances Iles: Malice Aforethought (1931)

Georges Simenon: The Madman of Bergerac (1932)

Dorothy L Sayers: Murder Must Advertise (1933)

James M Cain: The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934)

E Phillips Oppenheim: The Strange Boarders of Palace Crescent (1934)

John Dickson Carr: The Hollow Man (1935)

Graham Greene: A Gun For Sale (1936)

Michael Innes: Death at the President’s Lodging (1936)

John Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men (1937)

Nicholas Blake: The Beast Must Die (1938)

Graham Greene: Brighton Rock (1938)

Eric Ambler: The Mask of Dimitrios (1939)

Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep (1939)

James Hadley Chase: No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1939)

Geoffrey Household: Rogue Male (1939)

Richard Wright: Native Son (1940)

Patrick Hamilton: Hangover Square (1941)

James M Cain: Double Indemnity (1943)

Graham Greene: The Ministry of Fear (1943)

Nelson Algren: The Man with the Golden Arm (1949)

WR Burnett: The Asphalt Jungle (1949)

Graham Greene: The Third Man (1950)

Patricia Highsmith: Strangers on a Train (1950)

Daphne du Maurier: My Cousin Rachel (1951)

Josephine Tey: The Daughter of Time (1951)

Raymond Chandler: The Long Goodbye (1953)

Ian Fleming: Casino Royale (1953)

Patricia Highsmith: The Talented Mr Ripley (1955)

Ed McBain: Cop Hater (1956)

Chester Himes: A Rage in Harlem (1957)

Friedrich Dürrenmatt: The Pledge (1958)

Richard Condon: The Manchurian Candidate (1959)

Ian Fleming: Goldfinger (1959)

Jim Thompson: The Getaway (1959)

Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird (1960)

Len Deighton: The Ipcress File (1962)

PD James: Cover Her Face (1962)

Thomas Pynchon: V (1963)

Ian Fleming: You Only Live Twice (1964)

Georges Simenon: The Blue Room (1965)

Thomas Pynchon: The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)

Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö: The Laughing Policeman (1968)

Michael Crichton: The Andromeda Strain (1969)

Mario Puzo: The Godfather (1969)

Frederick Forsyth: The Day of the Jackal (1971)

George V Higgins: The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1972)

John le Carré: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974)

Elmore Leonard: 52 Pick-Up (1974)

Thomas Harris: Black Sunday (1975)

Colin Dexter: Last Seen Wearing (1976)

Ruth Rendell: Judgment in Stone (1977)

Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose (1980)

Robert Ludlum: The Bourne Identity (1980)

Martin Cruz Smith: Gorky Park (1981)

Thomas Harris: Red Dragon (1981)

 Patrick Süskind: Perfume (1985)

Paul Auster: The New York Trilogy (1985-86)

Carl Hiaasen: Tourist Season (1986)

PD James: A Taste for Death (1986)

Ruth Rendell: Live Flesh (1986)

Barbara Vine: A Dark-Adapted Eye (1986)

Stephen King: Misery (1987)

Barbara Vine: A Fatal Inversion (1987)

Sara Paretsky: Toxic Shock (1988)

John Grisham: A Time to Kill (1989)

Patricia Cornwell: Postmortem (1990)

Michael Crichton: Jurassic Park (1990)

Reginald Hill: Bones and Silence (1990)

Elmore Leonard: Get Shorty (1990)

Walter Mosley: Devil in a Blue Dress (1990)

Bret Easton Ellis: American Psycho (1991)

Barbara Vine: King Solomon’s Carpet (1991)

Robert Harris: Fatherland (1992)

Peter Høeg: Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow (1992)

Stephen King: Dolores Claiborne (1992)

Donna Tartt: The Secret History (1992)

Henning Mankell: Sidetracked (1995)

George Pelecanos: The Big Blowdown (1996)

Ian McEwan: Enduring Love (1997)

Ian Rankin: Black & Blue (1997)

Orhan Pamuk: My Name Is Red (1998)

Ian Rankin: The Hanging Garden (1998)

Colin Dexter: The Remorseful Day (1999)

Jonathan Lethem: Motherless Brooklyn (1999)

David Peace: Nineteen Seventy-Four (1999)

Peter Carey: True History of the Kelly Gang (2000)

David Peace: Nineteen Seventy Seven (2000)

Arnaldur Indridason: Silence of the Grave (2001)

John le Carré: The Constant Gardener (2001)

Sarah Waters: Fingersmith (2002)

John Grisham: The King of Torts (2003)

Sara Paretsky: Blacklist (2003)

CJ Sansom: Dissolution (2003)

George Pelecanos: Hard Revolution (2004)

Cormac McCarthy: No Country for Old Men (2005)

RJ Ellory: A Quiet Belief in Angels (2007)

Richard Price: Lush Life (2008)

Ian Rankin: Exit Music (2007)

4 thoughts on “The Guardian- 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read- Crime Novels

  1. Where oh where is Hilda Lawrence? “A Time to Die” and “Death of a Doll”especially. Also “Warrant for X,” by Phillip MacDonald. Read these for a real menacing treat.

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