Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's a Crime! Top 50 Crime Writers List.

I just love lists! The 3 best books of the past month. The 10 best books of the year. The top 25 favorite books of all time. Whether it's making up my own list of bests or seeing others' lists, I can't pass up a list.

On April 18, 2008, The Times Online published an article listing the"Top 50 Crime Writers" but I only just saw it. To say I was surprised not to see Michael Connelly and Rex Stout on the list is an understatement. To say I was disappointed that Cornwell and McCall Smith were on the list instead is similarly understated. But, as everyone knows, there's no accounting for taste in reading as well as everything else in life.

Anyway, turns out I've read (or tried to read) the work of 20 out of the 50: Paretsky, Tey, Coben, Crispin, Cornwell, Hill, Mosley, Allingham, Poe, Collins, Sayers, Rendell, Sjowall & Wahloo, James, Lehane, McBain, Doyle, Christie, and Simenon. McCall Smith was the one I tried but didn't enjoy. I'm particularly fond of the novels of Tey, Crispin, Mosley, Sayers, Sjowall & Wahloo, and Christie.

So, how many of these icons have you read? And who is/are your favorite(s)?:
From The Times Online
April 18, 2008

The 50 Greatest Crime Writers

1. Patricia Highsmith
Rule-breaking master of amorality
2. Georges Simenon
The Trojan horse of foreign crime-writing
3. Agatha Christie
The original Queen of Crime
4. Raymond Chandler
The most profound of pulp writers
5.Elmore Leonard
The Dickens of Detroit
6. Arthur Conan Doyle
Creator of the ultimate hero-and-sidekick team
7. Ed McBain
Thrilling writer of snap-and-crackle dialogue
8. James M. Cain
Godfather of Noir
9. Ian Rankin
Edinburgh’s gritty crime laureate
10. James Lee Burke
American spinner of bleakly lyrical tales
11. Dennis Lehane
A tender craftsman with a tough centre
12. P.D. James
Prolific and cerebral grand dame of British crime
13. Dashiell Hammett
The man who dragged murder back into the alley
14. Jim Thompson
Revered creator of corrupt cops and sociopaths
15. Sjowall and Wahloo
The mother and father of Nordic crime
16. John Dickson Carr
King of the “locked room mystery”
17. Cornell Woolrich
Tortured pulp novelist known for Rear Window
18. Ruth Rendell
Criminal mastermind of unparalleled breadth and depth
19. Ross Macdonald
Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled heir
20. James Ellroy
The most literary of American crime writers
21. Charles Willeford
Aficianados’ favourite who is ripe for a break-through
22. Dorothy Sayers
Lord Peter Wimsey’s witty creator
23. John Harvey
The man behind the jazz-loving Nottingham cop Resnick
24. Wilkie Collins
Godfather of the detective novel
25. Francis Iles
Pseudonymous writer of radical plots
26. Manuel Vasquez Montalban
Intellectual gourmand whose fiction mapped Barcelona
27. Karin Fossum
Norway’s foremost cold-climate crime writer
28. Val McDermid
Influential author of high-grade “Tartan Noir”
29. Edgar Allan Poe
Mould-setter for the modern sleuth
30. Derek Raymond
Hard-drinking, hard-writing British crime legend
31. George Pelecanos
Energetic, music-loving social crusader
32. Margery Allingham
Golden Age sophisticate who can chill or charm
33.Minette Walters
Unflinching chronicler of humankind’s dark side
34.Carl Hiaasen
Rapid-fire satirist of Miami vices
35.Walter Mosley
A bold American voice, not afraid to tackle race
36. Reginald Hill
Playful creator of British favourites Dalziel and Pascoe
37.Michael Dibdin
Late, great ironist who investigated Italy’s corruption
38. Patricia Cornwell
Shrewd pioneer of gruesome pathology
39. Scott Turow
Legal thriller-writer famous for Presumed Innocent
40. Dick Francis
Former jockey and king of equestrian intrigue
41. Edmund Crispin
Elegant and accomplished Oxford plotter
42. Alexander McCall Smith
Scottish Professor whose Mma Ramotswe has won
hearts and minds
43 Andrea Camilleri
Italy’s foremost crime export
44. Harlan Coben
Mature metroplitan stylist loved for his twisting plots
45. Donna Leon
American explorer of the Venetian underworld
46. Josephine Tey
Acute 1940s author whose books describe the danger of love
47. Colin Dexter
Former classics teacher who found fame with Morse
48. Nicholas Blake
C. Day Lewis’ crime-writing foil
49. Henning Mankell
Swedish novelist with a bleak take of modern life
50. Sara Paretsky
Spirited creator of feminist sleuth VI Warshawski

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