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What's your favorite all-time favorite mystery book


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Showing 26-50 of 508 posts in this discussion
Posted on Apr 14, 2009 11:50:56 AM PDT
Annie M. says:
Hi Will o' the Wisp,

One , and I stress one, of my favorite mystery books is Dialogues of the Dead by Reginald Hill. Not only was it a great story but it was the first of Mr. Hill's books that I had read. In it I was introduced to his great team of Andy Dalziel and Peter Pascoe. Since then I had to go back and find all Danziel & Pascoe that were written before, and then keep up with all that came out since . Lots of good reading!

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 12:17:53 PM PDT
I do love The Daughter of Time. . .but I really think Tey's Singing Sands is even better. And have you Tey lovers read An Expert in Murder, by Nicola Upson? It features Ms Tey as the detective - great fun!

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 1:43:21 PM PDT
Soyini says:
No way I can select one favorite, but here are a few:

A Long Line of Dead Men - Lawrence Block
Behold, Here's Poison - Georgette Heyer
Murder on the Nile - Agatha christie
Murder at the Vicarage - Agatha Christie
Lots of Agatha Christies
Degree of Guilt - Richard North Patterson

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 2:51:49 PM PDT
C. Hall says:
My favorite mystery, The Murder of Roger Ackroid by Agatha Christie. See if you don't cry out loud when the murderer is revealed. The mah-jonng game is hilarious.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 6:29:15 PM PDT
A book that really comes to mind was "Scavenger" by Tom Savage
Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt started me reading mysteries

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 6:46:29 PM PDT
MarC says:
The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry. But I'm totally biased; it was my first mystery outside of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.

Posted on Apr 18, 2009 11:15:56 AM PDT
Miranda says:
My all time favorite is Death Equity by Kimberly Bridges. You can buy the book right on Amazon. (Cheaper than Barnes & Noble.)

You can also learn more about the twisted mind of Kimberly Bridges on her website: http://www.deathequity.com.

Enjoy! It's a real page turner that will stun you.

Posted on Apr 18, 2009 1:06:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 18, 2009 1:15:06 PM PDT
I'm glad to see nobody else could pick just one. There are very few mysteries I re-read, but here are ones I do:

Gaudy Night and Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers
Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
Artists In Crime by Ngaio Marsh
Black Out by John Lawton
Thus Was Adonis Murdered by Sarah Caudwell
Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
March Violets by Philip Kerr
Kissed A Sad Goodbye by Deborah Crombie
Country of the Blind by Christopher Brookmyre
Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand by Fred Vargas
Winshaw Legacy: What A Carve-Up! by Jonathan Coe

Posted on Apr 18, 2009 10:37:05 PM PDT
Ron says:
Mine is Rim of the Pit by Hake Talbot.

Posted on May 5, 2009 2:56:53 PM PDT
hI

Well, I finally came to a stopping place with my list of authors and their mystery books gleaned from different threads of these forums. I have stopped at 327 authors and more than that in titles (some authors were mentioned with more than one book title).
I tried to put it on my blog (itsamystery4me.com) but since it is in a grid form, I couldn't put it there. So, if anyone wants a copy of this list, please send me an email at
itsamystery4me@aol.com and I'll send it to you. I don't know what else to do with something so big. If you have any suggestions please feel free to tell me. This list also has a third column with comments on what kind of mystery (cozy, thriller, gory, etc.) and reader reviews. It was quite an undertaking but way too big for most postings. I could give you just a list of the books on here or just a list of the authors, if anyone wants that. Let me know. Thanks,

Will o'

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2009 4:11:02 PM PDT
My favorite too

Posted on May 5, 2009 4:25:22 PM PDT
I can't pick a single book, but I really really like the Alex Delaware novels by Jonathan Kellerman. A great mix of mystery, realism, psychology, and violence. Also, Kellerman's physical descriptions of various scenes are so good that I used to give them to my English composition students as examples of how to evoke a mood with detail alone.

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2009 6:13:13 PM PDT
Hi, Michael

I am the one that posted that long list of favorite books by forum readers. I would like to include your favorite but you didn't really give me a title by J Kellerman. Can't you pick just one. If not, I'll go online and pick one or two of his books and add them to the list. Would you like a copy of the complete list? I now have it ready to send to email addresses - can't oput it on the blog - too long (327 authors and even more titles). If so, send me an email to
itsamystery4me@aol.com.

Posted on May 5, 2009 10:37:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 5, 2009 10:41:23 PM PDT
Rhiannon says:
Michael Connelly's The Black Echo

the whole series is fantastic, but the first 4 are by far some of my favorite mysteries. Harry Bosch is the modern Noir detective to a T

as for teenage stuff, i never really cared for nancy drew, but my mom read me the Trixie Beldon (spelling?) series when I was young. I guess i always thought nancy was too prissy and proper, Trixie was a tomboy like me.

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2009 11:46:37 AM PDT
Susie says:
Hi Rhiannon,
Harry Bosch was one of the first series books I read, and I loved it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2009 9:19:35 PM PDT
sharp9 says:
Hello Will o',
Just happened upon this thread, and thought that I'd add my 2 cents. I certainly second the choices of Conan Doyle, Jonathan Kellerman as well as many others on the posts. However, if you have room on your list (or want to make another list), you might want to ilnclude the following:

"The Murders In The Rue Morgue" and "Gold Bug" by Edgar Allan Poe. Even though these are short stories, they are generally acknowledged as being the original works of the mystery genre, for which Poe is credited as having invented.

"The Moonstone" by Wilke Collins is the first full length mystery novel and a good read as well.

For sheer noirness, I'd suggest "The Lady In The Lake" and "Farewell My Lovely" by Raymond Chandler.

For something a little off beat, check out the works of Jim Thompson who frequently wrote in a "psychopathic first person narrative" point of view. Notewothy books from his ouvre include "The Killer Inside Me" and "The Grifters".

Another slightly different but great writer is James Ellroy who updates the "hard boiled" genre. Two fine examples of his craft are "The Big Nowhere", and "The Black Dahlia". The later is a period piece which he based upon the real-life murder of his own mother. This traumatic event eventually led to his career choice of writing after undergoing years of personal turmoil.

As far as series, I'd suggest any of the novels of Donna Leon, which are set in Venice, and follow the exploits of Commissario Brunetti. You might want to try "Blood From A Stone" or "Doctored Evidence". However, they can be addictive and turn one into an "armchair traveller".

My last suggestion is noirish novel with a supernatural twist. "Falling Angel" by William Hjortsberg is the basis for the film "Angel Heart" starring Mickey Rourke, and has an ending which will leave you reeling.

Posted on May 6, 2009 9:53:10 PM PDT
Rhiannon says:
I started reading the bosch books in high school. I really enjoyed Blood Work as well, and for some reason that one reminded me of a few of the Travis McGee series that I read. Found the McGee books in my mothers box of books, the same box also yeilded an old paperback copy of the bourne identity.

Posted on May 6, 2009 10:17:56 PM PDT
The best mystery books to read are anything by Sidney Sheldon (remember the Other Side of Midnight, Master of the Game, etc.) He is unbelieveable and never disappoints. Also my other most favorite author for mystery is James Patterson! There is nothing like his Alex Cross books. Remember Along Came A Spider? That is only a sampling of Patterson's Alex Cross books.

Posted on May 7, 2009 10:42:06 AM PDT
You got me thinking - I've read so many, which is my absolute favorite?

It's got to be something by the magnificent Agatha, but Poirot or Marple?

I'll have to settle on The ABC Murders. The end really got me. But Death on the Nile - I love that book.

Posted on May 9, 2009 10:14:09 AM PDT
Susie says:
Hi Pat
Just want to thank you again for all the work you did on putting together the best list I've ever seen!

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2009 11:09:06 AM PDT
I just recently finished reading Dog On It and I enjoyed it immensely. Writing the book from Chet's point of view was, to me, a brilliant concept. I'm a dog lover, so that probably had something to do with my enjoyment of the book. I'm also a mystery buff and it was a good mystery (not great), well-written, it moved quickly, and it was quite humorous. I definitely plan to read the others in the series.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2009 11:15:45 AM PDT
Would you like a copy of the most favorite Novel (not necessarily a mystery), the book that people voted was what turned them on to the road of addiction to the written word. That is not as long as the mystery list and it has the number of times other people voted for the same book so it's pretty interesting. I have also put together a list of websites where you can get free Kindle books and other accessories for the Kindle. Just let me know by writing to
itsamystery4me@aol.com, and I'll send you either/both lists. Thanks for sending me a thank you not - you can tell I have more free time than most people since I retired from the corporate world.
will o'

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2009 12:16:27 PM PDT
Beth E Ayers says:
Wow! - your tastes are like mine! Anything by Josephine Tey is great, but Daughter of Time is amazing. The Merlini books are also great to re-read - I've been trying to find the short story collections for ages. (In my price range, I mean).
If suddenly asked to name my favorite detective novel, the first book that leaps to mind is Dorothy Sayers' Murder Must Advertise. Her incomparable detective Lord Peter goes undercover in a 'twenties advertising agency to ferret out the workings of a drug ring, and in the process learns (and we learn with him) a great deal about advertising...very funny, and like all Ms. Sayers' books, highly literate.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2009 12:19:57 PM PDT
Beth E Ayers says:
Have you read Shirley Murphy's Joe Gray books? If you like books with cats featured prominently, you have to read these. The cat truly is the detective - do to some mysterious disturbance in The Force (possibly Welsh magic) he and his feline sweetie actually speak English, though only a couple of humans know it. The author clearly knows cats intimately and the protagonists don't do anything real cats couldn't do (except the speech, and I wouldn't be surprised if...)

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2009 12:31:10 PM PDT
dustman says:
Anything by Raymond Chandler but especially "The Little Sister" and "The High Window"
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Discussion in:  Mystery forum
Participants:  266
Total posts:  508
Initial post:  Apr 5, 2009
Latest post:  Nov 29, 2012

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