The Ten Best Crime Books of All Time

Crime novels are a pleasure read and the best ones make the day fly by. There have been many classics in the crime genre and we will be listing the ten best crime books of all time. Keep reading to find out which books made the list!

We covered the best crime books of all time and without limitations, it was easier to make that list. But when only selecting ten, the job becomes much harder. That is why we will be making this list by counting a book’s impact as well as books that I enjoyed.  

The Ten Best Crime Books of All Time
The Ten Best Crime Books of All Time

The Ten Best Crime Books of All Time

  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1902
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, 1965
  • The Godfather by Mario Puzo, 1969
  • The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, 2003
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, 1934
  • The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, 1929
  • The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, 1988
  • Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi, 1974
  • The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver, 1997
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, 1939

Timeless Novels

We couldn’t leave out Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie when making this list. Christie has two books on the list and even then that seems inadequate. She has many amazing novels and you can rotate them and it would still feel right.

Other classic novels on the list include The Godfather, The Silence of the Lambs, Helter Skelter, and The Maltese Falcon. These are novels that are different from each other and were still able to shake us to our core. Great writing is appreciated because of books like these.

Lastly, I want to discuss In Cold Blood because it made the genre of true crime a thing with its success. Helter Skelter would not have existed if this book was never published. With that said, it needs to be mentioned that the book does add fictitious events to make the book feel more real. Capone was able to make a real-life murder into amazing book that raises important points.


This list is not trying to represent every crime book that has ever been published. Rather, it is a biased list that covers amazing crime books that deserve the label of the ten best crime books in my opinion. There will be other opinions that differ and that is okay. Until next time, happy reading!

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5 thoughts on “The Ten Best Crime Books of All Time

  1. Bookstooge says:

    I’ve always viewed Silence of the Lambs as more of a psychological thriller kind of book than a straight up crime novel.
    How do you define what is a crime novel versus some other genre? I realize that can be murky territory so I’m not looking some a razor sharp dividing line, but at least a general outline of how you assign a book that genre.

    1. Ahaqir says:

      That is a tough question. It falls under a lot of categories and I’m not sure if it technically is a crime novel. It has all the hallmarks of a crime novel but does read as a thriller. I might replace it with another book.

      1. Bookstooge says:

        Not trying to pressure you 🙂
        I was just curious what your criteria is….

  2. Jim Reicker says:

    Does the omission of Raymond Chandler mean he has moved from genre writing to mainstream literature?


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