The Best Mystery Books of All Time 

Mystery novels are one of the best books out there simply because you can play detective as you read them. Half of the fun is guessing who the killer is! It is a battle of wits as the author tries to mislead you until the protagonist solves the case. This made us want to create a list of the best books of all time so keep reading to find out which ones made our list. 

We all know Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective but he is not the only one. There have been countless detectives that have continued the tradition and it has led to some amazing novels. Who doesn’t love a detective that can find a lead with little to go on?  

The Best Mystery Books of All Time
The Best Mystery Books of All Time

The Best Mystery Books of All Time 

  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie 
  • The Rebecca Notebook: and Other Memories by Daphne du Maurier 
  • The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris 
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson 
  • The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler 
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins 
  • Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon 
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco 
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle 
  • The Alienist by Caleb Carr 
  • The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins 
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins 
  • In the Woods by Tana French 
  • The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett 
  • Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown 
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith 
  • The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey 
  • Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow 
  • Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley 
  • Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane 
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty 
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré 
  • The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth 
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote 
  • Anatomy of a Murder by John D. Voelker 
  • Killing Floor by Lee Child 
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides 
  • One for the Money by Janet Evanovich 
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie 
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón 
  • A Morbid Taste for Bones by Edith Mary Pargeter 
  • A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle 
  • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin 
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 
  • The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett 
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt 
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon 
  • The Firm by John Grisham 
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain 
  • The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler 
  • 1st to Die by James Patterson 

The King and Queen of Mystery

This list includes timeless novels such as The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle and Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Doyle and Christie have shaped the genre and their imprint is seen on many novels that made the list.  

Another author on the list that I enjoyed a lot is Dashiell Hammett. His novels capture the early 1900’s atmosphere perfectly and his stories are always action packed and well written. The list includes classics and more modern books that captured the attention of the masses.  


That is all for our best mystery books of all-time list. What books that didn’t make the list should have made it? Let us know in the comments below. Until next time, happy reading! 

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11 thoughts on “The Best Mystery Books of All Time 

  1. thedamari says:

    I loved “The Woman in White” and feel too many people have forgotten it. I’m glad to see it on the list.

  2. MI6 says:

    Did John le Carré have more Achilles heels than he had feet? John le Carré may have been arguably the best writer ever in the espionage genre but was he the perfect spy? No and for more on him as an imperfect spy do see TheBurlingtonFiles website and read an intriguing news article dated 31 October 2022.

    Some mavericks in MI6 called Pemberton’s People thought David Cornwell was a bit of a couch potato. Mind you, just because ex-spy/historian Hugh Trevor-Roper condescendingly described John le Carré’s work as “rich flatulent puff” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read the epic raw and noir fact-based spy novel Beyond Enkription in The Burlington Files series. It’s a must read for espionage cognoscenti.

  3. Sandy Blevins says:

    Intensity by Dean Koontz should be on the list!

  4. Anonymous says:

    What about Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers, Michael Innis, Patricia Wentworth?

  5. Nope says:

    Best mysteries are those I like. Each of us has a different list. Which doesn’t mean you list is wrong.

  6. Cesar Esteban Diaz Diaz says:

    I think The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is much better than Tinker Taylor…

  7. Cesar Esteban Diaz Diaz says:

    I also like The Glass Key much more than The Thin Man.

  8. Cesar Esteban Diaz Diaz says:

    I completely agree, The Mask of Dimitrios is a neglected masterpiece.


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