Time’s 100 Best Mystery and Thriller Books of All Time

Two of the most entertaining genres have to be mystery and thriller novels. Often times, these genres overlap and find many books in both categories. Maybe that is why time combined them for their list of the 100 best mystery and thriller books of all time. Keep reading to find out which books made their list.

The Hound of the Baskervilles Sherlock Holmes book review mystery
The Hound of the Baskervilles book review

Unlike many lists, Time decided to list the books in chronological order. I think that is for the best because many lists often disregard newer books. This way, Time can include newer novels without angering people.

Combining mystery and thriller books into one list gives this list a lot of credibility in my opinion. We can all name ten great books in a genre but most people aren’t going to know the 87th best mystery book of all time.

This list makes it so that even a book on the backend of this list is a book that readers have heard of or even read. You can see the full list below!

  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green
  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
  • The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham
  • The Patient in Room 18 by Mignon G. Eberhart
  • The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  • The Conjure-Man Dies by Rudolph Fisher
  • A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh
  • Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
  • The Three Coffins by John Dickson Carr
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
  • Double Indemnity by James M. Cain
  • If He Hollers Let Him Go by Chester B. Himes
  • In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes
  • The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
  • Beat Not the Bones by Charlotte Jay
  • Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
  • A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin
  • The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
  • Beast in View by Margaret Millar
  • The Quiet American by Graham Greene
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John le Carré
  • The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo
  • Where Are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  • The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
  • A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine
  • The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji
  • The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
  • Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
  • Mean Spirit by Linda Hogan
  • Postmortem by Patricia Daniels Cornwell
  • Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell
  • Dead Time by Eleanor Taylor Bland
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg
  • When Death Comes Stealing by Valerie Wilson Wesley
  • Fade Away by Harlan Coben
  • Killing Floor by Lee Child
  • Lady Joker by Kaoru Takamura
  • Morituri by Yasmina Khadra
  • Out by Natsuo Kirino
  • Inner City Blues by Paula L. Woods
  • A Place of Execution by Val McDermid
  • Those Bones Are Not My Child by Toni Cade Bambara
  • Blanche Passes Go by Barbara Neely
  • Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong
  • The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø
  • Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
  • The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter
  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  • The Ice Princess by Camilla Läckberg
  • 2666 by Roberto Bolaño
  • Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
  • The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
  • Snakeskin Shamisen by Naomi Hirahara
  • Queenpin by Megan Abbott
  • What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
  • The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
  • Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
  • Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey
  • Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
  • Faithful Place by Tana French
  • The Plotters by Un-su Kim
  • The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • The Round House by Louise Erdrich
  • Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama
  • Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  • Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
  • Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett
  • My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
  • Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
  • The Need by Helen Phillips
  • The Other Americans by Laila Lalami
  • The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
  • Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha
  • Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby
  • Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole
  • Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
  • Survivor’s Guilt by by Robyn Gigl

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1 thought on “Time’s 100 Best Mystery and Thriller Books of All Time

  1. Annette Holman says:

    This is by far the most comprehensive list of mysteries I have seen. Thank you.


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