My 2016 Crime Reading Challenge

There seems to be a lot of reading challenges floating around on the internet at the moment, but most don't appeal to me. So I decided to create my own.

In 2009, the Guardian published a list of what it considered the best 1000 books ever published. Part of this list included the best crime novels. For some reason they chose 147 ( according to my count but I ran out of fingers.)

Now, it felt to me that the compiler had never read anything past 1963. There was no Peter James or Jo Nesbo. No Val McDermid or Peter May. And not a snifter of Stuart MacBride or Benjamin Black. Whilst historical crime hardly got a look in. Where was Lindsey Davis or Ellis Peters, Isobel Robertson or S J Parris, M J Trow or Paul Doherty?

Nonetheless, it's a good list if a little old-fashioned. I've posted it below with the books I've already read in block letters. Apparently, I have read 60 of them already. Perhaps that shows a certain penchant for criminal behaviour.

Here's my challenge. I'm going to read 10 books from this list, preferably from authors I haven't seen before. I'll post the reviews on this site. I'm going to see if they really deserve their place on the list and determine if there are other books that deserve a place.

At the end of the year, I'm going to post my 50 best crime novels. I can't be arsed to find 147.

Why don't you have a go. Are these books really the best crime novels ever written?

My first book will be Dead Lagoon by Michael Dibdin. I haven't read him before, si to should be interesting. I'll post the review when I'm finished.



The 147 Best Crime Novels (according to the Guardian)


The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren

Fantomas by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre

The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler

Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler

Journey into Fear by Eric Ambler

The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster

Trent's Last Case by EC Bentley

The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley

The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake

Lady Audley's Secret by Mary E Braddon

The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke

The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

Greenmantle by John Buchan

The Asphalt Jungle by WR Burnett

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain

Double Indemnity by James M Cain

True History of the Ned Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

No Orchids for Miss Blandish by James Hadley Chase

The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad

Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Poetic Justice by Amanda Cross

The Ipcress File by Len Deighton

Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter

The Remorseful Day by Colin Dexter

Ratking by Michael Dibdin

Dead Lagoon by Michael Dibdin

Dirty Tricks by Michael Dibdin

A Rich Full Death by Michael Dibdin

Vendetta by Michael Dibdin

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Pledge by Friedrich Durrenmatt

The Crime of Father Amado by José Maria de Eça de Queiroz

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

LA Confidential by James Elroy

The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy

A Quiet Belief in Angels by RJ Ellroy

Sanctuary by William Faulkner

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Goldfinger by Ian Fleming

You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming

The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

A Gun for Sale by Graham Greene

The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene

The Third Man by Graham Greene

A Time to Kill by John Grisham

The King of Torts by John Grisham

Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton

The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

Fatherland by Robert Harris

Black Sunday by Thomas Harris

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen

The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V Higgins

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

Bones and Silence by Reginald Hill

A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes

Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg

Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household

Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles

Silence of the Grave by Arnadur Indridason

Death at the President's Lodging by Michael Innes

Cover Her Face by PD James

A Taste for Death by PD James

Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman

Misery by Stephen King

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

Kim by Rudyard Kipling

The Constant Gardener by John le Carre

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

52 Pick-up by Elmore Leonard

Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

Cop Hater by Ed McBain

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan

Sidetracked by Henning Mankell

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

The Great Impersonation by E Phillips Oppenheim

The Strange Borders of Palace Crescent by E Phillips Oppenheim

My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

Toxic Shock by Sara Paretsky

Blacklist by Sara Paretsky

Nineteen Seventy Four by David Peace

Nineteen Seventy Seven by David Peace

The Big Blowdown by George Pelecanos

Hard Revolution by George Pelecanos

Lush Life by Richard Price

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

V by Thomas Pynchon

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

Black and Blue by Ian Rankin

The Hanging Gardens by Ian Rankin

Exit Music by Ian Rankin

Judgment in Stone by Ruth Rendell

Live Flesh by Ruth Rendell

Dissolution by CJ Sansom

Whose Body? by Dorothy L Sayers

Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Le Sayers

The Madman of Bergerac by Georges Simenon

The Blue Room by Georges Simenon

The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo

Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The League of Frightened Men by Rex Stout

Perfume by Patrick Suskind

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

The Getaway by Jim Thompson

Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine

A Fatal inversion by Barbara Vine

King Solomon's Carpet by Barbara Vine

The Four Just Men by Edgar Wallace

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Native Son by Richard Wright

Therese Raquin by Emile Zola