Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Fifty Greatest Crime Writers

For the next month or so, my posting will probably be somewhat erratic while I focus on finishing Bad Boy. There will be a post for every day; I'm just not sure when each one will be posted.

As an example, I am posting my Tuesday morning post here on Monday afternoon at 1:10 PM.

The London Times took on the thankless task of naming The Fifty Greatest Crime Writers. While I don't necessarily agree with the order, they did include most of the names I would have listed.

Here's their list:

1. Patricia Highsmith

2. Georges Simenon

3. Agatha Christie

4. Raymond Chandler

5. Elmore Leonard

6. Arthur Conan Doyle

7. Ed McBain

8. James M. Cain

9. Ian Rankin

10. James Lee Burke

11. Dennis Lehane

12. P.D. James

13. Dashiell Hammett

14. Jim Thompson

15. Sjowall and Wahloo

16. John Dickson Carr

17. Cornell Woolrich

18. Ruth Rendell

19. Ross Macdonald

20. James Ellroy

21. Charles Willeford

22. Dorothy Sayers

23. John Harvey

24. Wilkie Collins

25. Francis Iles

26. Manuel Vasquez Montalban

27. Karin Fossum

28. Val McDermid

29. Edgar Allan Poe

30. Derek Raymond

31. George Pelecanos

32. Margery Allingham

33. Minette Walters

34. Carl Hiaasen

35. Walter Mosley

36. Reginald Hill

37. Michael Dibdin

38. Patricia Cornwell

39. Scott Turow

40. Dick Francis

41. Edmund Crispin

42. Alexander McCall Smith

43. Andrea Camilleri

44. Harlan Coben

45. Donna Leon

46. Josephine Tey

47. Colin Dexter

48. Nicholas Blake

49. Henning Mankell

50. Sara Paretsky

The list is heavily weighted toward Western writers. While I was glad to see Scandinavian and Italian entries, I've got to believe there are Eastern and Far Eastern writers of crime fiction out there, too.

Two Americans I would like to have seen on the list are Lawrence Block and Michael Connelly. While I'm a huge fan of Harlan Coben and would expect to see him on a future list, I'm not sure I would have put him on this one now. Same for Alexander McCall Smith.

The Times has links to each of the names on the list on their Times Online website here, explaining their rationale in making their choices. The thumbnail sketches are wonderful. Read at least one or two, and I promise you'll read more.

1 comment:

Jay Hudson said...

Maya, I heartily agree that Lawrence Block should be on the list. I have also found his writing books to be very helpful.
Jay Hudson