The Best Crime Authors Writers

The Best Crime Authors

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14,674 views 86 items 1,970 votes 369 voters 12 followers 8reranks
Best crime authors include classic mystery authors like the brilliant Agatha Christie to detective authors like Robert B. Parker, Robert Crais and pulp crime fiction authors like Jim Thompson. Assembling a comprehensive list of the most popular crime writers is a daunting task, but I'm taking a leap and giving it a shot. Be sure to vote for your favorite crime authors and if your personal favorite isn't on the list, at them!

Some of the best crime authors are able to combine just the right formula of psychological tension and mystery with cold, hard facts. The best crime novels offer up enough twists and turns to keep readers guessing until the very end. In a world where readers often demand instant gratification, keeping a crime book interesting until the final page is turned isn't an easy task to accomplish.

Crime authors I've included on this list include writers who've managed to churn out incredibly complex, entertaining mystery novels and detective books for decades, including Robert B. Parker, John le Carre and Graham Greene. Other, more contemporary crime and mystery writers have developed tremendously popular characters that readers eagerly follow through several novels (examples, you say? Jonathan Kellerman, Patricia Cornwell and Dennis Lehane come to mind immediately). Some of the best crime authors burned brightly, but didn't actually write more than a handful of brilliant crime fiction ('The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' author Steig Larsson, for instance). The number of actual novels produced doesn't always count - it's the quality of those books that make all the difference!

If you're a crime novel fan, chances are you've read most, if not all, of the crime authors on this list. If you're just getting into the genre, hopefully this list will provide a great guide. Happy reading!

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List Criteria: Crime writers, including any sub-genre of crime fiction including detective, mystery or hard-boiled

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  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 93
    Down 16

    most listed
    Arthur Conan Doyle

    1859 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 100
    Down 13

    ranked low on reranks
    Agatha Christie

    1890 More
    95
  3. 3
    Up 99
    Down 21

    the people's #1
    Michael Connelly

    1956 More
    95
  4. 4
    Up 39
    Down 8

    often listed
    Dashiell Hammett

    1894 More
    84
  5. 5
    Up 46
    Down 8
    1888 More
    83
  6. 6
    Up 45
    Down 6
    1809 More
    81
  7. 7
    Up 55
    Down 13

    ranked low on reranks
    Stieg Larsson

    1954 More
    77
  8. 8
    Up 48
    Down 17
    1955 More
    75
  9. 9
    Up 55
    Down 31

    ranked high on reranks &controversial
    James Patterson

    1947 More
    71
  10. 10
    Up 29
    Down 4
    1904 More
    70
  11. 11
    Up 16
    Down 4

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Erle Stanley Gardner

    1889 More
    69
  12. 12
    Up 43
    Down 10

    ranked low on reranks
    Dennis Lehane

    1965 More
    69
  13. 13
    Up 27
    Down 8

    often listed
    John D. MacDonald

    1916 More
    69
  14. 14
    Up 38
    Down 15
    1962 More
    69
  15. 15
    Up 29
    Down 10

    often listed
    Lawrence Block

    1938 More
    67
  16. 16
    Up 39
    Down 12
    1953 More
    67
  17. 17
    Up 35
    Down 11

    ranked low on reranks
    Elmore Leonard

    1925 More
    66
  18. 18
    Up 18
    Down 5

    ranked high on reranks
    Rex Stout

    1886 More
    66
  19. 19
    Up 35
    Down 14

    ranked low on reranks
    James Lee Burke

    1936 More
    65
  20. 20
    Up 23
    Down 6
    1906 More
    64
  21. 21
    Up 26
    Down 11

    ranked high on reranks
    Robert B. Parker

    1932 More
    63
  22. 22
    Up 27
    Down 10

    ranked low on reranks
    John le Carré

    1931 More
    63
  23. 23
    Up 19
    Down 5
    1893 More
    62
  24. 24
    Up 21
    Down 7

    often listed
    Ruth Rendell

    1930 More
    61
  25. 25
    Up 15
    Down 2
    1920 More
    61
  26. 26
    Up 31
    Down 20

    ranked high on reranks
    Patricia Cornwell

    1956 More
    59
  27. 27
    Up 13
    Down 6

    ranked high on reranks
    Ross Macdonald

    1915 More
    59
  28. 28
    Up 27
    Down 11

    ranked low on reranks
    Jonathan Kellerman

    1949 More
    59
  29. 29
    Up 12
    Down 4

    often listed
    John Dickson Carr

    1906 More
    58
  30. 30
    Up 14
    Down 3

    ranked low on reranks
    Kathy Reichs

    1950 More
    57
  31. 31
    Up 19
    Down 7

    ranked low on reranks
    James Ellroy

    1948 More
    57
  32. 32
    Up 13
    Down 4

    often listed
    Joseph Wambaugh

    1937 More
    56
  33. 33
    Up 23
    Down 10

    ranked low on reranks
    Jeffery Deaver

    1950 More
    55
  34. 34
    Up 15
    Down 4
    1907 More
    54
  35. 35
    Up 10
    Down 4

    often listed
    Thomas Harris

    1940 More
    52
  36. 36
    Up 6
    Down 4

    often listed
    Dick Francis

    1920 More
    51
  37. 37
    Up 17
    Down 8
    1960 More
    51
  38. 38
    Up 6
    Down 4
    No image

    ranked high on reranks
    A. C. Baantjer

    1923 More
    51
  39. 39
    Up 13
    Down 2

    ranked low on reranks
    Henning Mankell

    1948 More
    51
  40. 40
    Up 8
    Down 6

    ranked high on reranks
    Janwillem van de Wetering

    1931 More
    50
  41. 41
    Up 8
    Down 6

    ranked high on reranks
    Elizabeth George

    1949 More
    50
  42. 42
    Up 7
    Down 2

    ranked low on reranks
    Andrew Vachss

    1942 More
    50
  43. 43
    Up 13
    Down 5

    ranked low on reranks
    Tess Gerritsen

    1953 More
    49
  44. 44
    Up 6
    Down 2
    1906 More
    49
  45. 45
    Up 21
    Down 3

    ranked low on reranks
    Ian Rankin

    1960 More
    47
  46. 46
    Up 6
    Down 3
    1925 More
    46
  47. 47
    Up 5
    Down 4

    often listed
    Brian Freeman

    1963 More
    46
  48. 48
    Up 7
    Down 6

    ranked high on reranks
    Dan Brown

    1964 More
    45
  49. 49
    Up 10
    Down 6

    ranked low on reranks
    Laurie R. King

    1952 More
    45
  50. 50
    Up 19
    Down 4
    No image

    John Sandford

    45
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