The Best Crime Authors Writers
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7  reranks 2,666 votes 551 voters 40,216 views more info

The Best Crime Authors

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

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!


List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
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  1. 1
    Up 124
    Down 24

    most listed
    Arthur Conan Doyle

    1859 More
    100
  2. 2
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    1890 More
    94
  3. 3
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    the people's #1
    Michael Connelly

    1956 More
    93
  4. 4
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    1894 More
    84
  5. 5
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    1888 More
    83
  6. 6
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    1954 More
    76
  7. 7
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    1809 More
    74
  8. 8
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    1955 More
    72
  9. 9
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    1904 More
    69
  10. 10
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    1916 More
    69
  11. 11
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    1938 More
    68
  12. 12
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    1889 More
    67
  13. 13
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    1925 More
    67
  14. 14
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    Down 17
    1962 More
    66
  15. 15
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    James Patterson

    1947 More
    66
  16. 16
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    1936 More
    65
  17. 17
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    1965 More
    65
  18. 18
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    1932 More
    64
  19. 19
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    1886 More
    64
  20. 20
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    1906 More
    62
  21. 21
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    1931 More
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  22. 22
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    1953 More
    61
  23. 23
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    1893 More
    61
  24. 24
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    1930 More
    60
  25. 25
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    1906 More
    58
  26. 26
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    1937 More
    57
  27. 27
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    1920 More
    57
  28. 28
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    1915 More
    56
  29. 29
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    1948 More
    56
  30. 30
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    1949 More
    56
  31. 31
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    1940 More
    55
  32. 32
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    1950 More
    55
  33. 33
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    1907 More
    55
  34. 34
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    1950 More
    55
  35. 35
    Up 40
    Down 27
    1956 More
    54
  36. 36
    Up 11
    Down 6

    often listed
    Dick Francis

    1920 More
    53
  37. 37
    Up 19
    Down 4
    1948 More
    50
  38. 38
    Up 8
    Down 3

    often listed
    James Hadley Chase

    1906 More
    49
  39. 39
    Up 40
    Down 6

    John Sandford

    49
  40. 40
    Up 36
    Down 4

    Ian Rankin

    1960 More
    48
  41. 41
    Up 18
    Down 7
    1953 More
    48
  42. 42
    Up 21
    Down 10
    1960 More
    48
  43. 43
    Up 14
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    1949 More
    46
  44. 44
    Up 7
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    1926 More
    46
  45. 45
    Up 8
    Down 3
    1942 More
    46
  46. 46
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    1925 More
    45
  47. 47
    Up 7
    Down 5
    1923 More
    44
  48. 48
    Up 9
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    1931 More
    44
  49. 49
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    1963 More
    44
  50. 50
    Up 11
    Down 9
    1952 More
    43
  51. 82 +

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