The Best Crime Authors Writers

The Best Crime Authors

10k votes 2.1k voters 149k views 130 items tags f p @

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.

Famous 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 top 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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  1. 1
    + 470
    - 80
    Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Crime Authors

    most listed
    Arthur Conan Doyle Eurasia, United Kingdom, Scotland

  2. 2
    + 564
    - 78
    Agatha Christie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Agatha Christie Torquay, United Kingdom

  3. 3
    + 468
    - 85

    the people's #1
    Pennsylvania, Area code 215, Contiguous United States

    ;
  4. 4
    + 244
    - 41
    Raymond Chandler is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Raymond Chandler Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

  5. 5
    + 230
    - 40


    Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    ;
  6. 6
    + 163
    - 44


    Maryland, United States of America

    ;
  7. 7
    + 244
    - 101
    John Grisham is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    John Grisham Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States of America

  8. 8
    + 160
    - 37
    Elmore Leonard is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Elmore Leonard New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

  9. 9
    + 206
    - 70


    Sweden, Eurasia, Västerbotten

    ;
  10. 10
    + 121
    - 36


    Poole, United Kingdom

    ;
  11. 11
    + 121
    - 38
    Robert B. Parker is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Robert B. Parker Springfield, Massachusetts, United States of America

  12. 12
    + 115
    - 26
    Graham Greene is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Graham Greene Berkhamsted, United Kingdom

  13. 13
    + 172
    - 54
    Harlan Coben is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Harlan Coben Newark, New Jersey, USA

  14. 14
    + 150
    - 30
    Dennis Lehane is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Dennis Lehane Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts

  15. 15
    + 138
    - 20
    Lee Child is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Crime Authors

    ranked low on reranks & added by AndrewSutherland
    Lee Child Coventry, United Kingdom

  16. 16
    + 139
    - 38
    James Lee Burke is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    James Lee Burke Houston, Texas, United States of America

  17. 17
    + 100
    - 33

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Sharon, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ;
  18. 18
    + 136
    - 32
    Robert Crais is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Robert Crais Independence, Louisiana, United States of America

  19. 19
    + 193
    - 124
    James Patterson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Crime Authors

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    James Patterson Newburgh, New York, United States of America

  20. 20
    + 92
    - 31


    Buffalo, New York, United States of America

    ;
  21. 21
    + 111
    - 23

    ranked low on reranks
    Oxford, England

    ;
  22. 22
    + 76
    - 18
    Jim Thompson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Jim Thompson USA, Oklahoma, Anadarko

  23. 23
    + 83
    - 22
    Dorothy L. Sayers is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Dorothy L. Sayers Oxford, United Kingdom

  24. 24
    + 118
    - 23
    David Baldacci is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Crime Authors

    ranked low on reranks
    David Baldacci Richmond, Virginia, United States of America

  25. 25
    + 103
    - 24
    James Ellroy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    James Ellroy Los Angeles, California, United States of America

  26. 26
    + 107
    - 27


    Glen Ellyn, Illinois, United States of America

    ;
  27. 27
    + 145
    - 69
    Patricia Cornwell is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Patricia Cornwell Miami, Florida, United States of America

  28. 28
    + 67
    - 31
    Erle Stanley Gardner is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Erle Stanley Gardner Malden, Massachusetts, United States of America

  29. 29
    + 71
    - 24


    Noblesville, Indiana, United States of America

    ;
  30. 30
    + 154
    - 25
    John Sandford is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Crime Authors

    ranked low on reranks
    John Sandford Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States of America

  31. 31
    + 85
    - 23
    Ross Macdonald is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Ross Macdonald Los Gatos, California, United States of America

  32. 32
    + 85
    - 32


    Eurasia, United Kingdom, London

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  33. 33
    + 142
    - 24

    ranked low on reranks
    Scotland

    ;
  34. 34
    + 84
    - 26
    Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Stephen King Portland, Maine, United States of America

  35. 35
    + 75
    - 31


    Chicago, Illinois, USA

    ;
  36. 36
    + 74
    - 22
    Daphne du Maurier is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Daphne du Maurier London, United Kingdom

  37. 37
    + 90
    - 36


    New York City, New York, United States of America

    ;
  38. 38
    + 63
    - 22


    Jackson, Tennessee, United States of America

    ;
  39. 39
    + 90
    - 25


    Stockholm, Sweden

    ;
  40. 40
    + 62
    - 13
    Ed Mcbain is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Ed Mcbain

  41. 41
    + 35
    - 4
    Ken Follett is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Crime Authors

    added by slaft
    Ken Follett Cardiff, United Kingdom

  42. 42
    + 42
    - 6
    Michael Crichton is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Crime Authors

    added by BillUnderwood
    Michael Crichton Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

  43. 43
    + 58
    - 26
    Elizabeth George is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Elizabeth George Warren, Ohio, USA

  44. 44
    + 77
    - 27


    San Diego, California, United States of America

    ;
  45. 45
    + 39
    - 17


    London, United Kingdom

    ;
  46. 46
    + 44
    - 23


    Uniontown, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ;
  47. 47
    + 45
    - 24


    East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ;
  48. 48
    + 45
    - 18
    Tony Hillerman is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Tony Hillerman Sacred Heart, Oklahoma, United States of America

  49. 49
    + 51
    - 16


    Jamaica, New York City, New York

    ;
  50. 50
    + 46
    - 23
    Mickey Spillane is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Crime Authors


    Mickey Spillane New York City, New York, United States of America

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