List of Famous Crime Writers People

List of Famous Crime Writers

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List of famous crime writers, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top crime writers in the world? This includes the most prominent crime writers, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable crime writers is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic crime writers were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned crime writers.

The list you're viewing has a variety of people in it, like Patricia Cornwell and Patricia Highsmith.

From reputable, prominent, and well known crime writers to the lesser known crime writers of today, these are some of the best professionals in the crime writer field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous crime writers ever?" and "What are the names of famous crime writers?" then you're in the right place. (43 items)


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    Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, DBE was an English crime novelist, short story writer, and playwright. She also wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best known for the 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections she wrote under her own name, most of which revolve ...more

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    • Age: Died at 86 (1890-1976)
    • Birthplace: Torquay, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Poet, Novelist, Screenwriter, Writer, Playwright
    • Credits: Murder on the Orient Express, Witness for the Prosecution, And Then There Were None, Death on the Nile, Ten Little Indians, + more
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    Patricia Cornwell
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Patricia Cornwell is a contemporary American crime writer. She is widely known for writing a popular series of novels featuring the heroine Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a medical examiner. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies.more

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    • Age: age 59
    • Birthplace: Area code 786, Miami-Dade County, Florida, Area code 305, Florida, + more
    • Profession: Crime writer, Journalist, Novelist, Author, Writer
    • Credits: At Risk, The Front, A.T.F.
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    James Ellroy
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    Lee Earle "James" Ellroy is an American crime fiction writer and essayist. Ellroy has become known for a telegrammatic prose style in his most recent work, wherein he frequently omits connecting words and uses only short, staccato sentences, and in particular for the novels The Black Dahlia, The Big ...more

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    • Age: age 67
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Crime writer, Screenwriter, Essayist, Actor, Writer
    • Credits: L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia, Dark Blue, Street Kings, Rampart, + more
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    Robert B. Parker
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    Robert Brown Parker was an American crime writer. His most famous works were the novels about the private detective Spenser. ABC television network developed the television series Spenser: For Hire based on the character in the mid-1980s; a series of TV movies based on the character were also produced.more

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    • Age: Died at 78 (1932-2010)
    • Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States of America
    • Profession: Crime writer, Novelist, Writer
    • Credits: Appaloosa, Spenser: For Hire, A Man Called Hawk, Poodle Springs, Jesse Stone: Thin Ice, + more
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    Dashiell Hammett
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Samuel Dashiell Hammett was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories, a screenplay writer, and political activist. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade, Nick and Nora Charles, and the Continental Op. In addition to the significant influence his novels and ...more

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    • Age: Died at 67 (1894-1961)
    • Birthplace: Maryland, United States of America
    • Profession: Novelist, Writer
    • Credits: The Maltese Falcon, Miller's Crossing, The Thin Man, Watch on the Rhine, City Streets, + more
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    Edgar Wallace
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Richard Horatio Edgar Wallace was an English writer. Born into poverty as an illegitimate London child, Wallace left school at 12. He joined the army at 21 and was a war correspondent during the Second Boer War for Reuters and the Daily Mail. Struggling with debt, he left South Africa, returned to ...more

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    • Age: Died at 57 (1875-1932)
    • Birthplace: Greenwich, London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Crime writer, Journalist, Novelist, Screenwriter, Playwright
    • Credits: King Kong, King Kong, King Kong, What Have You Done to Solange?, Revenge of the Living Dead Girls, + more
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    Elmore John Leonard, Jr. was an American novelist and screenwriter. His earliest novels, published in the 1950s, were Westerns, but Leonard went on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers, many of which have been adapted into motion pictures. Among his best-known works are Get Shorty, Out ...more

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    • Age: Died at 88 (1925-2013)
    • Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
    • Profession: Crime writer, Novelist, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Author
    • Credits: Justified, Jackie Brown, 3:10 to Yuma, Out of Sight, Get Shorty, + more
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    Stieg Larsson
    Photo: Freebase

    Karl Stig-Erland "Stieg" Larsson was a Swedish journalist and writer. He is best known for writing the "Millennium trilogy" of crime novels, which were published posthumously. Larsson lived much of his life in Stockholm and worked there in the field of journalism and as an independent researcher of ...more

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    • Age: Died at 50 (1954-2004)
    • Birthplace: Sweden, Eurasia, Västerbotten, Skellefteå Municipality, Västerbotten County, + more
    • Profession: Crime writer, Journalist, Writer
    • Credits: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, The Girl Who Played with Fire
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    Patricia Highsmith
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist and short story writer, most widely known for her psychological thrillers, which led to more than two dozen film adaptations. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, has been adapted for stage and screen numerous times, notably by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. In ...more

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    • Age: Died at 74 (1921-1995)
    • Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America
    • Profession: Crime writer, Novelist, Cartoonist, Author, Writer
    • Credits: Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley's Game, The American Friend, Purple Noon, + more
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    Lynda La Plante
    Photo: Chris Jones/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Lynda LaPlante is a 1993 Edgar Award winning screenwriter.more

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    • Age: age 72
    • Birthplace: Liverpool, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Television producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Writer
    • Credits: Prime Suspect, Prime Suspect, Above Suspicion, Rentaghost, Widows, + more
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    Ann Rule
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Ann Rule is an American true crime writer of such works as The Stranger Beside Me, about serial killer and former Samaritans co-worker Ted Bundy, and Small Sacrifices, about child murderer Diane Downs.more

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    • Age: age 85
    • Birthplace: Lowell, Michigan, United States of America
    • Profession: Crime writer, Author
    • Credits: And Never Let Her Go, Too Late to Say Goodbye, The Hunt for the I-5 Killer, Small Sacrifices, Ann Rule Presents: The Stranger Beside Me, + more
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    Ruth Rendell
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    Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, is an English author of thrillers and psychological murder mysteries. Rendell's best-known creation, Chief Inspector Wexford, is the hero of many popular police stories, some of them successfully adapted for TV. But Rendell has also generated a ...more

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    • Age: age 85
    • Birthplace: South Woodford, London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Crime writer, Politician, Novelist
    • Credits: Live Flesh, The Bridesmaid, La Cérémonie, Alias Betty, The New Girlfriend
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    Michael Connelly
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    Michael Connelly is an American author of detective novels and other crime fiction, notably those featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch and criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller. His books, which have been translated into 39 languages, have garnered him many awards. Connelly was the ...more

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    • Age: age 59
    • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Profession: Crime writer, Editor, Journalist, Novelist, Author
    • Credits: The Lincoln Lawyer, Blood Work, Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story
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    Dorothy B. Hughes
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    Dorothy B. Hughes was an American crime writer and literary critic. Hughes wrote fourteen crime and detective novels, primarily in the hardboiled and noir styles, and is best known for the novels In a Lonely Place and Ride the Pink Horse. Born Dorothy Belle Flanagan in Kansas City, Missouri, she studied ...more

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    • Age: Died at 89 (1904-1993)
    • Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States of America
    • Profession: Crime writer, Literary critic, Journalist, Novelist, Screenwriter
    • Credits: In a Lonely Place, Ride the Pink Horse, The Corpse Came C.O.D., The Fallen Sparrow
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    Henning Mankell
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    Henning Mankell is a Swedish crime writer, children's author and dramatist, best known for a series of mystery novels starring his most famous creation, Inspector Kurt Wallander.more

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    • Age: age 67
    • Birthplace: Sweden, Stockholm County, Eurasia, Stockholm, Stockholm Municipality
    • Profession: Crime writer, Author, Writer, Playwright
    • Credits: Wallander, Sidetracked, One Step Behind, Borowski - 16 - Borowski und der vierte Mann, Wallander: Innan frosten, + more
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    Ian Rankin
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    Ian James Rankin, OBE, DL, FRSE is a Scottish crime writer, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels.more

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    • Age: age 55
    • Birthplace: Eurasia, United Kingdom, Cardenden, Fife, United Kingdom, + more
    • Profession: Crime writer, Novelist, Writer
    • Credits: Rebus, Reichenbach Falls
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    Kathy Reichs
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Kathleen Joan Toelle "Kathy" Reichs is an American crime writer, forensic anthropologist and academic. She is a professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; as of 2013 she is on indefinite leave. She divides her work time between the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et ...more

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    • Age: age 67
    • Birthplace: Chicago metropolitan area, Illinois, Chicago, United States of America, United States, + more
    • Profession: Crime writer, Author
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    Robert Barnard is an Edgar Award nominated author.more

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    • Age: Died at 77 (1936-2013)
    • Birthplace: Essex, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Crime writer, Lecturer, Critic
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    Val McDermid
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    Val McDermid is a Scottish crime writer, best known for a series of suspense novels featuring Dr. Tony Hill.more

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    • Age: age 60
    • Birthplace: Kirkcaldy, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Crime writer, Author, Writer
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    Jeffery Deaver is an American mystery/crime writer. He has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University and originally started working as a journalist. He later practiced law before embarking on a successful career as a best-selling novelist.more

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    • Age: age 65
    • Birthplace: Glen Ellyn, Illinois, United States of America
    • Profession: Crime writer, Journalist, Novelist, Writer
    • Credits: The Bone Collector, The Devil's Teardrop
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