Saturday, August 06, 2011

Mystery Writer's Honor Roll (Revised)

What constitutes a mystery novel?

It's a tough question. For instance, among my pleasure reading are a whole lot of mystery novels which combine the classic "Who Done It" formula with action, adventure, espionage, police procedural, and so on. The latter group (for me) would include books written by John Buchan, Leslie Charteris, John D. MacDonald, Alistair MacLean, E. W. Hornung, and Donald Hamilton.

There are other writers who apply to the mystery form more complex and higher literary purposes. Among those that I cherish a great deal are Charles Dickens, G.K. Chesterton, and Wilkie Collins.

But for sheer pleasure in wanting to hang out with the hero and helping him or her solve the puzzle, I tend to the Golden Age mystery writers...and a few others. How about you? See how close your favorites line up with my latest version of the Mystery Writer's Honor Roll.

Eric Ambler

Earl Derr Biggers

John Dickson Carr
(and also those under his pen name Carter Dickson)

Raymond Chandler

Agatha Christie

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Dick Francis

Erle Stanley Gardner
(and also those under his pen name A. A. Fair)

Jonathan Gash

P.D. James

Ngaio Marsh

Dorothy Sayers

Josephine Tey