Crime novels include murder mysteries, detective stories, and more. The genre concentrates on criminal activities and the investigation that goes along with them. Crime fiction offers a psychological influence on the readers as they provide them with the power of being the eyewitness and coming to a conclusion about the crime. It is also a great distraction for the readers from their personal lives. So, in this article, we are going to read about 10 classic crime novels that still thrill.
10 Classic Crime Novels that Still Thrill:
- The Night at the Crossroads – Georges Simenon
- Hag’s Nook – John Dickson Carr
- They Found Him Dead – Georgette Heyer
- The Death of a Ghost – Margery Allingham
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Agatha Christie
- The Saltmarsh Murders – Gladys Mitchell
- Whose Body? – Dorothy L Sayers
- The Kidnap Murder Case – S.S. Van Dine
- The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett
- The Dutch Shoe Mystery – Ellery Queen
The Night at the Crossroads – Georges Simenon
Maigret has been asking questions for seventeen hours to Carl Andersen as he was the obvious suspect in the story. But he did not confess a single thing – he is either a good liar or innocent. Or else, why was the corpse of a diamond merchant found at his alienated place? Why is Anderson’s sister always in her room? Why is everyone in Three Widows Crossroads keeping a secret? There are too many questions but no answers.
Hag’s Nook – John Dickson Carr
Lexicographer Dr. Gideon Fell is amusing Tad Rampole, a young American college graduate, at Yew Cottage, which is Gideon’s appealing residence in the English countryside. Within the sight of his study window, the ruins of Chatterham Prison are visible, landed high on a steep mountain cliff known as Hag’s Nook. The Chatham Prison’s land belongs to the Starberth family.
The eldest sons of this family must spend an hour each in the strange and mysterious Governor’s Room to inherit the family fortune. Tad is keen about this family as he met the beautiful and youthful Dorothy Starberth on the train from London. He eagerly agrees when Fell and Thomas Saunders, a local reverend asked him to accompany them to watch and wait for Martin Starberth, an heir of the family to complete his one hour in Governor’s room. One of the sons has met a premature end, will Martin’s turn come tonight?
They Found Him Dead – Georgette Heyer
Silas Kane’s sixtieth birthday party is spoiled by disagreement and dispute amongst his family and with the break of day, Kane is found deceased. The verdict says it’s a misadventure and Kane accidentally lost his path in the fog. But then Kane’s heir is shot and the next one on the line to inherit the fortune is threatened. Superintendent Hannasyde is called to investigate this case and the suspect, in the beginning, is an innocent 80-year-old woman but as the story goes he discovers that nothing is quite as it seems.
The Death of a Ghost – Margery Allingham
At the former home of Jon Lafcadio, one of the greatest artists of the Edwardian period who did about 18 years, the annual ceremony to disclose a painting which he left behind is disturbed by a murder. His family members were suspected but with no evidence. So, when once again murder visits ‘Little Venice’. Albert Campion must do everything in his power to bring justice.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Agatha Christie
Christie’s debut novel was the first to introduce Hercule Poirot, her notably odd Belgian detective. Poirot is a refugee of the Great War, who has settled near Style Court, in England. Styles Court is the country estate of the elderly Emily Inglethorp, Poirot’s affluent sponsor. When Emily is poisoned and the people in power are mystified. Hercule puts his astonishing investigating skills to work. The suspects are abundant, including Emily’s husband, stepsons, family friend, longtime companion, and a specialist on poisons from London. Everyone is distressed to keep their secrets to themselves but it is not easy to keep up a secret when Hercule is involved as the investigator.
The Saltmarsh Murders – Gladys Mitchell
When the vicar’s wife got to know that her unmarried housemaid is pregnant – a full-time Freudian psychoanalyst and amateur detective, Mrs. Bradley investigate finding out the story behind this mysterious pregnancy. This book by Mitchell has been hugely applauded as a part of the Golden Age of detective fiction.
Whose Body? – Dorothy L Sayers
This is the very first book of Sayers where the character of Lord Peter Wimsey was introduced. In this story, Wimsey has lately become keen on criminal investigation as his hobby but he does it privately. An architect named Thipps finds a corpse in a bathtub stark naked but wearing a pair of prince-Nez. The suspected victim, in the beginning, was Sir Reuben Levy, as he disappeared in enigmatic circumstances and the case of his absurd disappearance is in the hands of Charles Parker who happens to be Wimsey’s friend. When it became clear that it was not Levy’s corpse that they found in the bathtub, Wimsey joins his friend in this investigation. So, how is he going to find out the real murderer?
The Kidnap Murder Case – S.S. Van Dine
A member of the rich Kenting family is abducted, and the suspicion of Philo Vance took him to the ‘Purple House’, the victim’s place on NY’s 86th street. The family’s gem collections and an enigmatic ransom note both play an essential part in the case which results in the suicide of the murderer with the involvement of Vance.
The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett
Miss Wonderley hired Sam Spade to track down her sister who has eloped with the contemptible Floyd Thursby. Sam Spade’s partner in the investigation Miles Archer tried to take a step forward with the investigation but was shot dead. Later Thursby was also found dead. And after these two murders, Sam Spade was considered the suspect. Later in the story, it will be clear that it was never about the elopement but about a black statuette that has extensive value.
The Dutch Shoe Mystery – Ellery Queen
Friends and relatives of Abigail Doorn, the most famous and richest woman in America are waiting with their bated breath to find out about the outcome of an ongoing operation. The surgeon who will operate is one of the best on the East Coast. But when the sheet was removed from the body, it was Abigail’s corpse strangled to death with the help of a picture wire. Who could have done this horrific operation?
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