Here’s a list of best mystery novels of the 20th century. They include detective fiction, crime fiction, classics and espionage novels.
Best Mystery Novels Of The 20th Century:
- The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
- Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
- The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
- A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
- The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers
- Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
- Thief in the Night by William Sears
- The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
- Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
- The Club of Queer Trades by G K Chesterton
- The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler
- Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie
- Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
- The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers
- Ashenden by W Somerset Maugham
- Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles
- Death of a Ghost by Margery Allingham
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
This book introduces Raymond’s iconic detective Philip Marlowe in a gripping mystery about a gay pornographer who is trying to blackmail a General with his daughter’s pictures.
Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
Doyle’s finest Sherlock Holmes novel follows his journey to the moors, in order to help a family apparently cursed with the hounds. Setting and characterization make this a masterpiece.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
This famous Hercule Poirot novel takes place aboard a train, wherein one passenger is found dead with twelve wounds on his body. It falls upon the Belgian detective to solve the murder mystery.
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
In this mystery, a Miss Wonderley calls upon our detective Sam Spade to help her find her eloped sister. But she might just be the hunter than the prey, and Spade is in danger.
A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George
Scotland Yard detective Thomas Lynley, here, attempts to decipher a murder mystery set in a haunted place, wherein the daughter admits to murdering her father.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
This true crime doubles up as a mystery as Capote deconstructs and rebuilds the events of the gruesome murder of the Clutter family, and its aftermath.
The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers
In this book, the rector of a parish town invites the lead detective Lord Peter to investigate a murder involving a dismembered corpse.
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
At the centre of this thriller mystery is the cryptographer Susan Fletcher and her efforts to rescue the NSA from an ingenious code that traps it.
Thief in the Night by William Sears
This is a mythological mystery that centres around the return of Christ, which was expected to happen around the 1840s.
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
This sci fi mystery unfolds in a world where biophysicists warn the world that spaceship sterilization techniques are unsafe. However, people ignore it, with dire consequences.
Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
Alex Cross, the detective, attempts to track a serial killer with victims such as a family, a missing girl, a school teacher and more.
The Club of Queer Trades by G K Chesterton
This is a collection of classic short stories by Chesterton, in which every protagonist has an offbeat career, often related to crime.
The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler
This anthology consists of Chandler’s essay on writing crime and detective fiction and eight of his short story masterpieces.
Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie
This is a collection of short stories, wherein a wealthy spinster dies, and the blame falls on her hastily made heir. Though innocent, everyone frames him, and a mystery unfolds.
Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
This follows a man called Continental Op, who wants to bring justice to the city of Poisonville, at any cost.
The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers
This is a masterpiece of espionage literature, wherein two sailors realize Germany’s ploy to invade England.
Ashenden by W Somerset Maugham
This is a collection of short stories, which brings to light Maugham’s past as a government spy as he delves into themes of espionage.
Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles
The setting: a tennis party at the Bickleighs. The plot: murderous thoughts the host has about his wife.
Death of a Ghost by Margery Allingham
This book involves an Edwardian period painter, his ruthless ambition and several murders that take place at his unveiling event.