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Mystery and Crime Fiction: Award Winners

A guide to printed and Internet sources of information on mystery and crime fiction, writers, organizations, and more.

Some Personal Favorites

I enjoy reading a wide range of mystery and crime fiction, but a few writers and their characters are closest to my heart. If you are new to the mystery field, try some of the following authors.

Robert B. Parker. His Spenser series is the best. I love the crisp Hemingwayesque dialog and the humor that relieves the tension and violence.

Dick Francis. If you like lots of action and think that violence in a novel is a good thing, then Francis is for you. I like his earlier works the best (Odds Against and Enquiry ares my favorites), but his later novels have much to recommend them. The reader learns about such disparate things as glassblowing and diamond trading while getting a realistic look at the horseracing business.

Martha Grimes. My all-time favorite detective is Grimes' Richard Jury, and I love the odd-ball supporting cast of characters. Why has he not been brought to the screen?

Agatha Christie. The queen of the cozy mysteries. All of her puzzles are riveting.

Joe Gores. Hard-boiled and hard to put down.

Ngaio Marsh. Who could resist Marsh's wonderful character, Scotland Yard's Chief-Inspector (later Chief Superintendent) Roderick Alleyn? The perfect classic English detective.

John Dunning. Dunning's character Cliff Janeway, the policeman turned used book store owner, has taught me a lot about book collecting while entertaining me with wonderfully plotted mysteries. 

J. A. Jance. Jance pens two different series, one featuring Arizona sheriff Joanna Brady and other Seattle detective J. P. Beaumont. Occasionally their paths cross, as in Fire and Ice (2009).

Tony Hillerman. Hillerman's mysteries offer an insightful look at Navajo culture paired with fascinating plots. The Navajo Nation made Hillerman an honorary member.

The Best: Guides to Classic and Award Winning Novels and Stories

Stop! You're Killing Me! Lists of nominees and winners of many different mystery/crime fiction awards.

Rollyson, Carl , ed. Critical Survey of Mystery and Detective Fiction. rev. ed. 5 vols. Ref PN3448 D4 C75 2008. List of award winners in volume 5.

Bouchercon. Named for writer Anthony Boucher, this site has a list of nominees and winners of the Anthony Awards, 1986-date.

 "Cozies: A Selective List" .

Hagen, Ordean A. Who Done It? A Guide to Detective, Mystery, and Suspense Fiction.  Z5917 D5 H3. Includes a guide to award-winning mysteries.

Malice Domestic. Includes a list of nominees and winners of the Agatha Award, 1998-date.

Mystery Writers of America. Includes a complete list of nominees and winners of the Edgar Awards. List of winners of major awards, 1986-date.

Oleksiw's 100 Classic British Mystery Novels. A list from Susan Oleksiw's 1998 book A Reader's Guide to the Classic British Mystery.

The Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time. A list published by the Crime Writers' Association in 1990.

Hillerman, Tony, ed. The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century. PS648 D4 B468 2000.

One Classic Jewel

While this guide is intended for general readers, one book is such a classic that fans as well as scholars should read it. Many of the essays it contains were written by leading writers of detective fiction, including Dorothy L. Sayers, Raymond Chandler, and John Dickson Carr.

Haycraft, Howard, ed. The Art of the Mystery Story: A Collection of Critical Essays. PN3448 D4 H28


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Suzanne Wise
Belk Library and Information Commons
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608-2026
tel: 828-262-2798

Curator of the Stock Car Racing Collection