If you’re a fan of lists, The Armchair Detective Book of Lists is pure gold. The Armchair Detective Book of Lists was first published in 1989. I have the “REVISED SECOND EDITION” published in 1995. My favorite entries “The Ten Best First Mystery Novels” by Marv Lachman, “Famous Authors Pick Their Favorite Mystery Writers and Novels,” and “The Most Fiedishly Ingenious Locked-Room and Impossible-Crime Novels of All Time” by Douglas G. Greene. This book is a browser’s delight! GRADE: A
Contents And the Winner Is . . . 1
1. The Mystery Writers of America Awards 3
The Grand Master Awards 4 The Edgar Allan Poe Awards 5
Best Novel 5
Best First Novel by an American Author 13
Best Paperback Original 22
Best Short Story 26
Best Fact Crime 38
Best Critical/Biographical Work 46
Best Young Adult Mystery 51
Best Juvenile Mystery 52
Best Episode in a Television Series 59
Best Television Feature or Miniseries 66
Best Motion Picture 71
Best Foreign Film 79
Best Play 80
Best Radio Drama 81
Outstanding Mystery Criticism 82
Special Edgars 84
The Ellery Queen Awards 88
The Robert L. Fish Memorial Awards 88
The Raven Awards 90
2. The Crime Writersâ Association of Great Britain Awards 97
3. Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Awards 106
4. Independent Mystery Booksellers Association’s Dilys Winn Awards 109
5. International Association of Crime Writers’ Hammett Awards 111
6. The Wolfe Pack’s Nero Wolfe Awards 112
7. The Bouchercon World Mystery Convention Anthony Awards 113
8. Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Awards 116
9. Mystery Readers International’s Macavity Awards 119
10. The Malice Domestic Agatha Awards 122
The Critics Have Their Say 125
11. The Haycraft-Queen Definitive Library of Detective-Crime-Mystery Fiction 127
12. Queen’s Quorum: The 125 Most Important Books of Detective-Crime-Mystery Short Stories, Selected by Ellery Queen 137
13. Otto Penzler’s Top 100 Sherlock Holmes Books 142
14. Robin W. Winks’s Personal Mystery Favorites 153
15. The Armchair Detective Readers’ Survey 164
16. The Drood Review’s Editors’ Choice Lists 167
17. The Sunday Times 100 Best Crime Stories, Selected by Julian Symons in 1957–58 170
18. The Hard-Boiled Dick: A Personal Checklist by James Sandoe 175
19. H. R. F. Keating’s 100 Best Crime and Mystery Books 181
20. Most Frequently Taught Crime and Mystery Writers 186
21. The Ten Best Mystery Reference Works, Selected by Jon L. Breen 188
22. The Ten Best First Mystery Novels, Selected by Marvin Lachman 190
23. James Corbett’s Ten Greatest Lines, Retrieved by William F. Deeck 192
24. The Most Fiendishly Ingenious Locked-Room and Impossible-Crime Novels of All Time, Selected by Douglas G. Greene 194
25. Firsts Magazine’s List of 25 Rapidly Appreciating Mystery Books 196
26. The Top Ten Mystery Movies of All Time, Selected by Ric Meyers 198
27. The Top Ten Mystery TV Series of All Time, Selected by Ric Meyers 201
Some Famous Authors Pick Their Favorite Mysteries 205
28. Famous Authors Pick Their Favorite Mystery Writers and Novels 207
29. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Favorite Sherlock Holmes Stories 220
Mystery Booksellers Make Their Recommendations 221
30. Mystery Booksellers’ Favorite Mystery Books/Authors 223
Mystery Organizations, Conventions, and Publications 239
31. Organizations 241
32. Author Fan Clubs and Newsletters 245
33. Mystery Fan Conventions 255
34. Mystery Periodicals 259


  1. Jerry House

    A great reference book! I’ve used it often in my search for specific titles. The spine on my copy is completely worn out, basically making the book a collection of loose-leaf pages. An updated edition is sorely needed, but since THE ARMCHAIR DETECTIVE is long gone this seems impossible. But wait…Kate is now the editor of MYSTERY SCENE so perhaps a MYSTERY SCENE BOOKS OF LISTS may someday appear. I can only hope.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    Good choice. I love these books of lists, even when you don’t agree with all of them. It’s good to have the information in one place.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, of course the lists stop at 1995, but I agree with you on having information in one place. This is a very useful book.

  3. Todd Mason

    Not entirely, but mostly, certainly…but they still have their charm, along with the 100+/- BEST ___ BOOKS…I’d always managed to niss this one…thanks for the citation!


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