Monday, October 16, 2006

Ten greatest detective novels

Critic David Montgomery has raised some buzz with his list of ten greatest detective novels. I'll join the chorus too, even though I should be sleeping by now (have to up early in the morning and have still some real work to do). Has to have a detective.. that might prove difficult.

Um, let's see... The first are easy:

Raymond Chandler: Farewell, My Lovely
Ross Macdonald: The Zebra-Striped Hearse

Then it gets more difficult:

James Ellroy: The Big Nowhere (if for nothing else, then for the wolverine)
Thomas B. Dewey: The Mean Streets
Michael Collins (aka Dennis Lynds): Act of Fear
Howard Browne: The Taste of Ashes
Floyd Mahannah: The Golden Widow
Ben Benson: The Broken Shield
Al Conroy: Devil In Dungarees

Okay, that's nine already. I'm making this up as I go. Ellroy is the newest one, huh? I thought Scott Phillips's The Ice Harvest is one of the greatest crime novels ever, but there's no detective in it. Dave Zeltserman's Fast Lane is great, but one of the top 10..? There are lots of great new detective novels out there, but I really don't know... Would a Western do? The protagonist in Merle Constiner's The Short-Trigger Man (Ace 1964) sure acts like a detective. And he wipes the floor with the heroes of the books I mentioned.

I may have another list tomorrow...


Dave Zeltserman said...

Hi Juri:

Came here via Crimespot, and I'll tell you, it's a great honor/ego boost for anyone to even give Fast Lane consideration for a top 10 list. Thanks, man.


Dave Zeltserman said...

btw. on my list of top 10 detective books I'd have Hammett's Maltese Falcon and Red Harvest, Jonathan Latimer's The Lady in the Morgue and Solomon's Vineyards, Ross Macdonald's The Chill, Rex Stout's The League of Frightened Men (more to get Rex Stout on the list--any number of his books would do--one of the all-time great crime fiction writers), Spillane's "I, the Jury" (the book that got me hooked on crime fiction)--the rest of the list I'd have to put some more thought into.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Oh, my, was I happy to see The Lady in the Morgue on someone's list. I've read a lot of Latimer lately, including five of the six books about Bill Crane, and The Lady in the Morgue is the best of them.

Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder is More Fun Away from Home"

Juri said...

It's been several years since I read Lady in the Morgue, but I thought it was only good entertainment, but maybe I should reread it. The Fifth Grave/Solomon's Vineyard I've read only in an abridged translation. (I mean the translation of the abridged US version.)