In January 2000, members of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association, a trade association for owners of businesses wholly or substantially devoted to the sale of mysteries, compiled a list of their 100 favorite mysteries of the 20th century. It was agreed that each author would appear on the list only once. The following table is the result, a list of the Booksellers’ 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Twentieth Century.

Author

Title

Year

Series Character(s)

Allingham, Margery

The Tiger in the Smoke

1952

Albert Campion

Ambler, Eric

A Coffin for Demetrios

1937

Charles Latimer

Armstrong, Charlotte

A Dram of Poison

1956

 

Atherton, Nancy

Aunt Dimity's Death

1992

Aunt Dimity

Ball, John

In the Heat of the Night

1965

Virgil Tibbs

Barnard, Robert

Death by Sheer Torture

1981

Perry Trethowan

Barr, Nevada

Track of the Cat

1993

Anna Pigeon

Blake, Nicholas

The Beast Must Die

1938

Nigel Strangeways

Block, Lawrence

When the Sacred Ginmill Closes

1986

Matthew Scudder

Brand, Christianna

Green for Danger

1945

Inspector Cockrill

Brown, Frederic

The Fabulous Clipjoint

1947

Ed and Am Hunter

Buchan, John

The Thirty-Nine Steps

1913

 

Burke, James Lee

Black Cherry Blues

1989

Dave Robicheaux

Cain, James M.

The Postman Always Rings Twice

1934

 

Cannell, Dorothy

The Thin Woman

1984

Ellie Haskell

Carr, John Dickson

The Three Coffins

1935

Dr. Gideon Fell

Caudwell, Sarah

Thus Was Adonis Murdered

1981

Hilary Tamar

Chandler, Raymond

The Big Sleep

1939

Philip Marlowe

Christie, Agatha

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

1926

Hercule Poirot

Connelly, Michael

The Concrete Blonde

1994

Harry Bosch

Constantine, K. C.

The Man Who Liked Slow Tomatoes

1982

Mario Balzic

Crais, Robert

The Monkey's Raincoat

1987

Elvis Cole

Crispin, Edmund

The Moving Toyshop

1946

Gervase Fen

Crombie, Deborah

Dreaming of the Bones

1997

Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James

Crumley, James

The Last Good Kiss

1978

C. W. Sughrue

Dickinson, Peter

The Yellow Room Conspiracy

1994

 

Doyle, Arthur Conan

The Hound of the Baskervilles

1901

Sherlock Holmes

DuMaurier, Daphne

Rebecca

1938

 

Dunning, John

Booked to Die

1992

Cliff Janeway

Elkins, Aaron

Old Bones

1987

Gideon Oliver

Evanovich, Janet

One for the Money

1994

Stephanie Plum

Finney, Jack

Time and Again

1970

 

Ford, G. M.

Who in Hell is Wanda Fuca?

1995

Leo Waterman

Francis, Dick

Whip Hand

1979

Sid Halley

Fremlin, Celia

The Hours Before Dawn

1959

 

George, Elizabeth

A Great Deliverance

1988

Thomas Lynley

Gilbert, Michael

Smallbone Deceased

1950

Inspector Hazelrigg

Grafton, Sue

“A” is for Alibi

1982

Kinsey Millhone

Graham, Caroline

The Killings at Badger's Drift

1987

Tom Barnaby

Grimes, Martha

The Man With the Load of Mischief

1981

Richard Jury

Hammett, Dashiell

The Maltese Falcon

1930

Sam Spade

Hare, Cyril

An English Murder

1951

 

Harris, Thomas

The Silence of the Lambs

1988

Hannibal Lecter

Hiaasen, Carl

Tourist Season

1986

 

Highsmith, Patricia

The Talented Mr. Ripley

1955

Tom Ripley

Hill, Reginald

On Beulah Height

1998

 

Hillerman, Tony

The Thief of Time

1988

Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee

Himes, Chester

Cotton Comes to Harlem

1965

Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson

Innes, Michael

Hamlet, Revenge!

1937

Inspector John Appleby

James, P. D.

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman

1972

Cordelia Gray

Kellerman, Faye

The Ritual Bath

1986

Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus

Kellerman, Jonathan

When the Bough Breaks

1985

Alex Delaware

King, Laurie

The Beekeeper's Apprentice

1994

Mary Russell

Langton, Jane

Dark Nantucket Noon

1975

Homer Kelly

Le Carre, John

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

1963

George Smiley

Lee, Harper

To Kill a Mockingbird

1960

 

Lehane, Dennis

Darkness, Take My Hand

1996

Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro

Leonard, Elmore

Get Shorty

1990

Chili Palmer

Lochte, Dick

Sleeping Dog

1985

Serendipity Dahlquist

Lovesey, Peter

Rough Cider

2001

 

MacDonald, John

The Deep Blue Good-by

1964

Travis McGee

MacDonald, Philip

The List of Adrian Messenger

1959

Anthony Gethryn

MacDonald, Ross

The Chill

1964

Lew Archer

Maron, Margaret

Bootlegger's Daughter

1992

Deborah Knott

Marsh, Ngaio

Death of a Peer

1940

Roderick Alleyn

McBain, Ed

Sadie When She Died

1972

87th Precinct

McClure, James

The Sunday Hangman

1977

Tromp Kramer

McCrumb, Sharyn

If I Ever Return, Pretty Peggy-O

1990

Spencer Arrowood

Millar, Margaret

Stranger in My Grave

1960

 

Mosley, Walter

Devil in a Blue Dress

1990

Easy Rawlins

Muller, Marcia

Edwin of the Iron Shoes

1977

Sharon McCone

Neel, Janet

Death's Bright Angel

1988

John McLeish

O'Connell, Carol

Mallory's Oracle

1994

Kathleen Mallory

Padgett, Abigail

Child of Silence

1993

Barbara Joan "Bo" Bradley

Paretsky, Sara

Deadlock

1984

V. I. Warshawski

Parker, Robert

Looking for Rachel Wallace

1980

Spenser

Perez-Reverte, Arturo

The Club Dumas

1997

 

Perry, Thomas

Vanishing Act

1995

Jane Whitefield

Peters, Elizabeth

Crocodile on the Sandbank

1975

Amelia Peabody

Peters, Ellis

One Corpse Too Many

1979

Brother Cadfael

Pronzini, Bill

Blue Lonesome

1996

 

Queen, Ellery

Cat of Many Tails

1949

Ellery Queen

Rendell, Ruth

No More Dying Then

1971

Reginald Wexford

Rice, Craig

The Wrong Murder

1940

John J. Malone

Rinehart, Mary Roberts

The Circular Staircase

1908

 

Robinson, Peter

Blood at the Root

1997

Alan Banks

Rosen, Richard

Strike Three You're Dead

1984

Harvey Blissberg

Sayers, Dorothy

Murder Must Advertise

1933

Lord Peter Wimsey

Sjowall, Maj and Per Wahloo

The Laughing Policeman

1970

Martin Beck

Stout, Rex

Some Buried Caesar

1939

Nero Wolfe

Tey, Josephine

Brat Farrar

1949

 

Thomas, Ross

Chinaman's Chance

1978

Artie Wu and Quincy Durant

Todd, Charles

A Test of Wills

1996

Ian Rutledge

Turow, Scott

Presumed Innocent

1987

 

Upfield, Arthur

The Sands of Windee

1931

"Bony" Bonaparte

Walters, Minette

The Ice House

1992

 

White, Randy Wayne

Sanibel Flats

1990

Doc Ford

Woolrich, Cornell

I Married a Dead Man

1948