Classic Crime Fiction Curriculum Challenge

19 January, 2010

Rob Kitchen of The View From the Blue House has set a challenge to name 10 crime classics (pre-1970) that all crime afficianados ought to read in his Classic Crime Fiction Curriculum Challenge on his blog.

Crime fiction is my favourite genre so I could hardly ignore this challenge, could I?

I like making lists, but I also tend to get all panicky thinking I’ve missed out something incredibly important (since I read most of these titles many years ago.)

So I would recommend, in no particular order:

1) Malice Aforethought by Francis Isles
2) The Tattoo Murder Mystery by Akimitsu Takagi
3) Busman’s Holiday by Dorothy L. Sayers
4) Sweet Danger by Margery Allingham
5) Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
6) Waking the Moon by Gladys Mitchell
7) And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
8 ) The Bride Wore Black by Cornell Woolrich
9) Arsenne Lupin, Gentleman-Thief by Maurice Leblanc
10) Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E.W. Hornung

Of course there’s also Georgette Heyer, Edmund Crispin and E.C. Bentley. I haven’t read them yet but plan to remedy the situation as soon as I’m back from holiday.

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2 Responses to “Classic Crime Fiction Curriculum Challenge”


  1. I haven’t read any classic crime fiction which I think always seems odd as I’m always watching crime adaptations/shows on the telly. What would be your recommendation for a beginner?

    • chasing bawa Says:

      I would probably start with the classic golden age crime novels of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh and Margery Allingham. There are a lot of titles out there and everyone has their favourites, but many people like to start with their first books. For more contemporary crime novels, I would recommend Tana French, Elizabeth George, Ian Rankin, Susan Hill and Fred Vargas.


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