This list was compiled by Howard Haycraft and published in 1941 in Murder for Pleasure: The Life and Times of the Detective Story. The list was prepared for “unpretentious detective story fans who may care to assemble for their own pleasure ‘cornerstone’ libraries of the best and most influential writing in the medium.” The titles were published 1841-1938. See also the Haycraft-Queen Cornerstones.


Margery Allingham Death of a Ghost. 1934
Eric Ambler A Coffin for Demetrios. 1939
Frederick Irving Anderson The Book of Murder. 1930
H.C. Bailey Call Mr. Fortune. 1920
H.C. Bailey The Red Castle. 1932
Robert Barr The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont. 1906
G.R. Benson (Lord Chanwood) Tracks in the Snow. 1906
E.C. Bentley Trent's Last Case (or The Woman in Black) 1913
Anthony Berkeley The Poisoned Chocolates Case. 1929
Earl Derr Biggers The House Without a Key. 1925
Nicholas Blake The Beast Must Die. 1938
Ernest Bramah Max Carrados. 1914
John Dickson Carr The Arabian Nights Murder. 1936
G.K. Chesterton The Innocence of Father Brown. 1911
Agatha Christie The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. 1926
G.D.H. Cole The Brooklyn Murders. 1923
Wilkie Collins The Moonstone. 1868
Freeman Wills Crofts The Cask. 1920
Freeman Wills Crofts Inspector French's Greatest Case. 1924
Clemence Dane, Helen Simpson Re-enter Sir John. 1932
Charles Dickens Bleak House. 1853
Charles Dickens The History of Edwin Drood. 1870
Carter Dickson The Plague Court Murders. 1934
Arthur Conan Doyle The Sign of the Four. 1890
Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. 1894
Arthur Conan Doyle The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. 1894
Arthur Conan Doyle The Hound of Baskervilles. 1902
Arthur Conan Doyle The Return of Sherlock Holmes. 1905
Arthur Conan Doyle The Valley of Fear. 1915
Arthur Conan Doyle His Last Bow. 1917
Arthur Conan Doyle The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes. 1927
Mignon G. Eberhart The Patient in Room 18. 1929
J.S. Fletcher The Middle Temple Murder. 1918
R. Austin Freeman The Red Thumb Mark, 1907
R. Austin Freeman The Singing Bone. 1912
David Frome The Hammersmith Murders. 1930
Jacques Futrelle The Thinking Machine (or The Problem of Cell 13). 1907
Emile Gaboriau L'Affaire Lerouge. 1866
Emile Gaboriau Monsieur Lecoq. 1869
Erle Stanley Gardner The Case of the Sulky Girl. 1933
Anna Katherine Green The Leavenworth Case. 1878
Dashiell Hammett The Maltese Falcon. 1930
Frances Noyes Hart The Bellamy trial. 1927
Richard Hull The Murder of My Aunt. 1935
Francis Iles (Anthony Berkeley) Before the Fact. 1932
Michael Innes Lament for a Maker. 1938
Ronald A. Knox The Viaduct Murder. 1925
Maurice Leblanc The Eight Strokes of the Clock. 1922
Gaston Leroux The Mystery of the Yellow Room. 1908
Mrs. Belloc Lowndes The Lodger. 1913
Philip MacDonald The Rasp. 1924
A.E.W. Mason At the Villa Rose. 1910
Ngaio Marsh Overture to Death. 1922
A.A. Milne The Red House Mystery. 1922
Arthur Morrison Martin Hewitt: Investigator. 1894
Emmuska Orczy The Old Man in the Corner. 1909
Eden Phillpotts The Grey Room. 1921
Edgar Allan Poe Tales. 1845
Melville Davisson Post Uncle Abner: Master of Mysteries. 1918
Ellery Queen  The Roman Hat Murder. 1929
Ellery Queen (as Barnaby Ross) The Tragedy of X. 1932
Arthur B. Reeve The Silent Bullet. 1912
John Rhode The Paddington Mystery. 1925
Mary Roberts Rinehart The Circular Staircase. 1908
Dorothy Sayers The Nine Tailors. 1934
Dorothy Sayers, Robert Eustace The Documents in the Case. 1930
Mabel Seeley The Listening House. 1938
Georges Simenon The Patience of Maigret. 1940
Rex Stout Fer de Lance. 1934
Phoebe Atwood Taylor The Cape Cod Mystery. 1931
S.S. Van Dine The Benson Murder Case (or The Canary Murder Case). 1927
Edgar Wallace The Mind of J.G. Reeder (or The Murder Book
of J.G. Reeder). 1926
R.A.J. Walling The Fatal Five Minutes. 1932
Carolyn Wells The Clue. 1909
Israel Zangwill The Big Bow Mystery. 1891