In the Appendix to his Detective Fiction, A Collection of Critical Essays,  Robin W. Winks includes "A Personal List of Favorites." He writes that “the following list of titles is provided … as a point of entry; authors are limited to no more than three titles. The editor regards all of the books as good, although for a variety of reasons. Not all have contributed to the history of the field and not all are written with equal grace, but each has substantial merit, whether for plot, well-realized setting, characterization, detection, or even trickery. For the most part, books from the early classic period (pre-1930) are omitted.”


Aldyne, Nathan Cobalt. 1982
Allbeury, Ted A Choice of Enemies. 1973
Allingham, Margery The Crime at Black Dudley. 1929
Allingham, Margery Dancers in Mourning. 1937
Allingham, Margery The Tiger in the Smoke. 1952
Alverson, Charles Godey's Last Stand. 1975
Ambler, Eric Background to Danger. 1937
Ambler, Eric A Coffin for Demetrious. 1939
Ambler, Eric Journey into Fear. 1940
Anderson, James Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy.1975
Angus, Sylvia Death of a Hittite. 1969
Asimov, Isaac Murder at the ABA. 1976
Bagley, Desmond High Citadel. 1965
Bagley, Desmond Running Blind. 1970
Bagley, Desmond The Enemy. 1976
Ball, John In the Heat of the Night. 1965
Banks, Oliver The Rembrandt Panel. 1980
Barnard, Robert Death of an Old Goat. 1977
Barnard, Robert Death of a Literary Widow. 1979
Behn, Noel The Kremlin Letter. 1966
Benson, Ben The Running Man. 1957
Bentley, E.C. Trent's Last Case. 1912
Bergman, Andrew The Big Kiss Off of 1944. 1974
Berkeley, Andrew Trial and Error. 1937
Beste, R. Vernon Repeat the Instructions. 1967
Blake, Nicholas The Abominable Snowman. 1940
Blake, Nicholas Minute for Murder. 1947
Block, Lawrence The Sins of the Fathers. 1976
Borges, Jorge Luis Ficciones. 1962
Boucher, Anthony The Case of the Seven of Calvary. 1937
Box, Edgar Death in the Fifth Position. 1952
Brand, Christianna Green for Danger. 1945
Brean, Herbert Wilders Walk Away. 1948
Brown, Frederic The Fabulous Clipjoint. 1947
Brown, Frederic The Lenient Beast. 1956
Buchan, John The Thirty-Nine Steps. 1915
Buchan, John John Macnab. 1925
Buchan, John Mountain Meadow. 1941
Buckley, William F. Saving the Queen. 1976
Buckley, John F. Mongoose R.I.P. 1987
Buell, John The Pyx. 1959
Burgess, Anthony Tremor of Intent. 1966
Burns, Rex Angle of Attack. 1979
Burns, Rex Ground Money. 1986
Byrom, James Or Be He Dead. 1958
Cain, James M. The Postman Always Rings Twice. 1934
Cain, James M. Double Indemnity. 1936
Carr, A.H.Z. Finding Maubee. 1971
Carr, John Dickson The Three Coffins. 1935
Carr, John Dickson The Case of the Constant Suicides. 1941
Caudwell, Sara Thus Was Adonis Murdered. 1981
Chandler, Raymond The Big Sleep. 1939
Chandler, Raymond Farewell, My Lovely. 1940
Chandler, Raymond The Lady in the Lake. 1953
Chesterton, G.K. The Innocence of Father Brown. 1911
Childers, Erskine The Riddle of the Sands. 1903
Christie, Agatha The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. 1926
Christie, Agatha The Little Niggers. 1939
Christie, Agatha The Patriotic Murders. 1940
Clancy, Tom The Hunt for Red October. 1985
Clifford, Francis The Third Side of the Coin. 1965
Clifford, Francis All Men Are Lonely Now. 1967
Coates, Robert M. Wisteria Cottage, 1948
Cody, Liza Bad Company. 1982
Coles, Manning Drink to Yesterday. 1940
Coles, Manning A Toast to Tomorrow. 1941
Constantine, K.C. The Blank Page. 1974
Constantine, K.C. The Man Who Likes Slow Tomatoes. 1982
Courtier, S.H. Murder's Burning. 1967
Creed, David The Trial of Lobo Icheka. 1971
Crispin, Edmund The Moving Toy Shop. 1946
Crofts, Freeman Wills The Cheyne Mystery. 1926
Crofts, Freeman Wills Death of a Train. 1946
Cross, Amanda Poetic Justice. 1970
Cross, Amanda Death in a Tenured Position. 1981
Crumley, James The Last Good Kiss. 1978
Cunningham, E.V. Sylvia. 1960
Curtiss, Ursula Out of the Dark. 1964
Davidson, Lionel Night of Wenceslas. 1960
Davidson, Lionel The Rose of Tibet. 1962
DeAndrea, William L. Killed in the Ratings. 1978
Deighton, Len The Ipcress File. 1962
Deighton, Len SS-GB. 1978
Derby, Mark The Sunlit Ambush. 1955
Dexter, Colin The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn. 1977
Dickinson, Peter The Glass-Sided Ant's Nest. 1968
Dickinson, Pater One Foot in the Grave. 1980
Dickinson, Peter Hindsight. 1983
Dodge, David The Long Escape. 1950
Douglass, Donald McNutt Rebecca's Pride. 1957
Duncan, Robert The Q Document. 1964
Eco, Umberto The Name of the Rose. 1983
Ellin, Stanley The Eighth Circle. 1958
Ellin, Stanley Very Old Money. 1985
Estleman, Loren D. The Glass Highway. 1983
Eustis, Helen The Horizontal. 1946
Fearing, Kenneth The Big Clock. 1946
Fish, Robert L. Pursuit. 1979
Fisher, Steve I Wake Up Screaming. 1941
Fleming, Ian From Russia with Love. 1957 
Follett, Ken Eye of the Needle. 1978
Forester, C.S. Payment Deferred. 1926
Forsyth, Frederick The Day of the Jackal. 1971
Francis, Dick Dead Cert. 1962
Francis, Dick Blood Sport. 1967
Francis, Dick Forfeit. 1969
Freeling, Nicholas Love in Amsterdam. 1962
Freeling, Nicholas Apres de ma Blonde. 1972
Gardner, Erle Stanley The Case of the Caretaker's Cat
Gardner, Erle Stanley The D.A. Draws a Circle. 1939
Gardner, Erle Stanley The Case of the Crooked Candle. 1944
Gardner, John The Liquidator. 1964
Garve, Andrew The Cuckoo-Line Affair. 1953
Garve, Andrew The Galloway Case. 1958
Garve, Andrew The Ascent of D-13. 1968
Gash, Jonathan The Judas Pair. 1977
Gault, William Campbell The Day of the Ram. 1956
Gifford, Thomas The Wind Chill Factor. 1975
Gilbert, Michael Death Has Deep Roots. 1951
Gilbert, Michael Death in Captivity. 1952
Gill, B.M. Death Drop. 1979
Goldman, William Marathon Man. 1974
Gordon, R.L. The River Gets Wider. 1974
Greene, Graham Stamboul Train. 1932
Greene, Graham Brighton Rock. 1938
Greene, Graham The Ministry of Fear. 1943
Greenleaf, Stephen Fatal Obsession. 1983
Grimes, Martha The Dirty Duck. 1984
Grubb, Davis The Night of the Hunter. 1953
Guthrie, A.B. Wild Pitch. 1973
Haggard, William The Telemann Touch. 1958
Haggard, William Venetian Blind. 1959
Haggard, William The Scorpion's Tail. 1975
Hall, Adam The Quiller Memorandum. 1965
Hall, Adam The Tango Briefing. 1973
Hall, Adam The Mandarin Cypher. 1975
Hall, Robert Lee Exit Sherlock Holmes. 1977
Hallahan, William The Search for Joseph Tully. 1975
Hamilton, Donald Death of a Citizen. 1960
Hamilton, Donald The Ravengers. 1964
Hammett, Dashiell Red Harvest. 1929
Hammett, Dashiell The Maltese Falcon. 1930
Hansen, Joseph Early Graves. 1987
Hare, Cyril An English Murder. 1951
Hart, Frances Noyes The Bellamy Trial. 1927
Haymon, S.T. Ritual Murder. 1982
Healy, Jeremiah The Staked Goat. 1986
Heard, H.F.A. A Taste for Honey. 1941
Herron, Shaun Through the Dark and Hairy Wood. 1973
Heyer, Georgette A Blunt Instrument. 1938
Higgins, George V. The Friends of Eddie Coyle. 1972 
Hill, Reginald Ruling Passion. 1973
Hill, Reginald Deadheads. 1984
Hillerman, Tony The Blessing Way. 1970
Hillerman, Tony The Ghostway. 1984
Himes, Chester Cotton Goes to Harlem. 1964
Hirschberg, Cornelius Florentine Finish. 1963
Household, Geoffrey Rogue Male. 1939
Household, Geoffrey A Rough Shoot. 1951
Household, Geoffrey Dance of the Dwarfs. 1968
Hoyle, Fred Ossian's Ride. 1959
Hoyt, Richard Trotsky's Run. 1982
Hughes, Dorothy B. Ride the Pink Horse. 1946
Hunt, E. Howard From Cuba, With Love. 1964
Huxley, Elspeth Murder on Safari. 1938
Iles, Francis Before the Fact. 1932
Innes, Hammond The Wreck of the Mary Deare. 1956
Innes, Michael Hamlet Revenge! 1937
James, P.D. Cover Her Face. 1962
James, P.D. Shroud for a Nightingale. 1971
James, P.D. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. 1972
Jay, Charlotte Beat Not the Bones. 1954
Jay, Charlotte The Yellow Turban. 1955
Keating, H.R.F. A Rush on the Ultimate. 1961
Keating, H.R.F. The Perfect Murder. 1964
Kelly, Mary The Spoilt Kill. 1961
Kemmelman, Harry Friday the Rabbi Slept Late. 1964
Knowlton, Robert A. Court of Crows. 1961
Koenig, Joseph Floater. 1986
Langton, Jane Emily Dickinson is Dead. 1984
Lathen, Emma Death Shall Overcome. 1966
Lathen, Emma Murder Against the Grain. 1967
Leasor, James Passport to Oblivion. 1965
LeCarre, John The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. 1963
LeCarre, John Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. 1974
Leonard, Elmore Swag. 1976
Leonard, Elmore La Brava. 1983
Lewin, Michael Night Cover. 1976
Lewis, Norman The Man in the Middle. 1984
Littell, Robert The Defection of A.J. Lewinter. 1973
Littell, Robert The Debriefing. 1979
Littell, Robert The Amateur. 1981
Lovesey, Peter Wobble to Death. 1970
Lovesey, Peter The False Inspector Dew. 1982
Lustgarten, Edgar One More Unfortunate. 1947
Lyall, Gavin The Most Dangerous Game. 1964
Lyall, Gavin Midnight Plus One. 1965
Lyons, Arthur  Castles Burning. 1980
McBain, Ed Hail to the Chief. 1973
McBain, Ed Ice. 1983
McCarry, Charles The Miernik Dossier. 1973
McClure, James The Steam Pig. 1971
McClure, James The Artful Egg. 1985
McDonald, Gregory Fletch's Fortune. 1978
MacDonald, John D. Dead Low Tide. 1953
MacDonald, John D. The Drowner. 1963
MacDonald, John D. The Quick Red Fox. 1964
Macdonald, Philip The List of Adrian Messenger. 1959
Macdonald, Ross The Galton Case. 1959
Macdonald, Ross The Far Side of the Dollar. 1964
Macdonald, Ross The Goodbye Look. 1969
McGinley, Patrick Bogmail. 1981
McIlvanney, William Laidlaw. 1977
MacInnes, Helen Above Suspicion. 1941
MacInnes, Helen The Venetian Affair. 1963
MacLean, Alistair South by Java Head. 1958
MacLean, Alistair The Satan Bug (As Ian Stuart), 1962
Marric, J.J. Gideon's Week. 1956
Marric, J.J. Gideon's River. 1968
Marsh, Ngaio Enter a Murderer. 1935
Marshall, William Thin Air. 1977
Masterman, J.C. An Oxford Tragedy. 1933
Mather, Berkely The Pass Beyond Kashmir. 1960
Maugham, W. Somerset Ashenden, the British Agent. 1927
Meyer, Nicholas The Seven Percent Solution. 1974
Millar, Margaret Beast in View. 1955
Millar, Margaret The Soft Talkers. 1957
Milne, A.A. The Red House Mystery. 1922
O'Brien, Flann The Third Policeman. 1967
Oppenheim, E. Phillips The Great Impersonation. 1920
Paretsky, Sara Indemnity Only. 1982
Parker, Robert B. God Save the Child. 1974
Parker, Robert B. Mortal Stakes. 1975
Parker, Robert B. Looking for Rachel Wallace. 1980
Patterson, Richard North The Outside Man. 1981
Peck, Richard Dreamland Lake. 1973
Perry, Thomas The Butcher's Boy. 1982
Peters, Ellis One Corpse Too Many. 1980
Postgate, Raymond Verdict of Twelve. 1940
Price, Enthony Other Paths to Glory. 1975
Proctor, Maurice The Pub Crawler. 1956
Pronzini, Bill The Stalker. 1971
Queen, Ellery The Roman Hat Mystery. 1929
Queen, Ellery The Tragedy of X. 1932
Queen, Ellery Calamity Town. 1942
Radley, Sheila Death in the Morning. 1978
Rathbone, Julian The Euro-Killers. 1980
Rendell, Ruth A Demon in my View. 1976
Rinehart, Mary Robert The Bat. 1926
Rogers, Joel Townsley The Red Right Hand. 1945
Ryck, Francis Sacrificial Pawn. 1973
Sanders, Lawrence The First Deadly Sin. 1973
Sayers, Dorothy Strong Poison. 1930
Sayers, Dorothy The Nine Tailors. 1934
Sayers, Dorothy Gaudy Night. 1935
Seely, Mabel The Listening House. 1938
Simenon, Georges The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By. 1946
Simon, Roger L. The Big Fix. 1973
Sjowall, Wahloo Roseanna. 1967
Sjowall, Wahloo The Fire Engine that Disappeared. 1970
Smith, Shelley The Ballad of the Running Man. 1961
Spicer, Bart The Day of the Dead. 1955
Stout, Rex Too Many Cooks. 1938
Stout, Rex And Be a Villain. 1948
Stout, Rex Plot it Yourself. 1959
Symons, Julian The 31st of November. 1950
Symons, Julian The Man Who Killed Himself. 1967
Symons, Julian A Criminal Comedy. 1986
Tapply, William G. The Dutch Blue Error. 1985
Tapply, William G. The Marine Corpse. 1986
Tey, Josephine A Shilling for Candles. 1936
Tey, Josephine The Daughter of Time. 1951
Theroux, Paul The Family Arsenal. 1976
Thomas, Ross The Cold War Swap. 1966
Thomas, Ross The Seersucker Whipsaw. 1967
Thomas, Ross Brass Go-Between. (As Oliver Bleek). 1969
Thompson, Jim The Killer Insude Me. 1952
Thomson, June Death Cap. 1977
Trevanian The Eiger Sanction. 1972
Turnbull, Peter Deep and Crisp and Even. 1981
Upfield, Arthur The New Shoe. 1951
Upfield, Arthur The Bachelors of Broken Hill. 1958
Valin, Jonathan Life's Work. 1986
Valin, Jonathan Fire Lake. 1987
Van de Wetering, Janwillem The Mind Murders. 1981
Van der Zee, John Stateline. 1976
Van Dine, S.S. The Benson Murder Case. 1926
Van Gulik, Robert The Chinese Bell Murders. 1961
Van Gulik, Robert The Chinese Nail Murders. 1961
Vickers, Roy The Department of Dead Ends. 1949
Wallace, Edgar The Four Just Men. 1911
Waugh, Hillary Last Seen Wearing. 1952
Waugh, Hillary Death and Circumstance. 1963
Westlake, Donald E. The Hot Rock. 1970
Wilcox, Colin Victims. 1984
Willeford, Charles New Hope for the Dead. 1985
Williams, Charles The Catfish Tangle. 1963
Woolrich, Cornell The Bride Wore Black. 1940
Woodhouse, Martin Tree Frog. 1966
Wright, Eric Smoke Detector. 1984
Wright, Eric Death in the Old Country. 1985
Wright, L.R. The Suspect. 1985
Young, Edward The Fifth Passenger. 1963
Yuill, P.B. Hazell Plays Solomon. 1974