Browse Categories:

Ian Fleming (1908-1964) - best known for his James Bond series of spy novels.
  • Ian Fleming (1908-1964) - best known for his James Bond series of spy novels.
  • Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) - his protagonist, Philip Marlowe, along with Hammett's Sam Spade, is considered by some to be synonymous with 'private detective,' both having been played on screen by Humphrey Bogart.
  • Agatha Christie (1890-1976) - she is best remembered for the 66 detective novels and more than 15 short story collections most of which revolve around the investigations of Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple.
  • Georges Simenon (1903-1989) - a prolific author who published nearly 200 novels and numerous short works, Simenon is best known as the creator of the fictional detective Jules Maigret.
  • John le Carré (1931-) - British author of espionage novels. During the 1950s and the 1960s, Cornwell (real name) worked for the British intelligence services MI5 and MI6, and began writing novels under a pen name. His third novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963) became an international best-seller, and remains one of his best-known works.
  • P. D. James (1920-) - she is most famous for a series of detective novels starring policeman and poet Adam Dalgliesh.
  • Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) - most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction.
  • Len Deighton (1929-) - British military historian, cookery writer, graphic artist, and novelist. He is perhaps most famous for his spy novel The IPCRESS File, which was made into a film starring Michael Caine.
  • Mickey Spillane (1918-2006) - American author of crime novels, many featuring his signature detective character, Mike Hammer. More than 225 million copies of his books have sold internationally.
  • Lynda La Plante (1943-) - English author, screenwriter and former actress, best known for writing the Prime Suspect television crime series.
  • Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) - best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction.
  • Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) - American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories, a screenplay writer, and political activist. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest and The Dain Curse).
  • Mary Shelley (1797-1851) - English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818).

Top 200 Greatest Crime and Thriller Writers of All Time

Crime Literature News, Reviews & Resources (90+) Crime, Mystery, Spy & Thriller Writers: A-Z (200+)

"Every murderer is probably somebody's old friend." - Agatha Christie.

"It is ridiculous to set a detective story in New York City. New York City is itself a detective story." - Agatha Christie.

"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact." - Arthur Conan Doyle.

"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." - Arthur Conan Doyle.

"A really good detective never gets married." - Raymond Chandler.

"A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled." - Raymond Chandler.

"The perfect detective story cannot be written. The type of mind which can evolve the perfect problem is not the type of mind that can produce the artistic job of writing" - Raymond Chandler.

"The private detective of fiction is a fantastic creation who acts and speaks like a real man. He can be completely realistic in every sense but one, that one sense being that in life as we know it such a man would not be a private detective." - Raymond Chandler.

CRIME FICTION is the literary genre that fictionalises crimes, their detection, criminals and their motives. It is usually distinguished from mainstream fiction and other genres such as science fiction or historical fiction, but boundaries can be, and indeed are, blurred. It has several sub-genres, including detective fiction (such as the whodunnit), legal thriller, courtroom drama and hard-boiled fiction.

MYSTERY FICTION is a loosely-defined term:

1. It is oten used as a synonym for detective fiction or crime fiction - in other words a novel or short story in which a detective (either professional or amateur) investigates and solves a crime mystery. Sometimes mystery books are nonfiction. The term "mystery fiction" may sometimes be limited to the subset of detective stories in which the emphasis is on the puzzle/suspense element and its logical solution (cf. whodunit), as a contrast to hardboiled detective stories, which focus on action and gritty realism.

2. Although normally associated with the crime genre, the term "mystery fiction" may in certain situations refer to a completely different genre, where the focus is on supernatural or thriller mystery (the solution doesn't have to be logical, and even no crime is involved). This usage was common in the pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s, where titles such as Dime Mystery, Thrilling Mystery and Spicy Mystery offered what at the time were described as "weird menace" stories – supernatural horror in the vein of Grand Guignol. This contrasted with parallel titles of the same names which contained conventional hardboiled crime fiction. The first use of "mystery" in this sense was by Dime Mystery, which started out as an ordinary crime fiction magazine but switched to "weird menace" during the latter part of 1933.

DETECTIVE FICTION is a sub-genre of crime fiction and mystery fiction in which an investigator (often a detective), either professional or amateur, investigates a crime, often murder.

SPY FICTION, literature concerning the forms of espionage, was a sub-genre derived from the novel during the nineteenth century, which then evolved into a discrete genre before the First World War (1914–18), when governments established modern intelligence agencies in the early twentieth century. As a genre, spy fiction is thematically related to the novel of adventure (The Prisoner of Zenda, 1894, The Scarlet Pimpernel, 1905), the thriller (such as the works of Edgar Wallace) and the politico–military thriller (The Schirmer Inheritance, 1953, The Quiet American, 1955).

THRILLER is a broad genre of literature, film, and television programming that uses suspense, tension and excitement as the main elements. Thrillers heavily stimulate the viewer's moods giving them a high level of anticipation, ultra-heightened expectation, uncertainty, surprise, anxiety and/or terror. Thriller films tend to be adrenaline-rushing, gritty, rousing and fast-paced. Literary devices such as red herrings, plot twists and cliffhangers are used extensively. A thriller is a villain-driven plot, whereby he or she presents obstacles that the protagonist must overcome.

The aim for thrillers is to keep the audience alert and on the edge of their seats. The protagonist in these films is set against a problem – an escape, a mission, or a mystery. No matter what sub-genre a thriller film falls into, it will emphasize the danger that the protagonist faces. The tension with the main problem is built on throughout the film and leads to a highly stressful climax. The cover-up of important information from the viewer, and fight and chase scenes are common methods in all of the thriller subgenres, although each subgenre has its own unique characteristics and methods.

Common subgenres are psychological thrillers, crime thrillers and mystery thrillers. After the assassination of President Kennedy, the political thriller genre became very popular. Another common subgenre of thriller is the spy genre which deals with fictional espionage. Successful examples of thrillers are the films of Alfred Hitchcock. The horror and action genres often overlap with the thriller genre.

A WHODUNIT or whodunnit (for "Who done [did] it?") is a complex, plot-driven variety of the detective story in which the puzzle is the main feature of interest. The reader or viewer is provided with clues from which the identity of the perpetrator of the crime may be deduced before the solution is revealed in the final pages of the book. The investigation is usually conducted by an eccentric amateur or semi-professional detective.

A HOWCATCHEM is a murder mystery fiction structure in which the commission of the crime is shown or described at the beginning, usually including the identity of the perpetrator. The story then describes the detective's attempt to solve the mystery. There may also be subsidiary puzzles, such as why the crime was committed, but those are cleared up along the way. This format is the opposite of the more typical "whodunit", where all of the details of the crime and the perpetrator are not revealed until the story's climax.

Audiobooks (Top 15) Authors (Top 200+) Book Clubs (Top 15)
Book Fairs (Top 10) Book News & Resources: A-Z (100+) Book Review Magazines (Top 85+)
Books of the Month (100+) Booksellers (Online) (Top 25) Bookshops (Top 40)
Bookstore (Online) (36 categories) Crime & Thriller Writers: A-Z (200+) Crime Story News & Resources (75)
E-Book Readers (Top 30) E-Books (Top 30) James Bond Resources: A-Z (Top 400)
Libraries (Top 25) Literary Magazines (Top 85+) Literary Prizes (Top 70+)
Self-Publishing (Top 10)
The Card

Upcoming VIP Privilege Membership Card

The International Man will in the near future be launching its own PRIVILEGE & BENEFIT VIP MEMBERSHIP CARD - named simply 'The Card'. Members will receive special privileges, benefits and preferential rates with selected partner hotels, restaurants, our LUXURY WEBSHOP, and more. Enter your name and e-mail address to receive FREE INFO about 'The Card' HERE.

Browse Categories:

RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE