Steve suggested we might try our hands at a 100 best list, so here with some reservations is mine. Reservation number 1:   I have limited myself to mystery and suspense novels, so no thrillers, adventure, or spy novels.

   Number 2:   I have no short story collections on the list — I couldn’t top the Queen’s Quorum anyway.

   Number 3:   I am skipping the early classics from The Moonstone to The Hound of the Baskervilles. For all practical purposes this list begins with the birth of the Golden Age which most would place with E. C. Bentley’s Trent’s Last Case. The books before that are deserving of a list of their own.

   Also, I have limited myself to one title per writer though obviously some writers should have multiple entries.

   The final reservation is that this is no “best” list. More a favorites list, and of course at different times there would be some variation. Some favorite writers don’t make the list because another, sometimes lesser, writer wrote one very good book. And though they wrote well after the cut off date I’m leaving R. Austin Freeman to the earlier period along with Conan Doyle and Chesterton.

   And warning, this list is extremely eclectic.

   It struck me too how many of these had been filmed so a * marks a film version.

   With those caveats, herewith:

About the Murder of The Circus Queen by A. Abbott *
The Death of Achilles by Boris Akunin
Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham *
Terror on Broadway by David Alexander
Perish By the Sword by Poul Anderson
Hell Is a City by William Ard
The Unsuspected by Charlotte Armstrong *
Murder in Las Vegas by W. T. Ballard
Death Walks in Eastrepps by Francis Beeding
Charlie Chan Carries On by Earl Derr Biggers *
The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake *
Bombay Mail by Lawrence G. Blochman *
No Good From a Corpse by Leigh Brackett
Green For Danger by Christianna Brand *
The Clock Strikes Thirteen by Herbert Brean
A Case for Three Detectives by Leo Bruce
The Screaming Mimi by Fredric Brown *
Asphalt Jungle by W. R. Burnett *
The Secret of High Eldersham by Miles Burton
Fast One by Paul Cain *
Circus Couronne by R. Wright Campbell
The Man Who Could Not Shudder by John Dickson Carr
Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler *
Elsinore by Jerome Charyn
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie *
First Prize by Edward Cline
Stolen Away by Max Allan Collins
Brass Rainbow by Michael Collins
The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin
The Wrong Case by James Crumley
Snarl of the Beast by Carroll John Daly
Sally in the Alley by Norbert Davis
The Poisoned Oracle by Peter Dickinson
To Catch A Thief by David Dodge *
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier *
End of the Game (aka The Judge and His Hangman) by Friedrich Duerrenmatt *
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco *
The Naked Spur by Charles Einstein *
The Eighth Circle by Stanley Ellin
L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy *
Mirage by Walter Ericson (Howard Fast) *
Double Or Quits by A. A. Fair
The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing *
Death Comes to Perigord by John Ferguson
Isle of Snakes by Robert L. Fish
High Art by Rubem Fonseca *
King of the Rainy Country by Nicholas Freeling
Operation Terror by the Gordons *
Take My Life by Winston Graham *
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene *
It Happened In Boston by Russell Greenhan
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett *
Violent Saturday by W. L. Heath *
Why Shoot a Butler by Georgette Heyer
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith *
Night Has 1000 Eyes by George Hopley (Cornell Woolrich) *
Flush as May by P. M. Hubbard
Ride the Pink Horse by Dorothy B. Hughes *
One Man Show by Michael Innes
An Unsuitable Job For a Woman by P. D. James *
The 10:30 From Marseilles by Sebastian Japrisot *
The Last Express by Baynard Kendrick
Night and the City by Gerald Kersh *
Fata Morgana by William Kotzwinkle
Murder of a Wife by Henry Kuttner
Headed for a Hearse by Jonathan Latimer *
Curtain for a Jester by Richard and Francis Lockridge
Let’s Hear it For the Deaf Man by Ed McBain *
Through a Glass Darkly by Helen McCloy
The Green Ripper by John D. MacDonald
The List of Adrian Messenger by Philip MacDonald *
Black Money by Ross Macdonald
Gideon’s Day by J. J. Marric (John Creasey) *
Died in the Wool by Ngaio Marsh
Guilty Bystander by Wade Miller *
A Neat Little Corpse by Max Murray *
Sleeper’s East by Frederic Nebel *
Let’s Kill Uncle by Rohan O’Grady *
Puzzle for Fools by Q. Patrick
Fracas in the Foothills by Eliot Paul
To Live and Die in L.A. by Gerald Petivich *
Shackles by Bill Pronzini
Cat of Many Tails by Ellery Queen *
Footprints on the Ceiling by Clayton Rawson
Trial by Fury by Craig Rice
The Erasers by Alain Robbe-Grillett *
The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers *
So Evil My Love by Joseph Shearing *
Stain on the Snow (aka The Snow is Black) by Georges Simenon *
The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall & Per Waloo *
Death Under Sail by C. P. Snow
Blues for the Prince by Bart Spicer
One Lonely Night by Mickey Spillane
Judas Inc. by Kurt Steel
Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout
Rim of the Pit by Hake Talbot
The Bishop Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine *
Above the Dark Circus by Hugh Walpole
Death Takes the Bus by Lionel White
Death in a Bowl by Raoul Whitfield

Editorial Comment:   Previously on this blog have been top 100 lists from Barry Gardner and Jeff Meyerson. Coming tomorrow is another such list from Geoff Bradley, editor and publisher of CADS (Crime and Detective Stories) . Thanks to all!