There’s very few things more satisfying than a good mystery novel; in fact, we’d venture to say no genre has captivated the imaginations of readers worldwide quite like the crime genre, as we recently argued in our list of 11 Greatest Crime Films of All Time. We had so much fun researching the films and themes in that article that we thought we’d stick with the same genre, but shift the medium a little and bring our readers 10 classic detective novels that’ll have you itching to solve crimes. Whether you’ve got a taste for hardboiled detective fiction or you’ve got a soft spot for a classic whodunit, we’ve got a little something for everyone here and we’re real excited to let you guys in on the mystery.
10. Get Shorty (Elmore Leonard)
There are few people who write dialogue as well as the late Elmore Leonard; his characters are often vividly realized and they truly jump off the page. This is very true in his novel Get Shorty, the title of which many readers will recognize from the Barry Sonnefield directed movie of the same name (that film starred John Travolta, Gene Hackman and Danny DeVito). Get Shorty follows small time loanshark Ernest “Chili” Palmer as he attempts to navigate the treacherous web of organized crime in Miami. Originally published in 1991, Get Shorty is often cited alongside Jackie Brown as some of Leonard’s finest work, and the late author remains one of the most underrated writers of his generation (he’s an American treasure, and we’ll hear nothing of it).