Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rex Stout's picks, best detective tales.

Here are the choices of Nero Wolfe creator Rex Stout for the ten best detective stories (qtd. in Vincent Starrett, Books and Bipeds [New York: Argus, 1947] 82):

The Moonstone (Wilkie Collins, 1868)

The Maltese Falcon (Dashiell Hammett, 1930)

The Benson Murder Case (S. S. Van Dine [Willard Huntington Wright], 1926)

The Documents in the Case (Dorothy L. Sayers and Robert Eustace [Eustace Robert Barton], 1930)

The Innocence of Father Brown (G. K. Chesterton, 1911)

Call Mr. Fortune (H. C. Bailey, 1920)

The Bellamy Trial (Frances [Newbold] Noyes Hart, 1927)

The Cask
(Freeman Wills Crofts, 1920)

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Agatha Christie, 1926)

Lament for a Maker (Michael Innes [J. I. M. Stewart], 1938)


Xavier said...

Looks like every major mystery writer of the era had to device his/her own list of all-time best detective stories; Rex's I think is one of the few that stand the test of time as most of the items still ring a bell today and are currently in print. Also there are some surprises, as I'd never thought Stout to be a fan of Father Brown - also, where is Sherlock?

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

I find such lists interesting, and they always beef up my "to be read" stack. Considering Stout wrote the classic essay "Watson Was a Woman," I believe he has a healthy respect (or sense of humor) about Holmes.