Mystery books have always held a fascination for the reading public. They fall into many sub-categories such as murder, legal, police procedural and many others. But wherever there is a question of whodunit and good story behind it, you can be sure that the book will be devoured by the mystery book fans.
Here is a list of the best-selling mystery writers of all times. You may not feel that they are the best writers, but their popularity is unmistakable and for some, even posthumously their books continue to entice readers.
1. Georges Simenon:
The creator of Inspector Maigret was a prolific writer and wrote over 500 books. He is considered to be the forerunner of the police detective genre of books. His books followed the simple formula of murder, investigations, clues and the arrest of the murderer. Simply written and set in Paris, the books have remained ever popular, even 80 years after the first book was published.
2. Agatha Christie:
The Guiness Book of Records lists her as the bestselling book writer of all times, with over four billion copies of her books having been published worldwide. Her mystery novels were never too long,. The stories were superb and the characterization of her detectives such Hercules Poirot and Miss Marple was very well done. She wrote about 80 detective novels, and some plays and also some romantic novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott.
3. Arthur Conan Doyle:
Sherlock Holmes’s deductive and reasoning abilities have astonished readers for many decades. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave us a series of mysteries which have enchanted and confounded us. He also wrote science fiction book, plays, poetry, non-fiction books and some historical novels, but he is best remembered for his series of books with Holmes as their central character, accompanied by Watson.
4. Ellery Queen:
The first book written by two friends under this pseudonym was released in 1934, and over eight decades later his books are still very popular. They have instituted a much coveted mystery writer’s award in his name. The books are excellent whodunit mysteries and they are very elegantly crafted and intellectually challenging.
5. Erle Stanley Gardner:
He sold over 100 million books, and his lawyer Perry mason became the bane of most practising lawyers in the US. Every litigant began to expect his lawyer to eventually solve all crimes and find the right killer. Clever legal systems, fast action and good mystery stories are what marked this prolific and best selling writer.