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Top 10 Most Popular Mystery Writers

Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff

March 5, 2012
Filed Under Books 

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A list of the top ten most popular mystery writersContributed by Jennifer Andrews, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru

Mystery books, also referred to as crime or detective fiction, generally centers on a principal character that investigates and solves a mystery.

While there are thousands of mystery writers from the past and current day, there are a few that stand out in particular due to their popularity and ability to tell a suspenseful and intriguing story.

Check out the top ten most popular mystery writers list below to find who to look during your next trip to the bookstore.


10. James Patterson

A list of the top ten most popular mystery writers

One of the best known mystery writers of all time, James Patterson spins interesting plotlines in his books such as the Alex Cross novels. Patterson has also written several books directed at the teen and young adult audience, and at least a few romances. The diversity means he brings more richness to each book and plot line.

9. Alexander McCall Smith

A list of the top ten most popular mystery writers

McCall Smith easily earns status as one of the most popular mystery writers with literary reads such as The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. These books are a great choice for mystery readers who love period books like those of Anne Perry, but would like to find a series with a lighter touch.

8. Jeffrey Deaver

A list of the top ten most popular mystery writers

Mystery writer Jeffrey Deaver penned the popular Lincoln Rhymes Mysteries starring quadriplegic criminologist Lincoln Rhymes.

7. Janet Evanovich

A list of the top ten most popular mystery writers

Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Novels make her one of the most popular mystery writers of this generation. Her books featuring the street-wise Stephanie give readers a humorous and addictive look into the life of a bail bonds woman in the Trenton, New Jersey area. If you’ve ever lived in that part of New Jersey (or visited for any length of time) be warned…this book will make you laugh out loud…and I do mean loud!

6. Charlaine Harris

A list of the top ten most popular mystery writers

Fans of the TV series True Blood will particularly enjoy Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels which inspired the hit vampire show. And even if vampires aren’t your thing, she has also penned a series of ameteur sleuth mysteries set in a fictional Atlanta suburb called “Lawrenceton” (a thinly veiled reference to Lawerenceville, GA.) Be warned, though. Her books can get graphic when it comes to the crimes…the bad guys are well and truly evil.

5. Michael Crichton

A list of the top ten most popular mystery writers

Most people will recognize Crichton not only as one of the most popular mystery writers of all time, but also as a screenwriter, producer and director. Many of his best-sellers, such as Jurassic Park, Congo and Disclosure went on to become movies as well. His stories typically blend science and intrigue with an every-second-counts kind of mystery.

4. Ken Follett

A list of the top ten most popular mystery writers

New York Times Bestseller Ken Follett has written a number of mystery novels including the popular Fall of Giants and Pillars of the Earth.

3. Tom Clancy

A list of the top ten most popular mystery writers

American popular mystery writer Tom Clancy will have your adrenaline pumping through thrilling storylines including those found in The Hunt For Red October and Clear and Present Danger. He also did a series of mysteries for teens, featuring the same kind of thrilling cyber-action, but without the violence, sex or language.

2. Nora Roberts

A list of the top ten most popular mystery writers

In addition to being one of the best selling romance writers of all time, Nora Roberts is acclaimed as one of the most popular mystery writers, too. Under her own name and several pen names, she’s written a large number of thrilling mystery series and trilogies. Many of her books include an element of magic, adding to the fun.

1. Carolyn Keene

A list of the top ten most popular mystery writers

Tailored to young readers, Keene is the author of the famous Nancy Drew series about a young, teenage girl who solves a number of mysteries along with the help of friends and family.



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