1984s Favorite Crime Writers

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Feb 232012

The Armchair Detective

The one and only. The late and lamented. The standard by which all other non-fiction mags are judged. This quarterly was around forever (or at least since 1967). It began as a mimeographed newsletter by Allen J. Hubin, spent a few years under the sponsorship of the University of California, and eventually found a home with Otto Penzler, as part of his Mysterious Press. The journal of record for the entire genre. A bit stodgy at times, and it was usually out of date by the time it finally came out, but back issues are well worth hunting down. It’s still recommended, and it is still missed.(From THE THRILLING DETECTIVE SITE)

In 1984, a reader’s survey by THE ARMCHAIR DETECTIVE listed these authors as their favorite in order of preference:

1. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
2. Agatha Christie
3. Raymond Chandler
4. Dorothy L Sayers
5. Rex Stout
6. Dashiell Hammett
7. Dick Francis
8. John Dickson Carr
9. Ellery Queen
10. Robert B,. Parker
11. Ross Macdonald
12. Edmund Crispin
13. John D. MacDonald
14. P.D. James
15. Ngaio Marsh
16. Ruth Rendell
17. Ed McBain
18. Josephine Tey
19. Emma Lathen
20. Elmore Leonard

With a couple exceptions, it holds up pretty well thirty years later. But who would you add; who would you take away?