Treats galore: Crime Time’s Top 100 Books of 2016

Using a fiendish algorithm, the good people at Crime Time have converted nominations from a selection of criminal experts into a wonderfully rich list of the year’s top 100 crime novels.

So if you’re lying beached on the sofa after Christmas dinner, or need a tiny break from your loved ones over the festive season, you could dip in here:


The Crime Time Top 100 Books Of 2016: Day 1 – #100 To 51

The Crime Time Top 100 Books Of 2016: Part Deux – #50 To #21

The Crime Time Top 100 Books Of 2016: It doesn’t get any bigger than this! – #20 To Numero Uno

I haven’t yet checked how the list breaks down by sub-genre/gender/nation, but am looking forward to taking a closer look, as well as adding some more crime to my TBR pile. Laura Lippman’s Wilde Lake has already found its way onto my bookshelf.

The panel: Barry Forshaw (Financial Times), Andre Paine (Crime Scene), Marcel Berlins (The Times), Steph Broadribb (Crime Thriller Girl), Jon Coates (Daily Express), Jake Kerridge (The Telegraph), Sarah Ward (Crime Pieces), Karen Robinson (The Sunday Times), Maxim Jakubowski (Lovereading), Kat Hall (Mrs. Peabody Investigates), Russell Mclean (, Doug Johnstone ( and Woody Haut (


Merry Christmas / Happy Hanukkah / Happy Holidays to you all!

12 thoughts on “Treats galore: Crime Time’s Top 100 Books of 2016

    • Yes – it was a bit cloak and dagger (I didn’t quite know who else was taking part). We all put forward some nominations and they had a clever algorithm do the rest.

  1. That’s two books a week for an entire year – how did you ever get through them all? Or does the algorithm include first and last chapter only, or time travel, or Audio books whispered at night while you sleep, or secretly reading while on other jobs? Very mysterious – almost criminal!

    • Ha! Personally, I haven’t read all 100. They had us put forward a certain number of nominations (ranked in order of preference), and then crunched all the nominations using a clever algorithm to produce the list. It was fun to contribute, and also very interesting to see where my own nominations appeared in the rankings. Some were pretty near the top, so lots of us must have picked those.

  2. A fascinating list but the mathematician in me has issues with ordering books when not everyone has read them all (which would be next to impossible). The implication is that the better promoted books or those with more famous authors (I can see one good-but-not-great book in the top twenty) do better than those that don’t have these attributes, as they’ve been read by more people. I’m surprised not to see Sarah Hilary’s Tastes Like Fear on the list or Catherine Ryan Howard’s Distress Signals, both of which are top-notch thrillers, and as ever, a dearth of pre-Victorian historical crime fiction. And of course everyone has their own favourites, but Closed Casket? Seriously?

    • Good for you, Puzzle Doctor – glad to see the list getting a bit of interrogation!

      I’m always a bit wary of these kinds of lists myself, but to be fair, I don’t think they’re claiming that it’s definitive. I agree too, that all sorts of factors like fame / publicity / hype play a role. At the same time, quality will out – there are lots of really great novels in the higher reaches of the list, including a couple of debuts in the top 5, which is good to see. Interesting to cross-reference with recent crime fiction awards too…

      Can’t comment on Closed Casket (except to say it wasn’t me, guv).

      Have a lovely Christmas!

  3. Glad to see this list; it’s circulating around cyberspace.
    I am glad to see Tana French’s latest book on this list; it was my best book of 2016. I could not put that book down and I was cheering on Antoinette Conway on every page and for every bit of dialogue she spoke. Really outstanding. I don’t know how French can improve on this book or even match it.
    I liked Eva Dolan’s book; she has become a favorite author.
    And I’m awaiting Fred Vargas’ book.
    I guess with this list I don’t have a chance of reading any nonmysteries next year, or even nonfiction! I will just
    be awash in crime!
    Happy New Year! And thanks for this terrific blog, informative, interesting and fun. (And a contributor to my TBR lists and budget.)

    • Thanks, kathyd. And a big thank you right back for being such a loyal blog reader and for your comments throughout the year. Wishing you a Happy New Year and all the very best for 2017!

      Tana French is now firmly on my TBR. I’m clearly missing out on the work of a very good author and will have to rectify that as soon as possible.

      Will join you in being awash in crime next year. There are worse fates 😉

  4. Merry (belated) Christmas, and a happy new year, Mrs.P! I wish you the best in 2017 (and that Laura Lippman will certainly help make it a good year).

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