|still the queen of mystery fiction|
published c. 1920 to c. 1990
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles 71,000 ratings
Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep 42,000 ratings
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon 35,000 ratings
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone 25,000 ratings
Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley 16,000 ratings
Lilian Jackson Braun, The Cat Who Read Backwards 14,000 ratings
P. D. James, Cover Her Face 11,000 ratings (on the other hand, James' latest novel, Death Comes to Pemberley, gets 38,000)
Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night 8000 ratings
Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me, 7000 ratings
Ngaio Marsh, Death in a White Tie 3000 ratings
Ruth Rendell, From Doon with Death 2700 ratings
Ross Macdonald, The Drowning Pool 1700 ratings
Margery Allingham, The Tiger in the Smoke 1300 ratings
John Dickson Carr, The Three Coffins 600 ratings
Ellery Queen, The Roman Hat Mystery 600 ratings
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Even with an acclaimed film adaptation, Highsmith's Ripley only beats out the grandmother of all cozy cat mysteries by a bit (and Jim Thompson comes far behind it).
Sayers, Marsh and Allingham come far behind Christie, just as Ross Macdonald comes far behind Chandler and Hammett. The two modern Crime Queens, P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, come in far behind Christie (though James' newest novel, a Jane Austen mystery pastiche, is much higher).
Two male authors of classical detection, John Dickson Carr and Ellery Queen, come in at the bottom of the list.
Of course they all get put in the shade, even dear Agatha, by modern bestsellers like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (857,000 ratings).