1. Murder by Latitude, by Rufus King (or any of King's maritime mysteries)
2. The Greene Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine (or The Bishop Murder Case)
3. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, by Agatha Christie
4. The Red Lamp, by Mary Roberts Rinehart
5. The Silver Scale Mystery (Murder of a Lady), by Anthony Wynne
6. From This Dark Stairway, by Mignon Eberhart
What do you think of this list? There are probably a few surprises! Four American authors and two British, three women and three men. I'm pleased to say that I have actually read all these books. Would I put them on my list? A few of them, possibly. I find the idea of doing such a compressed list daunting, however. What would you list for yourself?
Compare with, previously posted
Sinclair Lewis' "four essential mystery stories"
Bleak House, by Charles Dickens
The Lodger, by Marie Belloc Lowndes
Malice Aforethought, by Francis Iles (Anthony Berkeley Cox)
The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy L. Sayers
Michael Dirda's alternative to Sinclair Lewis' list
The A.B.C. Murders, by Agatha Christie
Lament for a Maker, by Michael Innes
The Poisoned Chocolates Case, by Anthony Berkeley (Anthony Berkeley Cox)
The Three Coffins, by John Dickson Carr
Who has the best list, do you think?
See also on Todd Downing:
Review of Vultures in the Sky
The Precious Right to Read a Murder Mystery