Your Favourite British Library Crime Classics: The Final Results

A few weeks ago I set in motion two rounds of voting to uncover which novels and short story c0llections from the British Library Crime Classics series are your favourites. If you’ve missed which titles were shortlisted after the first round of voting click here. However, for those of you who are up to date and chomping at the bit to see who won the coveted first place read on…

Group 1 Results: British Library Crime Classics – The Novels

10. Murder of a Lady by Antony Wynne

9. Antidote to Venom by Freeman Wills Crofts (The novels in positions 9-7 had the same number of votes)

8. The Hog’s Back Mystery by Freeman Wills Crofts

7. Quick Curtain by Alan Melville

6. The 12:30 from Croydon by Freeman Wills Crofts (which also shared the number of votes as no. 5)

5. Death of Anton by Alan Melville

4. Death of an Airman by Christopher St John Sprigg

And the Top 3 are:

Given last week’s results I was not too surprised that Freeman Wills Crofts’ novels permeated the Top 10 consistently, though it seems that Mystery in the Channel is by far the favourite out of the ones included. The top two favourite novels took a big lead ahead of the others, which confirms how much Farjeon’s novel captured public interest when it was reprinted. Berkeley’s novel is a genuine classic, so very pleased to see it reach 1st place.

Group 2 Results: British Crime Classics – Short Story Collections

Given the smaller size of this group I decided to do just a Top 3 for this category:

Not having read any of these collections I can’t say if this result is surprising or not, though it’s interesting to see a mixture of recent, older and seasonal collections. Looks like I’ll have to make some additions to my TBR pile.

So there we have it. The results are in and poisoned chocolates and locked room mysteries seem to be the zeitgeist of the moment. I’ve enjoyed doing this polling, as I’ve been surprised and intrigued at how diverse opinions are on the titles in the British Library series. It would be interesting to re-poll at a later date and see if those holding pride of place will still maintain their top positions or whether newer titles might steal the limelight instead. As always let me know what you think. Did your favourites make it to the top?


  1. Thanks for running the poll. I wasn’t surprised that Anthony Berkeley emerged at the top spot; what surprised me was how well Freeman Will Crofts did. I’m glad ‘Hog’s Back Mystery’ managed to get into the top ten. This makes me eager to read ‘Mystery in the Channel’. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, as a fan of impossible crimes, Anthony Berkeley, Freeman Wills Crofts, and voting on favourtie books this feels like something of an embarras de richesses. Could there be a public appetite for more impossible crime stories? And, hey, maybe even more Crofts and Berkeley reprints…(Malice Aforethought could do with another edition… :D)? Exciting times!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Malice Aforethought has had plenty of reprints already – as has Poisoned Chocolates to be honest. I’d prefer if BL focused on books that are genuinely hard to get hold of – more Anthony Wynne for example, or more Sprigg and Farjeon.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah, fair comment. I suppose I’m just eager for this Crime Classics series to produce rather more in the way of actual, y’know, classics. But, yes, upon reflection it would make more sene to excavate something more obscure; I take back that previous comment 🙂


      • Yeah I agree more Wynne novels are needed. I think other imprints like Harper Collins, have done quite a number of other Farjeon reprints. It would be nice if some of Berkeley’s more obscure and harder to find works were reprinted.


      • There are a fair few Berkeley titles that are unavailable or ridiculously overpriced and it would be great to have them reprinted. Of course, it’s possible that a few might not be worth bringing back (‘Professor On Paws’ sounds suspiciously like one of these; but I feel a strange longing to read it anyway).
        I’d also put a vote in for Clifford Witting, but I think he’s outside the timeframe.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes Professor on Paws does sound like it could be oddly brilliant or just really bad. Witting is a good choice for reprint. Only read one of his books, Measure for Murder which I reviewed on here. He would still be within the BL CC timeframe as they have reprinted books from the 1950s and 60s and his work began in the 1930s.


      • Appreciate you bringing this to my attention; they’re a little out of my price range, but it’s a great resource to be able to browse for when I’m back buying books again. Aaaah, who needs savings anyway…?


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