Brighton author Peter James has been chosen as the best crime author of all time in a poll run on WH Smith’s blog. The author of books such as Dead Simple, Looking Good Dead and Dead Man’s Time pipped other famous writers like James Patterson, Val McDermid and Ian Rankin to the title. The list, which totalled 107 authors, also included some marginal names like Cecilia Ahern and Jodi Picoult.
Peter James is firmly within the genre, though, and took the title with a landslide of votes. His Roy Grace detective novels have sold over 16 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 36 languages. The latest in the series, You Are Dead, is due out in May.
“I was amazed – it is truly a list of giants,” said James. “I am thrilled beyond words. It is a massive honour, and a wonderful feeling that so many readers out there like my work enough to have voted for me. I’d like to thank them all so much.”
A WH Smith spokesman said: “We asked readers to narrow down all their favourite crime authors to choose just one to be the best crime author of all time. The nominations came pouring in, including a huge mix of authors. In the end though, Peter won the crown by a landslide.”
The top 10 on the WH Smith list were
1 – Peter James
2 – James Patterson
3 – Val McDermid
4 – Ian Rankin
5 – Agatha Christie
6 – Martina Cole
7 – Sheila Quigley
8 – RC Bridgestock
9 – Karin Slaughter
10 – Tess Gerritsen
If you’re new to Peter James, you can read an excerpt from his recent novel Want You Dead on our site here.
It’s interesting – amazing, even – that greats like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Raymond Chandler didn’t make the top 20, though they were in the list of 107 authors voted upon. Tell us who you think the greatest crime author of all time is our comments below.