As for just novels...The Valley of Fear
(Doyle/Holmes) [Only putting my favorite of the Holmes novels, though all four rank highly for me]And Then There Were None
(Christie)The Three Coffins
(Carr/Fell)Murder in Mespotamia
(Christie/Poirot)Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
(Stevenson)The Body in the Library
(Christie/Marple)The Greek Coffin Mystery
(Queen)The Murder on the Orient Express
Those are all I feel like listing at the moment, but if I made a comprehensive list... Several Christie novels would appear, as well as all four Holmes (but they need not be mentioned, really).
As for my favorite mystery
of all time and not just novels... Definitely "The Speckled Band," but followed closely by "The Red-Headed League" and "The Dancing Men." Of course, who can forget the twist from The Murder on the Orient Express
? Christie is really at her best there.
In fact, here's my Holmes top 10 for kicks... (And yes, I intentionally exclude "The Adventure of", as it gets a bit redundant these days
1. The Speckled Band [Holmes is at his best here; no other place in the Canon does he exhibit such mastery over a mystery]
2. The Red-Headed League [One of the all-time classic "what the...?" premises that still holds up all these years later]
3. The Dancing Men [A favorite of mine because of the pacing: Holmes is given a code to solve whilst the story behind the drama continues undaunted]
4. The Six Napoleons [This is probably my favorite re-read story, as it really just brings a lot of elements together. The ending scene with Holmes destroying the [won't spoil it] after buying it and all rights to it is amazing]
5. A Scandal in Bohemia [I guess no real explanation is needed here. Irene Adler has becoming one of the most famous one-time characters of all time. Seeing Holmes match wits with someone of the opposite sex who has little problem besting him is one of the highlights of the Canon]
6. The Final Problem [Though it really must have been tragic in 1883, it's really just exciting to read now. The conversation between Moriarty & Holmes at Baker Street is some of the most famous discourse in all of literature]
7. The Blue Carbuncle [One of the better examples of Holmes's sympathy to the perpetrator, the story really highlights the spirit of the holiday well. And who can forget the classic line: "After all, Watson, I am not retained by the police to supply their deficiencies."]
8. The Devil's Foot [Seeing Holmes act more in retrospect than in his usual active nature makes this story stand out for me. The mystery here is really one of great suspense, considering you have a crime that has caused great horror and claimed one victim--yet leaving you with one key witness. The final exchange between Holmes and Dr. Sterndale is, again, another classic moment. "That is what you may expect to see when I follow you."
9. The Second Stain [likely the best "procedural" in the entire Canon. Seeing Holmes's spontaneous plan work out so well at the closing is really my favorite part of the story]
10. The Empty House [No explanation is really needed here: It's the return. So many things about this story bring the characters to life, especially if you read this and "The Final Problem" back-to-back. Even though I already knew about Holmes's "death" and return before I read the story all those years ago, I still really felt that Sherlock Holmes had really returned.]
If you (or anyone, really) ever wants to talk about the Canon at length, come on IRC and we'll talk all night
. I do love Christie's works a great deal, but the Holmes canon is my first love.