Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, first serialized in a magazine in 1930, is best known through the iconic Humphrey Bogart film of 1941. But it was the book that created the classic "noir" genre with its tough private detective threading his cool way between the criminals and the law. Sam Spade, the private eye solving the mystery of the Maltese statuette, was the template for Philip Marlowe and a host of others…. but they come no more shrewd and cunning with Hammett peppering the text with one-liners.
"Solid Classic... Shallow on Depth"
He's a self-described beach bum who won his houseboat in a card game. He's also a knight errant who's wary of credit cards, retirement benefits, political parties, mortgages, and television. He only works when his cash runs out, and his rule is simple: he'll help you find whatever was taken from you, as long as he can keep half.
"An Entertaining Start To A Classic Series"
James Stark, a.k.a. Sandman Slim, crawled out of Hell, took bloody revenge for his girlfriend’s murder, and saved the world along the way. After that, what do you do for an encore? You take a lousy job tracking down monsters for money. It’s a depressing gig, but it pays for your beer and cigarettes. But in L.A., things can always get worse. Like when Lucifer comes to town to supervise his movie biography and drafts Stark as his bodyguard.
"good enough for me to buy book 3"
Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.
"Realistic scary is better than blood & guts scary!"
"Celebrity Cop" Gabe Quinn is back working Robbery-Homicide after a personal tragedy has left him emotionally bare. He's raw, but resolved to catch a serial killer stalking the streets of two major cities. With cryptic clues left at each crime scene, Gabe is faced with the seemingly impossible task of piecing together the bizarre puzzle - following signs that point toward a killer whose motive questions everything he believes in..."If you could save a million lives by taking one...would you?"
"Amazing Fast Paced Thriller!!!"
Hailed by Salman Rushdie as a "brilliantly innovative thriller-writer", Philip Kerr is the creator of taut, gripping, noir-tinged mysteries set in Nazi-era Berlin that are nothing short of spellbinding. The first book of the Berlin Noir trilogy, March Violets introduces listeners to Bernie Gunther, an ex-policeman who thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin - until he turned freelance and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture.
When LAPD detective Michael Gideon and his police-dog partner, Sirius, are assigned to the Special Cases Unit (SCU), Gideon knows their work lives will be anything but ordinary. SCU gets the cases no one else wants, the unusual and bizarre crimes that need special handling and special investigators. When a high-school student is found crucified in a local park, Gideon and Sirius must face up to the gruesome tableau and the motivation behind the murder. Complicating matters is a nightmare from their past, the scars of a terrible fire that nearly cost them their lives.
"Best book in a long time!"
Spenser earned his degree in the school of hard knocks, so he is ready when a Boston university hires him to recover a rare, stolen manuscript. He is hardly surprised that his only clue is a radical student with four bullets in his chest. The cops are ready to throw the book at the pretty blond coed whose prints are all over the murder weapon but Spenser knows there are no easy answers. He tackles some very heavy homework and knows that if he doesn't finish his assignment soon, he could end up dead.
"Good start to a great series!"
Everyone who lives at 23 Beulah Grove has a secret. If they didn't, they wouldn't be renting rooms in a dodgy old building for cash - no credit check, no lease. It's the kind of place you end up when you you've run out of other options.The six residents mostly keep to themselves, but one unbearably hot summer night, a terrible accident pushes them into an uneasy alliance. What they don't know is that one of them is a killer. He's already chosen his next victim, and he'll do anything to protect his secret.
"Incredible--but not for the faint of heart"
Nina - a career girl living alone in Manhattan - offers Travis McGee companionship and the first loose thread in the elaborate fabric of a gigantic swindle. Now, she's leading McGee on a wild and tortuous chase into the decadent world of high society, the ruthless world of big money, and the weird world of hallucinatory drugs.
"Trav McGee just gets better"
Los Angeles, 1948: Easy Rawlins is a black war veteran just fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend's bar, wondering how he'll meet his mortgage, when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Money, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.
"Beware of Mysterious Sexy Women with Big Suitcases"
Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro's latest client is a prominent Boston psychiatrist running scared from a vengeful Irish mob. The private investigators know something about cold-blooded retribution. Born and bred on the mean streets of blue-collar Dorchester, they've seen the darkness that lives in the hearts of the unfortunate.
"The Boston Beat"
Drew Danner, a crime novelist with a house off L.A.'s storied Mulholland Drive, awakens in a hospital bed with a scar on his head and no memory of being found convulsing over his ex-fiancee's body the previous night. He was discovered holding a knife, her blood beneath his nails. He himself doesn't know whether he's guilty or innocent. To reconstruct the story, the writer must now become the protagonist, searching the corridors of his life and the city he loves.
"Celebrity Cop" Gabe Quinn has quit the LAPD and is chasing his demons pro bono - determined to catch or kill the two serial killers responsible for ruining his life... But when a mutilated body is washed up on a picturesque Florida beach it marks the beginning of the end for Gabe and his sanity. Nothing is quite what it seems and never will be again.What follows is an explosive game of cat and mouse and a death race to save a woman's life from the hands of a madman. This is Gabe's nemesis....
"Absolutely Amazing Super Book!!!!"
Imprisoned for the attempted murder of a federal agent, former homicide detective Gabe Quinn is keen to make amends for his mistakes. So when a gruesome murder forces his freedom, he is determined to do everything in his power to bring the killer to justice and prove himself to the FBI.
"The ending will leave you breathless..."
A Purple Place for Dying finds Travis McGee witness to a murder he can't prove and a kidnapping nobody wants to believe. McGee becomes a pawn between a wealthy Southwestern patriarch, the law, and a mysterious gang bent on insurance fraud. Just the kind of thing McGee revels in!
"A man from the first half of the 20th century"
Reed Ferguson's first case is a daring adventure, complete with a dose of film noir, and a lot of humor. With a great supporting cast of the Goofball Brothers, Reed's not too bright neighbors, and Cal, Reed's computer geek friend, This Doesn't Happen in the Movies is detective noir at its best. Follow Reed as he solves crime akin to his cinematic hero, Humphrey Bogart.
Six prisoners are beaten senseless in their cells by cops crazed on alcohol. For the three LAPD detectives involved, it will expose the guilty secrets on which they have built their corrupt and violent careers.
"...safe passage for ruthless men in love."
Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond is the last detective: a genuine gumshoe, committed to door-stopping and deduction rather than fancy computer gadgetry. So when the naked body of a woman is found floating in the weeds in a lake near Bath with no one willing to identify her, no marks, and no murder weapon, his sleuthing abilities are tested to the limit.
"Pleasantly surprised -- loved Inspector Diamond!"
The Pale Criminal brings back Bernie Gunther, an ex-policeman who thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin - until he turned freelance, and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture. Hard-hitting, fast-paced, and richly detailed, The Pale Criminal is noir writing at its blackest and best.
"Esxcellent Historical Fiction; Gripping ..."
Buffalo, New York, is still the second-largest metropolis in the state, but in recent years its designation as the Queen City has been elbowed aside by a name that's pure noir: The City of No Illusions. Presidents came from here; and in 1901 a president was killed here while visiting the Pan-American Exposition, by a man who checked into a hotel under a name that translates as Nobody.
An A&R hotshot fell in love with them upon hearing a few of their songs, and suddenly all the sweat and soul-draining self-promotion seemed worth it. The band got a call asking them to bring their haunting mix to Manhattan for a label showcase. It was the break of a lifetime. Out of cash and desperate to make it, they set themselves on a collision course with New York. It's a decision that forces each band member to consider just how badly he wants that record deal, and what he's willing to do to get it. No one will stand in their way. Not even each other.
In Telegraph Hill, private detective Ray Infantino searches for a missing girl named Tania. The case takes him to San Francisco, the city he abandoned years ago after his fiancé was murdered. Thrust into his old city haunts, Ray finds that Tania may not be lost at all. Tania saw a murder; and a criminal gang, the Black Fist Triad, wants to make sure she never sees anything again. Ray enlists help from an old flame, Dominique, but now he has three women on his mind.
When two men meet in the gym - the ex-boxer Billy Tully and the novice Ernie Munger - their brief sparring session sets into motion their hidden fates, initiating young Munger into the "company of men" and luring Tully back into training. Fat City tells of their anxieties and hopes, their loves and losses, and the stubborn determination of their manager, Ruben Luna, who knows that even the most promising kid is likely to fall prey to some weakness.
It's 1980 on Florida's Gulf Coast. Sun, drugs, gambling debts, and dirty deals push navy-prison parolee Scotland Ross deeper into the life of crime he never wanted. His sister's life, a potential newfound love, and his own freedom are all on the line as he tangles with a redneck gangster intent on becoming the state's next governor.
"Well worth the read."
Ruined and on the lam, former drug kingpin Max Fisher stumbles upon the biggest discovery of his crooked life: a designer drug called PIMP that could put him back on top. Meanwhile, a certain femme fatale from his past is pursuing a comeback dream of her own, setting herself up in Hollywood as producer of a series based on her and Max's life story. But even in La-La Land, happy endings are hard to come by, especially with both the cops and your enemies in the drug trade coming after you.
1937: The world on the brink of war. But in the city of Riverburgh, NY, 40 miles north of Manhattan, there was a different kind of war brewing. A war against the gangsters and thugs who ruled the streets and against the corrupt politicians who turned a blind eye to the evil that ran rampant. In a city where everyone had given up hope and cried to the heavens for a savior, a savior had arrived. But was he heaven-sent or a monster from hell? A grim, skull-faced being who glowed with a terrible brightness.
"Had my attention right away."
When Jack Cade is fired from a no-pay production of Hamlet, he has no inkling his next role will be opposite Marilyn Monroe - 40 years back in time, in 1956. As a down-and-out aging actor, Jack's luck and life change when he's anonymously sent a pawn ticket for an alexandrite ring. After his wife leaves him, a mysterious woman asks him to meet her at an old mansion deep in the San Fernando Valley. With nothing to lose, Jack decides to go.
"What a ride"
It was the standard blackmail scheme. For years, sultry Lysa Dean's name on a movie had meant a bonanza at the box office. Now a set of pictures could mean the end of her career.When first approached for help by lovely Dana Holtzer, Lysa's personal secretary, Travis McGee is thoroughly turned off by the tacky details. But being low on cash, and tenderly attracted by the star's intriguingly remote secretary, McGee sets out to locate his suspects -- only to find that they start turning up dead!
When McGee picks up the phone and hears a voice from the past, he can't help it. He has to meddle. Especially when he has the chance to reunite Sam Taggart, a reckless, restless man like himself, with the woman who's still waiting for him. But what begins as a simple matchmaking scheme soon becomes a bloody chase that takes McGee to Mexico, a beautiful country - and one from which he hopes to return alive.
"J Dickey's prose + I Fleming's narrative flourish"
Travis McGee never shies away from damsels in distress. But this Eurasian beauty was different. When Travis and Meyer rescued her from the water, she had a block of cement wired to her feet, and she wasn't so much grateful as ready to snare them in a murder racket to end all murders.
"At last, but hoping for a better Meyer"
Travis things he's in for a quiet summer until a walking zombie of a man, Arthur Wilkinson, stumbles aboard The Busted Flush. He's the latest victim of a fragile-looking blond sexpot who uses the blackest arts of love to lure unsuspecting suckers into a web of sordid schemes. Gone, suddenly, are the lazy, hazy days of summer as Travis becomes embroiled in one of the most dangerous, dirtiest cases of his career.
Detective Easy Rawlins returns in a mystery set in 1961 Los Angeles as Easy accepts a job searching for a beautiful woman nicknamed Black Betty who works as a housekeeper in Beverly Hills.
Reflecting a city still divided, Belfast Noir serves as a record of a city transitioning to normalcy, or perhaps as a warning that underneath the fragile peace darker forces still lurk. Featuring brand-new stories by: Glenn Patterson, Eoin McNamee, Garbhan Downey, Lee Child, Alex Barclay, Brian McGilloway, Ian McDonald, Arlene Hunt, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Claire McGowan, Steve Cavanagh, Lucy Caldwell, Sam Millar, and Gerard Brennan.
"Not what I expected"
For Tel Aviv Noir, Etgar Keret and Assaf Gavron have masterfully assembled some of Israel's top contemporary writers into a compulsively readable collection. Featuring brand-new stories by: Etgar Keret, Gadi Taub, Lavie Tidhar, Deakla Keydar, Matan Hermoni, Julia Fermentto, Gon Ben Ari, Shimon Adaf, Alex Epstein, Antonio Ungar, Gai Ad, Assaf Gavron, Silje Bekeng, and Yoav Katz.
He is a damned good cop -- a burned-out homicide detective wrapped around a Smith & Wesson .38 and a vodka bottle. She is his partner -- twice divorced, nursing a grudge against men, obsessed by the awful temptation of love.
"Hard to put down"
A smart and entertaining crime series debut set in the underbelly of Los Angeles, with a cast of characters that runs the gamut from saints to sinners. In the City of Angels, not everyone plays by the rules. When people need a problem fixed fast, and discreetly, they call Dick Henry. Henry is known as a “shortcut man,” someone who believes that the shortest answer to many problems may not always be legal. As he cuts through the red tape for his clients, Henry always gets the job done, no matter what the cost.
Beneath the glitter of Mardi Gras lies the sleaze of Bourbon Street; under the celestial sounds of JazzFest, the nightmare screams of a city once at war within its neighborhoods, but after Hurricane Katrina, seemingly at war with nature and the rest of the country as well. New Orleans is a third world country in itself, a Latin, African, European (and often amoral) culture trapped in a Puritan nation.
"Diverse as the City"
From the introduction by Les Standiford: "The truth is that Miami, though naturally lovely, is a frontier town, perched on the border between the known and the rarely before experienced. The poet Richard Hugo once said that the natural place for the writer was on the edge, and 'edge' might well be the definitive word when it comes to this city... We are not only on the edge of the continent, we are to this country what New York was in Ellis Island's heyday, what the West Coast was in the middle of the 20th century.
"A perfect logistical nightmare."
Denise Hamilton writes the Eve Diamond series. Her books have been shortlisted for the Edgar, Macavity, Anthony, and Willa Cather awards. The Los Angeles Times named Last Lullaby a Best Book of 2004, and it was also a USA Today Summer Pick and a finalist for a Southern California Booksellers Association 2004 award.
"Variety, Fasinating Characters and All Noir!"
From the introduction by Jonathan Santlofer: "Like film, literature has been no stranger to marijuana and hashish, going back to Charles Baudelaire's 1860 Artificial Paradises, in which the French poet not only describes the effects of hashish but postulates it could be an aid in creating an ideal world.
Speed: the most demonized - and misunderstood - drug in the land. Deprived of the ingrained romantic mysticism of the opiate or the cosmopolitan chic of cocaine or the mundane tolerance of marijuana, there is no sympathy for this devil. Yet speed - crystal meth, amphetamines, Dexedrine, Benzedrine, Adderall; crank, spizz, chickenscratch, oblivious marching powder, the go-fast - is the most American of drugs: twice the productivity at half the cost, and equal opportunity for all.
Prostitution has been legal in Rhode Island for more than a decade; Liam Mulligan, an old-school investigative reporter at dying Providence newspaper, suspects the governor has been taking payoffs to keep it that way. But this isn’t the only story making headlines… a child’s severed arm is discovered in a pile of garbage at a pig farm. Then the body of an internet pornographer is found sprawled on the rocks at the base of Newport’s famous Cliff Walk.
Laura Hunt was the ideal modern woman: beautiful, elegant, highly ambitious, and utterly mysterious. No man could resist her charmsnot even the hardboiled NYPD detective sent to find out who turned her into a faceless corpse. As this tough cop probes the mystery of Lauras death, he becomes obsessed with her strange power.
"I like this a lot."