The Nameless Detective is hired by a young wife to find out whether her husband has been having an affair. He trails the husband to a motel of cabins in a small village, sees him meet with a bald man, and then return to his cabin. Hours later, Nameless realizes the cabin may have a backdoor; he investigates and finds the husband has been murdered!
This is a collection of fifty short stories by veteran mystery and crime writer Bill Pronzini, best known as the creator of The Nameless Detective series. This collection crosses over a broad range of styles and characters, settings and plots, showing the breadth and depth of Pronzini's prodigious talent. Included are murders, swindles, double-crosses, crazed children, and much, much more.
In his first chronicled adventure, the Nameless Detective hires on to handle the ransom payoff in a kidnapping case. Financier Louis Martinetti doesn't trust the police to deal with the man who snatched his 9-year-old son from his military prep school, nor is it clear that he trusts the members of his own household. On the appointed evening, Nameless takes a briefcase that contains $300,000 in cash to a secluded location chosen by the kidnapper. Then all hell breaks loose.
The Nameless Detective is called upon to find out how rare books and maps are being stolen from an antiquarian bookshop with a faultless alarm system. He goes undercover in the store, only to be foiled when a theft occurs right under his nose. Then, as he ponders the case (while on a date with the lovely Kerry), he’s violently struck from behind by a car that seems bent on driving him off the road. Will Nameless survive this attempt on his life and solve the case?
"Weak writing and weaker reading"
The most renowned American authors in Western fiction are brought together in one bang 'em-up, shoot-it-out collection! Including titles by Louis L'Amour, Brian Garfield, Marcia Muller, Bill Pronzini, Thomas Thompson, John M. Cunningham, Chad Oliver, Donald Hamilton, Loren D. Estleman and Owen Wister.
"Not what I expected"
For the Nameless Detective, investigations involving matters of the heart are to be avoided at all costs. When an old poker buddy asks him to help frazzled and distraught Kay Runyon, whose husband, Victor, is having a clandestine affair with a mystery woman named Nedra, Nameless unwillingly relents, but he soon discovers there is much more at stake than a simple affair.
"another solid Pronizni story"
Nameless is called in by his friend, police lieutenant Eberhardt, when a dead woman's purse contains Nameless's business card. Nameless has never met her, and cannot make a connection. Next, Nameless is hired to track and protect a disturbed man, Martin Talbot, who may be harmed by the husband of a woman who died when Talbot's car collided with theirs after Talbot fell asleep at the wheel. But despite keeping a close tail, things go horribly wrong.
His name was Roy Sands, and he had everything to look forward to. He was getting out of the service and coming home to marry his beautiful fiancée. He had his debts paid, money in the bank, and a happy new life ahead of him. Then he disappeared.
In The Bughouse Affair, this first of a new series of lighthearted historical mysteries set in 1890s San Francisco, former Pinkerton operative Sabina Carpenter and her detective partner, ex-Secret Service agent John Quincannon, undertake what initially appear to be two unrelated investigations. Sabina's case involves the hunt for a ruthless lady "dip" who uses fiendish means to relieve her victims of their valuables at Chutes Amusement Park and other crowded places. Quincannon, meanwhile, is after a slippery housebreaker who targets the homes of wealthy residents.
"Terrific, engaging detective story!"
When a pleasant afternoon's bicycling through Golden Gate Park with a friend ends with the revelation of threatening letters, followed by a gunshot in a mansion garden, Sabina Carpenter knows this is a case that demands her immediate and undivided attention. The questions her partner John Quincannon has to unravel are not difficult: Wrixton, a wealthy banker, has met his extortionist's first demand, but the order to pay another $5,000 is too much to face. The banker's real problem is something he doesn't want to reveal.
He's just gotten some bad news, and its impact has made him immobile and fearful. He's always known that the racking cough was not just something that was going to go away, that the ache in his chest was indicative of something more serious. And now he's found out that he has a lesion on his lung which could be malignant. He's set to sit and wait and do nothing else until he gets the results, but is swayed into action by a call from an old buddy of his from the service, Harry Burroughs.
A debutante's missing body, murder most foul, and weird spectrallights in the fog make for a thrilling gas light-era tale of mystery and detection. In 1895 San Francisco young debutantes don't commit suicide at festive parties, particularly not under the eye of Sabina Carpenter. But Virginia St. Ives evidently did, leaping from a foggy parapet in a shimmer of ghostly light.
"A pleasure to listen to"
"Checkmate." That was the last word uttered to Charlie Chan and Prefect of Police Claude DeBevre by a dying reporter. The man had been murdered....stabbed to death and left to die in a vacant hotel room. It is the second murder in 24 hours at the Transcontinental Chess Tournament, and Charlie Chan has been summoned from a peaceful and long-deserved vacation to help solve the crime before international scandal ruins the tournament's good name!
"not long enough"
Love mystery? Then you'll love this book. Hate mystery? Then YOU'LL love this book. Pronzini is a fount of information about the "best" (read: hilariously inept) in mystery fiction. He's read every book ever written in the genre, it seems, and shows genuine affection for the form. The fun he pokes at the authors and their works is gentle and doesn't distract at all from your wonderment at the fact that these books ever even existed. It might, however, make you want to seek them out and try for yourself.
Former pulp writer and current hack Russell Dancer invites Nameless to the first annual Western Pulp Convention in San Francisco. He wants Nameless to help him locate the person who is trying to blackmail Dancer for a purported plagiarism of a story called "Hoodwink". Arriving at the convention, Nameless discovers that a group of former friends (and now uncomfortable colleagues) have all received blackmail notes.
When Nameless is hired by Cory Beckett, a beautiful young woman who claims to be a model, to find her missing brother, Kenneth, it seems to be a routine matter. Kenneth has fled San Francisco in a drug-induced panic to avoid trial on a charge of stealing a valuable necklace from the alcoholic wife of the man for whom he works, wealthy yachtsman Andrew Vorhees.
Bite into this delectable collection of "whodunits" from some of today's hottest mystery writers. Whet your appetite with Sara Paretsky's "Skin Deep," in which V.I. "Vic" Warshawski takes on a chi-chi salon after one of its clients turns up dead. For your next course, try Wendy Hornsby's award-winning "Nine Sons," a country schoolteacher's recollection of a gifted student whose farm life was more troubled than it seemed.
"an ok listen"
Ravaged by time and abandoned by the people who once flocked there in search of golden nuggets, Ragged-Ass Gulch is a ghost town. What’s left is a small, proud, and close pack of people who aren’t looking for change. But change seems to be afoot as several mysterious fires plague the town. That’s where the Nameless Detective comes in….
An empty train yard at midnight...a small cabin bathed in the light of a full moon...a seedy Skid Row hotel in San Francisco....These are the places where fear lives, where the chill in the air has nothing to do with the temperature, and where Death can be someone you've already met. Collected here for the first time are twenty-six terrifying stories by Bill Pronzini, a master of dark suspense and horror. These chilling stories span nearly three decades in his award-winning career, and most have never been published in book form.
"Not what I expected."
Drug lords, missing millionaires, corrupt cops… just another day for Carpenter and Quincannon Detective Services. Two missing bodies and two separate investigations take Carpenter and Quincannon from the heights above San Francisco Bay to the depths of Chinatown's opium dens. For John Quincannon, this is a first: searching a Chinatown opium den for his client's husband, missing in the middle of a brewing tong war set to ignite over the stolen corpse of Bing Ah Kee.