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By Ed Mcbain. 1959
A racially charged murder pushes a mild-mannered district attorney to the brink in this gritty legal thriller by the author… of the 87th Precinct series. After an intense heat wave, storms threaten to blanket New York City, and three boys walk across town with knives in their pockets and murder on their minds. They're tough kids in combat boots, crossing into Spanish Harlem to pick a fight. And when they see one of their intended victims, they surround him, draw their knives, and plunge their weapons into the poor boy's gut. The attackers flee, and blood pours down the victim's lifeless body, mingling with the sudden rain. But despite the showers, nothing will be able to extinguish the full-blown panic that threatens to set the city aflame. Prosecuting the case falls to Hank Bell, a Harlem-born district attorney with a solemn sense of civic duty. As the case threatens to unravel, Hank will be the only thing that stands between his city and blood-spattered anarchy. The inspiration for John Frankenheimer's classic film The Young Savages, this is a hard-eyed look at a city on the edge of chaos, written by a man who understood urban crime better than anyone else: legendary crime writer Ed McBain.
The Gold Dagger–winning author “outdoes himself” with this pair of “most unusual and original” mysteries set in an alternate twentieth-century… British monarchy (Publishers Weekly). With two CWA Gold Dagger awards for his mystery novels and two Carnegie Medals for his children’s books, Peter Dickinson is one of the most acclaimed and beloved fiction authors in recent history. In this pair of mysteries featuring an imaginary royal family, and told from the perspective of Princess Louise—a precocious teenager and later a proud mother—Dickinson reaffirms his reputation as “one of the most versatile and inventive writers of mysteries” (Los Angeles Times). King and Joker: Princess Louise is bored at Buckingham Palace before someone starts playing pranks. But when one joke really kills, the teenage princess and her father, King Victor II, stop laughing and start sleuthing in this “exceptional” mystery (Newsweek). “Wry, witty, irresistible.” —Financial Times Skeleton-in-Waiting: Now a young mother, Princess Louise is on a case that takes her to Uzbekistan where a mysterious woman claims to be a Romanov royal relation. Kidnapping, conspiracy, scandal, and murder all play a part in this New York Times Notable Book, the “wonderful” follow-up to King and Joker (Financial Times). “Fast paced and enthralling as a good detective thriller should be but also a study of extraordinary social and psychological perception.” —The New York Times Book Review
By Stanley Ellin. 1970
From a three-time Edgar Award–winning author: A private eye trails a blackmailer, a missing Florida widow, and a double-indemnity swindler.… Freelance private investigator Jake Dekker and his lovely assistant, Elinor, are kicking back in Biscayne Bay as they plan their next move on a new case: masquerading as newlyweds and insinuating themselves into the confidence of South Miami Beach’s highly respected Thoren family. Only weeks before, patriarch Walter Thoren died in a car accident after taking out a double-indemnity policy for a cool six figures, and the insurance company suspects fraud. They won’t have to pay if Jake can prove it was suicide. Unfortunately for Jake, things don’t add up: Walter was healthy, sane, and prosperous. And given the particulars of the crash, it couldn’t have been murder. So what exactly are the Thorens concealing? To find out, Jake and Elinor will head down a twisting trail of blackmail, mob connections, kidnapping, family secrets, and sordid sexual indiscretions. But they, too, are being inveigled by a masquerade—and it’s hiding the most shocking scandal under the sun. A dark masterpiece of crime fiction, The Bind was adapted for the 1979 film Sunburn, starring Farrah Fawcett, Charles Grodin, and Art Carney.
By George C. Chesbro. 1988
With a genius IQ, a past career as a circus acrobat, and a black belt in karate, criminology professor Dr.… Robert Frederickson—better known as “Mongo the Magnificent”—has a decidedly unusual background for a private investigator. He also just so happens to be a dwarf. After a series of traumas and an accidental poisoning, Mongo’s brother, Garth Fredrickson, is lying unresponsive in an off-limits government psychiatric facility. But that won’t stop New York City’s most resourceful private eye—because if there’s one person in the world Mongo would do anything for, it’s Garth. With a little unorthodox therapy, Mongo manages to bring his brother back to the real world. But it quickly becomes clear that Garth isn’t himself. Soon the siblings are estranged, and Garth ends up in the center of a cult—an unsuspecting pawn in an international terrorist plot. Up against thousands of believers willing to do anything to protect their “new Messiah,” Mongo will risk his life to save him . . . The Cold Smell of Sacred Stone is the 6th book in the Mongo Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
The second set of crime thrillers starring a tough Florida PI from the New York Times–bestselling author of Single White… Female and “one of the masters” (Ridley Pearson). New York Times– and USA Today–bestselling author John Lutz has been hailed as “a major talent” by John Lescroart, and he “just keeps getting better and better” (Tony Hillerman). “Lutz offers up a heart-pounding roller coaster” (Jeffery Deaver) in his thrillers and “knows how to make you shiver” (Harlan Coben). “The Carver series is the finest work yet by this prolific author” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). After a criminal’s bullet shattered not only his knee but also his career as an Orlando cop and his marriage, Fred Carver starts over as a private detective. In this award-winning ten-book series, Lutz’s “dogged Carver is a believably heroic guy, tough, scarred and able to exhibit fear and courage at the same time” (Publishers Weekly). Flame: When his newest client is killed in a car explosion only minutes after hiring him, Carver learns the man may not have been whom he claimed. “Stunning . . . a brilliant writer, here at the peak of his abilities.” —The Plain Dealer Bloodfire: Carver is hired by a distraught husband to find his missing wife—a heroin addict who fled with nearly $10,000. But when the terrified woman begs Carver for protection, the truth about his client’s motives comes out, and now both of them must go on the run. “Another satisfying thriller . . . Lutz carefully and caustically captures the heat and amorality of the faces and fixtures of the Florida drug scene.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Hot: After an old man tells Carver a tale of his wealthy neighbor in the Florida Keys using a yacht to smuggle cocaine, he turns up dead, the victim of a suspicious hit-and-run, and it’s up to the PI to bring his killers to justice. “A fast-paced and well-plotted mystery . . . stays hot until the very last page.” —San Francisco Chronicle
By George C. Chesbro. 1991
With a genius IQ, a past career as a circus acrobat, and a black belt in karate, criminology professor Dr.… Robert Frederickson—better known as “Mongo the Magnificent”—has a decidedly unusual background for a private investigator. He also just so happens to be a dwarf. Mongo and his brother, Garth, have left their day jobs as a professor and a cop, respectively, and formed their own PI firm, Frederickson & Frederickson. It’s a great reason to celebrate this holiday season, but when their annual tradition of picking up a few letters to Santa from the post office to fulfill the Christmas wishes of needy children reveals a sinister secret, their cheer is replaced with a yearning for justice. As the brothers race to save a little girl from a religious doomsday cult, they’ll get up close and personal with a murderous zealot bent on the eradication of all mankind—preferably before the New Year . . . Second Horseman Out of Eden is the 7th book in the Mongo Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
A sword-wielding martial arts master takes down legions of bad guys in a series that inspired the 1970s cult classic… starring Jim Kelly from Enter the Dragon. On leave in Tokyo, American GI Robert Sand is shot trying to protect an old man from a gang of drunk soldiers. Before Sand passes out, he sees the old man spring on his tormenters, beating them senseless with his bare fists. He is Master Konuma, keeper of the ancient secrets of the samurai, and Sand is about to become his newest pupil. Over the next seven years, the American learns martial arts, swordplay, and stealth, becoming not just the first black man to ever take the oath of the samurai, but the strongest fighter Konuma has ever trained. Here are the first four action-packed adventures in the series from an author who “writes with the quick, slashing motions of a karate chop” (Gerald A. Browne, New York Times–bestselling author). Black Samurai: When terrorists ambush the dojo and butcher his sensei, samurai Robert Sand takes vengeance in blood. The Golden Kill: Alone and outgunned, Sand races against the clock to stop a power-mad millionaire from pulling off the largest gold heist in history. Killer Warrior: Sand must prevent an arms dealer from selling a black-market atomic bomb to a vengeance-crazed Japanese man who plans to level New York City. The Deadly Pearl: To rescue the daughter of a secret service agent, Sand goes after a vile pimp trafficking in white slavery.
By George C. Chesbro. 2002
Circus-performer-turned-PI Mongo takes on “the CIA, neo-Nazis, and Haitian voodoo terrorists” in a grand finale that is “even more fun… than usual” (Booklist). With a genius IQ, a past career as a circus acrobat, and a black belt in karate, criminology professor Dr. Robert Frederickson—better known as “Mongo the Magnificent”—has a decidedly unusual background for a private investigator. He also just so happens to be a dwarf. Investigating illegal CIA activities in Haiti leads Mongo and his brother, former NYPD cop Garth Frederickson, to a grisly discovery: five victims of voodoo ritual sacrifice. But that’s just the first surprise. Soon they uncover a wildly ambitious assassination plot that not only puts them in the cross hairs but also has the potential to change the fate of the United States forever . . . Employing his “unlimited imagination” and talent for creating “terrific suspense” in the Mongo mystery series, author George C. Chesbro delivers a climax that pulls out all the stops (Publishers Weekly). Dream of a Falling Eagle is the 14th book in the Mongo Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
By Ed Mcbain. 1971
An assassin descends on a college town to commit a political murder in this dystopian thriller by Mystery Writers of… America Grand Master Ed McBain. As soon as he arrives, Sam Eisler can see the train station is too busy. His clients would like the job done there, but if he kills a man in that kind of crowd, he'll never get away--and Sam is here to commit homicide, not suicide. The target is a famous man, and his bodyguards will shoot an assailant on sight. Better to catch them unaware. Just outside of town, Sam spots a bridge and comes up with a new scheme: He'll blow it up, destroying his mark in an instant, and all his problems will be solved. But nothing is ever as easy as it seems. The professors and students of a local college have hired Sam to carry out this hit, a political killing that will change the course of the country. His contact is Sara, a beautiful young scholar whose boundless idealism entrances him. As Sam plans the murder, they begin an affair, and he finds himself falling in love. He came here looking for a reason to kill--in Sara, he may discover a reason to live. This remarkable thriller from the author of the 87th Precinct series is set in a world where all political resistance has been stamped out. For Sam and Sara, the revolution will start when the bridge explodes.
By Craig Rice. 1943
This Thanksgiving, two birds of a feather are about to get plucked—“Why can’t all murders be as funny as those… concocted by Craig Rice?” (The New York Times) Former con-artist photographers Bingo Riggs and Handsome Kusak are en route from the grit of New York City to the glitter of Sunset Boulevard when their dreams are waylaid in a tragic roadside accident with an errant turkey. But getting stuck in the off-the-map community of Thursday County, Iowa, has an upside: a blushing farmer’s daughter with a promising sob story. To help her ailing grandma, the Halvorsen family turkey farm is up for grabs. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Bingo and Handsome plan to make a bundle off the gobbling herd. But these two city slickers should’ve known that small towns hide big secrets—and Thursday’s secrets go back more than a decade. Before long, Bingo and Handsome get tangled up in a bank robbery, face off with an escaped convict, follow the trail of a buried fortune, are wrangled into a fowl conspiracy, and come to a dead end when they become suspects in a murder. As turkey day nears, it could very well be their heads on the chopping block. This Bingo and Handsome mystery is “a devastating satire . . . [an] immensely complex cat’s cradle of the plot” (Barry Ergang, Derringer Award–winning author). The Thursday Turkey Murders is the 2nd book in the Bingo Riggs and Handsome Kusak Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
By George C. Chesbro. 1993
A circus-performer-turned-PI deals with sinister sleight of hand in a novel that “gleefully subvert[s] most of the rules of mystery… fiction” (Publishers Weekly). With a genius IQ, a past career as a circus acrobat, and a black belt in karate, criminology professor Dr. Robert Frederickson—better known as “Mongo the Magnificent”—has a decidedly unusual background for a private investigator. He also just so happens to be a dwarf. Mongo and his brother, Garth, are experienced private detectives. So when Garth’s wife Mary’s strange ex-boyfriend shows up uninvited, they suspect he, the self-proclaimed magician Sacra Silver, is full of mumbo jumbo. But when a series of annoying pranks disrupts their lives, Mongo and Garth have to deal with Sacra’s attempts at black magic. Meanwhile, they’re also investigating a death involving a suspicious multinational corporation. Garth’s friend, environmental cop Tom Blaine, was found in the Hudson chopped to pieces by a boat propeller—just like the kind on the tanker the victim had seen dumping oil in the river . . . The two problems couldn’t be less alike, but soon Mongo learns the dirty dealings have a connection that could put everyone he loves in danger. An Incident at Bloodtide is the 12th book in the Mongo Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
By George C. Chesbro. 1990
A circus-performer-turned-PI uncovers dark secrets in a Hudson River town in this novel of “bloodcurdling adventure” and “genuine suspense” (Publishers… Weekly). With a genius IQ, a past career as a circus acrobat, and a black belt in karate, criminology professor Dr. Robert Frederickson—better known as “Mongo the Magnificent”—has a decidedly unusual background for a private investigator. He also just so happens to be a dwarf. When his friend, FBI agent Michael Burana, suspiciously drowns in the small town of Cairn, New York, Mongo’s pursuit of the truth takes him up the Hudson River to the scene of the crime. Long known as a village populated by artists, intellectuals, and writers, Cairn has recently become home to ultraconservative political commentator Elysius Culhane, whose autobiography title, If You’re Not Right You’re Wrong, is less a pun than a personal manifesto. Mongo couldn’t care less about politics, but there’s something about Culhane that just isn’t right. And as Mongo and his brother, Garth, attempt to discern the real reason for Agent Burana’s death, they will uncover a conspiracy that could leave them both swimming with the fishes . . . The Language of Cannibals is the 8th book in the Mongo Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
By Barry Day. 2003
A delightful biography of Sherlock Holmes that draws on quotations from Dr. Watson More has been written about Sherlock Holmes… in a century than was written about Shakespeare in four. It is a testament to the enduring allure of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's great detective that long after his last bow, devotees of Baker Street have continued to produce stories, films, and television works based on the life of Sherlock Holmes. Nothing new can match the brilliant intensity of the original, however, and so Barry Day has produced this invaluable biography of Holmes, drawn from the words of the man who knew him best: Dr. John Watson. From their first days at 221B Baker Street to the tragedy at the Reichenbach Falls, and continuing on after Holmes's glorious resurrection and retirement, Day compiles every detail given in the original stories about the life of the great detective, hoping to solve the most baffling mystery of all: What sort of man was Sherlock Holmes?
By Ellery Queen. 1963
A talented but broke doctor finds the only cure for poverty is crime Harry Brown is a good doctor, but… he doesn't know the antidote for the poison that has coursed through him for 2 decades--the poison of envy. Ever since his days in prep school, when this scholarship student looked longingly at the fine clothes and expensive cars showered on the other children, Dr. Brown has been desperate for wealth. Becoming an MD was supposed to be his ticket to the good life, but after 2 years' practice, his savings are nearly exhausted and the good doctor is staring poverty in the mouth. It will take a miracle to save him--but the one that arrives could get him killed. Hired as the private physician for millionaire Kurt Gresham, Dr. Brown is horrified to learn that his new employer is a heroin kingpin. But the money is good, Gresham's wife is beautiful, and Brown would rather be dead than poor.
By Seeley Regester. 2015
A love triangle turns deadly in the first full-length detective novel by an American author Published a decade prior to… Anna Katharine Green's The Leavenworth Case (1878), The Dead Letter concerns the murder of Henry Moreland, whose body is found just a few steps from the home of John Argyll, Esq. Moreland was engaged to Argyll's daughter, Eleanor, and suspicion soon falls upon the lawyer's protégé, Richard Redfield. Desperate to clear his name, Redfield seeks the help of Mr. Burton, a famous New York City detective--but the case has more twists and turns than either of the two men could possibly imagine. Set against the political turmoil of the Reconstruction Era, The Dead Letter is a fascinating historical document, a pioneering work of genre fiction, and a mystery with a cleverly satisfying conclusion. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
By Brett Halliday. 1969
A disappearing corpse draws Mike Shayne into political guerilla warfare A year after marrying the toughest PI in Miami, Phyllis… Shayne longs for a few weeks alone with her husband. She and Mike are about to board a train to New York when a client shows up at the door. Her face gray and her voice slurred, the mysterious woman passes out before she's able to get through her story. Mike carries the stranger to his spare bedroom and, trying to save his wife from worry, tells Phyllis to go on to the train station without him; he'll meet her in a few days. When he goes back to check on the woman, she is dead, with one of her stockings wrapped tightly around her throat. Something is fishy, but it's about to get far more complicated when the body disappears. The woman arrived just after Mike took a call from Sam Marsh, a close friend who's in a mayoral race that's about to turn bloody. To save his friend's campaign and keep himself out of jail, Mike will have to find the killer--but he'll have to find the body first.
By Richard S. Prather. 1971
To rescue a scientist's daughter, Shell Scott leaps headfirst into a swinging international conspiracy The woman at the door is… young, frightened, and, most importantly, gorgeous. Shell Scott is the savviest private detective in Los Angeles. His forte is noticing women, and Drusilla is not to be missed. It's no wonder she's so lovely: Her father is the inventor of Erovite, the greatest aphrodisiac known to man. Scott, of course, isn't in need of aphrodisiacal assistance, but it would be impossible to miss the invention of a wonder drug that jumpstarts the libido and cures any number of aches, pains, and diseases at the same time. Erovite's monumental claims have drawn the wrath of the medical community, the FDA, and the Christian Church, among others, and someone has decided to take action. Drusilla's father has been kidnapped, and only Scott can save this happy hedonist from the sinister forces of good taste.
Former PI and independently wealthy actor Michael Spraggue attends a get-together of great New Orleans chefs where the secret ingredient… is murder Sophisticated Boston Brahmin Michael Spraggue will never forget the flaky strawberry tarts Dora Levoyer made for him when he was a little boy. A French immigrant who has worked for Michael's eccentric aunt Mary for decades, Dora has an old-world sensibility, an elegant palate, and a past that cannot be spoken of. Deserted by her husband long ago, she has fought hard to put him out of her mind. But when Dora is invited to a banquet held by the finest chefs in New Orleans, she sees a man who looks just like her missing spouse. Before she can confront him, he is found with a chef's knife embedded in his heart--and every piece of evidence points to Dora as the killer. At his aunt Mary's behest, Michael hops the first plane down to New Orleans--a mysterious city where the dead, like the living, have dangerous secrets.
By Richard S. Prather. 1967
When his client turns up dead and naked, Shell Scott focuses on the widow Everyone at the party is naked.… It's just that kind of scene. Even the corpse seems to have forgotten his clothes. Private detective Shell Scott has tangled with the toughest 'hoods in Los Angeles--and has the scars to show for it--but even he isn't prepared for a gathering of Southern California's most murderous nudists. He's been summoned to the party by the host, George Halstead, on a matter of "peculiar delicacy," but he'll soon discover there's much more to this mystery than a single unclothed stiff. As it turns out, it's Halstead who's both naked and dead, and his widow is eager for Scott to crack the case. Before he knows what hit him, this PI will be neck-deep in blackmail, murder, and enough bare bodies to fill the grotto at the Playboy Mansion.
By Ellery Queen. 1967
The 1-eyed detective Tim Corrigan tears New York apart in search of an assassin Tim Corrigan was the toughest detective… in the NYPD before he joined the army, and fighting in Korea didn't make him any softer. He returned with an eye patch and a sidekick: a tough-as-nails GI named Chuck Baer, who picked up a private investigator's license in order to keep an eye on his old foxhole buddy. In a fair fight, these 2 veterans could take down any hoodlum in New York. But the man they're up against doesn't fight fair. Running for state senate, liberal lawyer Art Cough is halfway through a stump speech when he's interrupted by a right-wing heckler from the anticommunist group known as PUFF. Before Cough can resume, a shot rings out. He falls dead, and the killer disappears into the crowd. To catch the sniper, Corrigan and Baer will have to go to war once more.