(Aka Jill Emerson, Paul Kavanagh, William Ard)
[June 24, 1938 - ]
Bernie Rhodenbarr is a personable chap, a good neighbor, a passable
poker player. His chosen profession, however, might not sit well with
some. Bernie is a burglar, a good one, effortlessly lifting valuables
from the not-so-well-protected abodes of well-to-do New Yorkers like a
modern-day Robin Hood. (The poor, as Bernie would be the first to tell
you, alas, have nothing worth stealing.)
Burglars Can't Be Choosers (1977)
He's not perfect, however; he occasionally makes mistakes. Like
accepting a paid assignment from a total stranger to retrieve a
particular item from a rich man's apartment. Like still being there when
the cops arrive. Like having a freshly slain corpse lying in the next
room, and no proof that Bernie isn't the killer.
Now he's really got his hands full, having to locate the true
perpetrator while somehow eluding the police -- a dirty job indeed, but
if Bernie doesn't do it, who will?
The Burglar in the Closet (1978, 2006)
It's hard to ignore someone with his hands in your
mouth. Bernie Rhodenbarr's all ears when Dr. Sheldrake, his dentist,
starts complaining about his detestable, soon-to-be-ex wife, and happens
to mention the valuable diamonds she keeps lying around the apartment.
Since Bernie's been known to supplement his income as a bookstore owner
with the not-so-occasional bout of high-rise burglary, a couple of
nights later he's in the Sheldrake apartment with larceny on his mind --
and has to duck into a closet when the lady of the house makes an
unexpected entrance. Unfortunately he's still there when an unseen
assailant does Mrs. Sheldrake in . . . and then vanishes with the
Bernie's got to come out of the closet some time. But when he does,
he'll be facing a rap for a murder he didn't commit -- and for a
burglary he certainly attempted -- unless he can hunt down the killer
who left him hanging.
The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling (1979, 2005) Bernie Rhodenbarr has gone legit -- almost -- as
the new owner of a used bookstore in New York's Greenwich Village. Of
course, dusty old tomes don't always turn a profit, so to make ends
meet, Bernie's forced, on occasion, to indulge in his previous
occupation: burglary. Besides which, he likes it.
Now a collector is offering Bernie an opportunity to combine his twin
passions by stealing a very rare and very bad book-length poem from a
rich man's library.
The heist goes off without a hitch. The delivery of the ill-gotten
volume, however, is a different story. Drugged by the client's female
go-between, Bernie wakes up in her apartment to find the book gone, the
lady dead, a smoking gun in his hand, and the cops at the door. And
suddenly he's got to extricate himself from a rather sticky real-life
murder mystery and find a killer -- before he's booked for Murder One.
The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza (1980,
Bookselling burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr doesn't generally
get philosophical about his criminal career. He's good at it, it's
addictively exciting—and it pays a whole lot better than pushing old
tomes. He steals therefore he is, period.
He might well ponder, however, the deeper meaning of events at the
luxurious Chelsea brownstone of Herb and Wanda Colcannon, which is
apparently burgled three times on the night Bernie breaks in: once
before his visit and once after. Fortunately he still manages to lift
some fair jewelry and an extremely valuable coin. Unfortunately burglar
or burglars number three leave Herb unconscious and Wanda dead . . . and
the cops think Rhodenbarr dunnit.
There's no time to get all existential about it—especially after the
coin vanishes and the fence fencing it meets with a most severe end. But
Bernie is going to have to do some deep thinking to find a way out of
this homicidal conundrum.
The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian (1983, 2005)
It's not that used bookstore owner and part-time burglar
Bernie Rhodenbarr believes the less legal of his two professions is
particularly ethical. (It is, however, a rush, and he is very good at
it.) He just thinks it's unfair to face a prison term for his legitimate
activities. After appraising the worth of a rich man's library --
conveniently leaving his fingerprints everywhere in the process --
Bernie finds he's the cops' prime suspect when his client is murdered.
Someone has framed Bernie Rhodenbarr better than they do it at the
Whitney. And if he wants to get out of this corner he's been masterfully
painted into, he'll have to get to the bottom of a rather artful -- if
multiply murderous -- scam.
The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams (1994, 2005)
Bernie Rhodenbarr is actually trying to earn an honest
living. It's been an entire year since he's entered anyone's abode
illegally to help himself to their valuables. But now an unscrupulous
landlord's threat to increase Bernie's rent by 1,000% is driving the
bookseller and reformed burglar back to a life of crime -- though, in
all fairness, it's a very short trip. And when the cops wrongly accuse
him of stealing a priceless collection of baseball cards, Bernie's stuck
with a worthless alibi since he was busy burgling a different
apartment at the time . . . one that happened to contain a dead body
locked inside a bathroom.
So Bernie has a dilemma. He can trade a burglary charge for a murder
rap. Or he can shuffle all the cards himself and try to find the joker
in the deck -- someone, perhaps, who believes that homicide is the
real Great American Pastime.
The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart (1995, 2006)
Bookseller Bernie Rhodenbarr's in love—with an exotic
Eastern European beauty who shares his obsession with Humphrey Bogart
movies. He's in heaven, munching popcorn with his new amour every night
at a Bogart Film Festival—until their Casablanca-esque idyll is
cut short by his other secret passion: burglary.
When he's hired to pilfer a portfolio of valuable documents from a Park
Avenue apartment, Bernie can hardly refuse. But the occupant's early
return forces Bernie to flee empty-handed—and he soon finds himself
implicated in a murder. Before you can say "who stole the strawberries?"
he's hunting for a killer, up to his neck in the outrageous intrigues of
a tiny Balkan nation . . . and menaced by more sinister fat men and
unsavory toadies than the great Bogie himself butted heads with in
pursuit of that darn bird!
The Burglar in the Library (1997, 2007)
Bookseller and New-Yorker-to-the-bone, Bernie Rhodenbarr
rarely ventures out of Manhattan, but he's excited about the romantic
getaway he has planned for himself and current lady love Lettice at the
Cuttleford House, a remote upstate b&b. Unfortunately, Lettice has a
prior engagement—she's getting married . . . and not to Bernie—so
he decides to take best buddy Carolyn instead. A restful respite from
the big city's bustle would be too good to waste. Besides, there's a
very valuable first edition shelved in the Cuttleford's library that
Bernie's just itching to get his hands on. Did we neglect to mention
that Bernie's a burglar?
But first he's got to get around a very dead body on the library floor.
The plot's thickened by an isolating snowstorm, downed phone lines, the
surprise arrival of Lettice and her reprehensible new hubby, and
a steadily increasing corpse count. And it's Bernie who'll have to
figure out whodunit . . . or die.
The Burglar in the Rye (1999, 2007)
Gulliver Fairborn's novel, Nobody's Baby, changed
Bernie Rhodenbarr's life. And now pretty Alice Cottrell, Fairborn's
one-time paramour, wants the bookselling, book-loving burglar to break
into a room in New York's teeth-achingly charming Paddington Hotel and
purloin some of the writer's very personal letters before an
unscrupulous agent can sell them. Here's an opportunity to use his
unique talents in the service of the revered, famously reclusive author.
But when Bernie gets there, the agent is dead . . . and Bernie's wanted
for murder. (He really hates when that happens!)
Perhaps it's karmic payback; Bernie did help himself to a ruby necklace
on his way out. (But it was lying there. And he is a burglar.) Now he's
in even hotter water. And he'll need to use every trick in the
book—maybe going so far as to entice the hermitic Fairborn himself out
of seclusion—to bring this increasingly twisted plot to a satisfying
The Burglar on the Prowl (2004)
Sophisticated yet down-to-earth, philosophical yet
practical, Bernie is a gentleman who knows and loves his territory, the
gloriously diverse and electric streets of Manhattan; a connoisseur who
surrounds himself with the finer things in life, including his tailless
Manx tabby, Raffles, and good friends like his neighbor Carolyn. In
fact, it's a friend who gets him in his latest jam. Bernie is minding
his own business when he's asked for a favor -- a neat, uncomplicated
bit of vengeful larceny that will reap a tidy profit -- an offer the
intrepid thief can't refuse.
But with a few days to go before the crime, Bernie gets restless. So
what does a burglar do to change his mood? Go on the prowl, of course.
Though not the best way to do business, as he well knows. This bit of
prowling lands Bernie in a pile of trouble that includes four murders
and the burglary of his own home. Caught in the center of a deadly
mystery, he must use his wits and wiles to connect the dots and add up
the coincidences. Because if Bernie doesn't catch a killer, he'll lose
not only his freedom but his life.
Infused with the rich atmosphere of New York City and filled with a
smart, charming cast of characters headed by the stylish Bernie, The
Burglar on the Prowl is an engaging and delightfully suspenseful tale
sure to be savored by Block fans old and new.
Also known as Five Little Rich Girls.
Chip Harrison Series
A sex-crazed teenager.
Chip Harrison appeared in the
first two novels as a teenager obsessed with losing his virginity. These
novels were funny non-mysteries. The next two novels were mysteries —
Chip became an assistant to Leo Haig, a private investigator.
Topless Tulip Caper (1975)
Now a man about town working for a famous detective, Chip
Harrison finds himself at a Times Square Club waiting for his latest
client, a stripper, to finish a night's work. When she completes her
set, she introduces him to her roommate, a dancer who's targeted for
murder...and killed in the club right before their very eyes! The list
of suspects is as long as the line outside the club, and now it will
take all of Chip's street smarts to trap a killer!
Introducing Chip Harrison
The Affairs of Chip Harrison
The Thief Who Couldn't Sleep (1966, 2007)
Evan Michael Tanner hasn't slept in more than a
decade—not since a small piece of battlefield shrapnel invaded his
skull and obliterated his brain's sleep center. Still, he's managed to
find numerous inventive ways to occupy his waking hours.
Tanner is a card-carrying member of hundreds of international
organizations, from the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Order to the
Flat Earth Society—not because he believes in their myriad lost
causes, he's simply a joiner by nature. Besides, it gives him
something to do.
The Russians think Tanner is a CIA operative on a covert mission. The
CIA is certain he's a Soviet agent. Actually, he's in Turkey pursuing
a fortune in hidden Armenian gold. But Tanner's up for anything,
including a little spycraft, if it helps him reach his big payday. And
if need be, he'll even start a small revolution . . .
Evan Tanner ran head-first into a piece of shrapnel in
Korea, and now he can't sleep. Ever. Which can be an asset for a
dedicated linguist, term paper forger, thief, lost cause enthusiast .
The Canceled Czech (1966, 2007)
Tanner takes on jobs for a covert intelligence organization so secret
that even those who work for it have no idea who they're working for.
Now his nameless supervisor wants him to sneak behind the Iron
Curtain, storm an impregnable castle in Prague (alone!), and
rescue an old Slovak who's got a pressing date with a hangman's noose.
The trouble is the prisoner is an unrepentant Nazi who makes Goering
look like Mister Rogers. Tanner hates Nazis. If he's caught (which is
likely) the U.S. will deny that they know him. And Tanner will be
executed. After being tortured, no doubt. All in all, there are many
excellent reasons why Tanner should refuse this assignment.
So, naturally, he says yes.
Sometime spy Evan Tanner has accepted impossible
assignments for many reasons: money, thrills, to have something to
occupy his waking hours (twenty-four of them every day, in fact, since
battlefield shrapnel obliterated his brain's sleep center). But this
might be the first time he's put his life on the line . . . for love.
Tanner's Twelve Swingers (1967, 2007)
Tanner's agreed to smuggle a sexy Latvian gymnast—the lost lady love
of a heart-sick friend—out of Russia. With the Cold War at its
chilliest and the Iron Curtain slammed shut, this will not be easy,
especially since everybody in Eastern Europe, it seems, wants to tag
along, including a subversive Slav author and the six-year-old heir to
the nonexistent Lithuanian throne.
But that's not the biggest hurdle. The gymnast refuses to budge unless
Tanner rescues her eleven delightfully limber teammates as well—and
that might be raising the bar too lethally high for even the
ever-resourceful Evan Tanner to clear.
Evan Tanner can't sleep. Ever. Which gives him plenty of
free time to get involved in lots of interesting endeavors in all
sorts of exotic locales.
Two For Tanner (1967,
The Scoreless Thai)
Now Tanner's in Thailand with a partially baked plan and a butterfly
net, hoping to snare a beautiful missing chanteuse who's metamorphosed
into an international jewel thief. Tanner hopes everyone will buy his
disguise as a rare butterfly researcher. And everyone does . . .
Except the guerilla band holding him captive. They intend to remove
his head when the sun rises, so Tanner must put his fate in the hands
of a randy Thai youth who will do anything for a woman, even set a
suspected spy free. Soon they're running through the jungle together,
chased by bandits, soldiers, and yellow fever, and racing headlong
into the heart of darkness—and into the flames of war.
She was the purist of the pure -- until Tanner found her
in one of the Far East's most notorious pleasure palaces.
Here Comes a Hero (1968)
The Cold War's boiling over. Global tensions are near the
breaking point. So what's the perfect assignment for a super-spy who
hasn't slept since the Korean conflict? A fun-filled trip to the
Montreal World's Fair!
Tanner's Tiger (1968, 2007)
The adorable little girl he's escorting—who, under different
circumstances, would be sitting on the Lithuanian throne—can hardly
contain her excitement, but it isn't all playtime for Evan Tanner.
Some mysterious disappearances, apparently linked to the fair's Cuban
exhibition, need to be looked into.
Keeping his mind on business, however, won't be easy after an
insatiable lovely in a tiger skin falls into Tanner's arms, and a
mother lode of dangerous drugs falls into his lap. But the biggest,
deadliest suprise is the terrorist plot Tanner's tumbling into, and
he'll have to think and act quickly to prevent the visiting queen of
England from being blown to smithereens.
It's a jungle out there.
Me Tanner, You Jane (1970, 2007)
Literally. At least for Evan Tanner, eternally sleepless sometime
superspy, who finds himself in Africa on the trail of the AWOL ruler
of tiny Modonoland. It seems the petty despot's gone missing, and he's
taken the state treasury along with him.
No stranger to impossible missions and international peril, Tanner's
been in over his head before. This time, however, he's in imminent
danger of being buried alive. And it all has to do with the CIA, white
supremacists, moderate revolutionaries . . . and a blond jungle
bombshell named (no joke!) Sheena. Tanner's always been a
sucker for a pretty face and a curvaceous body, especially one that's
wrapped in leopard skin. But this red hot renegade daughter of a local
missionary is a maneater.
Which means this time Tanner's goose is well and truly cooked.
Cold War superspy Evan Tanner lost the ability to sleep
on a battlefield in Korea. So where the heck has he been since the
Tanner On Ice (1998, 2007)
Frozen. Cryogenically. A Tanner-sicle. Which he never thought
would happen when he walked into a basement in Union City, New Jersey,
more than a quarter century ago. Now he's unthawed and ready to
rumble, and his somewhat addled, former super-secret boss, "the
Chief," is glad his favorite operative's active again.
Tanner awoke to a different world, though some bad things have
remained the same . . . or gotten worse. Even before he can fully
acclimate himself to this perplexing future, Tanner's off to Burma
(which isn't really Burma anymore) to pose as a monk, destabilize the
government, dodge a lethal double-cross, and rescue a beautiful
The world's still full of conspiracy, corruption, greed, political
chicanery—and beautiful women. So Tanner's back with a vengeance, with
a lot of lost time to make up for.
The CIA, the FBI, the KGB, Interpol—not one of the
world's premier intelligence organizations knows quite what to make of
Evan Michael Tanner. Is he a spy, a mercenary, a footloose adventurer,
or simply a screwball sucker for hopeless causes?
Tanner's Virgin (2006)
(Actually he's a little bit of all of the above. Plus he never sleeps.
One thing's for sure: Tanner's a true romantic, which is why he can't
refuse a distraught mother who begs him to rescue her lost,
pure-as-driven-snow daughter. Phaedra Harrow (nee Deborah Horowitz)
once shared Tanner's apartment but not his bed. And now the virginal
beauty's been abducted by white slavers in the Afghan wilderness.
Finding Phaedra will be difficult enough. Bringing her back alive and
unmolested may be impossible. And first Tanner will have to swim the
English Channel, survive trigger-happy Russian terrorists . . . and
maybe pull off a timely assassination or two.
Keller is your basic urban Lonely Guy.He makes a decent
wage, lives in a nice apartment.Works the crossword puzzle. Watches a
little TV. Until the phone rings and he packs a suitcase, gets on a
plane, flies halfway across the country...and kills somebody. It's a
living. But is it a life? Keller's not sure. He goes to a shrink, but it
doesn't work out the way he planned. He gets a dog, he gets a
girlfriend. He gets along.
Hit Man (1998)
Hit List (2000)
Keller is a regular guy. He goes to the movies, works on
his stamp collection. Call him for jury duty and he serves without
complaint. Then every so often he gets a phone call from White Plains
that sends him flying off somewhere to kill a perfect stranger. Keller
is a pro and very good at what he does. But the jobs have started to go
wrong. The realization is slow coming yet, when it arrives, it is
irrefutable: Someone out there is trying to hit the hit man. Keller, God
help him, has found his way onto somebody else's hit list.
Hit Parade (2006)
John Keller is everyone's favorite hit man: a
new kind of hero for a new, uncertain age. He's cool. Reliable. A real
pro: the hit man's hit man. The inconvenient wife, the aging sports
star, the business partner, the retiree with a substantial legacy. He's
taken care of them all, quietly and efficiently.
Keller's got a code of honor, though he'd never call it that. And he
keeps the job strictly business. "What happens is you wind up thinking
of each subject not as a person to be killed but as a problem to be
solved. Now there are guys doing this who cope with it by making it
personal. They find a reason to hate the guy they have to kill. I don't
know what's a sin and what isn't, or if one person deserves to go on
living and another deserves to have his life ended. Sometimes I think
about stuff like that, but as far as working it all out in my mind,
well, I never seem to get anywhere."
But while Keller might be a pragmatic and crack assassin, he's also
prone to doubts and loneliness just like everybody else. There was a
psychotherapist once. A dog. Even a woman. And though he's got Dot, his
wisecracking contact and sometimes confidante, and his precious stamp
collection, these days, it doesn't seem to be enough.
Keller's been at this business a long while. Just maybe it's time to
pack it in and find a nice little house in the desert. Only problem is,
retirement takes money. And to get money, he's got to go to work. . . .
Hit and Run (2008 release)
Martin Ehrengraf Series
A criminal lawyer who boasts never having lost a case.
Matthew Scudder Series
A recovering alcoholic private investigator.
The Sins of the Fathers (1976)
The pretty young prostitute is dead. Her alleged murderer—a minister's
son—hanged himself in his jail cell. The case is closed. But the dead
girl's fatherhas come to Matthew Scudder for answers, sending the
unlicensed private investigator in search of terrible truths about a
life that was lived and lost in a sordid world of perversion and
In the Midst of Death (1976)
Bad cop Jerry Broadfield didn't make any friends on the force when he
volunteered to squeal to an ambitious D.A. about police corruption. Now
he's accused of murdering a call girl. Matthew Scudder doesn't think
Broadfield's a killer, but the cops aren't about to help the unlicensed
P.I. prove it -- and they may do a lot worse than just get in his way.
Time to Murder and Create (1976)
Small-time stoolie, Jake " The Spinner" Jablon, made a lot of new
enemies when he switched careers, from informer to blackmailer. And the
more "clients", he figured, the more money -- and more people eager to
see him dead. So no one is surprised when the pigeon is found floating
in the East River with his skull bashed in. And what's worse, no one
cares -- except Matthew Scudder. The ex-cop-turned-private-eye is no
conscientious avenging angel. But he's willing to risk his own life and
limb to confront Spinner's most murderously aggressive marks. A job's a
job after all -- and Scudder's been paid to find a killer -- by the
A Stab in the Dark (1981)
Louis Pinell, the recently apprehended "Icepick Prowler," freely admits
to having slain seven young women nine years ago -- but be swears it was
a copycat who killed Barbara Ettinger Matthew Scudder believes him. But
the trail to Ettinger's true murderer is twisted, dark and
dangerous...and even colder than the almost decade-old corpse the p.i.
is determined to avenge.
Eight Million Ways To Die (1983)
Nobody knows better than Matthew Scudder how far down a person can sink
in this city. A young prostitute named Kim knew it also—and she wanted
out. Maybe Kim didn't deserve the life fate had dealt her. She surely
didn't deserve her death. The alcoholic ex-cop turned p.i. was supposed
to protect her, but someone slashed her to ribbons on a crumbling New
York City waterfront pier. Now finding Kim's killer will be Scudder's
penance. But there are lethal secrets hiding in the slain hooker's past
that are far dirtier than her trade. And there are many ways of dying in
this cruel and dangerous town—some quick and brutal ... and some
- In the dark days, in a sad and lonely place,
ex-cop Matt Scudder is drinking his life away -- and doing "favors" for
pay for his ginmill cronies. But when three such assignments flow
together in dangerous and disturbing ways, he'll need to change his
priorities from boozing to surviving.
When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (1986)
- Matthew Scudder understands the futility of his
search for a longtime missing Midwestern innocent who wanted to be an
actress in the vast meat-grinder called New York City. But her frantic
father heard that Schudder is the best—and now the ex-cop-turned-p.i. is
scouring the hell called Hell's Kitchen looking for anything that might
resemble a lead. And in this neighborhood of the lost, he's finding
love—and death—in the worst possible places.
Out on the Cutting Edge (1989)
- Twelve years ago, Matthew Scudder lied to a jury
to put James Leo Motley behind bars. Now the ingenious psychopath is
free. And the alcoholic ex-cop-turned-p.i. must pay dearly for his sins.
Friends and former lovers -- even strangers unfortunate enough to share
Scudder's name -- are turning up dead. Because a vengeful maniac is
determined not to rest until he's driven his nemesis back to the
bottle...and then to the boneyard.
A Ticket To The Boneyard (1990)
- A successful socialite's beautiful wife was raped
and murdered in her own home -- and Matt Scudder believes the victim's
"grieving" husband was responsible for the outrage. But to prove it, the
haunted p.i. must descend into the depths of New York's sex-for-sale
underworld, where young lives are commodities to be bought,
A Dance at the Slaughterhouse (1991)
- A new breed of entrepreneurial monster has set up
shop in the big city. Ruthless, ingenious murderers, they prey on the
loved ones of those who live outside the law--knowing full well that
criminals will never run to the police no matter how brutal the threat.
So other avenues for justice must be explored--which is where
ex-cop-turned-p.i. Matthew Scudder comes in. Scudder has no love for the
drug dealers and poison peddlers who now need his help. Nevertheless, he
is determined to do whatever it takes to put an elusive pair of
thrill-kill extortionists our of business. For they are using the
innocent to fuel their terrible enterprise.
A Walk Among the Tombstones (1992)
- In this city, there is little sense and no rules.
Those who fly the highest often come crashing down the hardest -- like
successful young Glenn Holtzmann, randomly blown away by a deranged
derelict at a corner phone booth on Eleventh Avenue. Unlicensed p.i.
Matt Scudder thinks Holtzmann was simply in the wrong place at the worst
time. Others think differently -- like Thomas Sadecki, brother of the
crazed Vietnam vet accused of the murder, who wants Scudder to prove the
madman innocent. But no one is truly innocent in this unmerciful
metropolis --including Matther Scudder, whose curiosity and dedication
are leading him to dark, unexplored places in his own heart...and to
passions and revelations that could destroy everything he loves.
The Devil Knows You're Dead (1993)
- An ancient brotherhood meets annually in the back
room of a swank Manhattan restaurant—a fraternity created in secret to
celebrate life by celebrating its dead. But the past three decades have
not been kind to the Club of 31. Matthew Scudder—ex-cop, ex-boozer—has
known death in all its guises. Which is why he has been asked to
investigate a baffling, thirty-year run of suicides and suspiciously
random accidents that has thinned the ranks of this very select group of
gentlemen. But Scudder has mortality problems of his own. For this is a
city that feeds mercilessly on the unsuspecting—and even thepowerful and
those who serve them are easy prey. There are too many secrets here—and
too many places for a maddeningly patient serial killer to hide . . .
and wait . . . and strike.
A Long Line of Dead Men (1994)
- Matthew Scudder knows that justice is an elusive
commodity in the big city, where a harmless man can be shot dead in a
public place criminals fly free through holes in a tattered legal
system. But now a vigilante is roaming among the millions, executing
those he fees deserve to die. He calls himself "The Will of the
People"—an ingenious serial killer who announces his specific murderous
intentions to the media before carrying through on his threats. A child
molester, a Mafia don, a violent anti-abortionist—even the protected and
untouchable are being ruthlessly erased by New York's latest celebrity
Even the Wicked (1997)
Scudder knows that no one is innocent—but who among us has the right to
play God? It is a question that will haunt the licensed p.i. on his
journey through the bleak city grays, as he searches for the sanity in
urban madness. . .and for a frighteningly efficient killer who can do
- Matt Scudder is finally leading a comfortable
life. The crime rate's down and the stock market's up. Gentrification's
prettying-up the old neighborhood. The New York streets don't look so
Everybody Dies (1999)
Then all hell breaks loose.
Scudder quickly discovers the spruced-up sidewalks are as mean as ever,
dark and gritty and stained with blood. He's living in a world where the
past is a minefield, the present is a war zone, and the future's an open
question. It's a world where nothing is certain and nobody's safe, a
random universe where no one's survival can be taken for granted. Not
even his own.
A world where everybody dies.
Hope to Die
When Byrne and Susan Hollander are killed in a brutal home
invasion, the whole city catches its collective breath. A few days later
the killers turn up dead behind a locked door in Brooklyn. One has
killed his partner, then himself. The city sighs with relief. The cops
close the case. Matt and Elaine Scudder were in the
same room with the Hollanders hours before their deaths. In spite of
himself, Scudder is drawn to the Hollander case. The closer he looks,
the more he senses the presence of a third man, a puppet master who
manipulated his two accomplices, then cut their strings when he was done
with them. The villain who looms in the shadows is one
of Block's most inspired creations, cold and diabolical, murdering for
pleasure and profit. Nobody but Scudder even suspects he exists -- and
he's not done killing. He's just getting started....
All the Flowers Are Dying (2005)
A man in a Virginia prison awaits execution
for three horrific murders he must have committed but swears he didn't .
An aging investigator in New York City has seen too much and lost too
much -- and is ready to leave the darkness behind . . .
But a nightmare is coming home -- because a brilliant, savage, patient
monster has unfinished business in the big city . . . and a hunger that
can be satisfied only by fear and the slow, agonizing death of Matthew
Scudder and the woman he loves.
New York City private investigator Ed London has a
problem. Or rather, the problem is his brother-in-law's. Jack
Enright's mistress, a woman with secrets of her own, has been shot to
death in the apartment that he pays for. But when the body, moved by
London to Central Park, is finally identified, London knows he must
act quickly to find her killer, before the killer and the police find
Death Pulls a Double Cross (1961) -- aka Coward's Kiss
A missing person case brings private eye Roy Markham to
the remote winterbound college town of Cliff's End, New Hampshire.
The Case of the Pornographic Photos: A Markham Mystery (1961) -- aka
You Could Call It Murder
But what began as a routine investigation quickly becomes dark and
dangerous. Six pornographic photos and a tidy little blackmail scheme
result in a brutal and baffling murder, and no one is safe-especially
The Girl With the Long Green Heart (1965, 2005)
A charming little cabin in the isolated Pennsylvania
woods. It should have been the perfect beginning to a long and happy
marriage. Then five shots rang out in the quiet woods and shattered
Dave and Jill Wade's perfect honeymoon. Terror had come crashing
through their cabin door, snuffing out all thoughts of love. Now all
that Dave and Jill Wade felt was haste -- hate and the overwhelming
desire for revenge.
Deadly Honeymoon (1967, 2003)
*The movie Nightmare Honeymoon (1973) was based on the Deadly Honeymoon novel
It was all too frighteningly familiar. For the second
time in his life, Alex Penn wakes up in an alcoholic daze in a cheap
hotel room off Times Square and finds himself lying next to the
savagely mutilated body of a young woman. After the first death, he
was convicted of murder and imprisoned, then released on a
technicality. But this time he has to find out what happened during
the blackout and why? before the police do.
After the First Death (1969, 2002)
The Specialists (1969, 1993)
Ariel (1980, 1996)
Code of Arms
(1981) with Harold King
Into the Night (1987; completion of novel by Cornell Woolrich)
Random Walk (1988)
The Perfect Murder: Five Great Mystery Writers Create the Perfect Crime (1991)
by Jack Hitt, Lawrence Block, Tony Hillerman, Donald Westlake, et al)
(2003) (Originally titled $20 Lust)
That was the thing about New York -- if you loved it, if
it worked for you, it ruined you for anyplace else in the world.
Small Town: A Novel (2003)
In this dazzlingly constructed novel, Lawrence Block reveals the
secret at the heart of the Big Apple. His glorious metropolis is
really a small town, filled with men and women from all walks of life
whose aspirations, fears, disappointments, and triumphs are
interconnected by bonds as unbreakable as they are unseen. Pulsating
with the lives of its denizens -- bartenders and hookers, power
brokers and politicos, cops and secretaries, editors and dreamers --
the city inspires a passion that is universal yet unique in each of
its eight million inhabitants, including:
John Blair Creighton, a writer on the verge of a
Francis Buckram, a charismatic ex–police
commissioner -- and the inside choice for the next mayor -- on the
verge of a breakdown
Susan Pomerance, a beautiful, sophisticated folk-art
dealer plumbing the depths of her own fierce sexuality
Maury Winters, a defense attorney who prefers murder
trials because there's one less witness;
Jerry Pankow, an ex-addict who has turned being
clean into a living, mopping up after New York's nightlife
And, in the shadows of a city reeling from tragedy, an
unlikely killing machine who wages a one-man war against them all.
Infused with the raw cadence, stark beauty, and relentless pace of New
York City, Small Town is a tour de force Block fans old and new will
A Diet of Treacle (2008)
A very dangerous man. That's Paul Kavanagh, an ex-Green
Beret with nothing but time on his hands -- until he gets an offer to
steal a shipment of tactical nuclear weapons form the U.S. government --
and finds himself a partner, George Dattner, who has the cold eyes of a
trained killer. Each of these men alone is dangerous. But anyone who
tries to stop them together is guaranteed not to come out of it alive!
The Triumph of Evil (1971)
Not Comin' Home to You (1974)
Case Reopened: The Zodiac Killers with
Lawrence Block (1998)
In the late 60's and early 70's the serial killer who called
himself "Zodiac" terrorized the citizens of Northern California with a
series of seemingly random yet methodically planned murders. As
brilliant as he was evil, the Zodiac taunted police and the media with
dozens of letters and cryptograms that gave clues to, but never
revealed, his identity.
Who was the Zodiac? Was he an evil genius who planned his murders to
create a coded pattern of numbers and angles? Or was he the stereotype
of the serial killer we see in books and movies? The killing suddenly
stopped in the mid 1970's - is he still out there somewhere?
Lawrence Block, Edgar Award-winning author and best-selling crime
fiction writer, proposes a new and interesting twist to the case of the
A brave new genre in storytelling, Case Reopened fuses history, mystery
and scientific research by enlisting the greatest minds in crime fiction
to re-examine some of our most notorious unsolved crimes.
Swiss Shooting Talers and Medals (1965) by Delbert Ray with the
assistance of Block
The Plot Thickens (1997),
Mary Higgins Clark, ed.
Includes works by Ann Rule,
Carol Higgins Clark, Donald
E. Westlake, Edna Buchanan, Janet
Evanovich, Lauren DeMille, Lawrence Block,
Mary Higgins Clark, Nancy
Pickard, Nelson DeMille, and
The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories: Third Annual Collection
(2002), Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg, eds.
Includes works by Anne Perry, Ed McBain,
Joyce Carol Oates,
Lawrence Block, Margaret Coel, Nancy Pickard,
Ruth Rendell, and
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