by Elmore Leonard There weren’t any textbooks on armed robbery. The only way to learn was through experience. Frank, used car salesman, witnesses Earnest, thief, stealing a car from his lot. At Earnest’s trial, when he realizes he’s the only real witness, Frank changes his mind and refuses to testify. Earnest is released, and a... Continue Reading →

The Cadaver of Gideon Wyck

by Alexander Laing The best way to make life bearable, in such a case, certainly would be to withdraw into the imagination and to notice nothing outside. Here is the extraordinary murder mystery as narrated by a witness to most of the true events, with the names of the characters, the school, and even the... Continue Reading →

Fifty-Two Pickup

by Elmore Leonard “Mitch, no one ever got in trouble keeping his mouth shut.” Mitchell, successful businessman, has been fooling around on his wife of twenty years when he’s presented with photographic evidence of his activities and forced into a blackmail situation. As a competent, thoughtful man, he resists, and soon the blackmailers up the... Continue Reading →

The Way Some People Die

by Ross Macdonald I put on a tie and jacket, and loaded a revolver. Iconic detective Lew Archer is introduced to us in the first novel contained in this Library of America set, though it is the third Lew Archer novel in Macdonald’s bibliography. Ross Macdonald is the pseudonym used by Kenneth Millar. Private detective... Continue Reading →

Sharp Practice

by John Farris “In thirty years of study I’ve come to accept the fact that history is neither instructive nor predictive.” A cereal murderer is on the hunt, slicing attractive young girls in a timetable roughly coinciding with the full moon. As we’re getting to know our cast of characters, mostly higher class elites, we... Continue Reading →


by David Goodis The type he was dealing with was the most dangerous and clever of them all. On the surface a soft-voiced innocence, an unembroidered sincerity. Beneath the surface a chess player who could do amazing things without board and chessmen. Vanning is caught between the law and a murderous pack of thieves, all... Continue Reading →

A Scent of New-Mown Hay

by John Blackburn “Gentlemen, a pestilence has broken out in the northern regions of the Soviet Union. A pestilence so terrible that if we cannot stop it we are finished. And so are you.” Part horror, part science fiction and part crime procedural, A Scent of New-Mown Hay takes place during and slightly after World... Continue Reading →

Dark Passage

by David Goodis Hate walked in and floated at the side of fear. After a daring prison escape, innocent Parry finds himself at the mercy of Irene who followed his trial and believes in his innocence despite the guilty proclamation. Parry’s first order of business is to make himself unrecognizable to the law, and his... Continue Reading →

In A Lonely Place

by Dorothy B. Hughes She was greedy and callous and a bitch, but she was fire and a man needed fire. Dix Steele is enjoying a year off in California on his rich Uncle’s dime in order to write a book. He stumbles across Brub, an old service-buddy who’s now a detective, and learns a... Continue Reading →

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