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 →

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 →


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 →

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 →

The Horizontal Man

by Helen Eustis It was as if his whole life was a trail by torture to prove himself worthy of death. Young Professor Kevin Boyle has had his head bashed in with a fireplace poker, and one of his students, deeply in love with him, has confessed to his murder. The girl is hysterical and... Continue Reading →

The Maltese Falcon

by Dashiell Hammett “At one time or another I’ve had to tell everybody from the Supreme Court down to go to hell, and I’ve got away with it. I got away with it because I never let myself forget that a day of reckoning was coming.” In his debut, hard-boiled detective Sam Spade’s partner is... Continue Reading →

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

by Horace McCoy ‘It’s peculiar to me,’ she said, ‘that everybody pays so much attention to living and so little to dying.’ Robert, a young man looking for fame and fortune as a Hollywood director, chances across a girl named Gloria, and he enters a marathon dance contest with her. Contestants get 10 minutes off... Continue Reading →

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