“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”
-Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
-Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
“The girl gave him a look which ought to have stuck at least four inches out of his back.”
-Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
“The problem with putting two and two together is that sometimes you get four, and sometimes you get twenty-two.”
-Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man
“We didn't exactly believe your story, Miss O'Shaughnessy, we believed your 200 dollars. I mean, you paid us more than if you had been telling us the truth, and enough more to make it alright.”
-Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
“I spent most of my dough on booze, broads and boats… and the rest I wasted.”
-Elmore Leonard, LaBrava
“There were not so many physical threats that could not be countered with a decent hammer.”
-Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played With Fire
“The dead have never bothered me. It's the living that I fear.”
-Patricia Cornwell, Postmortem
“The hard thing about death is that nothing ever changes. The hard thing about life is that nothing stays the same.”
-Sue Grafton, J is for Judgment
“There is nothing you can do about the past except keep it there.”
-Michael Connelly, The Brass Verdict
“There is no client as scary as an innocent man.”
-Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer
“Woe to he who checkmates his opponents at last, only to discover they have been playing cribbage.”
-Jedediah Berry, The Manual of Detection
“The joke was thinking you were ever really in charge of your life. You pressed your oar down into the water to direct the canoe, but it was the current that shot you through the rapids."
-Scott Turow, Innocent
“They found out about him in July and stayed angry all through August. They tried to kill him in September."
-Lee Child, Without Fail
“Put all your eggs in one basket... the handle's going to break. Then all you've got is scrambled eggs.”
-J.D. Robb, Remember When
“It doesn't have to make sense; it just has to sound like it does.”
-Elmore Leonard, Freaky Deaky
“He was too old to be working, too young to be dead, and too broke to do anything else.”
-Chris Culver, Just Run
“Love, when you get fear in it, it's not love any more. It's hate.”
-James M. Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice
“Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service.”
-Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White
“It takes far less courage to cling to the past than it does to face the future.”
-Sandra Brown, Envy
“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.”
-Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“If you place your head in a lion's mouth, then you cannot complain one day if he happens to bite it off.”
-Agatha Christie
“I have great faith in fools … my friends call it self-confidence.”
-Edgar Allan Poe

CLASSIC Crime Fiction

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The Postman Always Rings Twice
James M. Cain

An amoral young tramp.  A beautiful, sullen woman with an inconvenient husband.  A problem...

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The Killer Inside Me
Jim Thompson

Lou Ford is the deputy sheriff of a small town in Texas.  The worst thing most people can say...

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The Thin Man
Dashiell Hammett

Nick and Nora Charles are Hammett's most enchanting creations, a rich, glamorous couple who...

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The Friends of Eddie Coyle
George V. Higgins

George V. Higgins's seminal crime novel is a down-and-dirty tale of thieves, mobsters, and...

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L.A. Confidential
James Ellroy

L.A. Confidential is epic "noir", a crime novel of astonishing detail and scope written by the...

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Double Indemnity
James M. Cain

Tautly narrated and excruciatingly suspenseful, Double Indemnity gives us an X-ray view of...

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Killshot
Elmore Leonard

Ironworker Wayne Colson has come to the real estate office where his wife, Carmen, works at...

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The Godfather
Mario Puzo

More than thirty years ago, a classic was born. A searing novel of the Mafia underworld, The...

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The Hot Rock
Donald E. Westlake

The Hot Rock introduces John Archibald Dortmunder, the thief whose capers never quite come off...

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Laura
Vera Caspary

"I am bound to tell this story, just as Mark McPherson was obliged to continue his searches,...

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Swag
Elmore Leonard

The smallest of small-time criminals, Ernest Stickley Jr. figures his luck's about to change...

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The False Inspector Dew
Peter Lovesey

The year is 1921. A passionate affair between a romantic woman and her dentist has led to his...

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A Kiss Before Dying
Ira Levin

A Kiss Before Dying not only debuted the talent of best-selling novelist Ira Levin to...

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Bank Shot
Donald E. Westlake

Instead of robbing a bank, Dortmunder tries to steal the whole building. Encyclopedias are...

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Pop. 1280
Jim Thompson

As high sheriff of Potts County, Nick Corey spends most of his time eating, sleeping and...

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End of the Night
John D. MacDonald
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Brighton Rock
Graham Greene

Originally published in 1938, Graham Greene's chilling expose of violence and gang warfare is...

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The Grifters
Jim Thompson

Roy Dillon seems too handsome and well-mannered to be a professional con man. Lilly Dillon...

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Get Shorty
Elmore Leonard

Mob-connected loanshark Chili Palmer is sick of the Miami grind—plus his "friends" have a bad...

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Savage Night
Jim Thompson

Is Carl Bigelow a fresh-faced college kid looking for a room, or is he a poised hit man...

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Fletch
Gregory Mcdonald

Fletch. He’s an investigative reporter whose methods are a little unorthodox. Currently he’s...

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Chinaman's Chance
Ross Thomas

"It was while jogging along the beach just east of the Paradise Cove pier that Artie Wu...

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The Glass Key
Dashiell Hammett

Paul Madvig was a cheerfully corrupt ward-heeler who aspired to something better: the daughter...

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Little Caesar
W. R. Burnett

The savage chronicle of a gangland boss's odyssey toward power and destruction in the savage...

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God Save the Mark
Donald E. Westlake

*mark n. An easy victim; a ready subject for the practices of a confidence man, thief, beggar,...

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Black Cherry Blues
James Lee Burke

Ex-cop Dave Robicheaux: His wife had been murdered ... Now they're after his little girl... ...

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Motherless Brooklyn
Jonathan Lethem

Lionel Essrog is Brooklyn's very own self-appointed Human Freakshow, an orphan whose Tourettic...

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Death Is a Lonely Business
Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury, the undisputed Dean of American storytelling, dips his accomplished pen into the...

Pages

For each book, we provide direct links to the online bookstore of your choice. Just click Go To. To learn more about a book, click its cover or title. Click Series for books that are part of a series and you will see the entire series. Have fun browsing our shelves!