“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 Hardboiled Detective

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The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett

A treasure worth killing for. Sam Spade, a slightly shopworn private eye with his own solitary...

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The Big Sleep
Raymond Chandler

When a dying millionaire hires Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two...

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The Long Goodbye
Raymond Chandler

Marlowe befriends a down on his luck war veteran with the scars to prove it. Then he finds out...

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Farewell, My Lovely
Raymond Chandler

Marlowe's about to give up on a completely routine case when he finds himself in the wrong...

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I, the Jury
Mickey Spillane

Hardboiled Mike Hammer sets out to avenge the murder of his best friend . . .and nothing will...

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The Last Good Kiss
James Crumley

Tough, hard-boiled, and brilliantly suspenseful, The Last Good Kiss is an unforgettable...

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The Drowning Pool
Ross Macdonald

When a millionaire matriarch is found floating face-down in the family pool, the prime suspect...

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Red Harvest
Dashiell Hammett

When the last honest citizen of Poisonville was murdered, the Continental Op stayed on to...

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The Lady in the Lake
Raymond Chandler

A couple of missing wives—one a rich man's and one a poor man's—become the objects of Marlowe...

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The Dain Curse
Dashiell Hammett

The Continental Op is a short, squat, and utterly unsentimental tank of a private detective....

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The Chill
Ross Macdonald

In The Chill a distraught young man hires Archer to track down his runaway bride. But no...

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Hammett
Joe Gores
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Kiss Me Deadly
Mickey Spillane

A beautiful woman's cold-blooded murder has the mark of the Mafia. Although warned to stay...

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All Shot Up
Chester Himes

The shocking and explosive hardboiled classic: From murderers to prostitutes, corrupt politici...

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Berlin Noir
Philip Kerr

Ex-policeman Bernie Gunther thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin. But...

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Stolen Away
Max Allan Collins

When an incarcerated Al Capone claims he can help find the Lindbergh baby, detective Nate...

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Devil in a Blue Dress
Walter Mosley

Los Angeles, 1948: Easy Rawlins is a black war veteran just fired from his job at a defense...

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Solomon's Vineyard
Jonathan Latimer

Ingredients: one missing girl, a cult, an entombed body, and a private detective pushed with...

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The Moving Target
Ross Macdonald

Like many Southern California millionaires, Ralph Sampson keeps odd company. There's the sun...

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The Monkey's Raincoat
Robert Crais

When quiet Ellen Lang enters Elvis Cole's Disney-deco office, she's lost something very...

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A Red Death
Walter Mosley

It's 1953 in Red-baiting, blacklisting Los Angeles, a moral tar pit ready to swallow Easy...

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True Detective
Max Allan Collins

In the mob-choked Chicago of 1932, private detective Nathan Heller may be willing to risk his...

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The High Window
Raymond Chandler

A wealthy Pasadena widow with a mean streak, a missing daughter-in-law with a past, and a gold...

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The Wrong Case
James Crumley

Milo once had a thriving divorce-case business in the small town of in the Pacific Northwest,...

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The Deep Blue Good-By
John D. MacDonald

Travis McGee. He's a self-described beach bum who won his houseboat in a card game. He's also...

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Eight Million Ways to Die
Lawrence Block

Nobody knows better than Matthew Scudder how far down a person can sink in the city of New...

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Whip Hand
Dick Francis

Sid Halley's glory days as a jockey are over, but he still finds a certain satisfaction in...

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When the Sacred Ginmill Closes
Lawrence Block

In the dark days, in a sad and lonely place, ex-cop Matt Scudder is drinking his life away --...

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!