The arrival of big, ugly John C. Faith in a battered Porsche sends up warning flags throughout the small Northern California resort community of Pomo. No one trusts the stranger who refuses to talk about why he is there. And when a local beauty with questionable morals is found murdered, suspicion immediately falls on him. Condemned without a trial, Faith hides among Pomo’s outcasts and conducts his own investigation. But his hunt for the killer and the town’s hunt for him threaten to dredge up secrets best left uncovered in this powder keg of a town, exposing crimes and dark compulsions that can only lead to more violence and death.
A riveting thriller told from various points of view, A Wasteland of Strangers is an extraordinary feat of literary invention from one of noir fiction’s most acclaimed practitioners.
WEEDS by Stephen King
When a meteorite lands on his property, Jordy Verrill envisions an easy payday. Unfortunately for Jordy, this is no ordinary rock—and the uncompromising force inside has found its first target.
THE PRICE YOU PAY by Kelley Armstrong
Never pay more than you owe. Sounds like easy advice to follow. But for Kara and her childhood friend Ingrid, some debts can never be repaid . . . especially those tendered in blood.
MAGIC EYES by Bill Pronzini
Edward James Tolliver has found a weary sort of asylum among the insane. He knows he’s not one of them—but how can he tell anyone about the invaders without sounding that way?
MURDER IN CHAINS by Simon Clark
Imagine awaking to find yourself in an underground vault, chained by the neck to a murderous lunatic, a grunting goliath who seems more animal than man. What would you do to save yourself?
THE WATCHED by Ramsey Campbell
Little Jimmy gets a glimpse of the cold truth when he finds out that it’s not always what you see that can get you into trouble; it’s who knows what you see.
Praise for Dark Screams: Volume One
“A wicked treat [featuring] some of the genre’s best . . . Dark Screams: Volume One is a strong start to what looks to be an outstanding series.”—Hellnotes
“A solid collection of quick reads, a nice selection of appetizers that represent the horror genre and many of its incarnations well.”—October Country
“These tales are well written, fun to read, and a great way to kill a winter afternoon. Recommended for fans of short-story collections and dark fiction!”—Horror After Dark
“If Volume One is any indication of quality, I’m all in for the rest of the series.”—Not Too Terrible
“The editors have set themselves a high bar to meet in future volumes. . . . It’s going to be a solid series.”—Adventures Fantastic
Sabina hadn't wanted to take the assignment, but her partner John Quincannon insisted it would serve as entrée to the city's ultra rich and powerful. That means money, and Quincannon loves the almighty dollar. Which is why he is hunting the bandit who robbed the Wells, Fargo office of $35,000.
Working their separate cases (while Sabina holds John off with one light hand), the detectives give readers a tour of The City the way it was. From the infamous Barbary Coast to the expensive Tenderloin gaming houses and brothels frequented by wealthy men, Quincannon follows a danger-laden trail to unmask the murderous perpetrators of the Wells, Fargo robbery. Meanwhile, Sabina works her wiles on friends and relatives of the vanished debutante until the pieces of her puzzle start falling into place. But it's an oddly disguised gent appearing out of nowhere who provides the final clue to both cases—the shrewd "crackbrain" who believes himself to be Sherlock Holmes.
Fans of Marcia's Muller's bestselling Sharon McCone novels and Bill Pronzini's Nameless Detective series will applaud The Spook Lights Affair and future exploits from the annals of Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
The case, however, is nowhere near as clear-cut as it first appears.
And Verity Daniels is nowhere near the helpless victim she pretends to be.
A series of surprise revelations culminates in Runyon being falsely accused of a crime that never happened, and he and his employers then become the targets of a vicious legal vendetta. A sudden act of violence turns the case upside down, leading to a much more serious charge against Jake.
With the help of partner Tamara Corbin, Nameless (known as Bill to his associates) puts aside the difficult personal issue that has kept him sidelined at home and works to clear both Runyon's and the agency's good names. The task requires untangling Verity Daniels's bizarre past and present relationships, and before Bill succeeds, he must overcome a deadly threat to his own safety.
Nemesis continues author Bill Pronzini's acclaimed Nameless Detective Series.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
There is something about the sad woman eating alone night after night at the Harmony Café that intrigues San Francisco CPA Jim Messenger. Unfulfilled himself, Jim feels a kinship with her—and later, when she commits suicide, he resolves to find out why. His search leads him to Beulah, a middle-of-nowhere mining town in the Nevada desert, where hatreds run deep, where secrets are as venomous as a rattlesnake bite, and where a stranger asking too many questions might inexplicably disappear. Still, in this dusty, barren landscape, Jim feels completely alive. And he’s not going anywhere until he uncovers the truth, even if it rips the whole town apart.
Richly atmospheric and peopled with achingly human characters, Blue Lonesome is a crime novel as tense and coiled as a rattler ready to strike and as dark and hypnotic as the lonesome desert night.
The stories include: The formula for a deadly warfare chemical propels secret agent Peter Baron on a mission through Italy - in Deep Sleep by Bruce Cassiday Agent 007 James Bond confronts military intrigue in the Caribbean - in Octopussy, by Ian Fleming International conspiracy, assassination, bombs, plot and counter-plot in Washington D.C. - in Dealers in Doom by William E. Barrett Someone is out to destroy the British Government, from the inside - in The Spoilers, by Michael Gilbert The CIA enlists a small-town policeman to track down a spy who will stop at nothing to preserve his identity - in The People of the Peacock, by Edward D. Hoch
They'd seen Balfour at breakfast at the diner and Kerry remembered his name...PR people are like that. Which was unfortunate, because when she ran into him along the trail on that sunny afternoon and called him by name, he panicked. And that's when Bill's nightmare began.
In a small town with limited resources, where a major case was keeping everyone busy, a private investigator demanding action wasn't very popular. They were doing all they could, Bill was told. But it wasn't enough.
With the help of his longtime associate Jake Runyon, Bill begins a search that uncovers just what price the citizens in a town without pity might have to pay. Bill and Jake follow the few leads they have, and come face to face with the Hellbox.
The Nameless Detective series is the longest-running series of its kind, and Bill Pronzini only gets better with each new Nameless title.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Bill Pronzini is crime-writing royalty. His more than eighty published novels have won or been nominated for Edgar, Hammett, Anthony, Shamus, and Macavity awards--a clean sweep of the crime fiction award field--and received rave reviews from critics. He crafts masterful stories, often from multiple perspectives, in which the human condition is on full display.
The Violated is no exception. In Echo Park, in the small town of Santa Rita, California, the mutilated body of Martin Torrey is found by two passersby. A registered sex offender, Torrey has been a suspect in a string of recent rapes, and instant suspicion for his murder falls on the relatives and friends of the women attacked. Police chief Griffin Kells and detective Robert Ortiz are under increasing pressure from the public and from a mayor demanding results in a case that has no easy solution. Pronzini cleverly unfolds the case through alternating perspectives--Martin Torrey's wife, caught between her grief and the fear her husband was guilty; the outraged husbands of the women violated; the enterprising editor of the local paper; the mayor concerned most with his own ratings; the detectives, often spinning in circles--until a surprising break leads to a completely unexpected conclusion. The Violated is Bill Pronzini at the height of his storytelling powers.
A few days later, a beaten and bloody Janice stumbled into the agency begging to go home. No one is surprised when, soon after her homecoming, she disappears again.
But gambling addiction has a way of twisting things, and the blood on Mitchell and Janice Krochek's kitchen floor was a card off the bottom of the deck.
Janice is missing again, Mitchell is the prime suspect, and as Nameless searches for the truth behind her disappearance, he uncovers a vicious racket that preys on gambling fever victims...
Tamara's case began as something personal but explodes as her investigation of her former lover Lucas Zeller leads to a scam bilking charities in the name of helping the homeless and indigent. For Nameless, with a case he doesn't want but can't turn down, trying to find out who is gaslighting an old woman only exposes the ugly side of family. When he goes home, tired and annoyed, he discovers that his adopted daughter, Emily, has a secret of her own. Runyon has a different difficulty: his case of a bailjumper with some bad family ties is easy enough as these things go, but he's being confronted by a demon that is going to try to force him into a betrayal....
Three people who care, three people devoted to helping others trying to help themselves, three people finding themselves in a world of hurt because of the betrayers.
Sabina's case involves the hunt for a ruthless lady "dip" who uses fiendish means to relieve her victims of their valuables at Chutes Amusement Park and other crowded places. Quincannon, meanwhile, is after a slippery housebreaker who targets the homes of wealthy residents, following a trail that leads him from the infamous Barbary Coast to an oyster pirate's lair to a Tenderloin parlor house known as the Fiddle Dee Dee.
The two cases eventually connect in surprising fashion, but not before two murders and assorted other felonies complicate matters even further. And not before the two sleuths are hindered, assisted, and exasperated by the bughouse Sherlock Holmes.
Fans of Marcia's Muller's bestselling Sharon McCone novels and Bill Pronzini's Nameless Detective series will applaud this and future exploits from the annals of Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services.
A locked room mystery that goes from stolen books to stolen lives and the hunt for a phantom stalker with a penchant for pouring acid to make his point give Nameless and his partner Jake more than enough work to earn their fees—as long as neither turns his back at the wrong moment.
Nameless wasn't supposed to come into the office on Mondays; he wasn't supposed to answer the phone. On this Monday, he did both. The call was from Barney Rivera—once a friend, now despised—at Great Western Insurance. Against his better judgment, Nameless agreed to meet with him. The investigation was relatively simple: a multimillionaire rare books collector had reported the theft of eight volumes, worth a half million dollars. From a locked library. To which he has the only key. The books were all crime fiction and suspense--a locked room mystery about mysteries.
This ordinary Monday brought a second oddball case. The Henderson brothers were being stalked. Someone had dug up the ashes of their late father and poured acid over them, then destroyed the headstone the same way, and left a sign warning that this was just the beginning. Searching for peace of mind and the distraction of work, Jake Runyon is more than happy to bring an end to the brothers' terror.
Cory lied to Nameless about her livelihood, her relationship with Vorhees, her brother's alleged drug use, and the nature of his alleged crime. Not only is she Andrew Vorhees' mistress, Cory has a secret second lover, factory owner Frank Chaleen, with whom she conspired to frame Kenneth. This bizarre sibling betrayal is part of a diabolical plan that reveals her to be a deadly, designing woman who will stop at nothing to achieve her warped desires.
A series of twists and turns drive the story to a truly shocking climax. For not until then do the detectives realize how devilish Cory Beckett really is, a femme fatale who has brought something new to the species—new, and terrible.
Bill Pronzini's Vixen is the latest in the Nameless Detective series, the longest-running P.I. series currently in print.
His colleague, Tamara, tells Nameless that Virden threatens to sue, stops payment on his checks, and claims that the woman they located isn't his wife. Then he disappears and his fiancée hires Nameless to find out why. Clearly, someone is trying to make Nameless the monkey in the middle.
The investigation that Nameless's partner, Jake Runyon, has to undertake is personal...and urgent. His girlfriend Bryn's son, a pawn in a bitter divorce settlement, is being beaten and every indication is that his father is responsible. Is he bitter enough to take out his frustrations on a young boy, to fracture his arm?
Then events turn on Jake: a dead woman, a bloodied Bryn, and a scared and silent child force him to look in other, darker, more deadly directions.
Also not helping was the mood in the office. Tamara had something eating at her and Jake...well, Jake needed a case so he could stop thinking about what was happening with his son. It was a mournful time for everyone.
Then the bits and pieces began to fall into place: The funerals James Troxell was attending were all for women who had died violently. Was he responsible? One woman thought so, thought Troxell had killed her sister, and her insistence was becoming a problem.
Too many deaths, too many roads leading nowhere, too many crimes and secrets and fears were coming together as heavy as the fog rolling over the Bay. Too many answers were needed before there'd be sunshine again for anyone and the mourning could stop.
Lewis Collier watches the people living on West 98th Street through his telescope, the “Eye of God,” ready to mete out the ultimate punishment for every perceived sin. Those who transgress must suffer and die, and no one is safe—not the building superintendent or his junk collector friend, not the musician or the brave and beautiful woman who has struggled back from a nightmare of pain and brutality.
Detective E. L. Oxman of the NYPD is assigned to investigate the bloody horror that has descended on the frightened residents of the terrorized neighborhood. But Oxman’s adulterous attraction to Jennifer, an abuse survivor, has caught Collier’s attention. And all sin is punishable by death.
Separately, Bill Pronzini and John Lutz have won numerous prizes for their acclaimed mystery and suspense novels, including the coveted Edgar and Shamus Awards, two of crime fiction’s most prestigious honors. With The Eye, these giants of the mystery genre have combined their remarkable talents in a truly unforgettable collaboration.
Roland W. Fairchild, recently arrived from Chicago, claims Holmes is his first cousin, Charles P. Fairchild III. Now, with his father dead, Charles stands to inherit an estate of over three million dollars-if Sabina can find him, and if he can be proved sane. Sabina is uncertain of Roland's motives, but agrees to take the case.
John, meanwhile, has been hired by the owner of the Golden State brewery to investigate the "accidental" death of the head brewmaster, who drowned in a vat of his own beer. When a second murder occurs, and the murderer escapes from under his nose, John finds himself on the trail not just of the criminals, but of his reputation for catching them.
But while John is certain he can catch his quarry, Sabina is less certain she wants to catch hers. Holmes has been frustrating, but useful, even kind. She is quite certain he is mad, and quite uncertain what will happen when he is confronted with the truth. Does every mystery need to be solved? Find out in Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini's The Plague of Thieves Affair.
Things were quiet in the San Francisco-based agency Nameless founded and his
partners, Jake and Vanessa were itching to get back to work. A deadbeat father needed to be found, and Vanessa needed to do some field work, so she took the file and headed out to keep an eye on the last known address.
Jake got to work on something much more personal...and dangerous. The Castro had become the stomping ground, literally, of two violent gay-bashers and the most recent victim was Jake's son's lover. Father and son are estranged, but maybe helping now would help them reconcile. That was Jake's thought when he started. For Nameless it was all a matter of letting everyone know that if they needed his help, he was there.
Jake was handling his situation but for Vanessa, things got out of hand. Her perp never showed up, but when she saw a man carrying a young girl into the house across the street, she knew something was wrong....and about to get worse, because she was going to investigate what was going on.
When she doesn't show up a few days later, Nameless feels a sinking in his gut: a few years ago he'd been kidnapped, shackled, and left to die in a cabin in the woods and something about Vanessa's disappearance echoed too loudly. When he discovers the house she'd investigated on her own and sees the words TAKING US TO A HOUSE IN THE WOODS scrawled on a closet wall, the echo became thunderous.
Now it was a race against time, and the clock had begun ticking before "Nameless" and Jake heard the starter's gun.
Rick Fallon has reached the breaking point. His wife left after their son’s tragic death, and Rick finds himself without purpose. He seeks out the peace and tranquility of the desert, setting up camp in Death Valley. On his fourth day there, Rick comes across an abandoned car. Inside is a woman on the brink of death, beaten and blistered by the sun.
Her name is Casey, and her young son has been kidnapped by her ex-husband. After fruitlessly searching for him for months, Casey has decided to end it all. But Rick is determined to make her mission his own, even if it means risking his life. He’s been given a chance to atone for one of his greatest regrets; no amount of danger can stop him now.
Cody Hatcher is the kind of teenager you don't want your kids hanging with. That's the book on him and it's why the citizens of Mineral Springs have no problem at all believing that he's guilty of three rapes. His mother, Cheryl, an old lover of Nameless's, is also being harassed by vindictive townspeople. It's against such odds that he must work to prove Cody innocent. There are few to help him and plenty to get in his way. It's a classic situation for an iconic private investigator.
Two missing bodies and two separate investigations take Carpenter and Quincannon from the heights above San Francisco Bay to the depths of Chinatown's opium dens.
For John Quincannon, this is a first: searching a Chinatown opium den for his client's husband, missing in the middle of a brewing tong war set to ignite over the stolen corpse of Bing Ah Kee.
Meanwhile, his partner, Sabina Carpenter, unsure of the dark secrets her suitor might be concealing, searches for the corpse of a millionaire, stolen from a sealed family crypt and currently being held for ransom.
With the threat of a tong war hanging over the city (a war perhaps being spurred on by corrupt officials), Carpenter and Quincannon have no time to lose in solving their cases. Is there a connection between the two body snatchers? Or is simple greed the answer to this one?
And why is the enigmatic Englishman who calls himself Sherlock Holmes watching so carefully from the shadows?
When a pleasant afternoon’s bicycling through Golden Gate Park with a friend ends with the revelation of threatening letters, followed by a gunshot in a mansion garden, Sabina Carpenter knows this is a case that demands her immediate and undivided attention.
The questions her partner John Quincannon has to unravel are not difficult: Wrixton, a wealthy banker, has met his extortionist's first demand, but the order to pay another $5,000 is too much to face. The banker’s real problem is something he doesn't want to reveal. That was fine with the detective, and when he was informed that some private letters were involved and Wrixton absolutely needed them back, there was nothing more Quincannon needed in the way of background. As with so many of San Francisco’s elite, the bedroom doors never seemed to stay shut.
That was the easy part; far more difficult was the matter of the dead courier, murdered most foully in a locked room within a locked room, creating a trail that will take John Quincannon through most of San Francisco’s less savory places and end with a riverboat trip that is anything but a relaxing cruise.
The Dangerous Ladies Affair is the next thrilling installment in this charming historical mystery series from MWA Grand Masters Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini.
Zigzag is an original novella, in which a safe and simple accident investigation becomes the unraveling of a twisted murder scheme.
Grapplin, which first appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, deals with the kind of missing person case that can end in only one of two ways, closure or heartbreak.
In the second short, Nightscape, readers discover how, indeed, one thing just leads to another (First published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine as The Winning Ticket).
The final work, Revenant, is another original novella and entangles Nameless in a weird crime with fearful occult overtones.
Today, Bill Pronzini is famed for his private-eye stories about the “Nameless Detective” and for his Shamus-award winning short stories, and Barry N. Malzberg is one of America’s premier science-fiction writers, but back in their salad days they collaborated on a number of stories, which have now become legendary. Many fans have heard of them, but very few have had the privilege of reading them — until now. Problems Solved collects all their crime and mystery collaborations, mostly written during the 1970’s and early 1980’s, and a few recent collaborations (including two new stories written especially for this volume). The stories range from suspense (“Night Rider”) to irony (“What Kind of Person Are You?”) to twists-in-the-tale (“Problems Solved”) to science-fictional detection, including three stories about an unnamed Luna Immigration Inspector. Others emphasize sports (“What’s a Chicago Cub?” asks an entrepreneur of the future), and one, “Another Burnt-Out Case,” is in Bill Pronzini’s words, “a weird comic Hitchcockian crime fantasy with a carnival setting, whose last two lines elicit gleeful chortles from both of us to this day.”
Many people would love to see powerful San Francisco attorney David Rakubian dead, but none more than his father-in-law, Jack Hollis. Rakubian has threatened to kill Hollis’s daughter and her toddler son from an earlier marriage if she tries to leave him. Enough, Hollis feels, is enough. This monster must die. But when the shark lawyer fails to show up for his own carefully planned assassination, Hollis seeks him out—only to find that someone has beaten him to the lethal punch. Now Hollis is being blackmailed for a murder he did not commit. And if he can’t uncover the true killer, he stands to lose everything in the world that he loves.
Multiple award-winner Bill Pronzini delivers a riveting tale of desperate acts and personal justice, and the shocking lengths to which a parent will go to protect his family.
When Corporal Zachary McQuestion veered off his icy route in the Yukon, he was eagerly anticipating the warmth and comfort he'd always found at Molly Malone's. What he finds in her cabin, however, makes his blood boil: Intruders have murdered Molly for her meager provisions—little more than a few bags of flour.
Now, the corporal vows to find Molly's murderers and bring them to justice—even if it means tracking them through a frozen wilderness and reliving his own tortured past …
Roy is forced to put aside his sorrow when he stops to beg some water from a lone woman at a beaten-up old ranch house. But Jennifer Todd’s home is not the only thing that is bruised and scarred: Roy’s sympathy is quickly aroused by the black-and-blue marks on her beautiful face, and the seething hatred in her voice when she utters her absent husband’s name.
Not long after he leaves Jennifer’s home, Roy finds that his spare pistol is missing, and when he goes back to retrieve it, he finds Jennifer gone and a man’s body lying face down in the dust.
So begins a kaleidoscopic odyssey across Arizona, as Roy chases down the fleeing Jennifer. But a couple of murderous hoodlums at his own heels put Roy’s life in constant jeopardy. When he finally catches up with Jennifer, and resolves to be her protector, their clashing natures get them into more than one life-and-death scrape. This mysterious woman, who is most certainly a liar, and quite possibly a murderess, rekindles long-buried emotions in Roy, and he vows to stick by her side, whether she wants him there or not.
Bill Pronzini’s story—a disarmingly sophisticated and often moving tale—is full of carefully evoked Western detail, and plenty of high-spirited action. The tumultuous finale aboard a California-bound steamer proves Pronzini to be a welcome addition to the Western-writers’ fold.