Quincannon's Game

Speaking Volumes
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John Frederick Quincannon, a former United States Secret Service agent, and Sabina Carpenter, one of the first female Pinkerton operatives, joined forces to form the firm of CARPENTER AND QUINCANNON, PROFESSIONAL DETECTIVE SERVICES. Their various cases take them all over the American West in the 1890s. Now they're back in four new adventures. In "The Bughouse Caper," Quincannon matches wits with Sherlock Holmes to solve a series of burglaries and a baffling locked-room murder. "The Cloud Cracker" finds Quincannon called to a small California town to expose an itinerant rainmaker as a charlatan and confidence man, only to run into an unexpected murder. "Medium Rare" has Quincannon and Sabina attend a séance, but more is involved than showing an array of psychic phenomena to be fakery, since they are witnesses to a murder that seems to have been supernatural. "Quincannon in Paradise" is set in the Hawaiian Islands with the detective on the trail of a pair of swindlers.
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About the author

Bill Pronzini is simply one of the masters. He seems to have taken a crack at just about every genre: mysteries, noirish thrillers, historicals, locked-room mysteries, adventure novels, spy capers, men's action, westerns, and, of course, his masterful, long-running Nameless private detective series, now entering its fourth decade, with no signs of creative flagging. He's also ghosted several Brett Halliday short stories as Michael Shayne for Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine, and has managed to collaborate with such fellow writers as John Lutz, Barry Wahlberg, Collin Wilcox and Marcia Muller. Still, if he never ventured into fiction writing, his non-fiction work, as both writer and editor, would still earn him a place in the P.I. genre's Hall of Fame. Besides his two tributes to some of the very worst in crime fiction (what he calls "alternative classics"), Gun in Cheek and Son of Gun in Cheek, and one on western fiction (entitled Six Gun in Cheek, naturally), he's the co-author (with Marcia Muller) of 1001 Midnights. The Mystery Writers of America have nominated him for Edgar Awards several times and his work has been translated into numerous languages and he's published in almost thirty countries. He was the very first president of the Private Eye Writers of America, and he's received three Shamus Awards from them, as well as its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. His passion for the old crime pulps is largely responsible for keeping them in the public's eye. He's amassed a huge collection of books and magazines and has always been an omnivorous reader; all of which made him a natural when it came to editing various anthologies. He admits "it was a pleasure tracking down good stories to fit a particular anthology theme." But after editing 80 or so of them over a period of twenty-some years, he decided it was "more than enough." Always a critical darling, though never a true best-seller, the twenty-sixth installment in the long-running Nameless series, Crazybone, ended with the intriguing possibility that Nameless and his wife, Kerry, would adopt a child, suggesting a move far from the hard-edged dramas of a lone wolf private eye, and in fact, Pronzini at the time let it be known, in Mystery & Detective Monthly, and perhaps elsewhere, that he wasn't going to write any more Nameless novels, unless he got an exceptional offer from some publisher. He therefore hoped to end the series on an upbeat note, and to allow for its possible (and from this quarter, much-hoped for) revival. Well, it came to pass, and he has, in fact, continued the series. He's also one hell of an editor, helping compile some truly great crime fiction anthologies, as well as writing the three Gun In Cheek books, humorous non-fiction histories of bad mystery and Western fiction. Not too shabby. Not too shabby at all. Praise for Bill Pronzini "Pronzini makes people and events so real that you're living those explosive days of terror." —Robert Ludlum "Once in a crocodile's age you come across a writer whose work you instinctively like... I've found one—Bill Pronzini. Buy him, read him, and relax." —Los Angeles Times "A skilled writer working at the top of his ability." —Denver Post "Pronzini delivers breathtaking suspense" —San Francisco Examiner "His novels are packed with adventure, fresh characterization, and minute-by-minute suspense." —Chicago Tribune "Pronzini is the master of the shivery, spine-tingling it-could-happen suspense story." —Publishers Weekly "Pronzini is a pro." —The New York Times "Pronzini is a master of suspense." —Los Angeles Times "Pronzini, a pulp aficionado, adds to the race-against-time tension of his homespun stage with sideline subplots: a guilt-ridden love-triangle, an outlaw's hysterical memories of his father's death in a fire, a one-legged man's bitterness and misguided heroism—building to an acceptable, if rather bland, ending. While not attempting to transcend the genre, the author has added to it with his usual professionalism." —Publishers Weekly "For a mystery, Dead Run will be hard to beat" —The New York Times Book Review (Dead Run) "ACTION-PACKED, BRISK, EFFICIENT.... NAMELESS MAY LACK A MONIKER BUT HE'S FULL OF CHARACTER." —Publishers Weekly (Quarry) "PRONZINI MANAGES A DIFFICULT FEAT IN QUARRY: MAKING THE TENSION OF A MISSING PERSON CASE WORK WITHOUT THE PERSON ACTUALLY BEING MISSING!" —Booklist (Quarry) "Nameless Detective is a classic private-eye hero." —Chicago Sun-Times (Sentinels)
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Additional Information

Speaking Volumes
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Published on
Jul 4, 2016
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Fiction / Westerns
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Content Protection
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Eligible for Family Library

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What are the ingredients of a hard-boiled detective story? "Savagery, style, sophistication, sleuthing and sex," said Ellery Queen. Often a desperate blond, a jealous husband, and, of course, a tough-but-tender P.I. the likes of Sam Spade or Philop Marlowe. Perhaps Raymond Chandler summed it up best in his description of Dashiell Hammett's style: "Hammett gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it....He put these people down on paper as they were, and he made them talk and think in the language they customarily used for these purposes." Hard-Boiled: An Anthology of American Crime Stories is the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind, with over half of the stories never published before in book form. Included are thirty-six sublimely suspenseful stories that chronicle the evolutiuon of this quintessentially American art form, from its earliest beginnings during the Golden Age of the legendary pulp magazine Black Mask in the 1920s, to the arrival of the tough digest Manhunt in the 1950s, and finally leading up to present-day hard-boiled stories by such writers as James Ellroy. Here are eight decades worth of the best writing about betrayal, murder, and mayhem: from Hammett's 1925 tour de force "The Scorched Face," in which the disappearance of two sisters leads Hammett's never-named detective, the Continental Op, straight into a web of sexual blackmail amidst the West Coast elite, to Ed Gorman's 1992 "The Long Silence After," a gripping and powerful rendezvous involving a middle class insurance executive, a Chicago streetwalker, and a loaded .38. Other delectable contributions include "Brush Fire" by James M. Cain, author of The Postman Always Rings Twice, Raymond Chandler's "I'll Be Waiting," where, for once, the femme fatale is not blond but a redhead, a Ross Macdonald mystery starring Macdonald's most famous creation, the cryptic Lew Archer, and "The Screen Test of Mike Hammer" by the one and only Micky Spillane. The hard-boiled cult has more in common with the legendary lawmen of the Wild West than with the gentleman and lady sleuths of traditional drawing room mysteries, and this direct line of descent is on brilliant display in two of the most subtle and tautly written stories in the collection, Elmore Leonard's "3:10 to Yuma" and John D. MacDonald's "Nor Iron Bars." Other contributors include Evan Hunter (better known as Ed McBain), Jim Thompson, Helen Nielsen, Margaret Maron, Andrew Vachss, Faye Kellerman, and Lawrence Block. Compellingly and compulsively readable, Hard-Boiled: An Anthology of American Crime Stories is a page-turner no mystery lover will want to be without. Containing many notable rarities, it celebrates a genre that has profoundly shaped not only American literature and film, but how we see our heroes and oursleves.
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