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Mystery Fiction: Private Investigators

Dashiell Hammett

  If you are going to read a private investigator book, then you have to read Dashiell Hammett, considered to be one of the greats of the sub-genre. Hammett was a former agent for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. He began his career by writing short stories for the pulp magazine the Black Mask in the 1920s. His novel, The Maltese Falcon is the prime example of what a private eye mystery should be; full of mystery, shady cleintele, misdirection and murder.

Max Allan Collins

 Max Allan Collins lives in Muscatine, Iowa with his wife, Barbara Collins.  Together, they write the Trash 'n Treasure mystery series.  Max Allan Collins has won numerous awards for his mystery writing. His best known private detective is Nathan Heller, who often runs into famous historical people during the 1930s and 1940s. Collins is also known for the book The Road to Perdition which was made into a film starring Tom Hanks.

Authors of Private Investigator books


If You Like                    Next Read

Dashiell Hammett         Bill Pronzini

Raymond Chandler       Ross Macdonald

Mickey Spillane              Max Allen Collins

John D. MacDonald     Randy Wayne White

Robert B. Parker             Michael Kortya

Walter Mosley                James Sallis

Robert Crais                    Bob Morris

S.J. Rozan                       Dennis Lehane

Sue Grafton                     Laura Lippman

Sara Paretsky                 Linda Barnes

Marcia Miller                 Valerie Wilson Wesley


Subject Guide