Author: Max Allan Collins

Information about the author.


Book:The History of Mystery

The History of Mystery

Max Allan Collins

Footprints, a smoking revolver, broken glass . . . Whodunit? Get to the bottom of things with Max Allan Collins, who puts the enigmatic, endlessly fascinating world of the mystery genre under the magnifying glass in The History of Mystery. Starting with Edgar Allan Poe’s fictional detective Dupin, Collins tracks the modern detective story from its birth in Allan Pinkerton’s Memoirs to its fullest flowering in the fiction of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Ross MacDonald. Collins widens his scope to explore the rich narrative and visual history of detective comics and the legacy of mystery in radio, television, and film noir. This stunning volume presents a magical selection of pulp and dime-novel covers of the thirties and forties, gats-and-gals paperback covers of the fifties and sixties, the Sunday strips’ yellow-trenchcoat-clad Dick Tracy, and portraits of the terribly proper and totally astute television dynamos Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and Jessica Fletcher. En route, Collins reveals…[more]

Book:Quarry in the Middle

Quarry in the Middle

Max Allan Collins

First…there was the last quarry.
Then…there was the first quarry.
Now…look who’s caught in the middle.

The enigmatic hitman Quarry—star of seven celebrated novels and an award-winning feature film ("The Last Lullaby")—is back in this violent, steamy tale of warring crime families. When two rival casino owners covet the same territory, guess who puts himself in the crossfire...

Book:The First Quarry

The First Quarry

Max Allan Collins

Crime fiction readers know Quarry, the ruthless killer-for-hire, from Max Allan Collins’ acclaimed novels—most recently The Last Quarry, which told the story of the assassin’s final assignment (and was the basis for the feature film The Last Lullaby).

But where did Quarry’s story start? For the first time ever, Collins takes us back to the beginning, revealing the never-before-told story of Quarry’s first job: infiltrating a college town and eliminating a professor whose affair with one of his beautiful, young students is the least of his sins…

Book:Men's Adventure Magazines

Men's Adventure Magazines

Max Allan Collins, Rich Oberg, George Hagenauer, Steven Heller

“Weasels ripped my flesh!”

Battling dangerous beasts such as ferocious lions, venomous snakes, or swarms of man-eating weasels, the hunky heroes of men’s adventure magazines were frequently depicted struggling to protect themselves and especially their buxom female companions from the gruesome tragic ends that threatened their every waking moment.

Whether stranded on desert islands, clashing with motorcycle gangs, or shackled in prison camps, the magazines’ male and female protagonists were perpetually fighting their ways out of dangerous predicaments.

To pay homage to the American periodicals of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s that “documented” such outrageous exploits, Taschen brings you this hefty, comprehensive guide packed full of colorful cover art, sumptuous sample spreads, and enlightening essays.…[more]

Book:Stolen Away

Stolen Away: A Nathan Heller Novel

Max Allan Collins

In this brilliant new novel in the New York Times bestselling series, Detective Nathan Heller tackles his most notorious case-the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby….

Book:True Detective

True Detective: A Nathan Heller Novel

Max Allan Collins

Nate Heller is a cop trying to stay straight in one of the most corrupt places imaginable: Prohibition-era Chicago. When he won’t sell out, he’s forced to quit the force and become a private investigator. His first client is Al Capone. His best friend is Elliot Ness. His most important order of business is staying alive.

Book:Bye Bye, Baby

Bye Bye, Baby: A Nathan Heller Novel

Max Allan Collins

It’s 1962, and Twentieth Century Fox is threatening to fire Marilyn Monroe. The blond goddess hires Nate Heller, private eye to the stars, to tap her phone so she will have a record of their calls in case they take her to court. When Heller starts listening, he uncovers far more than nasty conversations. The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia—even the Russians—are involved in actions focused on Marilyn. She’s the quintessential American cultural icon, idolized by women, desired by men, but her private life is…complicated…and her connection to the Kennedys makes her an object of interest to some parties with sinister intentions.

Not long after Heller signs on, Marilyn winds up dead of a convenient overdose. The detective feels he owes her, and the Kennedys, with whom he busted up corrupt unions in the 1950s. But now, as Heller investigates all possible people—famous, infamous, or deeply cloaked—who might be responsible for Marilyn’s death, he realizes that what has become his most challenging assignment…[more]

Book:Quarry's Ex

Quarry's Ex

Max Allan Collins

Because homicide begins at home.

Even the enigmatic hit man called Quarry had to start somewhere. And for him that was the day he returned stateside from Nam to find his young wife cheating. He’d killed plenty overseas, so killing her lover was no big deal. And when he was recruited to use his skills as a contract killer, that transition was easy, too. He survived in this jungle as he had in that other one—by expecting trouble. 

What he didn’t expect was ever running into his ex again…. 

Book:Deadly Beloved

Deadly Beloved

Max Allan Collins

Till death do us part…

Marcy Addwatter killed her husband—there’s no question about that. Shot him dead in the motel room where he was trysting with a blonde hooker. Shot the hooker, too.

But where the cops might see an open-and-shut case, private eye Michael Tree—Ms. Michael Tree—sees a conspiracy. For Ms. Tree, digging into it could mean digging her own grave…and digging up her own murdered husband’s.

Book:The Last Quarry

The Last Quarry

Max Allan Collins

The ruthless professional killer known as Quarry long ago disappeared into a well-earned retirement. But now a media magnate has lured the restless hitman into tackling one last lucrative assignment. The target is an unlikely one: Why, Quarry wonders, would anyone want a beautiful young librarian dead?

And why in hell does he care?

On the 30th anniversary of the enigmatic assassin’s first appearance, bestselling author Max Allan Collins brings him back for a dark and deadly mission where the last quarry may turn out to be Quarry himself.

Book:The London Blitz Murders

The London Blitz Murders

Max Allan Collins

London, 1942. The German Blitz has devastated the city, but its citizens have something worse to fear: a modern-day Jack the Ripper. Investigating the case is renowned pathologist Sir Bernard Spilsbury with assistance from England’s First Lady of Crime, Agatha Christie.

Book:The Lusitania Murders

The Lusitania Murders

Max Allan Collins

On May 7, 1915, the luxury liner Lusitania was struck by a German torpedo. On board was an under-cover journalist using the pen name S.S. Van Dine. And hours before the tragic sinking changed the course of history, there was a mystery—of treason, sabotage, and murder.

Book:Angel in Black

Angel in Black: A Nathan Heller Novel

Max Allan Collins

She was a woman of uncompromising beauty who had come to Los Angeles to seek fame and fortune. Her quest ended in an abandoned lot on the outskirts of the city. First on the crime scene is newshound Bill Fowley, and at his side is Chicago private eye Nathan Heller, in town to help launch the West Coast branch of his famed detective agency. The police arrive at the brutal scene of the crime and suddenly the postwar world of Hollywood is plunged into the terror that is the Black Dahlia case. Only one problem persists: uncovering the woman’s identity.

Her name was Elizabeth Short, and Heller vividly remembers her from Chicago. But revealing that he knew her can only land him atop a very short list of suspects. Heller’s own investigation starts with what he knew of the doomed wannabe starlet, with the crazed phone call he received from her just days before her death. But looking into her past means opening old wounds—and revealing secrets of his own. At the risk of his marriage, his career, and maybe even his life, Heller is drawn into an inescapable maze to lay bare a terrifying truth behind the facade of Hollywood’s make-believe world.

Book:The Hindenburg Murders

The Hindenburg Murders

Max Allan Collins

The date is May 3, 1937. The legendary Hindenburg has just left Frankfurt on its final, fateful voyage across the Atlantic. And passenger Leslie Charteris has a terrible sense of foreboding…

The author of a world-famous mystery series featuring a benevolent sleuth called the Saint, Charteris was puzzled by the overzealous security at check-in—and disturbed to find the Hindenburg under Nazi control. But when an undercover Gestapo agent disappears the next day, it becomes clear to Charteris that his apprehension was not unwarranted. Asked to investigate, Charteris soon uncovers his fellow passengers’ most dangerous secrets. But a number of disturbing events occur during the doomed dirigible’s final hours—and only Charteris will know what really sparked the explosion that made the Hindenburg go down in flames…

Book:Flying Blind

Flying Blind: A Novel of Amelia Earhart

Max Allan Collins

The year is 1970. Nathan Heller has retired from his distinguished career as a private investigator. But now a stranger has come knocking at his door. He wants Heller to travel to Saipan, the last place Amelia Earhart may have been seen alive. For Heller, it is an offer he can’t resist—the chance to find out what really happened to the woman he once loved…

Now, decades later, Heller is determined to discover what really happened on that final, fateful flight. It is a journey that will take him to distant, deadly shores, into a world of international intrigue, espionage, betrayal, and finally, to a stunning secret buried at the bottom of the sea, locked away in the vaults of time.

Book:Damned in Paradise

Damned in Paradise: A Nathan Heller Novel

Max Allan Collins

Nathan Heller has tackled the most notorious crimes of the century over the course of seven novels, and now he faces one of the greatest challenges of his career, the famous Massie case.

Clarence Darrow is past his prime but still a brilliant defense attorney when he asks Heller for a meeting at New York’s celebrity hangout, Sardi’s. Darrow wants Heller along when he takes on the tragic and twisted revenge murder of a “native” Islander who was one of five men accused of raping a beautiful socialite, Thalia Massie. The defendants are, surprisingly, the woman’s husband and mother, along with two Navy men. The case is sordid, tainted with bigotry and lies, and filled with contradictions. The job, then, is this: uncover what really happened.

As tensions mount and the case finds its way to the courtroom, the truth becomes disturbingly clear. Darrow’s performance is spellbinding, but will the final verdict spell justice?

Book:Carnal Hours

Carnal Hours: A Nathan Heller Novel

Max Allan Collins

For Chicago detective Nathan Heller, coming to the Bahamas is anything but a vacation. Seems billionaire recluse Sir Harry Oakes wants Nate to get the goods on his new son-in-law, and his pockets are deep enough to get Nate to agree to anything.

No sooner is Nate on the island than Sir Harry is murdered in his bed. With his client—and meal-ticket—suddenly gone up in smoke. Nate’s left without a case. Until Sir Harry’s beautiful daughter convinces him to take on her problem. Her husband has just been accused of murder…

Nate’s a talented guy, however, and still has time to hobnob with exiled royalty, challenge the mob, battle shadowy Nazis, and romance the lovely ladies of this tropical paradise. Tough work.

Book:Road to Perdition

Road to Perdition

Max Allan Collins

Rock Island, Illinois—1929. Michael O’Sullivan is a good father and a family man—and also the chief enforcer for John Looney, the town’s Irish Godfather of crime. As Looney’s “Angel of Death,” O’Sullivan has done the bidding of Chicago gangsters Al Capone and Frank Nitti as well—but when a gangland execution spells tragedy for the O’Sullivan family, a grieving father and his adolescent son find themselves on a winding road fo treachery, revenge, and revelation.

Writer Max Allan Collins is a two-time winner of the Private Eye Writers of America’s Shamus Award for his Nathan Keller historical thrillers True Detective and Stolen Away. Award-winning artist Richard Piers Raynner spent four years working on the artwork for Road to Perdition, a labor of love that has resulted in some of the most stunningly realistic drawings of 1930s Chicago ever seen on printed page.

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