Crime Detective Mystery Thriller Group discussion

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Sub Genre > The Hardboiled Detective & Pulp Fiction

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message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie (gpangel) | 289 comments This discussion thread is for the fan of Hardboiled Detective novels. Feel free to add links, authors, more sub-genres to any discussion thread. This topic is for classic, vintage or current novels and can included pulp fiction.


message 2: by Mike (new)

Mike | 13 comments I'm interested in getting suggestions for modern authors of the genre. Honestly, I'm a little foggy on the distinction between hardboiled and pulp fiction but probably anything within that area would be great.


message 3: by Jonetta (new)

Jonetta (Ejaygirl) Have you read Michael Connelly? His Harry Bosch series has a fairly hard-boiled detective. The series began in the 1990's so I'm not sure if that's modern enough.


message 4: by Julie (new)

Julie (gpangel) | 289 comments Connelley is one of my all time favorites! I think the lines are a bit fuzzy on the hard boiled and pulp fiction. Some authors make it onto both list. I like Max Allan Collins too. He writes with Mickey Spilliane and does "faction" type novels.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

The Dead Men Grin  by Bruno Fischer

Bruno Fisher was one of the great pulp fiction writers. He would write either psychological thrillers as well as detective novels with Ben Helm. What made him different was that he would write the Ben Helm series from different points of view of the characters in the stories. This is one of his books.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I think in most cases you're right. I would probably say that mobsters are prevalent in many of these books as well. Some of the more popular ones are Mickey Spillane, Frank Kane, Brett Halliday, Wade Miller, and many other private detective novels.
There were other writers who had more stand alone books like Gil Brewer and Bruno Fischer. They wrote psychological thrillers. You could say with Fischer that mobsters were in many of those novels as well.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

The Fourth Postman by Craig Rice
Who Was That Lady? Craig Rice The Queen of Screwball Mystery by Jeffrey Marks

When it comes to pulp fiction, no one can blend humor and a murder mystery like Craig Rice can.


message 8: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Rajeev wrote: "Mike wrote: "I'm interested in getting suggestions for modern authors of the genre. Honestly, I'm a little foggy on the distinction between hardboiled and pulp fiction but probably anything within..."

I wouldn't think of Lee Child as hard-boiled. He's more of a thriller author.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Right on Kirsten.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Slay Ride by Frank Kane
Bullet Proof by Frank Kane
Red Hot Ice (Prologue Books) by Frank Kane

Some great books by Frank Kane on his private detective, Johnny Liddell. The whole series is available on Kindle and Nook for about $3.03 each. Great reads.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Riddle Me This by Mike Roscoe

Now here is a private detective named Johnny April that puts the H in hardboiled when it comes to being a private detective. One of my favorite novels by Mike Roscoe, Riddle Me This. My review is here.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

The Hot Spot by Charles Williams

I finished The Hot Spot by Charles Williams last night. The original name of the book was Hell Hath No Fury. I was really surprised that this book had so many good reviews. I was very disappointed and surprised that this book could even be compared to books by James Cain. My review is here.


message 13: by Paul (new)

Paul Ron wrote: "The Hot Spot by Charles Williams

I finished The Hot Spot by Charles Williams last night. The original name of the book was Hell Hath No Fury. I was really surprised that this book had so many goo..."


That's disappointing Ron. I have a bunch of CW's books in the eBook format, this one included. I'm a sucker for the covers of these type of books. Really splendid graphic art.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I still have other books by Charles Williams. He has done better than Hell Hath No Fury. Can't understand why the name was changed.


message 15: by Paul (last edited Dec 30, 2014 07:34AM) (new)

Paul Ron wrote: "I still have other books by Charles Williams. He has done better than Hell Hath No Fury. Can't understand why the name was changed."

Not sure why the name was changed in this particular instance Ron, but i've noticed UK editions of books often have different titles from US editions.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

The House Next Door by Lionel White

One of the best books that I finished this year was The House Next Door by Lionel White.


message 17: by Paul (new)

Paul Ron wrote: "The House Next Door by Lionel White

One of the best books that I finished this year was The House Next Door by Lionel White."


It's now on my TBR list Ron. Looks good.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Starting a new blog on pulp fiction books in case you want to check it out at tumblr.

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/ronhummer


message 19: by Paul (new)

Paul Ron wrote: "Starting a new blog on pulp fiction books in case you want to check it out at tumblr.

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/ronhummer"


Nice blog Ron. Thanks for the intro to Tumblr too. I'd seen the name, but didn't realize it was a blogging site. Bit pushy though:)


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Didn't mean to be pushy. I just liked the graphics there. Sorry.


message 21: by Paul (new)

Paul Ron wrote: "Didn't mean to be pushy. I just liked the graphics there. Sorry."


Ha ha. Not you Ron, i meant Tumblr. Here a pop-up, there a pop-up, everywhere a pop-up. Hopefully that's only when you set up an account, which i did.
Had been toying with the idea of a book related blog before joining GR, then that idea just fell by the wayside. I looked at various blogging sites & apps, but they all seemed a bit more work than i was prepared to put into them. Started looking at Wordpress, even buying how-to books, but that's about it.
Tumblr does look quite user-friendly though doesn't it? An excellent platform for refining your interests in books, for example, like you have done. Good job:)


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks. I'll look at your blog as well.


message 23: by Paul (new)

Paul Ron wrote: "Thanks. I'll look at your blog as well."

Don't hold your breath Ron:)


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

If you're into pulp fiction and hardboiled novels, then this is a good blog to look it. It's from James Reasoner. If you don't know who he is, he was one of the ghost writers for the Mike Shayne novels after Brett Halliday retired after his 30th book. I'm reading Tickets for Death right now. It was the fourth book of the series when Shayne was married to Phyllis. That marriage ended after the eighth novel when she died.

Tickets For Death by Brett Halliday

Anyway, here is the blog and his comments on one of my favorite hard boiled authors, Mike Roscoe.

http://jamesreasoner.blogspot.com/200...


message 25: by Michael (new)

Michael (mikequist1) I've read a couple of the Parker novels by Richard Stark. I plan on reading a few more.

Has anyone ever read the hardboiled dec series by Dan Simmons? I've been meaning to give them a try.

Hardcase (Joe Kurtz, #1) by Dan Simmons Hard as Nails (Joe Kurtz, #3) by Dan Simmons Hard Freeze (Joe Kurtz, #2) by Dan Simmons


message 26: by Paul (new)

Paul Mike wrote: "I've read a couple of the Parker novels by Richard Stark. I plan on reading a few more.

Has anyone ever read the hardboiled dec series by Dan Simmons? I've been mean..."


I've read all but one of the Parker novels Mike. Really enjoyed them, though towards the end of the series, moving into the late 70's, maybe early 80's, computers had started to be mentioned & i missed the earlier 'feel' of low tech Parker novels.
I've not read Dan Simmons yet.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Mike wrote: "I've read a couple of the Parker novels by Richard Stark. I plan on reading a few more.

Has anyone ever read the hardboiled dec series by Dan Simmons? I've been mean..."


Dan Simmons is new to me. Have to check into it. Thanks.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Tickets For Death by Brett Halliday

Here is my review of Tickets For Death by Brett Halliday. This is book #4 in the Mike Shayne series. I hope that all the books will be available on prologue books at some point.


message 29: by Paul (new)

Paul Picked up 2 more books from the library i had on order: The Getaway by Jim Thompson & a new author for me; Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott. Heard a lot of good things about Megan Abbott, so am looking forward to reading this.
I really need to get a move on with my reading. Have currently about 8 books to read. At least my return dates are staggered, so they're not all due back at the same time.


message 30: by Paul (new)

Paul Finished The Goodbye Kiss by Massimo Carlotto. Enjoyable. The main character is an amoral sociopath & the story is fast paced. A quick read at only 144 pages.

4 stars.

Reading The Long-Legged Fly (Lew Griffin, #1) by James Sallis next.


message 31: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 13 comments Paul wrote: "Picked up 2 more books from the library i had on order: The Getaway by Jim Thompson & a new author for me; Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott. Heard a lot of good things about Megan Abbott, so am ..."
I have read (and enjoyed) most of Jim Thompson's books (some of the later ones are a bit nasty, but not in a good way...) Pop. 1280 Jim Thompson - great stuff


message 32: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 13 comments Paul wrote: "Mike wrote: "I've read a couple of the Parker novels by Richard Stark. I plan on reading a few more.
Did you ever get around to reading more Richard Stark? I finished the last Hunter novel about 3 months ago, read the lot over the about 6 years, and loved them. The first ones are really nihilistic and tough but great all the same. Then he took a Hunter hiatus of some 15 years and delivered another 8 titles in the series in the years before he died (Westlake aka Stark, that is; not Hunter). The newer books are a little softer but not much. They are still good fun



message 33: by Frank (last edited Oct 01, 2015 10:08AM) (new)

Frank McAdam To me, the greatest of the hardboiled writers has to be Dashiell Hammett. Though Carroll John Daly may have invented the genre, he was a terrible writer. Hammett, on the other hand, was one of the greatest American novelists of the 20th century. The Continental Op in Red Harvest is simply the toughest detective character ever created. He has a job to do and he gets it done no matter how many bad guys have to die along the way. Hammett's own experience as a Pinkerton op helped enormously in making the story realistic and believable.


message 34: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 13 comments I feel a bit guilty about the fact that I never got Hammett. I've tried Maltese Falcon, Thin Man and Red Harvest and I love the film versions of all of them. But the books, unlike the people's who came just after him, Chandler, Cain etc. just don't do it for me. I don't know, I find his narratives confusing (which doesn't usually put me off, see Raymond Chandler, mind) and the protagonists are unlikeable. What am I doing wrong?


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Here is my review of So Wicked My Love By Bruno Fischer, a good pulp fiction psychological Femme Fatale thriller.

So Wicked My Love by Bruno Fischer


message 36: by Christian (new)

Christian Chiakulas | 5 comments Weird that this group hasn't seen any activity in almost 2 years.

I'm pretty new to Goodreads, I joined because my first novel was just published.

Both of my published works have been in a genre I like to call "Hardboiled-high," as in they're hardboiled mysteries that take place in a high-school setting. Got the inspiration from the film Brick.

Does anyone have any recommendations for other stories with a hardboiled/pulp style that are either explicitly YA/New Adult or just use high school/college as a setting? I'd like to see how "out there" this genre I've found myself working in really is, if there's anyone else doing it better, etc.


message 37: by Mark (new)

Mark Birchall (goodreadscomgabbi) | 13 comments some early Lawrence block, Ken Breen, Jason Starr,and Mark timeline are worth a look under the hardboiled,pulp genre


message 38: by Christian (new)

Christian Chiakulas | 5 comments Mark wrote: "some early Lawrence block, Ken Breen, Jason Starr,and Mark timeline are worth a look under the hardboiled,pulp genre"

But have they specifically used a high school/college setting and/or YA/New Adult style? I've read some Block but nothing like that.


message 39: by Mike (new)

Mike | 13 comments I've read the entire Matt Scudder series and some other odd and end Lawrence Block stuff (some of the Burglar series and many of his Hard Case Crime stories) and I have absolutely no recollection of anything along the YA/New Adult style you refer to, Christian.

I vaguely recall a book I read a few years ago that featured a supernatural detective who was a teenager - kind of like a younger version of The Dresden Files but can't recall the author or the title. That's about the only one I know of right off hand that is remotely in the genre you're talking about.

Sounds interesting, though.


message 40: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 13 comments the closest I can think of is a movie. If it was made today it'd probably marketed under the YA/Noir label. I´m thinking about Bugsy Malone, of course. But you're right, Christian, it's pretty out there...


message 41: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (MelissaL88) | 10 comments What about the Maximum Overdrive series by James Patterson? Those are YA-ish. I haven't personally read them, but they were recommended to my boys several years ago.


message 42: by Christian (new)

Christian Chiakulas | 5 comments Those aren't hardboiled, they're like a weird scifi/fantasy mix. I read one when I was younger but didn't like it.


message 43: by P. (new)

P. Lundburg | 11 comments As Christian said above, it's weird this thread hasn't had much activity (until recently) for 2 years. Maybe that's why my hard-boiled detective novel hasn't flown off the proverbial shelf! hahaha!!!

I've always been a strong fan of the hard-boiled detective novel, and even did some pretty close research in grad school (Lit major)... and now am writing in that genre. So I'm very excited to see a discussion happening here.

To answer on the high school setting hard-boiled, I'd be interested in knowing more about how you're envisioning that. My take on hard-boiled is that the protagonist is cynical, a loner, and works sometimes alongside cops but mostly in SPITE of them. I'm not seeing how this prototype fits a high school setting. "Noir" as a style, perhaps....? I don't recall reading anything like what you're describing, in any case. So maybe you're onto a nice new niche!


message 44: by P. (last edited Sep 16, 2017 11:10AM) (new)

P. Lundburg | 11 comments I hope it's okay to do this here -- I didn't see a rule list. For fans of the old-style hard-boiled detective novel, in the tradition of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, I've started a new series. Book 1 is FREE today on Kindle. Reviews are always appreciated, but most important is to enjoy it!

The Stateroom Tryst (Clayton Chronicles Book 1) by P. Wesley Lundburg

Download at https://www.amazon.com/Stateroom-Trys...

About the Book:
A seasoned private detective.... a rich, sexy client keeping tabs on her husband.... a gambling ring, and a host of people following the husband.....

Rick "Clay" Clayton is hired by an attractive, affluent woman who wants to learn the truth behind her husband’s overnight “business” trips and spending binges. She suspects gambling, and Clay sets out to solve the mystery. When her husband is murdered among an entourage of people tailing him, Clay realizes this is no ordinary marital investigation. His tenacity leads him to uncover a dangerous alliance that takes even his hardened experience by surprise.

About the Series:
San Diego private detective Rick “Clay” Clayton goes to work for the Doubleday Detective Agency after 17 years with the Pinkertons. He has built a career working solo, solving crimes and bringing down organized crime rings. Untrusting of other private eyes and certain of the incompetence of police detectives, he moves through the dark underbelly of the city to ferret out his targets. Enlisting the computer skills of an unconventional friend, Clay tracks down clues and nails the guilty with uncanny precision.


message 45: by Mike (new)

Mike | 13 comments Christian wrote: "Both of my published works have been in a genre I like to call "Hardboiled-high," as in they're hardboiled mysteries that take place in a high-school setting. Got the inspiration from the film Brick.

Does anyone have any recommendations for other stories with a hardboiled/pulp style that are either explicitly YA/New Adult or just use high school/college as a setting? I'd like to see how "out there" this genre I've found myself working in really is, if there's anyone else doing it better, etc."


Not quite the same thing you're talking about - it's not hardboiled - but I recently found a couple of books featuring a middle school detective named Howard Wallace. It's done in a sort of tongue-in-cheek homage to old school Private Detectives.

The two I've seen are Howard Wallace, P.I. (Howard Wallace, P.I. Book 1) and Shadow of a Pug (Howard Wallace, P.I., Book 2)

They're fun books but, as I said, not really the least bit hardboiled.


message 46: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 10 comments If you're looking for a hardboiled detective novel, try John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series. They're hard to find. Try your library or used book stores. It will be worth your effort.


message 47: by P. (new)

P. Lundburg | 11 comments Scout wrote: "If you're looking for a hardboiled detective novel, try John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series. They're hard to find. Try your library or used book stores. It will be worth your effort."

The Travis McGee series is one of the greatest series reads in the genre I've read. I fully agree with this endorsement. It's been a while since I've read them.... Not sure I'd tag them as hard-boiled, but certainly elements of it!


message 48: by Sifat's (last edited Jul 09, 2018 01:11AM) (new)

Sifat's Book Kingdom (iambooknerd) | 3 comments Sifat here, Any free website/blog to download pulp fiction books free as PDF/epub ? I will be glad if found any.


message 49: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Well, what IS the difference? Author Megan Abbott has some answers!

https://lithub.com/megan-abbott-on-th...

Hardboiled is distinct from noir, though they’re often used interchangeably. The common argument is that hardboiled novels are an extension of the wild west and pioneer narratives of the 19th century. The wilderness becomes the city, and the hero is usually a somewhat fallen character, a detective or a cop. At the end, everything is a mess, people have died, but the hero has done the right thing or close to it, and order has, to a certain extent, been restored. Law and Order is a great example of the hardboiled formula in a contemporary setting.

Noir is different. In noir, everyone is fallen, and right and wrong are not clearly defined and maybe not even attainable. In that sense, noir speaks to us powerfully right now, when certain structures of authority don’t make sense any longer, and we wonder: Why should we abide by them? Noir thrived in the 40s after the Depression and World War II, and in the 70s, with Watergate and Vietnam, for similar reasons.

Well what do you think?


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