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Reading order and synopsis for Lawrence Block's Burglar series; 160x480 J D Robb (Nora Roberts) Eve Dallas (In Death) series page reading order and synopsis; 160x480 John Sandford's Lucas Davenport series page reading order and synopsis; 160x480 John Sandford's Virgil Flowers series page reading order and synopsis; 160x480 Films at Festivale, movie reviews, commentary, coming attractions, release dates Festivale's Pictorial Guide to Melbourne and Victoria; 160x480
Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone private investigator series page for reading order and synopsis; 160x480
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Matt Scudder

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Matt Scudder is an unlicensed private investigator, which means he works in return for 'gifts'. Based in New York, he is an ex-NYPD cop, and an alcoholic.

The Matt Scudder books are not for the faint-hearted. They are hard core noir, darkly executed.

book cover, The Sins of the Fathers, Lawrence Block; 86x140
The Sins of the Fathers, Lawrence Block

The Sins of the Fathers

The pretty young prostitute is dead. Her alleged murderer -- a minister's son -- hanged himself in his jail cell. The case is closed. But the dead girl's father has come to Matthew Scudder for answers, sending the unlicensed private investigator in search of terrible truths about a life that was lived and lost in a sordid world of perversion and pleasures.

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book cover, In the Midst of Death, Lawrence Block; 87x140
In the Midst of Death , Lawrence Block

In the Midst of Death

Bad cop Jerry Broadfield didn't make any friends on the force when he volunteered to squeal to an ambitious d.a. about police corruption. Now he's accused of murdering a call girl. Matthew Scudder doesn't think Broadfield's a killer, but the cops aren't about to help the unlicensed p.i. prove it -- and they may do a lot worse than just get in his way.

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book cover, Time to Murder and Create, Lawrence Block; 84x140
Time to Murder and Create , Lawrence Block

Time to Murder and Create

Small-time stoolie, Jake " The Spinner" Jablon, made a lot of new enemies when he switched careers, from informer to blackmailer. And the more "clients", he figured, the more money -- and more people eager to see him dead. So no one is surprised when the pigeon is found floating in the East River with his skull bashed in.And what's worse, no one cares -- except Matthew Scudder. The ex-cop-turned-private-eye is no conscientious avenging angel. But he's willing to risk his own life and limb to confront Spinner's most murderously aggressive marks. A job's a job after all -- and Scudder's been paid to find a killer -- by the victim...in advance.

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book cover, A Stab in the Dark, Lawrence Block; 93x140
A Stab in the Dark, Lawrence Block

A Stab in the Dark

is Pinell, the recently apprehended "Icepick Prowler," freely admits to having slain seven young women nine years ago -- but be swears it was a copycat who killed Barbara Ettinger Matthew Scudder believes him. But the trail to Ettinger's true murderer is twisted, dark and dangerous...and even colder than the almost decade-old corpse the p.i. is determined to avenge.

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book cover, Eight Million Ways to Die, Lawrence Block; 88x140
Eight Million Ways to Die , Lawrence Block

Eight Million Ways to Die

Nobody knows better than Matthew Scudder how far down a person can sink in this city. A young prostitute named Kim knew it also--and she wanted out. Maybe Kim didn't deserve the life fate had dealt her. She surely didn't deserve her death. The alcoholic ex-cop turned p.i. was supposed to protect her, but someone slashed her to ribbons on a crumbling New York City waterfront pier. Now finding Kim's killer will be Scudder's penance. But there are lethal secrets hiding in the slain hooker's past that are far dirtier than her trade. And there are many ways of dying in this cruel and dangerous town--some quick and brutal ... and some agonizingly slow.

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book cover, When the Sacred Ginmill Closes, Lawrence Block; 83x140
When the Sacred Ginmill Closes, Lawrence Block

When the Sacred Ginmill Closes

In the dark days, in a sad and lonely place, ex-cop Matt Scudder is drinking his life away -- and doing "favors" for pay for his ginmill cronies. But when three such assignments flow together in dangerous and disturbing ways, he'll need to change his priorities from boozing to surviving.

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book cover, Out on the Cutting Edge, Lawrence Block; 96x140
Out on the Cutting Edge, Lawrence Block

Out on the Cutting Edge

Matthew Scudder understands the futility of his search for a longtime missing Midwestern innocent who wanted to be an actress in the vast meat-grinder called New York City. But her frantic father heard that Scudder is the best--and now the ex-cop-turned-p.i. is scouring the hell called Hell's Kitchen looking for anything that might resemble a lead. And in this neighborhood of the lost, he's finding love--and death--in the worst possible places.

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book cover, A Ticket to the Boneyard, Lawrence Block; 96x140
A Ticket to the Boneyard , Lawrence Block

A Ticket to the Boneyard

Twelve years ago, Matthew Scudder lied to a jury to put James Leo Motley behind bars. Now the ingenious psychopath is free. And the alcoholic ex-cop-turned-p.i. must pay dearly for his sins. Friends and former lovers -- even strangers unfortunate enough to share Scudder's name -- are turning up dead. Because a vengeful maniac is determined not to rest until he's driven his nemesis back to the bottle...and then to the boneyard.

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book cover, A Dance at the Slaughterhouse, Lawrence Block; 96x140
A Dance at the Slaughterhouse, Lawrence Block

A Dance at the Slaughterhouse

A successful socialite's beautiful wife was raped and murdered in her own home -- and Matt Scudder believes the victim's "grieving" husband was responsible for the outrage. But to prove it, the haunted p.i. must descend into the depths of New York's sex-for-sale underworld, where young lives are commodities to be bought, perverted...and destroyed.

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book cover, A Walk Among the Tombstones, Lawrence Block; 96x140
A Walk Among the Tombstones , Lawrence Block

A Walk Among the Tombstones

Haunted alcoholic ex-cop Matt Scudder is called in when the wife of a heroin dealer is kidnapped and killed.

See also: movie review A Walk Among the Tombstones

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book cover, The Devil Knows You're Dead, Lawrence Block;
The Devil Knows You're Dead, Lawrence Block

The Devil Knows You're Dead

A deranged derelict, a crazed Vietnam vet, has been arrested for gunning down successful young lawyer Glenn Holtzmann at a corner phone booth on Eleventh Avenue -- and the suspect's brother wants p.i. Matthew Scudder to prove the madman innocent. But Scudder's curiosity and dedication are leading him to dark, unexplored places in his own heart...and to passions and secrets that could destroy everything be loves.

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book cover, A Long Line of Dead Men, Lawrence Block; 96x140
A Long Line of Dead Men, Lawrence Block

A Long Line of Dead Men

Matthew Scudder investigates a secret, private club in Manhattan whose members suddenly start dying, when it becomes obvious that someone is trying to kill them all.

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book cover, Even the Wicked, Lawrence Block;
Even the Wicked , Lawrence Block

Even the Wicked

Matthew Scudder knows that justice is an elusive commodity in the big city, where a harmless man can be shot dead in a public place criminals fly free through holes in a tattered legal system. But now a vigilante is roaming among the millions, executing those he fees deserve to die. He calls himself "The Will of the People"--an ingenious serial killer who announces his specific murderous intentions to the media before carrying through on his threats. A child molester, a Mafia don, a violent anti-abortionist--even the protected and untouchable are being ruthlessly erased by New York's latest celebrity avenger. Scudder knows that no one is innocent--but who among us has the right to play God? It is a question that will haunt the licensed p.i. on his journey through the bleak city grays, as he searches for the sanity in urban madness. . .and for a frighteningly efficient killer who can do the impossible.

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book cover, Everybody Dies, Lawrence Block; 87x140
Everybody Dies, Lawrence Block

Everybody Dies

Matt Scudder is finally leading a comfortable life. The crime rate's down and the stock market's up. Gentrification's prettying-up the old neighborhood. The New York streets don't look so mean anymore. Then all hell breaks loose.

Scudder quickly discovers the spruced-up sidewalks are as mean as ever, dark and gritty and stained with blood. He's living in a world where the past is a minefield, the present is a war zone, and the future's an open question. It's a world where nothing is certain and nobody's safe, a random universe where no one's survival can be taken for granted. Not even his own. A world where everybody dies.

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book cover, Hope to Die, Lawrence Block; 92x140
Hope to Die , Lawrence Block

Hope to Die

The city caught its collective breath when upscale couple Byrne and Susan Hollander were slaughtered in a brutal home invasion. Now, a few days later, the killers themselves have turned up dead behind the locked door of a Brooklyn hellhole -- one apparently slain by his partner in crime who then took his own life.

There's something drawing Matthew Scudder to this case that the cops have quickly and eagerly closed: a nagging suspicion that a third man is involved, a cold, diabolical puppet master who manipulates his two accomplices, then cuts their strings when he's done with them. No one but Scudder even suspects he exists. And his worst fear is that the guy is just getting started ...

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book cover, All the Flowers Are Dying, Lawrence Block; 92x140
All the Flowers Are Dying, Lawrence Block

All the Flowers Are Dying

This title is a continuation of the story told in Hope to Die, with the return of the ingenious psychopath whose many aliases always use the initials "A.B." The man faked his own death at the conclusion of Hope to Die; while Scudder suspected the ruse, he was satisfied that A.B. was out of New York, and thus out of his life.

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book cover, A Drop of the Hard Stuff, Lawrence Block; 94x140
A Drop of the Hard Stuff , Lawrence Block

A Drop of the Hard Stuff

Facing his demons in his first year of sobriety, Matthew Scudder finds himself on the trail of a killer. When Scudder's childhood friend Jack Ellery is murdered, presumably while attempting to atone for past sins, Scudder reluctantly begins his own investigation, with just one lead: Ellery's Alcoholics Anonymous list of people he wronged. One of them may be a killer, but that's not necessarily Scudder's greatest danger. Immersing himself in Ellery's world may lead him right back to the bar stool.

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book cover, The Night and the Music, Lawrence Block; 96x140
The Night and the Music, Lawrence Block

The Night and the Music

A collection of Matt Scudder short stories published in various places over the years.

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Official Website:

Bernie (Burglar) series

Crime Series:

Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr (Burglar)

Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder

Lilian Jackson Braun's Qwilleran and Koko (Cat Who)

Lee Child's Jack Reacher

Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum

Janet Evanovich's Alex Barnaby

Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg's O'Hare/Fox series

Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone

Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher

Kerry Greenwood's Corinna Chapman

Tanya Huff's Vicki Nelson (Blood)

Val McDermid's Kate Brannigan

Shane Maloney's Murray Whelan

Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski

J D Robb's Eve Dallas and Roarke

Dorothy Sayers'Lord Peter Wimsey

Michael W. Sherer's Blake Sanders

Zoe Sharp's Charlie Fox

John Sandford's Lucas Davenport

John Sandford's Virgil Flowers

John Sandford's Kidd & LuEllen

Fantasy/Science Fiction series:

Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series

Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Robots series

Mary Janice Davidson's Undead series

Anne McCaffrey's Dragonrider series
Anne McCaffrey's Crystal Singer series
Anne McCaffrey's Brain Ships series
Anne McCaffrey's Talents (psychic, rowan, tower) series
Anne McCaffrey's Petaybee series
Anne McCaffrey's Freedom series
Anne McCaffrey's Acorna series
George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones and more
Tanya Huff's Vicki Nelson (Blood Lines)
Tanya Huff's Confederation
Terry Pratchett's Discworld series
Spider Robinson's Callahan and Stardance series

Roger Zelazny's Amber Series