Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Loren D. Estleman

Photo http://www.lorenestleman.com/

Biography
Born in 1952, Loren D. Estleman was
the son of a postal worker and a truck driver and was raised in an 1867 Michigan farmhouse.  He has not strayed far for settings for his various mystery series.  His first novel appeared in 1976 followed by fifty-two other books and hundreds of short stories, book reviews, and articles. He recently published an excellent guide to authorship entitled Writing the Popular Novel.  He continues to live in Michigan and is married to fellow mystery author Deborah Morgan.

What he writes: His popular Amos Walker series is set in nearby Detroit and features a former police cadet turned private eye who talks tough, hates hypocrisy and phonies but is a teddy bear at heart. A big lonely macho investigator reminiscent of Raymond Chandler's Sam Spade, the ladies love Amos. He deals with the worst of Motor City from trendy Grosse Point to inner city neighborhoods.

 

List of works
 
His popular Amos Walker series is set in nearby Detroit and features a former police cadet turned private eye who talks tough, hates hypocrisy and phonies but is a teddy bear at heart. A big lonely macho investigator reminiscent of Raymond Chandler's Sam Spade, the ladies love Amos. He deals with the worst of Motor City from trendy Grosse Point to inner city neighborhoods.
  Motor City Blue (1980) Silent Thunder (1989)
  Angel Eyes (1981) Sweet Women Lie (1990)
  The Midnight Man (1982) Never Street (1997)
  The Glass Highway (1983) The Witchfinder (1998)
  Sugartown (1984) The Hours of the Virgin (1999)
  Every Brilliant Eye (1986) A Smile on the Face of the Tiger (2002)
  Lady Yesterday (1987) Sinister Heights (2002)
  Downriver (1988) Poison Blonde (2003)
  General Murders (1988) Retro (2003)
     
Estleman's Detroit crime series set in various decades of the 20th century begins with Whiskey River which gives a historical perspective on warring gangs during Prohibition. Others in the series focus on recurring themes of racial tension, dirty politics, and organized crime bringing in backdrops of the auto industry, organized labor, and the gritty Detroit scene.
  Whiskey River (1990) Stress (1996)
  Motown (1991) Jitterbug (1998)
  King of the Corner (1992) Thunder City (1999)
  Edsel (1995)  
     
The third recurring series brings readers an anti-hero, so to speak, Peter Macklin, a tough freelance hit-man who works out of Detroit to eliminate those lower down on the evolutionary ladder.
  Kill Zone (1984) Something Borrowed, Something Black (2002)
  Roses are Dead (1985) Little Black Dress (2002)
  Any Man's Death (1986)  
     
In addition to his many fine mysteries described here, Estleman is also an award winning author of Westerns including the Page Murdoch series.
 

Awards

An authority on both criminal history and the American West, Estleman has been called the most critically acclaimed author of his generation. He has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award, and England's Silver Dagger Award. He has received sixteen national writing awards: three Shamuses from the Private Eye Writers of America, four Golden Spurs from the Western Writers of America, two American Mystery Awards from Mystery Scene Magazine, two Outstanding Mystery Writer of the Year awards from Popular Fiction Monthly, two Stirrup Awards for outstanding articles in the Western Writers of America magazine, The Roundup, and three Western Heritage Awards from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

 
What the critics say
The Amos Walker Series
“The twelfth Walker novel (The Witchfinder) is another brilliant entry in this classic neo-noir series. Amos is the tough, cynical, funny, lonely direct descendant of Spade, Marlowe, and Archer. In today's morally ambiguous world, he still has a code and lives by it as if it mattered.” — Booklist, May 1998 — starred review  
The Detroit Series
“Terrific -- fast, intricate, and often funny….Set pieces are no less than stunning [and] period details work wonderfully as well: the clothes, cars, songs, political references, even the price of lamb chops at the A&P are right on the money.” — Publishers Weekly, 6/14/91
“Terrific, tough characters, snappy dialogue, crackling action and some imaginative applications of the third degree, make this a triumph for Estleman.” — Publishers Weekly, 7/20/98

 

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