Thrilling Detective Fiction (Index)

“So you’re a private detective? I didn’t know they existed, except in books — or else they were greasy little men snooping around hotel corridors.”
— Bacall to Bogart in The Big Sleep


For the first ten or so years of its existence, The Thrilling Detective Web Site published online fiction, mostly original short stories, plus an occasional excerpt or classic reprint. In that time, we were lucky enough to put out some really good stuff, give some exposure to some up-and-coming writers, and even win a few awards. I couldn’t have done it without the dogged determination of long-time fiction editor Gerald So and my original co-editor Victoria Esposito, and so I want to thank them once again for all their hard work and support over the years. As I said, I could have never done it alone. And I didn’t.

And now, perhaps against my better judgement, after another ten years (or so), I’m thinking of starting it all over again.


So much has changed in publishing since those first ten (or so) years, and editors are increasingly viewed by some of the ego-bloated self-pub and KU brigade as somewhere between an unnecessary evil and dog shit, but a good story is still a good story — and deserves to treated as such, not rushed to publication to meet some cyber-quota, or because some “writer” or “publisher” is too lazy to put out the best story they can.

So please, if you don’t want to be edited, don’t start sending me your stories.

A few comments or suggestions would be nice, though, so I know what I might be getting myself into. And so far, nobody’s responded in any significant way.

Meanwhile, there’s still plenty more fiction to check out. Feel free to stroll down the mean streets of our archives…


September 1998

  • Zen and the Art of Murder by E.M. Cosin (excerpt)
    Our very first piece of Thrilling Detective Fiction was a couple of chapters of a then soon-to-be-released novel by talented newcomer Elizabeth Cosin, featuring Los Angeles private eye Zen Moses.

October 1998

  • Hit and Run by Christopher Mills
    Introducing Portland, Maine private eye Matthew Dain in a short story that may well leave you cold.

November 1998

  • The Riding Boy by Terry White
    For your reading pleasure: Thomas Haftmann, an existentialist asskicker and P.I.
  • Never Take a Shave at a Shop Named Delilah’s by Henry Mazel (excerpt)
    An excerpt from Murderously Incorrect, a new novel published by Crime and Again Press, and introducing NY eye Alex Rada.

December 1998

  • A Gift For the Conklins by Kim Sellers
    A seasonal, non-P.I. tale. And what do you want for Christmas?
  • Headlock by Burl Barer
    A sneak preview of a soon-to-be-published novel, marking the debut of P.I. Jeff Reynolds, or whatever his name is.

January 1999

  • Secret Dead Men” by Duane Swierczynski
    Mere words can not describe this bizarre detective tale, featuring P.I. Del Winter...
  • “The Gift of Wallace Random” by Hugh Lessig
    Hard-boiled newshawk Picasso Smith meets a man who claims he can tell the future. I’d say “They don’t write ’em like this anymore,” except that Hugh Lessig does.

Spring 1999

  • Now You See Her… by Robert L.Iles
    A short-short featuring private eye Peter B. Bruck.
  • No Good From a Corpse by Leigh Brackett (excerpt)
    An excerpt from a rare, hard-to-find classic by one of the genre’s best writers, soon to (finally) be re-published after almost fifty years!

May/June 1999

Summer 1999

December 1999

  • Detectives Inc.: A Terror of Dying Dreams by Don McGregor and Gene Colan
    A Thrilling Exclusive! An excerpt from the classic P.I. graphic novel, and a peek at what went on behind the scenes in its creation.

January 2000

  • The Immortal Game by Mark Coggins (excerpt)
    An excerpt from a much-talked about new novel, which features the long-awaited return of private eye August Riordan.

February/March 2000

April/May 2000

  • Special Delivery” by Hugh Lessig
    Newshawk Alamo Barnes and the gang at The Frisco Foil receive a package full of trouble…

June 2000

  • The Black Hole of Luck by Anthony Neil Smith
    P.I. David Junior knows when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em…
  • Stalking Amanda by Jochem Vandersteen
    Sure, security specialist Noah Milano has a few “family” problems, but that doesn’t stop him from helping other people…

September 2000

  • A Kiss Like Money by Victor Gischler
    P.I. Connor Samson finds out the hard way that sometimes a penny saved is a penny burned.
  • Secret Smile by Tribe
    Holy Toledo! You think she’s trouble? You should meet her sister…
  • The Desperate Minutes by Brian Evankovich
    This well-armed father knows best–or does he?

Winter 2000

  • “Heavy Friends” by Scott Wolven
    There’s nothing like a letter from a friend to warm the heart during the holidays… (Story withdrawn upon author’s request)
  • Blink of an Eye” by Anthony Rain
    It’s winter in New York City, and it’s snowing…
  • The Half Monty (Part 1)” by Laura Lippman
    Tess Monaghan plays the odds, and then plays her trump card. It’s a game, it’s a puzzle, it’s a candy, it’s a breath mint!

March 2001

  • A Vague Implication by Darren Subarton
    “She was a prostitute but not your everyday $20 dollar grab-bag type of whore.”
  • Duces Tecum by Robert Hoyden
    “A subpoena doo…sess…t…what?”
  • The Half Monty (Part 2) by Laura Lippman
    The solution and conclusion…

April 2001

  • Ash Wednesday by Kent Westmoreland
    In the wake of Mardi Gras, Big Easy eye Burleigh Drummond sets out to do battle, armed only with his wits and a killer hangover…

June 2001

  • Thoroughbred by Peter Parmantie
    Joe Angello is back!
  • Hampton Blood by Anthony Rain
    Miles Beckett gets out of the city.
  • Death Lessons by John Samony
    Music, murder and all that jazz….
  • The Black Squall by Lori Stone (excerpt)
    An excerpt from a witty new novel that P.I. trivia fans should really get a kick out of.

Summer 2001

  • Roselle Park by John Alvar
    Sometimes a private investigation ain’t no walk in the park.
  • Friscoville by O’Neil De Noux
    It had to happen–a cat story!
  • Millstone by Hugh Lessig
    Newshawk Picasso Smith, Jr. discovers it isn’t only the wheels of justice that grind…
  • Still Water by Graham Powell
    P.I. Thomas Ross realizes all the reptiles aren’t in the bayou…

Fall 2001

  • “Give the Woman Credit” by John Swan
    Here’s a guy from Hamilton, Ontario who knows a dick when he sees one…
  • “Just One of Those Things” by D.L. Browne
    Mary Kelly’s tired of being just “the girl” in the office, living through her pulp writing. So the Old Man sends her on a real case…
  • Lucky Stiff by Steve Kaye
    P.I. Leonard Dolman doesn’t like domestics. Here’s one reason why…A blast from the past, well-worth re-discovering.

Winter/Spring 2002

  • “Bourne Again” by Stephen D. Rogers
    What could be more relaxing than a ride to the Cape?
  • Death … and More Death by Bill Capron
    The Colour-Blind Detective goes fishing, and hooks something bigger than he expected…murder!

Summer 2002 

  • “Velda’s First Case” by Ron Miller
    A stripper with a heart of gold… and a P.I. ticket.
  • Totaled by Clayton Emery
    Introducing P.I./grease monkey Susan “Tyger” Blake, a gal who knows how to handle herself, with or without a thirteen-inch crescent wrench. Nominated (almost) for a Best Short Story of 2003 Edgar.
  • Seeming by Peter A. Parmantie
    Joe Angello’s back — the sad sack P.I. with a face only a wife could love.
  • The Drowning Detective by David Cox
    A tasty tale of friendship from across the pond that goes down smooth as a pint on the house, with a nice, bitter finish.
  • Vulture Capital by Mark Coggins (excerpt)
    An excerpt from the latest August Riordan novel.

Fall 2002

  • Closure” by Dave White
    An honest-to-God P.I. tale that dares to use the events of 9/11 as something more than a cheap thrill. Winner, 2003 Derringer Award for Best Short Story
  • “The Dover Affair” by Dave Zeltserman
    The first-ever short story featuring Denver P.I./columnist Johnny Lane.
  • Woolworth’s … For All Your Defensive Needs by C.J. Henderson
    You’ll never look at Slim Jims quite the same way again, I promise.

Spring 2003

  • Director’s Cut by Roger L. Simon (excerpt)
    An excerpt from the Moses Wine novel. Evidently what the former hippie dick really wants to do, after all these years, is direct.
  • Little Holes by Mike MacLean
    A nasty little story that’ll have you feeling dirty for days. I’m sure you’ll love it!

Summer 2003

Hallowe’en 2003

  • Red Ransom by G. Wells Taylor
    A Wildclown case. It ain’t easy being dead, but someone’s got a do it.

Holidays 2003

 Spring 2004

  • God’s Dice by David White
    Jackson Donne takes a shot, but faith is the hole card. Short-listed, “Notable Stories of 2004” by storySouth. Short-listed, 2005 Derringer Award
  • God Put a Smile by Ray Banks
    Cal Innes finds out what “Suffer little children” really means…

Summer 2004

Holidays 2004

Spring 2005

May 2005

Summer 2005

January 2006

  • “Out of Clay” by Sarah Weinman
    Introducing Stuart Kovacs, a P.I. who has something more than a monkey on his back.
  • Little Sins by Mike MacLean
    Mike’s nameless P.I., whose moral code is surprisingly elastic, returns in another little tale of life in the ethical free-fall zone.

Fall 2006

Winter 2006

  • Last Call by Stephen D. Rogers
    Closing time, straight up.
  • Blondes, Blondes, Blondes! by Jack Bludis
    Ken Sligo returns. Nobody rocks post-WWII Baltimore like Bludis.
  • The Wrong Man to Cross by Duane Swierczynski
    Introducing Philadelphia P.I. John MacNeil. Have six-pack, will travel.
  • The Last to Know by Karl Koweski
    Koweski nails the bar band scene with such force and poignancy your ears will still be ringing days later.
  • The Sorceror’s Circle by Michael Siverling (excerpt)
    An excerpt from the new Midnight Investigations novel.
  • Cocaine and Blue Eyes by Frederick Zackel (excerpt)
    An excerpt from the recently reprinted 1978 classic that introduced Archeresque private eye Michael Brennen.

Spring 2007

  • A Saving Grace by Patricia Abbott
    The smell of dung, bacon, cheap fuel… and hurt.
  • “My Client’s Wife” by Michael Bracken
    “Moe Ron” Boyette, it turns out, is a not-so-private dick. 
  • Where’s the Beef? by Stephen D. Rogers
    Another U.S. Grade A story from Rogers
  • All in the Holster by Barry Ergang
    We apologize in advance for this, the first in a series of proposed Ralston Groaners….
  • Circling the Drain by Fleur Bradley
    A haunting tale of a P.I. who’s seen — and sees — too much.
  • “Mickey Spillane” by Gerald So
    The site’s poet laureate pays tribute to the master. In verse.
  • Red Cat by Peter Spiegelman (excerpt)
    An excerpt from the new John March novel.

Fall 2007

  • The Gospel According to Gordon Black by Richard Helms
    Helms keeps getting nominated for Shamus Awards. Mark my words, it’s only a matter of time. Winner, 2008, Derringer Award for Best Short Story.
  • Sumo by Stephen Blackmoore
    What do you do with a 500-pound corpse?
  • Humpty Dumpty by Gary Alexander
    You can almost smell the Brylcreem.
  • This is Life by Seth Harwood (excerpt)
    An excerpt from the upcoming Jack Palms novel. The trip was great, but eventually you have to go home…
  • Dead Street by Mickey Spillane (excerpt)
    An excerpt from the novel. A last blast from the master, courtesy of HardCaseCrime.

Holiday 2007

  • Won’t You Step Into My Parlor? by Dick Stodghill
    Jack Eddy rides to the rescue, with Bram in tow.
  • El Bohemio  by Richie Narvaez (partial)
    A taut little jaunt through the mean streets about as dated as today’s newspaper.
  • Piece by Piece by Paul Sundeson
    An early 60s tour of duty through the pre-Civil Rights Big Easy that will stick to your ribs.
  • Deadly Beloved by Max Allan Collins (excerpt)
    An excerpt from the new  Ms. Tree novel, courtesy of HardCaseCrime.

April 2008 (Tenth Anniversary Issue)

  • A Friendly Game by Stephen D. Rogers
    Friendly? Yeah, right…A low key charmer that’ll have you root-root-rooting for the home team.
  • The Truth About Lang Tri by Robert Petyo
    As timely a story and look into the elusive nature of “truth” as we’ve ever run, with the shadow of yet another unpopular war looming large. (Story withdrawn upon author’s request)
  • Ace in the Hole by Paul Guyot
    Logan used to be a private dick. Now he’s just a dick. But justice of a sort gets him in the end.
  • Lady Luck by Jim Winter
    A Nick Kepler adventure. You know what that means!
  • Starlight by Sandra Seamans
    A poignant, deceptively simple story that will linger long after you’ve read it.
  • One More Shot by Tapani Bagge
    Translated from the Finnish by Minna Haapio
    Onni Syrjänen, Finland’s answer to Perry Mason, is back. You want Loserville? This is it. No wonder everybody drinks in Tapani’s stories.
  • Pinkerton’s Secret by Eric Lerner (excerpt)
    A short vignette from the novel, a rollicking historical drama that re-imagines the story of Allen J. Pinkerton.
  • The Devil’s of Bakersfield by John Shannon (excerpt)
    An excerpt from the new Jack Liffey novel

January 2009

  • Discharged by Stephen D. Rogers
    A dark little nugget featuring a gambler running the bluff of his life.
  • “Shot Back” by Kieran Shea
    A reluctant hero has his own bluff to run, but shows shows a rather amazing amount of true grit, all the same.
  • Pandora by Patrick Shawn Bagley
    Former private detective August Hanrahan displays similar reticence iin this sordid little vignette that’ll have you reaching for the soap — and wondering about the neighbours.
  • The Big Wake-Up by Mark Coggins (excerpt)
    An excerpt from the August Riordan novel. Also available as a slide show.
  • “Horns”  by Mark Troy
    Honolulu good time gal and crack P.I. Val Lyon is hired to find out who’s taking the wrong bull by the, uh, horn?

Spring 2009

  • Love is for Suckers by Robert Petyo
    But sex? That’s a different issue.
  • Terra Bella by Robert Stevens
    Anyone who’s seen Chinatown knows orange groves and private eyes don’t mix well…
  • Love Don’t Mean a Thing by Jim Winter
    Just in time for St. Valentine’s Day, a new
     Nick Kepler adventure.
  • East of A by Russell Atwood (reprint)
    Finding a teenage runaway in New York City is easy. The hard part’s finding the one you’re looking for.

September 2019

  • The Dead Beat Scroll by Mark Coggins (excerpt)
    After ten years, we’re on the road again.
  • Sunset by W. Glenn (Bill) Duncan Jr.
    Texas private eye Rafferty and a son say goodbye…

February 2020

Spring 2020

December 2020

April 2023

Of course, your comments on the stories are always welcome….

One thought on “Thrilling Detective Fiction (Index)

  1. Interesting website. I am starting at the beginning. This could take a while! My go to detectives, Harry Bosch, Elvis Cole, Sharon McCone, have been read and reread through the years. So, thank you for supplying a batch of vetted new authors/detectives to check out. JBY

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