Neil Shannon

Created by Louis L’Amour
Pseudonym of Louis Dearborn LaMoore

Louis L’Amour must have liked the idea of his Kip Morgan, an ex-fighter turned private dick who was more than handy with his fists, that he wrote a few pulp stories about, because he essentially cloned him a few years later with NEIL SHANNON.

Shannon’s a bit younger (he’s a Korean War vet), but like Kip, he sure knows how to lay a hurting on someone. He appeared in three stories in the 1950s, sometimes narrated in the first person, sometimes not. In them, he cracks an impossible crime, avenges the murder of a war buddy (Shades of Mike Hammer!) and half falls in lovewith the heiress he’s been hired to find (cf: Laura).

Some of the Kip Morgan stories, along with some other examples of L’Amour’s short crime fiction written for the pulps (including one for the legendary Black Mask) were eventually collected in 1983’s The Hills of Homicide, although none featuring Neil Shannon.

Fortunately, since his death in 1988, L’Amour’s become, as Entertainment Weekly put it, the ‘Tupac Shakur of the Old West,’ as previously unpublished or uncollected works… continue to emerge.”

Which means that at least two of the Neil Shannon stories were finally reprinted in 2020 in May There Be a Road.


  • “(The Neil Shannon stories are) intriguing enough to make you wish L’Amour had tried his hand at a full-length mystery.”
    — Entertainment Weekly (March 2020)


  • “The detective genre fascinated me right from the beginning of my professional writing career. I had traveled around cities a good deal all over the world and of course one of the major differences between the detective story and the frontier story is that the former usually takes place around a city. I’ve also known many police officers through the years from whom I learned a great deal, I met a lot of characters through my professional prizefighting daysIn beginning to do detective stories, I just applied the situations that I knew and with which I had made myself familiar through experience or research.”
    Louis L’Amour


  • “The Sucker Switch” (December 1947, Thrilling Detective)
  • “A Friend of a Hero” (Fall 1950, G-Men Detective, aka “The Crime, The Place, and the Girl”)
  • “The Vanished Blonde” (December 1950, Thrilling Detective)



Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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