J. Howard “Jigger” Moran

Created by John Roeburt

JIGGER MORAN is a disbarred Illinois attorney and sometime-cabbie who now cruises the streets of Manhattan at night, keeping an eye open for the main chance, when he’s not shooting craps.

He takes cases no honest lawyer or P.I. would touch, and is on relatively good terms with several of the murkier denizens of New York City’s underworld. His fees are high, but what’s a guy to do when the dice aren’t rolling his way?

Still, he gets the job done, aided and abetted, albeit reluctantly, by Red, a “free-lance journalist and improvident writer of plays, features, fiction, columns” and even more reluctantly by Homicide Captain Ahearn, who’d like nothing better than to send Jigger away for a long, long time.


Jigger was the creation of writer John Roeburt, an American novelist, screenwriter, journalist, and criminologist. He was born in 1909 in Queens and studied criminology at New York University, before going to work as a cabbie and as a police reporter for a Brooklyn paper. In the 40s, he wrote hundreds of scripts for radio, eventually earning an Edgar Award in 1949 for best radio drama for an episode of CBS’ Inner Sanctum. He also wrote scripts for several feature films and more than a dozen for police television series. He wrote three Jigger Moran novels, and a couple of books about a hard-nosed cop, Johnny Devereaux, a twenty-year vet of the police force.


  • Jigger Moran (1944; aka “The Case of the Tearless Widow,” “Wine, Women and Murder”)Buy this book
  • There Are Dead Men in Manhattan (1946; aka “Triple Cross,” “Murder in Manhattan”)Buy this book
  • Corpse on the Town (1950; aka “The Case of the Hypnotized Virgin”) Buy this book


List respectfully compiled by Kevin Burton Smith. Any comments, additions or suggestions are welcome.

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