John Quincannon

Created by Bill Pronzini (1943 --; pseudonyms include Jack Foxx, Alex Saxon, Brett Halliday, William Jeffrey, Romer Zane Grey, and Robert Hart Davis)

Sabina Carpenter

Created by Marcia Muller

From Bill Pronzini, creator of The Nameless Detective, comes Old West former Secret Service agent JOHN QUINCANNON and his partner, former Pinkerton operative SABINA CARPENTER, who run their own agency, Carpener & Quincannon, offering "Professional Detective Services in 1890s San Francisco.

Quincannon originally appeared in the eponymous Quincannon (1985), written by Pronzini alone, as a drunken Secret Service agent on the trail of koniagers (counterfeiters). That's when he first makes the acquaintance of Sabina, a female Pinkerton's op and his unrequited love interest. Hell, the guy even stops drinking for her!

Quincannon also appears in Beyond the Grave (1986), a novel Pronzini co-wrote with his wife, Marcia Muller. Set in the 1890s and the 1980s, with Marcia's modern-day detective/sleuth solving a mystery with the help of his 1890 case notes.

Since 1986, Quincannon and Carpenter have appeared sporadically in a string of short stories, most notably in Louis L'Amour Western Magazine and Ellery Queen, which were ultimately collected in 1998's Carpenter & Quincannon, Professional Detective Services, and in 2005 another collection, Quincannon's Game, appeared.

2013 saw something of a complete reboot of the series, with the release of The Bughouse Affair, which promised purported to be "the first of a new series of lighthearted historical mysteries set in 1890s San Francisco," co-written by Pronzini and Muller. There have been several "affairs" since.


By Pronzini and Muller, except where otherwise noted


By Pronzini only, except where otherwise noted

  • "No Room at the Inn" (1988, Crime At Christmas)
  • "Burgade's Crossing" (1993, Louis L'Amour Western Magazine)
  • "The Cloud Cracker" (July 1994, Louis L'Amour Western Magazine)
  • "Lady One-Eye" (September 1994, Louis L'Amour Western Magazine)
  • "Coney Game" (November 1994, Louis L'Amour Western Magazine)
  • "The Desert Limited" (November 1995, Louis L'Amour Western Magazine)
  • "The Horseshoe Nail" (February 1997, EQMM)
  • "Medium Rare" (September/October 1998, EQMM)
  • "The Highbinders" (1998, Carpenter & Quincannon Professional Detective Services; also June 1999, EQMM)
  • "Quincannon in Paradise" (November 2005, EQMM)
  • "The Bughouse Caper" (2005, Quincannon's Game)
  • "Medium Rare" (2005, Quincannon's Game)
  • “Devil’s Brew” (December 2006, EQMM)
  • "The Carville Ghost" (September/October 2007, EQMM)
  • "Pickpocket" (September/October 2007, EQMM; by Marcia Muller, featuring Sabina Carpenter)
  • "Burglarproof" (February 2010, EQMM)
  • "The Body Snatchers" (July 2010, EQMM)
  • "The Chatelaine Bag" (June 2011, EQMM; with Marcia Muller)


Contains one original story and reprints from Carpenter & Quincannon.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Paul Bergin for this one.

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