The Big Stretch:
The Longest-Running Series, By Number of Novels
(not including short stories, collections or omnibus editions)

According to all the evidence I could gather, the Larry Kent series by "Larry Kent," a house name, is the longest-running P.I. series of all-time, while Le Manchot by Pierre Saurel is the longest-running series by a single author and, until his death in 2010, Robert B. Parker's Spenser series was the longest-running current series by a single author, although that honour will probably be passed on to Bill Pronzini's Nameless series in the next few years...

Series Author(s) Number
of novels
(short stories and collections not counted)
Time Span of Series Duration
LARRY KENT Larry Kent
(house name)
431 (approximately) 1954-80's 26+ years
LE POULPE
(Gabriel Lecouvreur)
Various 119, and counting.. 1995 -- 10+ years
MIKE SHAYNE Brett Halliday
(house name)
77 (29 by Halliday) 1939-1976 37 years
LE MANCHOT
(Robert Dumont)
Pierre Saurel 47 1980-1997 17 years
ED NOON  Michael Avallone  45? 1953-1988 35 years
DANNY SPADE Danny Spade
(AKA Dail Ambler)
42 1950-1954 4 years
NERO WOLFE Rex Stout
Later: Robert Goldsborough

40 (33 by Stout) 1939-94
SPENSER  Robert B. Parker
Later: Ace Atkins
43 (39 by Parker) 1973 - 2011 38 years
GLENN BOWMAN Hartley Howard 38 1951-79 28 years
MARK PRESTON Peter Chambers
(pseud. of Dennis Phillips)
36 1961-1992 31 years
SHELL SCOTT Richard S. Prather 35 1950-1987 37 years
NAMELESS Bill Pronzini 37 and counting 1971- *
CLIFF HARDY Peter Corris 31 1980-
RICK HOLMAN Carter Brown  31 1961-76 15 years
DANNY BOYD Carter Brown 30? 1956-84 28 years
NESTOR BURMA Léo Malet 29 1943-1971 28 years
BERTHA COOL
& DONALD LAM
 
A.A. Fair
(Earle Stanley Gardner) 
29 1939-1970 31 years
JOHNNY LIDDELL Frank Kane 29 1947-67 20 years
PETER CHAMBERS Henry Kane 29 1947-72 25 years
SHARON McCONE Marcia Muller 27 1977- *
KINSEY MILLHONE Sue Grafton 22 of 26 proposed  1982- *
AMOS WALKER Loren D. Estleman 23 and counting 1980-
TRAVIS McGEE John D. MacDonald  21 1964-1984  20 years
DAN FORTUNE Michael Collins 17 1967-2005 38 years
JACK REACHER  Lee Child 16 and counting 1997 --
* Presumed to be an on-going series


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