Anthologies of Original P.I. Stories

Listed chronologically

  • Randisi, Robert, ed.
    The Eyes Have It: The First Private Eye Writers of America Anthology
    New York: The Mysterious Press, 1984.
    Buy this book
    As far as I know, the first anthology of all-original short stories featuring private eyes ever. Lawrence Block, Michael Collins, Lutz, Pronzini, Muller, Paretsky, Kantner, Greenleaf and Estleman, as well as others, strut their stuff. Edited by Robert J. Randisi, two-fisted, hard-working founder of The Private Eye Writers of America. The first of an amazing series.

  • Randisi, Robert, ed.
    Mean Streets: The Second Private Eye Writers of America Anthology
    New York: The Mysterious Press, 1984.
    What sophomore slump? Randidi and crew hit another one over the fence.

  • Randisi, Robert, ed.
    An Eye For Justice: The Third Private Eye Writers of America Anthology
    ...Buy this book
    New York: The Mysterious Press, 1988.
    Intro by Richard S. Prather kicks off another batch of typically excellent stories by the usual suspects.

  • Preiss, Byron, editor,
    Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe: A Centennial Celebration...Buy this book...Kindle it!
    New York: Knopf, 1988
    Anyone doubting Chandler's on-going influence -- or the reverence in which he's still held has only to check out this classy package, originally released in 1988 to mark the centennial of Chandler's birth, and featuring some of Chandler's disciples paying heart-felt tribute to the master. A few of the writers produced arguably some of their very best work for this collection. And for more than a few writers, it was a true labour of love -- Dick Lochte, for example, wrote a sequel to "Goldfish," which he's long considered the best Marlowe short story ever. A veritable who's who of P.I. writers at the time, other contributors include Max Allan Collins, Benjamin M. Schutz, Loren D. Estleman, Jonathan Valin, W.R. Philbrick, Sara Paretsky, Julie Smith, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Francis M. Nevins, Roger L. Simon, John Lutz, Simon Brett, Robert J. Randisi, Stuart Kaminsky, Robert Crais, Edward D. Hoch), Jeremiah Healy, Ed Gorman, James Grady, Joyce Harrington, and Robert Campbelll. In 1999, ibooks re-released it with a new intro by Robert B. Parker, and a couple of more stories, including "Summer in Idle Valley" by Roger Simon, featuring Chandler himself and his La Jolla neighbour Dr. Suess.

  • Randisi, Robert, ed.
    Justice For Hire: The Fourth Private Eye Writers of America Anthology
    New York: The Mysterious Press, 1990.
    The usual suspects, including Block, both Collinses, Estleman, Pronzini, Muller, Paretsky, etc., are joined by Healy, W.R. Philbrick, Wayne Dundee, Julie Smith and others.

  • Randisi, Robert, and Marilyn Wallace, ed.
    Deadly Allies: Private Eye Writers of America and Sisters in Crime Collaborative Anthology
    New York: Doubleday, 1992.
    Buy this book
    The usual PWA suspects team up with various Sisters-in-Crime, in what appears to be a continuation of Randisi's bi-annual PWA anthologies. Benjamin Schutz's Shamus-winning "Mary, Mary, Shut the Door" is here, as well as new stuff by Susan Dunlap, Jan Grape, and a Ms. Tree prose story by Max Collins.

  • Randisi, Robert, and Susan Dunlap, ed.
    Deadly Allies II: Private Eye Writers of America and Sisters in Crime Collaborative Anthology
    New York: Doubleday, 1994.
    The tradition continues... good stuff from Max Collins, Jan Grape, Estleman, Ben Schutz, Les Roberts, S.J. Rozan, Maxine O'Callaghan, John Lutz, Marcia Muller, Jeremiah Healy, and others.

  • Collins, Barbara, and Robert J. Randisi.
    Lethal Ladies
    .....Buy this book
    New York: Berkeley Crime, 1996.
    Good PWA anthology of (mostly) original stories featuring (mostly) female eyes, including V.I. Warshawski, Jenny Gordon & C.J. Gunn, Freddie O'Neal, Angela Matelli and Lydia Chin.

  • Spillane, Mickey and Max Allan Collins, ed.
    Private Eyes: Stories with a New Spin on a Hard-Boiled Tradition
    .....Buy this book
    New York: Signet, 1998.
    A collection of (mostly) original stories, edited by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, from Spillane himself (an undiscovered Mike Hammer story!-sort of), Pronzini, Kaminsky, Hoch, DeAndrea, both Michael and Max Allan Collins, Healy, Randisi, Thrilling Detective contributor Ted Fitzgerald (featuring his P.I. Matthew Gereghty) and several others. Excellent!

  • Matthews, Christine, and Robert J. Randisi, editors,
    Lethal Ladies II.....Buy this book
    Berkeley, 1998.
    Good PWA anthology of (mostly) original stories featuring female eyes, including Delilah West, V.I. Warshawski, Jenny Gordon & C.J. Gunn, Freddie O'Neal and Lydia Chin.

  • Randisi, Robert J., editor.
    The Shamus Game
    .....Buy this book
    New York: Signet, 2000.
    Randisi continues his bi-annual schedule with another PWA anthology of 14 original stories, including contributions by Max Allan Collins, Loren D. Estleman, Jeremiah Healy, Bill Pronzini, John Lutz, S.J. Rozan and all the usual suspects. Excellent, as always, and recommended.

  • Bracken, Michael, ed.
    Fedora: Private Eyes and Tough Guys
    .....Buy this book
    Doylestown, PA: Wildside Press, 2001.
    Anthology with contributions from Nick Andreychuk, Michael Bracken, Ruthe Furie, Shelley Singer, Percy Spurlark Parker, Dan A. Sproul, Tom Sweeney, Mark Troy, Tim Wohlforth, Robert D. Hughes and others. As the blurb goes, "Fourteen hardboiled tales guaranteed to blow your hat off! " Includes Michael Collins' Edgar-nominated The Horrible, Senseless Murders of Two Elderly Women."

  • Randisi, Robert J., editor.
    Mystery Street
    .....Buy this book
    New York: Signet, 2001.
    Another PWA anthology of 14 original stories, with an intro from Robert Crais, including contributions by Max Allan Collins, Loren D. Estleman, Jeremiah Healy, Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, Deborah Morgan, Jack Bludis, Patricia McFall, S.J. Rozan, Tom Sweeney, Jerry Kennealy and all the usual suspects. Excellent, as always, and recommended.

  • Browne, D.L., and Kevin Burton Smith, editors,
    Down These Wicked Streets
    .....Buy this book
    Wicked Company, 2001.
    Forgive me for this pretty blatant plug, but I can't let this one slip by without comment. Regardless of my involvement in this book, I think it deserves mention on this site. It's the first-ever publication from the Wicked Company imprint (and the on-line writer's group) and boasts seven (count 'em -- seven!) private eye stories that run the gamut of the genre, from bleak, hard-boiled noir to engaging screwball comedy. Includes stories by Tribe, Katie de Koster, Chris McKenzie, Barry Evetts, Miles Archer, Sharon Potthoff and D.L. Browne, who co-edited the book with the Thrilling Detective Web Site's Kevin Burton Smith. In fact, both Tribe's black-hearted "Secret Smile" and co-editor Browne's "Just One of Those Things" have appeared on this site, so if you like this site...

  • Bracken, Michael, ed.
    Hardbroiled
    .....Buy this book
    Holicong, PA: Betancourt & Company, 2003.
    Another great P.I. anthology from the hard-working Michael Bracken, with contributions from Stephen D. Rogers, Tom Sweeney, Dan Sontup, Jack Bludis, Art Montague, Carol Kilgore, Andrew McAleer, Linda Summers Posey, Dorothy Rellas, Kenneth Thornton Samuels, Nick Andreychuk, Tim Wohlforth, D. Jeanette McSherry and Robert Lopresti. The theme this time is food -- every story somehow involves not just a private eye, but food.
    For more, please read the review by James R. Winter.

  • Bracken, Michael, editor,
    Fedora II: More Private Eyes and Tough Guys
    .....Buy this book
    Doylestown, PA: Betancourt & Company, 2003.
    Second collection in the accalimed series, featuring stories this time from Ann Aptaker, Michael Bracken, Gary R. Bush, Brian Evankovich, Justin Gustainis, Robert D. Hughes, O'Neil De Noux, Percy Spurlark Parker, Anthony Neil Smith, Dan Sontup, Dan A. Sproul, James Stevens-Arce, Tom Sweeney and Simon Wood.

  • Deja, Thomas, editor,
    Down These Dark Streets
    Houston, TX: CyberPulp, 2003.
    An e-book anthology featuring stories about cons and private eyes in a hardboiled urban setting. Authors include Tim Wohlforth and Al Guthrie.

  • Bracken, Michael, editor,
    Fedora III
    ...Buy this book
    Doylestown, PA: Betancourt & Company, 2004.
    Even more private eyes, even more tough guys from the best on-going P.I. short story series. Includes stories from Tom Sweeney, J.l. Abramo, Lee Goldberg and Michael Bracken, series editor.

  • Gentile, Joe, & Richard Dean Starr, editors,
    Sex, Lies and Private Eyes...Buy this book
    Moonstone, 2009
    Some of the so-called "private eyes" are a stretch and the promised "sex" never really shows up, but the comic book company's venture into a prose anthology is a surprisingly good selection, featuring new stories featuring some of my favourite gumshoes, including Toby Peters, Candy Matson, Nate Heller, Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Keen, Fred Carver and Alo Nudger, by such luminaries as Stuart Kaminsky, C.J. Henderson. Christine Matthews, Bob Randisi, Max Allan Collins and John Lutz.

    Vandersteen, Jochem, editor,
    The Shamus Sampler. Kindle it!
    Sons of Spade, 2013.
    Digital anthology of new PI srtories from Reed Farrel Coleman, Bill Crider, Jim Winter, Fred Zackel, J.L. Abramo, Keith Dixon, Jochem Vandersteen, and others. The first in a proposed series of collections.

  • Vandersteen, Jochem, editor,
    The Shamus Sampler II . Kindle it!
    Sons of Spade, 2014
    A new digital sampler full of P.I. stuff from around the world, by the likes of Mark Troy, Nick Quantrill, Will Viharo, Nick Andreychuk, Graham Smith, Philip Thompson, Dana King and Jochem Vandersteen, with an intro from Timothy Hallinan.

  • Randisi, Robert J., editor,
    Fifty Shades of Grey Fedora...Buy this book. Kindle it!
    Riverdale Avenue Books, March 2015
    It had to happen. With a (private) eye always planted firmly on the main chance, our man Randisi sets out to cash in the both the Fifty Shades phenom and the self-publishing boom, with an antho featuring P.I. tales of sex and crime, by most of the usual suspects: Collins, Paretsky, Lutz, Phillips, Lochte, Bracken, etc. Unfortunately, the collection is marred by some truly sloppy editing, and a truly nasty, misogynist tale by the late Warren Murphy. Political incorrectness can be funny, but his short story (possibly his last) featuring his once beloved scoundrel P.I. Digger was truly offensive.


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