Loren D. Estleman

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Loren D. Estleman
Loren D. Estleman
Born (1952-09-15) September 15, 1952 (age 68)
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Loren D. Estleman (born September 15, 1952 in Ann Arbor, Michigan) is an American writer of detective and Western fiction. He is known for a series of crime novels featuring the investigator Amos Walker. [1]


Life and work

Estleman graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1974 with a BA in English and journalism. In 2002, Eastern Michigan University presented him with an honorary doctorate in humane letters. He married the mystery writer Deborah Morgan in 1993. He writes with a manual typewriter. [2]

Estleman published his first novel, The Oklahoma Punk in 1976, [1] and published the first of his P.I. Amos Walker series, for which he is most famous, in 1980. [1] Other series center on Old West marshal Page Murdock and hitman Peter Macklin. He has also written a series of novels about the history of crime in Detroit (also the setting of his Walker books), and a more recent series about Valentino, who tracks down lost films, and crimes related to them. His non-series works include Bloody Season, a fictional recreation of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and several novels and stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, as well as contributions to several books on how to write and sell stories and novels. Estleman's literary works have been recognized and highlighted by Michigan State University in their Michigan Writers Series. [3]


Amos Walker books

  1. Motor City Blue (1980)
  2. Angel Eyes (1981)
  3. The Midnight Man (1982)
  4. The Glass Highway (1983)
  5. Sugartown (1985)
  6. Every Brilliant Eye (1986)
  7. Lady Yesterday (1987)
  8. Downriver (1988)
  9. Silent Thunder (1989)
  10. Sweet Women Lie (1990)
  11. Never Street (1997)
  12. The Witch Finder (1998)
  13. The Hours of the Virgin (1999)
  14. A Smile on the Face of the Tiger (2000)
  15. Sinister Heights (2002)
  16. Poison Blonde (2003)
  17. Retro (2004)
  18. Nicotine Kiss (2006)
  19. American Detective (2007)
  20. The Left-handed Dollar (2010)
  21. Infernal Angels (2011)
  22. Burning Midnight (2012)
  23. Don't Look for Me (2014)
  24. You Know Who Killed Me (2014)
  25. The Sundown Speech (2015)
  26. The Lioness Is the Hunter (2017)
  27. Black and White Ball (2018)
  28. When Old Midnight Comes Along (2019)
  29. Cutthroat Dogs (2021)

Amos Walker short stories

  • General Murders (1988)
  • Amos Walker: The Complete Story Collection (2010)

Other books

Western novels

see also under Contributions to collections, below

  • The Hider (1978)
  • Aces and Eights (1981)
  • The Wolfer (1981)
  • Mister St. John (1983)
  • This Old Bill (1984)
  • Gun Man (1985)
  • Bloody Season (1987)
  • The Best Western Stories of Loren D. Estleman (1989; selected by Bill Pronzini and Martin H. Greenberg)
  • Sudden Country (1991)
  • Billy Gashade: An American Epic (1997)
  • Journey of the Dead (1998)
  • Black Powder, White Smoke (2002)
  • The Undertaker's Wife (2005)
  • The Adventures of Johnny Vermillion (2006)
  • Roy & Lillie: A Love Story (2010)
  • Ragtime Cowboys (2014)
  • The Long High Noon (2015)
Page Murdock
  • The High Rocks (1979)
  • Stamping Ground (1980)
  • Murdock's Law (1982)
  • The Stranglers (1984)
  • "The Angel of Santa Sofia" (1989)
  • City of Widows (1995)
  • White Desert (2000)
  • Port Hazard (2004)
  • The Book of Murdock (2010)
  • Cape Hell (2016)
  • Wild Justice (2018)

Sherlock Holmes

see also under Contributions to collections, below

Peter Macklin

  • Kill Zone (1984)
  • Roses Are Dead (1985)
  • Any Man's Death (1986)
  • Something Borrowed, Something Black (2002)
  • Little Black Dress (2005)

The Detroit novels

The Detroit series sets out "to tell the story of America in the twentieth century through the microcosm of Detroit, the one city whose history mirrors precisely the history of the United States of America". [4]

  • Whiskey River (1990)
  • Motown (1991)
  • King of the Corner (1992)
  • Edsel (1995)
  • Stress (1996)
  • Jitterbug (1998)
  • Thunder City (1999)

Given its historical fiction nature, the series is often given "in order of chronology rather than date of publication: Thunder City (1900--10); Whiskey River (1928--1939); Jitterbug (1943); Edsel (1951--1959); Motown (1966); Stress (1973); and King of the Corner (1990)". [4]

Valentino, film detective

  • Frames: A Valentino Mystery (2008)
  • Alone: A Valentino Mystery (2009)
  • Valentino: Film Detective (Crippen & Landru, 2011; short stories)
  • Alive! A Valentino Mystery (2013)
  • Shoot: A Valentino Mystery (2016)
  • Brazen: A Valentino Mystery (2016)
  • Indigo: A Valentino Mystery (2020)


  • The Oklahoma Punk (1976; AKA Red Highway)
  • Peeper (1989; Ralph Poteet)
  • People Who Kill (1993; short stories)
  • The Rocky Mountain Moving Picture Association (1999; historical)
  • The Master Executioner (2001)
  • Gas City (2008)
  • The Branch and the Scaffold: A Novel of Judge Parker (2009)
  • The Confessions of Al Capone (2013)

Contributions to collections

Estleman's short stories have additionally been collected in a variety of anthologies, including both western and crime collections:



Estleman has won many awards for his writing including American Mystery Awards, [1] Golden Spurs, [1] and three Western Heritage Awards. [1] He has been honored by the Michigan Foundation of the Arts and the Michigan Library Association. [1]



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  2. "Authors and Creator: Loren D. Estleman". Thrillingdetective.com. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  3. "Michigan Writers Series". Michigan State University Libraries. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  4. 1 2 Afterword by author in Thunder City
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  6. "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards Nominees". Bouchercon.info. October 2, 2003. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  7. "Best Mystery Novel Edgar Award Winners and Nominees - Complete Lists". Mysterynet.com. Retrieved March 5, 2012.