The winner and nominees for the 1982 Shamus Award Best Paperback Original PI Novel are listed below. It is still possible to find copies of each of these books at reasonable prices from online sources such as Amazon and eBay which means there is still plenty of opportunity for collecting and reading them all.
Best Paperback Original Novel
California Thriller by Max Byrd - Winner
1st in the Mike Haller Series
P.I. Mike Haller is on the case to find a newsman who suddenly went missing in Sacramento Valley. A tearful, boozy wife has paid him to find her husband, but someone else is attempting to dissuade him—using a .38 with Haller's name and address on it. Packed with crime-stopping action, romance, and suspenseful twists and turns, California Thriller is an exhilarating journey full of snowballing leads and Mike Haller in a race to save thousands of lives.
Carpenter, Detective by Hamilton T. Caine
He's young, and maybe a little rough around the edges. But he's a good detective. That's why Kathy St. John came to Carpenter for help
Fritz Brown's L.A.--and his life--are masses of contradictions, like stirring chorales sung for the dead. A less-than-spotless former cop with a drinking problem--a private eye-cum-repo man with a taste for great music--he has been known to wallow in the grime beneath the Hollywood glitter.
But Fritz Brown's life is about to change, thanks to the appearance of a racist psycho who flashes too much cash for a golf caddie and who walked away clean from a multiple murder rap. Reopening this cas could be Fritz's redemption; his welcome back to a moral world and his path to a pure and perfect love. But to get there, he must make it through a grim, lightless place where evil has no national borders; where lies beget lies and death begets death; where there's little tolerance for Bach or Beethoven and deadly arson is a lesser mortal sin; and where a P.I.'s unhealthy interest in the past can turn beautiful music into funeral dirge.
Retired private eye Jake Spanner may have gotten old, but he hasn’t gone soft. When an old gangster Jake put away some forty years ago shows up at his door, it’s time for Jake to grab his hat and Browning automatic and get back to work.
Old? Sure. Slower to catch his breath? Maybe. But, sharp as a tack and with a lifetime of investigating know-how, Jake Spanner has nothing to lose and everything to prove. Sniffing out leads between Sunset Boulevard and the Hollywood Hills, Jake pulls in old friends to help. The work is hard; it’s gritty. So is Jake. And, with a three quarters of a million dollars ransom at stake, the bad guys don’t stand a chance.
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