Mathew Scudder Novels in Order |

Mathew Scudder Novels in Order

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If you enjoyed A Walk Among the Tombstones, then you may like the other novels in the Mathew Scudder character series. Here they are in order:

1. The Sins of the Fathers

The hooker was young, pretty…and dead, butchered in a Greenwich village apartment. The prime suspect, a minister’s son, was also dead, the victim of a jailhouse suicide. The case is closed, as far as the NYPD is concerned. Now the murdered prostitute’s father wants it opened again-and that’s where Matthew Scudder comes in. But this assignment carries the unmistakable stench of sleaze and perversion, luring ex-cop-turned-investigator Scudder into a sordid world of phony religion and murderous lust where children must die for their parents most secret, unspeakable sins.

2. Time to Murder and Create

Small-time stoolie, Jake “The Spinner” Jablon, made a lot of new enemies when he switched careers, from informer to blackmailer. And the more “clients, ” he figured, the more money – and more people eager to see him dead. So no one is surprised when the pigeon is found floating in the East River with his skull bashed in. And what’s worse, no one cares – except Matthew Scudder. The ex-cop-turned-private-eye is no conscientious avenging angel. But he’s willing to risk his own life and limb to confront Spinner’s most murderously aggressive marks. A job’s a job after all – and Scudder’s been paid to find a killer – by the victim…in advance.

8 out of 10 stars. Not his best. Not his worst. Scudder lets the killer off in this one and that was disappointing. Reviewed here.

3. In the Midst of Death

Jerry Broadfield thinks he’s a good cop. But he’s been charged with extortion – and his former buddies in the NYPD would like to see him laid bare out on a morgue slab for squealing to a committee on police corruption. And when a dead hooker turns up in his apartment, he’s saddled with a murder rap as well. Broadfield screams “frame-up” and nobody believes him – except ex-policeman-turned-p.i. Matthew Scudder. But finding a killer among the stoolie-cop’s sleazebag connections is going to be as difficult as finding a cold beer in Hell – which is where Scudder is headed if he sticks his nose in too deep.

4. A Stab in the Dark

Louis Pinell, the recently apprehended “Icepick Prowler,” freely admits to having slain seven young women nine years ago — but be swears it was a copycat who killed Barbara Ettinger. Matthew Scudder believes him. But the trail to Ettinger’s true murderer is twisted, dark and dangerous…and even colder than the almost decade-old corpse the p.i. is determined to avenge.

10 out of 10 stars for a frightening look at what makes men kill. Reviewed here.

5. Eight Million Ways to Die

Nobody knows better than Matthew Scudder how far down a person can sink in this city. A young prostitute named Kim knew it also-and she wanted out. Maybe Kim didn’t deserve the life fate had dealt her. She surely didn’t deserve her death. The alcoholic ex-cop turned p.i. was supposed to protect her, but someone slashed her to ribbons on a crumbling New York City waterfront pier. Now finding Kim’s killer will be Scudder’s penance. But there are lethal secrets hiding in the slain hooker’s past that are far dirtier than her trade. And there are many ways of dying in this cruel and dangerous town-some quick and brutal … and some agonizingly slow.

6. When the Sacred Ginmill Closes

These were the dark days for Matthew Scudder. An ex-New York cop, he had drowned his career in booze. Now he was drinking away his life in a succession of seedy establishments that opened early and closed late, reduced to doing paid “favors” for the cronies who gathered with him to worship the bottle.

Now, in a sad and lonely place like so many before it, opportunity comes knocking — a chance to help the ginmil’s owner recover his stolen doctored financial records; a chance to help out a drinking buddy accused of murdering his wife. But when cases flow together in dangerous and disturbing ways — like the nightmare images in a drunkard’s delirium — it’s time for Scudder to change his priorities: to staying sober…and staying alive.

10 out of 10 stars. Reviewed here.

7. Out on the Cutting Edge

He’s Mick Ballou, the Butcher Boy, and his bloodstained apron passes for formal dress in Hell’s Kitchen. That makes him just part of the scenery for Matt Scudder. Scudder’s off the booze now, trying to stay sober in a city gone mad. In the sacred ginmills and dim church basements of Hell’s Kitchen, in the alleys and doorways and subway tunnels where addicts suck on crack pipes and homeless families pitch cramp, he haunts the cold trail of a lost ingenue and finds love and death in all the wrong places. His relentless hunt pays off in a jolting climax that will rattle your teeth and shake you to the soles of your shoes.

10 out of 10 stars. Reviewed here.

8. A Ticket to the Boneyard

Twelve years ago, Matthew Scudder lied to a jury to put James Leo Motley behind bars. Now the ingenious psychopath is free. And the alcoholic ex-cop-turned-p.i. must pay dearly for his sins. Friends and former lovers — even strangers unfortunate enough to share Scudder’s name — are turning up dead. Because a vengeful maniac is determined not to rest until he’s driven his nemesis back to the bottle…and then to the boneyard.

6 out of 10 stars. Not as good as the others. Reviewed here.

9. A Dance at the Slaughterhouse

In Matt Scudder’s mind, money, power, and position elevate nobody above morality and the law. Now the ex-cop and unlicensed p.i. has been hired to prove that socialite Richard Thurman orchestrated the brutal murder of his beautiful, pregnant wife. During Scudder’s hard drinking years, he left a piece of his soul on every seedy corner of the Big Apple. But this case is more depraved and more potentially devastating than anything he experienced while floundering in the urban depths. Because this investigation is leading Scudder on a frightening grand tour of New York’s sex-for-sale underworld — where an innocent young life is simply a commodity to be bought and perverted … and then destroyed.

10 out of 10 stars. Reviewed here.

10. A Walk Among the Tombstones

A new breed of entrepreneurial monster has set up shop in the big city. Ruthless, ingenious murderers, they prey on the loved ones of those who live outside the law–knowing full well that criminals will never run to the police no matter how brutal the threat. So other avenues for justice must be explored–which is where ex-cop-turned-p.i. Matthew Scudder comes in. Scudder has no love for the drug dealers and poison peddlers who now need his help. Nevertheless, he is determined to do whatever it takes to put an elusive pair of thrill-kill extortionists our of business. For they are using the innocent to fuel their terrible enterprise.

10 out of 10 stars. Reviewed here.

Mathew Scudder Novels in Order by Lawrence Block on

11. The Devil Knows You’re Dead

In New York City, there is little sense and no rules. Those who fly the highest often come crashing down the hardest — like successful young Glenn Holtzmann, randomly blown away by a deranged derelict at a corner phone booth on Eleventh Avenue. Unlicensed P.I Matt Scudder thinks Holtzmann was simply in the wrong place at the worst time. Others think differently — like Thomas Sadecki, brother of the crazed Vietnam vet accused of the murder, who wants Scudder to prove the madman innocent. But no one is truly innocent in this unmerciful metropolis — including Matthew Scudder.

2 out of 10 stars. Reviewed here.

12. A Long Line of Dead Men

In Manhattan, thirty men have been meeting once a year for years; they form a tontine, a secret, private club, the only purpose of which is to record the passage of time and to give a toast to the joys of life. But when these men start to die at alarming rates, murder rears its ugly head. It’s clear someone is determined to kill them all. Hired by one of the members, Matt Scudder, ex-cop and recovering alcoholic, enters the world of privilege, which may as well be on another planet from the world of street hustlers and career criminals he’s so familiar with. As the case draws Matt deeper and deeper, he’s forced to look at his own life–his work, his loves, his friendships and his destiny.

4 out of 10 stars. Block’s writing devolves into a personal sex diary. Very disappointing. Reviewed here.

13. Even the Wicked

Matthew Scudder knows that justice is an elusive commodity in the big city, where a harmless man can be shot dead in a public place criminals fly free through holes in a tattered legal system. But now a vigilante is roaming among the millions, executing those he fees deserve to die. He calls himself “The Will of the People”—an ingenious serial killer who announces his specific murderous intentions to the media before carrying through on his threats. A child molester, a Mafia don, a violent anti-abortionist—even the protected and untouchable are being ruthlessly erased by New York’s latest celebrity avenger.

6 out of 10 stars. Reviewed here.

14. Everybody Dies

Matt Scudder is finally leading a comfortable life. The crime rate’s down and the stock market’s up. Gentrification’s prettying-up the old neighborhood. The New York streets don’t look so mean anymore. Then all hell breaks loose. Scudder quickly discovers the spruced-up sidewalks are as mean as ever, dark and gritty and stained with blood. He’s living in a world where the past is a minefield, the present is a war zone, and the future’s an open question. It’s a world where nothing is certain and nobody’s safe, a random universe where no one’s survival can be taken for granted. Not even his own. A world where everybody dies.

6 out of 10 stars. Reviewed here.

15. Hope to Die

The city caught its collective breath when upscale couple Byrne and Susan Hollander were slaughtered in a brutal home invasion. Now, a few days later, the killers themselves have turned up dead behind the locked door of a Brooklyn hellhole — one apparently slain by his partner in crime who then took his own life.

There’s something drawing Matthew Scudder to this case that the cops have quickly and eagerly closed: a nagging suspicion that a third man is involved, a cold, diabolical puppet master who manipulates his two accomplices, then cuts their strings when he’s done with them. No one but Scudder even suspects he exists. And his worst fear is that the guy is just getting started…

16. All the Flowers are Dying

A man in a Virginia prison awaits execution for three hideous murders he swears, in the face of irrefutable evidence, he did not commit. A psychologist who claims to believe the convict spends hours with the man in his death row cell, and ultimately watches in the gallery as the lethal injection is administered. His work completed, the psychologist heads back to New York City to attend to unfinished business.

Meanwhile, Matthew Scudder has just agreed to investigate the ostensibly suspicious online lover of an acquaintance. It seems simple enough. At first. But when people start dying and the victims are increasingly closer to home, it becomes clear that a vicious killer is at work. And the final targets may be Matt and Elaine Scudder.

6 out of 10 stars. Reviewed here.

17. A Drop of the Hard Stuff

Facing his demons in his first year of sobriety, Matthew Scudder finds himself on the trail of a killer. When Scudder’s childhood friend Jack Ellery is murdered, presumably while attempting to atone for past sins, Scudder reluctantly begins his own investigation, with just one lead: Ellery’s Alcoholics Anonymous list of people he wronged. One of them may be a killer, but that’s not necessarily Scudder’s greatest danger. Immersing himself in Ellery’s world may lead him right back to the bar stool.

In a novel widely celebrated by critics and readers, Lawrence Block circle back to how it all began, reestablishing the Matthew Scudder series as one of the pinnacles of American detective fiction.

2 out of 10 stars. Not worth reading. Reviewed here.

18. The Night and the Music

Scudder has starred in short fiction as well as novels, and it’s all here, from a pair of late-70s novelettes (Out the Window and A Candle for the Bag Lady) through By the Dawn’s Early Light (Edgar) and The Merciful Angel of Death (Shamus), all the way to One Last Night at Grogan’s, a moving and elegiac story never before published.

It was short fiction that kept the series alive on the several occasions when the flow of novels was interrupted, and short stories that took Scudder down different paths and showed us unmapped portions of his world.

Mathew Scudder Novels in Order |
Mathew Scudder Novels in Order |

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