James M. Cain was an American author and journalist who is best known as one of the creators of the roman noir genre of books. He wrote many hard-boiled crime fiction books and saw a number of them made into successful films.

Cain served in United States Army after being drafted, he would spend the final year of World War I in France where he wrote for an army magazine. After returning from the war he would go to work as a journalist for a few years. He would publish his first novel in 1934, The Postman Always Rings Twice. That book would go on to be made into a classic film.

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Double Indemnity (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Serenade (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
The Embezzler (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Mildred Pierce (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Love's Lovely Counterfeit (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Past All Dishonor (1946)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
The Butterfly (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Sinful Woman (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
The Moth (1948)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Everybody Does It (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Jealous Woman (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
The Root of His Evil (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Galatea (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Mignon (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
The Magician's Wife (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Rainbow's End (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
The Institute (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Cloud Nine (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
The Enchanted Isle (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
The Cocktail Waitress (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
A Bad Woman (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon.com

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Career in C Major: And Other Fiction (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon.com

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Sixty Years of Journalism (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon.com

Publication Order of Anthologies

Pulp Frictions: Hardboiled Stories(1996)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Writing Los Angeles(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Murder On The Railways(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Los Angeles Noir 2(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon.com
Books to Die For(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon.com

If You Like James M. Cain Books, You’ll Love…

Double Indemnity is one of the best known books by Cain and was later made into a film by Billy Wilder. The book follows Walter Huff, an insurance salesman, who has a way of finding clients that may be in trouble. His latest find is Phyllis who wanted to buy an accident policy on her husband because she wanted her husband to have an accident. Walter is interested in her for more than just another case and is willing to do whatever it takes to get her, including arranging the perfect murder.

Cain’s debut was The Postman Always Rings Twice and is considered a classic of roman noir. The book is narrated by a young drifter named Frank Chambers who ends up working at a diner run by a beautiful young woman named Cora and her much older husband. That doesn’t stop Frank and Cora from engaging in an affair. Cora is looking for a way to escape and the only solution is to plan a murder of her husband, but they may not be prepared for the consequences.

Order of Books » Authors » Order of James M. Cain Books

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