Richard S. Prather (1921-2007) was an American author of hardboiled detective fiction novels. He is best known for his Shell Scott series. Growing up in California, Richard read everything he could. After attending Riverside Junior College, he served in World War II as a fireman, oiler, and engineer. He then got married and worked as a civilian chief clerk at an Air Force base. But what he wanted to do was write full-time, and that is what he did. He ended up spending 16 hours per day writing, only taking breaks to eat.

Richard S. Prather made his debut as a novelist in 1950 with the novel The Case of the Vanishing Beauty. At one point, he had a dispute with Pocket Books, and gave up writing and grew avocados. This lasted nine years until 1986’s The Amber Effect. Below is a list of Richard S. Prather’s books in order of when they were first released:

Publication Order of Shell Scott Books

The Case of the Vanishing Beauty(1950) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Bodies in Bedlam(1951) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Everybody Had a Gun(1951) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Find This Woman(1951) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Dagger of Flesh(1952) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Pattern for Murder(1952) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Darling, It's Death(1952) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Way of a Wanton(1952) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Always Leave 'em Dying(1953) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Ride a High Horse(1953) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Pattern for Panic(1954) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Strip for Murder(1955) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Wailing Frail(1956) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Have Gat - Will Travel(1957) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Three's a Shroud(1957) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Slab Happy(1958) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Take a Murder, Darling(1958) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Over Her Dear Body(1959) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Double in Trouble(1959) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Dance with the Dead(1960) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Dig That Crazy Grave(1961) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Shell Scott's Seven Slaughters(1961) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Kill the Clown(1962) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Dead Heat(1963) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Joker in the Deck(1964) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Cockeyed Corpse(1964) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Trojan Hearse(1964) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Dead Man's Walk(1965) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Kill Him Twice(1965) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Kubla Khan Caper(1966) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Gat Heat(1967) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Cheim Manuscript(1969) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Kill Me Tomorrow(1969) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Shell Scott Sampler(1969) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Dead-Bang(1971) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Sweet Ride(1972) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Sure Thing(1975) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Amber Effect(1986) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Shellshock(1987) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Death Gods(2011) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Lie Down, Killer(1952) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Peddler(1952) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Dragnet: Case No. 561(1956) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Sleeper Caper(2009) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Comfortable Coffin(1960) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price


Notes: Ride a High Horse was also published as Too Many Crooks. Pattern for Murder was also titled The Scrambled Yeggs, and written as David Knight.

If You Like Richard S. Prather Books, You’ll Love…

Richard S. Prather Synopsis: The Peddler is a standalone novel by Richard S. Prather. In the cutthroat world of organized crime, Tony Romero was headed straight for the top. He considered the brothels of San Francisco his territory. But on the way to the top, he’d leave a path strewn with bodies and broken dreams – some of them were his own…

Order of Books » Authors » Order of Richard S. Prather Books