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

Publication Order of Shell Scott Collections

Hot Rock Rumble & The Double Take (1994)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Lie Down, Killer (1952)Description / Buy at
The Peddler (As: Douglas Ring) (1952)Description / Buy at
Dragnet: Case No.561 (1956)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Sleeper Caper (2009)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Comfortable Coffin(1960)Description / Buy at
Masters of Noir, Volume One(2010)Description / Buy at

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

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