Shell Scott is the protagonist in a series of hardboiled detective fiction novels by American novelist Richard S. Prather. Shell Scott works as a private eye. He’s an ex-Marine, standing 6’2″ tall. But unlike other masculine P.I.’s, he is more about enjoying life than beating up bad guys, or searching for vengeance or justice. This usually includes having his way with women whenever possible. The novels are humourous in a way that wouldn’t be considered politically correct in this day in age.

Richard S. Prather began his Shell Scott series in 1950 with the novel The Case of the Vanishing Beauty. The series lasted over 40 books, concluding with the posthumously published The Death Gods in 2011, which was the first book to be published in over two decades. The books can be read in any order. Below is a list of Richard S. Prather’s Shell Scott books in order of when they were originally published:

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(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

Notes: Ride a High Horse is also known as Too Many Crooks. Pattern for Murder is alternately titled The Scrambled Yeggs (and written as David Knight).

If You Like Shell Scott Books, You’ll Love…

Shell Scott Synopsis: Case of the Vanishing Beauty is the first book in the Shell Scott mysteries series by Richard S. Prather. Lovely Lina is a dame who is hot to the touch, but somebody wants to cool her off. When her sister disappears and another woman is gunned down, Lina suspects she is next to go. Shell Scott, an infamous private dick who leaves a trail of gorgeous gals in his wake, is just the man for the case. Shell Scott, he’s a guy with a pistol in his pocket and murder on his mind. The crime world’s public enemy number one, this Casanova is a sucker for a damsel in distress. When a pair of lovely legs saunters into his office, he can’t help but take the job, even when the case is a killer.

Order of Books » Characters » Order of Shell Scott Books

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