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) 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


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