Books Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels

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List of famous hardboiled books, listed alphabetically with jacket cover images of the books when available. Information for these popular hardboiled books is included as well, such as the author's name and the book's publication date. This list includes the best hardboiled novels, textbooks, and stories, so use it to find books you haven't already read and add them to your reading list.

Books here include everything from The Big Sleep to The Maltese Falcon.

This list should answer the questions, "What are the best hardboiled books?" and "What are the most famous hardboiled books?"

Note that some books on this list might be currently out of print, but you can purchase most of these notable hardboiled titles on Amazon with just one click.

1
Already Dead is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Charlie Huston Already Dead is a 2005 pulp-noir / horror novel by Charlie Huston and published in 2005. This is the first of the Joe Pitt Casebooks.

2
Altered Carbon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Richard K. Morgan Altered Carbon is a hardboiled cyberpunk science fiction novel by Richard K. Morgan. Set some five hundred years in the future in a universe in which the United Nations Protectorate oversees a ...more

3
Cotton Comes to Harlem is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Chester Himes Cotton Comes to Harlem is a book written by Chester Himes.

4
Crooked Little Vein is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Warren Ellis Crooked Little Vein is the first novel by established comic book writer Warren Ellis, published by William Morrow on July 24, 2007. The novel is written in the first-person, similar to much of ...more

5
Devil in a Blue Dress is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Walter Mosley Devil in a Blue Dress is a 1990 hardboiled mystery novel by Walter Mosley. The text centers on the main character, Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins, and his transformation from a day laborer

6
Double Indemnity is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
James M. Cain Double Indemnity is a highly influential 1943 crime novel, written by American journalist-turned-novelist James M. Cain. The book was first published in serial form for Liberty magazine in 1936. ...more

7
Easy Money is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Jens Lapidus Snabba cash or Easy Money is a novel from 2006 by Jens Lapidus. It has been a success in term of sales, and the paperback was the fourth best seller of Swedish novels in 2007.

8
Every Last Drop is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Charlie Huston Every Last Drop is a 2008 pulp-noir/horror novel by American writer Charlie Huston. It is the fourth novel in the Joe Pitt Casebooks, following Half the Blood of Brooklyn. The series follows the ...more

9
Farewell, My Lovely is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Raymond Chandler Farewell, My Lovely is a 1940 novel by Raymond Chandler, the second novel he wrote featuring Los Angeles private eye Philip Marlowe. It was adapted for the screen three times, and also for the ...more

10
Finch is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Jeff VanderMeer Finch is Jeff VanderMeer's third novel set in the Ambergris universe. Written in the noir style of detective novels, it stands alone, while referencing characters and events from the earlier ...more

11
Guilty Pleasures is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Laurell K. Hamilton Guilty Pleasures is a 1993 horror and mystery novel by Laurell K. Hamilton and is the first book in the New York Times bestselling Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series. The novel introduces the ...more

12
Gun, with Occasional Music is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Jonathan Lethem Gun, with Occasional Music is a 1994 novel by Jonathan Lethem. It blends science fiction and hardboiled detective fiction. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1994.

13
Half the Blood of Brooklyn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Charlie Huston Half the Blood of Brooklyn is a 2007 pulp-noir / horror novel by American writer Charlie Huston. It is the third novel in the Joe Pitt Casebooks, following No Dominion. The series follows the ...more

14
KOP is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Warren Hammond Set in the year 2787 on a planet light years away from earth, KOP details the life of Juno Mozambe, a crooked cop who has been talked into doing one last favor for his old partner who now runs ...more

15
Mildred Pierce is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
James M. Cain Mildred Pierce is a 1941 hardboiled novel by James M. Cain. It was made into an Academy Award-winning 1945 film of the same name, starring Joan Crawford, and a 2011 Emmy Award-winning miniseries ...more

16
My Dead Body is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Charlie Huston My Dead Body is a 2009 pulp-noir / horror novel by American writer Charlie Huston. It is the fifth novel in the Joe Pitt Casebooks, following Every Last Drop. The series follows the life of the ...more

17
No Dominion is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Charlie Huston No Dominion is a 2006 pulp-noir / horror novel by American writer Charlie Huston. This book is the sequel to Already Dead and follows the life of the vampire detective, Joe Pitt. The title of ...more

18
No Orchids for Miss Blandish is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
James Hadley Chase No Orchids For Miss Blandish is a 1939 crime novel by the British writer James Hadley Chase. The novel was influenced by the American crime writer James M. Cain and the stories in the pulp ...more

19
Playback is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Raymond Chandler Playback is the final complete novel by Raymond Chandler, which features his iconic creation Philip Marlowe. It was published in 1958, the year before his death.

20
Poodle Springs is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Robert B. Parker, Raymond Chandler Poodle Springs is the eighth Philip Marlowe novel. It was started in 1958 by Raymond Chandler, who left it unfinished at his death in 1959. The four chapters he had completed, which bore the ...more

21
Red wind is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Raymond Chandler

22
Silent to the Bone is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
E. L. Konigsburg Silent to the Bone is a novel by E. L. Konigsburg for the "middle ages" or for young adults. It is a companion to The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, a fifteen-years prequel published ...more

23
Spanish Blood is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Raymond Chandler

24
Stranger Will is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Caleb J. Ross Stranger Will, the first novel by author Caleb J. Ross, is a dark literary noir work, though has been discussed as being “devoid-of-genre”. It tells the story of William Lowson, a professional ...more

25
Strega is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Andrew Vachss Strega is a hardboiled detective novel written by American author and attorney Andrew Vachss, first published in 1987. The story features the pursuit and destruction by the protagonist Burke, an ...more

26
The Big Sleep is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Raymond Chandler The Big Sleep is a hardboiled crime novel by Raymond Chandler, the first to feature detective Philip Marlowe. The work has been adapted twice into film, once in 1946 and again in 1978. The story ...more

27
The High Window is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Raymond Chandler The High Window is a 1942 novel written by Raymond Chandler. It is his third novel to feature Los Angeles private detective Philip Marlowe.

28
The Lady in the Lake is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Raymond Chandler The Lady in the Lake is a 1943 detective novel by Raymond Chandler featuring, as do all his major works, the Los Angeles private investigator Philip Marlowe. Notable for its removal of Marlowe ...more

29
The Laughing Corpse is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Laurell K. Hamilton The Laughing Corpse is the second novel in the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series of horror/mystery novels by Laurell K. Hamilton. The book continues the adventures of Anita Blake, as she ...more

30
The Long Goodbye is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Raymond Chandler The Long Goodbye is a 1953 novel by Raymond Chandler, centered on his famous detective Philip Marlowe. While some critics consider it inferior to The Big Sleep or Farewell, My Lovely, others ...more

31
The Maltese Falcon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Dashiell Hammett The Maltese Falcon is a 1929 detective novel by Dashiell Hammett, originally serialized in the magazine Black Mask beginning with the September 1929 issue. The story has been adapted several ...more

32
The Real Cool Killers is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Chester Himes The Real Cool Killers is a Hardboiled Crime Fiction novel written by Chester Himes. Published in 1959, it is the second book in the Grave Digger Jones & Coffin Ed Johnson Mysteries. The ...more

33
The Secret Speech is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Tom Rob Smith The Secret Speech is the second novel in a trilogy by British author Tom Rob Smith; it was released in April 2009. The book features a repeat appearance of Leo Stepanovich Demidov, the ...more

34
Trouble is My Business is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Hardboiled Books and Novels
Raymond Chandler