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Donald E. Westlake - Author

About the Author

Donald E. Westlake is widely regarded as one of the great crime writers of the 20th Century. He won three Edgar Awards and was named a Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America. Many of his books have been made into movies; Westlake also wrote the screenplay for The Grifters, for which he received an Academy Award nomination.

Featured books by Donald E. Westlake

Other books by Donald E. Westlake

Brothers Keepers

Brothers Keepers

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/02/2019

What will a group of monks do when their two-century-old monastery in New York City is threatened with demolition to make room for a new high-rise? Anything they have to. Thou Shalt Not Steal is only the first of the Commandments to be broken as the saintly face off against the unscrupulous over that most sacred of relics, a Park Avenue address. Returning to bookstores for the first time in three decades, BROTHERS KEEPERS offers not only a master class in comedy from one of the most beloved mystery writers of all time but also a surprisingly heartfelt meditation on loss, temptation, and how we treat our fellow man.

Forever and a Death

Forever and a Death

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/06/2018

A formerly rich businessman thrown out of Hong Kong when the Chinese took over from the British decides to fix his dire financial problems and take revenge on the Chinese by tunneling under Hong Kong's bank vaults and stealing all their gold, then using a doomsday device to set off a soliton wave that will turn the ground to sludge, causing the whole city to collapse. Only the engineer on his staff who designed the soliton wave technology (intending it for good purposes, to help with construction projects) can stop him, working together with a beautiful young environmental activist who gets caught up in one of the soliton tests and nearly killed. From the deck of a yacht near the Great Barrier Reef to Australia and Singapore and finally Hong Kong itself, it's a deadly game of cat-and-mouse as our heroes first struggle to escape the villain's clutches and then thwart his insanely destructive plan.

Help I Am Being Held Prisoner

Help I Am Being Held Prisoner

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/02/2018

JAILED FOR A JOKE It isn't easy going to jail for being a practical joker. Of course, this particular joke left 20 cars wrecked on the highway and two politicians' careers in tatters - so jail is where Harold Kunt landed. Now he's just trying to keep a low profile in the Big House. He wants no part of his fellow inmates' plan to use an escape tunnel to rob two banks. But it's too late: he's in it up to his neck. And that neck may just wind up in a noose... HELP I AM BEING HELD PRISONER is Donald E. Westlake at his funniest and his most ingenious, a rediscovered crime classic from the MWA Grand Master returning to stores for the first time in three decades.

The Getaway Car A Donald Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany

The Getaway Car A Donald Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany

Author: Donald E. Westlake, Lawrence Block Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/09/2014

Over the course of a fifty-year career, Donald Westlake published nearly one hundred books, including not one - but two - long-running series, starring the hard-hitting Parker and the hapless John Dortmunder. In the six years since his death, Westlake's reputation has only grown, with fans continuing to marvel at his tightly constructed plots, no-nonsense prose, and keen, even unsettling, insights into human behavior. With The Getaway Car, we get our first glimpse at another side of Westlake the writer: what he did when he wasn't busy making stuff up. And it's fascinating. Setting previously published pieces, many little-seen, alongside never-before-published material found in Westlake's working files, the book offers a clear picture of the man behind the books - including his background, experience, and thoughts on his own work and that of his peers, mentors, and influences. The book opens with revealing (and funny) fragments from an unpublished autobiography, then goes on to offer an extended history of private eye fiction, a conversation among Westlake's numerous pen names, letters to friends and colleagues, interviews, appreciations of fellow writers, and much, much more. There's even a recipe for Sloth a la Dortmunder. Really. Rounded out with a Foreword by Westlake's longtime friend Lawrence Block, The Getaway Car is a fitting capstone to a storied career, and a wonderful opportunity to revel anew in the voice and sensibility of a master craftsman.

The Comedy is Finished

The Comedy is Finished

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/03/2014

The year is 1977, and America is finally getting over the nightmares of Watergate and Vietnam. But not everyone is ready to let it go. Not aging comedian Koo Davis, friend to generals and presidents and veteran of countless USO tours. And not the five remaining members of the People's Revolutionary Army, who've decided that kidnapping Koo would be the perfect way to bring their cause back to life.

Dancing Aztecs

Dancing Aztecs

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/09/2013

The Comedy is Finished

The Comedy is Finished

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/04/2012

The year is 1977, and America is finally getting over the nightmares of Watergate and Vietnam. But not everyone is ready to let it go. Not aging comedian Koo Davis, friend to generals and presidents and veteran of countless USO tours. And not the five remaining members of the People's Revolutionary Army, who've decided that kidnapping Koo would be the perfect way to bring their cause back to life.

Comedy is Finished

Comedy is Finished

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 01/02/2012

The year is 1977, and America is finally getting over the nightmares of Watergate and Vietnam and the national hangover that was the 1960s. But not everyone is ready to let it go. Not aging comedian Koo Davis, friend to generals and presidents and veteran of countless USO tours to buck up American troops in the field. And not the five remaining members of the self-proclaimed People's Revolutionary Army, who've decided that kidnapping Koo Davis would be the perfect way to bring their cause back to life. This is the final, previously unpublished novel from the legendary author Donald Westlake.

Hook

Hook

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 01/02/2012

Bryce Proctorr has a multimillion-dollar contract for his next novel, a trophy wife raking him over the coals of a protracted divorce, a bad case of writer's block, and an impending deadline. Wayne Prentice is a fading author in a world that no longer values his work. He's gone through two pseudonyms, watched his book sales shrivel, and is contemplating leaving the writing life. Proctorr has a proposition: If Prentice will hand over his unsold manuscript to publish under Proctorr's name, the two will split the book advance fifty-fifty. There's just one small rider to the deal...

Memory

Memory

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2010

Hospitalized after a liaison with another man's wife ends in violence, Paul Cole has just one goal: to rebuild his shattered life. But with his memory damaged, the police hounding him, and no way even to get home, Paul's facing steep odds-and a bleak fate if he fails. This final, never-before-published novel by three-time Edgar Award winner Donald E. Westlake is a noir masterpiece, a dark and painful portrait of a man's struggle against merciless forces that threaten to strip him of his very identity.

Get Real

Get Real

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 17/07/2009

In Donald E. Westlake's classic caper novels, the bad get better, the good slide a bit, and Lord help anyone caught between a thief named John Dortmunder and the current object of his attention. However, being caught red-handed is inevitable in Dortmunder's next production, when a TV producer convinces this thief and his merry gang to do a reality show that captures their next score. The producer guarantees to find a way to keep the show from being used in evidence against them. They're dubious, but the pay is good, so they take him up on his offer.A mock-up of the OJ bar is built in a warehouse down on Varick Street. The ground floor of that building is a big open space jumbled with vehicles used in TV world, everything from a news truck and a fire engine to a hansom cab (without the horse). As the gang plans their next move with the cameras rolling, Dortmunder and Kelp sneak onto the roof of their new studio to organize a private enterprise. It will take an ingenious plan to outwit viewers glued to their television sets, but Dortmunder is nothing if not persistent, and he's determined to end this shoot with money in his pockets.

Get Real

Get Real

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 01/07/2009

Eluding the law has always been high on Dortmunder's list. But getting caught red-handed is inevitable in his next caper, when a TV producer convinces this thief and his merry gang to star in a reality show that captures their next score. The producer even guarantees to keep the show from being used as evidence against them. They're dubious at first, but the pay's good, so they sign on. A mock-up of the OJ Bar is built in a downtown New York City warehouse. As the gang plans their next move with the cameras rolling, Dortmunder and Kelp sneak onto the roof of their new studio to organize a private enterprise. It will take an ingenious plan to outwit viewers glued to their television sets, but Dortmunder is nothing if not persistent, and he's determined to end this shoot with money in his pockets.

Money for Nothing

Money for Nothing

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 14/12/2008

* Put a Lid on It, Donald E. Westlake's most recent novel, was published in Mysterious Press hardcover in 4/02. It will be published in mass market paperback in 3/03 to tie in with the hardcover release of MONEY FOR NOTHING.*Westlake's critically acclaimed The Hook (Mysterious Press hardcover, 3/00) won a "e;Book World Rave"e; for 2000 in the Washington Post Book World and has over 90,000 hardcover and paperback copies in print combined. The Ax (Mysterious Press, 1997) reached #9 on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list, hit the New York Times business best-seller list, and has over 146,000 copies in hardcover and paperback print combined.* Westlake's novels have a history of Hollywood success: Mel Gibson's Payback was the #3 money earner of the spring 1999 movie season, and What's the Worst That Could Happen? earned more than $50 million at the box office. Films based on four of his novels are in development.

Put a Lid on It

Put a Lid on It

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 14/12/2008

Meehan, a career thief staring at life without parole, is awaiting sentencing at the Manhattan Correctional Center when he is called to a meeting by someone masquerading as his lawyer. The man, it turns out, represents the presidential re-election campaign committee -- now finding itself in need of a little professional help. So they "e;outsource"e; Meehan in return for a walk from all pending criminal charges. All he has to do is steal a compromising video tape before the other side springs an "e;October Surprise"e; on the president. A shrewd burglar, Meehan bites, and shows just how easy Watergate would have been had they left it to the professionals.

361

361

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 15/11/2008

The men in the tan-and-cream Chrysler came with guns blazing. When Ray Kelly woke up in the hospital, it was a month later, he was missing an eye, and his father was dead. Then things started to get bad. From the mind of the incomparable Donald E. Westlake comes a devastating story of betrayal and revenge, an exploration of the limits of family loyalty and how far a man will go when everything he loves is taken from him.

Watch Your Back!

Watch Your Back!

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 15/07/2008

Hapless criminal John Dortmunder returns in another rollicking tale of disorganized crime from Grand Master of Mystery Donald E. Westlake. It's the score of a lifetime: easy access to a lavish New York City apartment, hordes of valuables, and an absentee owner avoiding the lawyers of his unhappy ex-wives. But before they pull the job, Dortmunder's crew is startled to find their beloved gin joint, the OJ, in the clutches of the Mafia-who consider it perfect for a little fraud, courtesy of a nice big fire. For tactical and highly superstitious reasons, the fate of the OJ is even more important to the crew than the enormous score. Now, Dortmunder and his gang are determined to split their time, fighting the mob and robbing the rich simultaneously.

What's So Funny?

What's So Funny?

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 15/07/2008

All it takes is a few underhanded moves by a tough ex-cop named Eppick to pull thief John Dortmunder into a game he never wanted to play. With no choice, he musters his always-game gang and they set out on a perilous treasure hunt for a long-lost gold and jewel-studded chess set once intended as a birthday gift for the last Romanov czar, which unfortunately reached Russia after that party was over. From the moment Dortmunder reaches for his first pawn, he faces insurmountable odds. The purloined past of this precious set is destined to confound any strategy he finds on the board. Success is not inevitable with John Dortmunder leading the attack, but he's nothing if not persistent, and some gambit or other might just stumble into a winning move.

Drowned Hopes A Dortmunder Mystery

Drowned Hopes A Dortmunder Mystery

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/07/2008

Dortmunder's past comes back to haunt him when he returns home after an unsuccessful burglary and finds his old cellmate sitting in his living room. He needs Dortmunder's help in retrieving $700,000 that he'd buried in a small town 30 years before. The problem is that, while he sat in jail, the State of New York flooded the area to build a reservoir; the loot is now under a few feet of dirt and many feet of water. Being a man of great determination but few ethical principles, the thief plans to blow up the dam, emptying the reservoir but also flooding the inhabited countryside to get at his stash. Dortmunder pleads with him to be allowed to retrieve the money another way. His first attempt fails. And his second. And third. Meanwhile the thief is losing patience...

Somebody Owes Me Money

Somebody Owes Me Money

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 26/05/2008

Cab driver Chet Conway was hoping for a good tip from his latest fare, the sort he could spend. But what he got was a tip on a horse race. Which might have turned out okay, except that when he went to collect his winnings, Chet found his bookie lying dead on the living room floor. Chet knows he had nothing to do with it-but just try explaining that to the cops, to the two rival criminal gangs who each think Chet's working for the other, and to the dead man's beautiful sister, who has flown in from Las Vegas to avenge her brother's murder...

What's So Funny?

What's So Funny?

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 01/03/2008

In his classic caper novels, Donald E. Westlake turns the world of crime and criminals upside down. The bad get better, the good slide a bit, and Lord help anyone caught between a thief named John Dortmunder and the current object of his intentions. Now Westlake's seasoned but often scoreless crook must take on an impossible crime, one he doesn't want and doesn't believe in. But a little blackmail goes a long way in... WHAT'S SO FUNNY? All it takes is a few underhanded moves by a tough ex-cop named Eppick to pull Dortmunder into a game he never wanted to play. With no choice, he musters his always-game gang and they set out on a perilous treasure hunt for a long-lost gold and jewel-studded chess set once intended as a birthday gift for the last Romanov czar, which unfortunately reached Russia after that party was over. From the moment Dortmunder reaches for his first pawn, he faces insurmountable odds. The purloined past of this precious set is destined to confound any strategy he finds on the board. Success is not inevitable with John Dortmunder leading the attack, but he's nothing if not persistent, and some gambit or other might just stumble into a winning move.

Baby, Would I Lie

Baby, Would I Lie

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 08/02/2008

Intrepid reporter Sara Joslyn, having escaped the clutches of the supermarket tabloid Weekly Galaxy, is finally going to be allowed to practice "e;clean journalism."e; Unfortunately, intrepid editor Jack Ingersoll has other plans, assigning her to a gory sex-murder trial in Branson, Missouri, home to more country stars than there are in the heavens.While delving into the muck, rake in hand, Sara runs into her old comrades from the Galaxy - Binx Radwell, Boy Cartwright, and the Down Under Trio among them. At the eye of this journalistic cyclone is country musician Ray Jones; is he guilty of the grisly murder, and what else is he up to, if anything?The lyrics to eleven Ray Jones hits are sprinkled throughout the novel and are an important accompaniment to the proceedings, if only Sara and Jack can keep their fingers out of their ears long enough to hear it....

Thieves Dozen

Thieves Dozen

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 03/09/2007

Featuring Westlake's hapless hero John Dortmunder, this original compilation of short stories ties in to the author's latest Dortmunder hardcover, "e;The Road to Ruin."e;

Watch Your Back!

Watch Your Back!

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 03/09/2007

After a year on the lam, the return of bumbling thief Dortmunder is a cause celebre. The author's most recent Dortmunder caper. "e;The Road to Ruin,"e; and the short story collection, "e;Thieves' Dozen,"e; received rave reviews in the "e;New York Times Book Review, New York Daily News,"e; and "e;Kirkus Reviews"e; (starred review), among other publications.

Road to Ruin

Road to Ruin

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 31/07/2007

The con is on. the mark is Monroe Hall, a corrupt CEO who lavished more of his company's money on himself than the boys at Enron and WorldCom combined. The loot? A fleet of vintage automobiles that would leave the Sultan of Brunei blushing. The catch? Trying to outsmart a collection of angry union men who've been taken for a ride and blue-blooded suckers who've been taken for their family fortunes. But if Dortmunder and his merry band of crooks are to drive off with the loot, they'll have to act fast - before they get caught in a deadly crossfire.

Road to Ruin

Road to Ruin

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2007

This time out John Dortmunder and his merry band of crooks return to the scene of the crime world in an attempt to steal a fleet of automobiles that would leave the sultan of Brunei blushing. The mark is Monroe Hall, corrupt CEO of a now defunct conglomerate, who spent more of his company's money on himself than the boys at Enron and WorldCom combined. Having escaped prosecution, Hall is holed up on his massive Pennsylvania farm and Dortmunder, as usual, has his eyes on the big prize: Hall's vintage wheels.

Put a Lid on It

Put a Lid on It

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2007

The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of The Ax and The Hook is back in rare form as he introduces Meehan, a character who keeps the lid from blowing off Washington politics. Meehan, a career thief staring at life without parole, is awaiting sentencing at the Manhattan Correctional Center when he is called to a meeting by someone masquerading as his lawyer. The man, it turns out, represents the presidential reelection campaign committee now finding itself in need of a little professional help. So they outsource Meehan in return for a walk from all pending criminal charges. All he has to do is steal a compromising video tape before the other side springs an October Surprise on the president. A shrewd burglar, Meehan bites-and shows just how easy Watergate would have been had they left it to the professionals.

Transgressions: Price of Desire

Transgressions: Price of Desire

Author: Donald E. Westlake, Ed McBain, Anne Perry Format: eBook Release Date: 01/06/2005

Novellas from Transgressions by Ed McBain, Anne Perry and Donald E. Westlake"e;Merely Hate"e; by Ed McBain: When a string of Muslim cabdrivers are killed the detectives of the 87th Precinct must hunt down a killer before the city explodes in violence."e;Hostages"e; by Anne Perry: In their eternal struggle for freedom, there is about to be a changing of the guard in the Irish Republican Army. Yet for some, old habits-and honor-die hard. "e;Walking Around Money"e; by Donald E. Westlake: If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and the hapless crook, John Dortmunder, must get to the bottom of this slam-dunk caper before he's left holding the bag.

Murderous Schemes An Anthology of Classic Detective Stories

Murderous Schemes An Anthology of Classic Detective Stories

Author: Donald E. Westlake Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/04/1997

When plotting a murder (figuratively speaking), the mystery writer has at hand any number of M.O.s, including such tried and true conventions as the locked room, the unbreakable alibi, the double bluff, and the mistaken identity. Now, in Murderous Schemes, renowned mystery writers Donald E. Westlake and J. Madison Davis offer an illuminating look at eight such mystery conventions, illustrating each with four short stories written by some of the masters of the form. The resulting collection of thirty-two tales spans a hundred and fifty years of crime fiction and includes virtually every style imaginable, from the hard-boiled detective story to the cozy armchair mystery. the differences between American and British detective fiction, and they illuminate the evolution of crime writing over time. Here is a glorious treasure chest of tales that cover every crime in the book, written by a who's who of crime fiction-Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, G. K. Chesterton, Raymond Chandler, Dorothy L. Sayers, Chester Himes, Edward D. Hoch, and Lawrence Block, to name but a few. Bringing together a century and a half of superb crime stories, Murderous Schemes is a glorious collection that will inform and delight anyone who loves mystery and mayhem.

Author Info

Author's Website

http://www.donaldwestlake.com/

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