A Firing Offense

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A Firing Offense
A Firing Offense cover.jpg
New edition cover (Serpent's Tail)
Author George Pelecanos
Country United States
Language English
Series Nick Stefanos series
Genre Crime novel
Published 1992 (St Martins Press)
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 216 pp
ISBN 0-312-06970-7 (Hardcover first edition)
OCLC 24667198
813/.54 20
LC Class PS3566.E354 F57 1992

A Firing Offense is a 1992 crime novel and the debut from author George Pelecanos. It is set in Washington, D.C. and focuses on marketing executive Nick Stefanos as he investigates the disappearance of a colleague. It is the first of several Pelecanos novels to feature the character and the first of a trilogy with Stefanos as the main character. The other books in this series are Nick's Trip and Down by the River Where the Dead Men Go.

Plot introduction[edit]

Nick Stefanos is a marketing executive for electrical goods chain Nutty Nathan's. When a stock boy from the company disappears he is convinced to locate the boy by his grandfather.

Explanation of the novel's title[edit]

Stefanos is fired from his job at Nutty Nathan's but the reason for his dismissal does not become clear until the end of the book.


Nick Stefanos is a marketing executive and one time process server. He works for a chain of electrical goods stores. He was once a floor salesman. He remains friends with his old sales colleague Johnny McGinnes. Both Stefanos and McGinnes drink heavily and abuse recreational drugs.

Major themes[edit]

The novel is concerned with substance abuse both by the main characters and facilitated by the drug distributors.

Literary significance and reception[edit]

The novel was positively compared to Charles Willeford and Daniel Woodrell by a reviewer. The reviewer commented that the plot was perfunctory and that the novel was more concerned with examining the lives of the salesmen. He praised the book for drawing such interest from a seemingly mundane profession. The reviewer commented on Pelecanos frequent use of music references.[1]

The series as a whole has been described as tightly plotted with "intricacies to rival Hammett or Chandler".[2]


  1. ^ Gerald Houghton (2007). "A Firing Offense by George P. Pelecanos". Crime Time. Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  2. ^ James Stephenson and Kevin Burton Smith (2007). "Nick Stefanos". Thrilling Detective. Archived from the original on 23 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-06.