Bill Pronzini

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bill Pronzini
Born (1943-04-13) April 13, 1943 (age 73)
Pen name William Hart Davis, Jack Foxx, William Jeffrey & Alex Saxon
Occupation Novelist
Language English
Nationality United States
Genre Mystery
Spouse Marcia Muller

Bill Pronzini (born April 13, 1943) is an American writer of detective fiction. He is also an active anthologist, having compiled more than 100 collections, most of which focus on mystery, western, and science fiction short stories.[1]


William John Pronzini was born in Petaluma, California. He has been married three times. The first marriage was to Laura Patricia Adolphson (1965, divorced 1966); the second was to Brunhilde Schier (July 28, 1972, separated December 1985, divorced a couple of years later). He married mystery writer Marcia Muller in 1992. They have collaborated on several novels: Double (1984), a Nameless Detective novel, The Lighthouse (1987), Beyond the Grave (1986), The Bughouse Affair (2013), The Spook Lights Affair (2013), The Body Snatchers Affair (2015), and The Plague of Thieves Affair (2016) as well as on numerous anthologies.[2]

Writing career[edit]

He published his first novel, The Stalker, in 1971. However, his best known works are the Nameless Detective series, which he began in 1971.[3] As of 2013, there are 42 books in the series, including a number of short stories. While the stories involve the usual range of crimes typical to mysteries, they depict relatively little violence.[citation needed]

Short stories[edit]

Pronzini has written more than three hundred short stories appearing in publications, including some of the last issues of both Adventure and Argosy magazines, generally considered the first American pulp magazines. Pronzini's work also appeared in Charlie Chan Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Man from U.N.C.L.E. Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, and Alfred Hitchcock's Anthology.[3]

The 1890s Western detective short story collection, Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services (1998) centers on Sabina Carpenter, a Pinkerton detective widow working in her fallen husband's profession.


Pronzini has received a large number of awards and award nominations for achievement in the Mystery genre.

His début novel The Stalker was nominated for the 1972 Edgar Award in the "Best First Mystery Novel" category.[4] Pronzini then won the inaugural Shamus Award for "Best Private Eye Novel" in 1982 for his novel Hoodwink.[5] The following year, he was nominated for his second Edgar Award, this time in the "Best Critical or Biographical" listings for Gun in Cheek.[6] The next year, 1984, Pronzini won his first award for a short-story, winning the "Best Private Eye Short Story" Shamus Award for Cat's Paw and Bones was nominated for the "Best Private Eye Novel" Shamus in 1986.[5] In 1987, Pronzini was awarded "The Eye", the Shamus award for "Lifetime Achievement" in the mystery genre, the highest accolade awarded.[5] The same year, Pronzini received his first Macavity Award for his Critical Work 1001 Midnights, along with Marcia Muller; following this with a win in the same category in the following year for Son of Gun in Cheek.[7]

1989 brought a nomination at the 1989 Anthony Award for "Best Novel", Shackles; and another Shamus nomination for short-story Incident in a Neighborhood Tavern.[8] That same year, his novel Snowbound was awarded the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière.[9] Another two short-story nominations at the Shamus Awards followed for Here Comes Santa Claus in 1990 and Home is the Place Where in 1996, the year in which his novel Blue Lonesome was nominated for the "Best Novel" 1996 Anthony Award.[5][8] The next year, Sentinels received a "Best Novel" nomination at the 1997 Shamus Awards; the year after A Wasteland of Strangers won Pronzini's only "Best Novel" Edgar Award for Boobytrap, which also won the Shamus Award in the same category in 1999.[5][10] The Big Bite in 2001 and Devil's Brew in 2007 were both Shamus Award "Best Private Eye Short Story" nominees; followed by his latest recognition for "Best Novel" nominee Schemers, in 2010.[5]



  1. ^ "Authors and Creators: Bill Pronzini". Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ DeAndrea, William. "Pronzini, Bill" in Encyclopedia Mysteriosa. MacMillan, 1994 (p.285-6).
  3. ^ a b Edward D. Hoch, "Pronzini, Bill" in Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers, edited by James Vinson and D. L. Kirkpatrick. St. James Press, 1985. pp. 735-39.
  4. ^ "Best First Mystery Novel by an American Author Edgar Award Winners and Nominees - Complete Lists". Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "The Private Eye Writers of America and The Shamus Awards". Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Best Critical or Biographical Edgar Award Winners and Nominees - Complete Lists". Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Mystery Readers International's Macavity Awards". Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards Nominees". October 2, 2003. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  9. ^ (French) Guide des Prix littéraires, online ed. Le Rayon du Polar. Synopsis of French prizes rewarding French and international crime literature, with lists of laureates for each Prize. Grand Prix de littérature policière: pp. 18-36.
  10. ^ "Best Mystery Novel Edgar Award Winners and Nominees - Complete Lists". Retrieved March 16, 2012.