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Lee Goldberg

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Lee Goldberg
Goldberg at the 2022 Left Coast Crime conference
Goldberg at the 2022 Left Coast Crime conference
BornUnited States
Pen name"Ian Ludlow"
  • Author
  • Screenwriter
  • publisher
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles
GenreCrime fiction, television, screenwriting
RelativesTod Goldberg (Brother)

Lee Goldberg is an American author, screenwriter, publisher and producer known for his bestselling novels Lost Hills and True Fiction and his work on a wide variety of TV crime series, including Diagnosis: Murder, A Nero Wolfe Mystery, Hunter, Spenser: For Hire, Martial Law, She-Wolf of London, SeaQuest, 1-800-Missing, The Glades and Monk.


Goldberg began his career as a journalist, covering local news and the police beat for the Contra Costa Times (later renamed the East Bay Times) and UPI, and writing feature articles, interviews and reviews for various national publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek and American Film among others.

He attended UCLA, where he was a reporter and feature writer for the Daily Bruin student newspaper, in addition to his aforementioned journalism work. There he befriended Lewis Perdue, the paper's journalism advisor from 1979 to 1982, who got Goldberg his first writing assignment for Pinnacle Books. The novel, .357 Vigilante, was published under the pseudonym "Ian Ludlow" in 1985.[1] The novel spawned three more sequels and the series' movie rights were optioned by New World Pictures. Although the movie was never made, his script for the movie, co-written with fellow UCLA classmate William Rabkin, led to a long career in television and film. Their first television credit was on the "If You Knew Sammy" episode of Spenser: For Hire about an author of vigilante novels.[2]

Film and television[edit]

His subsequent writing and producing credits include Murphy's Law, SeaQuest DSV, The Cosby Mysteries, and Monk, among others. He is perhaps best known for his stint as supervising producer and executive producer of the long-running series Diagnosis Murder starring Dick Van Dyke as a doctor who solves crimes.

In 2007, Goldberg wrote and produced the pilot for a German television program, Fast Track: No Limits.[3][4] which aired on television in some countries and was released as a theatrical film in others.

In 2010, he wrote and directed the short film Remaindered, based on his short story for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, on location in Kentucky. He wrote and directed the sequel, Bumsicle, in 2012.

In 2019, he co-wrote and co-created with Robin Bernheim the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries telefilm series Mystery 101 starring Jill Wagner and Kristofer Polaha.

In April 2021, Constantin Films announced that they will be producing a feature film version his novel The Walk based on his screenplay adaptation. [5]


In conjunction with his work on Monk and Diagnosis Murder, Goldberg wrote several original tie-in novels based on those series.[6][7] He has also penned several original crime novels, two featuring ex-cop-turned-Hollywood troubleshooter Charlie Willis and the aforementioned .357 Vigilante series, which he wrote under the pseudonym Ian Ludlow, while still a student.[8]

His novel, The Man with the Iron-On Badge (titled Watch Me Die for its re-release), was nominated for a Shamus Award by the Private Eye Writers of America and was produced in 2007 as the stage play, Mapes For Hire, in Owensboro, Kentucky at the International Mystery Writers Festival.

Goldberg has also written non-fiction books about the entertainment industry, including Unsold Television Pilots and Successful Television Writing. His book, Unsold Television Pilots, was turned into two TV specials – The Greatest Shows You Never Saw on CBS and The Best TV Shows That Never Were on ABC, both written and produced by William Rabkin and Goldberg. They also co-created The Dead Man an original, monthly series of horror novels that rolled-out in October 2011[9] as the premiere titles of Amazon's new 47North sci-fi/horror/fantasy imprint.[10] Amazon initially ordered 12 books and, in February 2012, extended the series by 12 more. The 24th title, the Kindle Serial Reborn, was published in January 2014 and is the final book in the series to date.

In June 2013, his novel The Heist, the first in a five-book series written with Janet Evanovich, was released by Random House.[11] A prequel short story, "Pros and Cons," was published in May 2013 and became the #1 bestselling Kindle Single for seven straight weeks...and hit both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.[12] The Heist debuted at #2 on the USA Today bestseller list and #5 on the New York Times bestseller list. The sequel, The Chase, debuted at #1 on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list[13] and #2 on The New York Times bestseller list[14] in March 2014. The fifth book in the series, The Pursuit, was published in June 2016 and hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.[15]

His novel True Fiction, published by Amazon/Thomas & Mercer in April 2018.[16] It was followed by Killer Thriller in February 2019 and Fake Truth in April 2020. All three books are "Ian Ludlow" thrillers, the novelist hero sharing the same name as the pseudonym that Goldberg used to write his .357 Vigilante paperbacks when he was in college in the 1980s.

His series about Detective Eve Ronin, the youngest homicide detective on the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department history, kicked off with Lost Hills in January 2020 and was followed by Bone Canyon (January 2021) Gated Prey (Oct 2021), Movieland (June 2022).[17][18][19] and Dream Town (January 2024).

Malibu Burning,[20] the first novel in a new series about two LASD arson investigators, was released in September 2023, and will be followed by a sequel Ashes Never Lie in September 2024 [21] . A standalone thriller Calico was released in November 2023.[22][23] and was a finalist for the Western Writers of America's 2024 Spur Award for Best Contemporary Western.[24]


In September 2014, Goldberg launched the publishing company Brash Books with novelist Joel Goldman.[25] The company publishes new crime fiction as well as award-winning, highly acclaimed crime, thriller and suspense novels that have fallen out of print.[26]

In 2018, Goldberg acquired the copyright to the published and unpublished books by the late author Ralph Dennis,[27] who is best known for his Hardman series of crime novels, which were a major influence on the work of novelist Joe R. Lansdale[28] and screenwriter Shane Black.[29] The Hardman series, with introductions by Joe R. Lansdale, Ben Jones and Robert J. Randisi, among others, as well as Dennis' thriller The War Heist (Goldberg's edited down and revised version of Dennis' 1976 novel MacTaggart's War[30]) were released by Brash Books in 2019. In February 2020, Brash Books released "All Kinds of Ugly," a long-lost, final Hardman novel, which Goldberg discovered and revised.[31]

In December 2020, he launched another publishing imprint, Cutting Edge Books, to release vintage crime novels, thrillers, westerns, and literary fiction from the 40s, 50s, and early 60s that had fallen out-of-print, including the work of authors Robert Dietrich (E. Howard Hunt), James Howard, March Hastings (Sally Singer), Stuart James, Bud Clifton (David Derek Stacton), and Richard Himmel.[32]


Goldberg has been nominated twice for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America and twice for a Shamus Award by the Private Eye Writers of America. He was the 2012 recipient of the Poirot Award from Malice Domestic.

He has served as a board member for the Mystery Writers of America and also founded, alongside novelist Max Allan Collins, the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.[33]

In July 2021, he was selected by the City of Agoura, California as their 2021 One City One Book honoree for his novel Lost Hills.[34]

In March 2024, his novel Calico was honored by the Western Writers of America as a finalist for their Spur Award for Best Contemporary Western.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Goldberg has three younger siblings – Tod Goldberg, Linda Woods and Karen Dinino—all of whom are writers. His uncle is true crime author Burl Barer.

He lives with his wife and daughter in Calabasas.


Sharpe & Walker[edit]

  • Malibu Burning (September 2023)
  • Ashes Never Lie (September 2024) [A cross-over with the Eve Ronin series]

Eve Ronin[edit]

  • Lost Hills (January 2020)
  • Bone Canyon (January 2021)
  • Gated Prey (October 2021)
  • Movieland (June 2022)
  • Dream Town (January 2024)
  • Ashes Never Lie (September 2024) [A cross-over with the Sharpe & Walker series]

The Ian Ludlow Thrillers[edit]

  • True Fiction (April 2018)
  • Killer Thriller (February 2019)
  • Fake Truth (April 2020)

Fox & O'Hare[edit]

  • "Pros and Cons" Short Story prequel (written with Janet Evanovich) (2013)
  • The Heist (written with Janet Evanovich) (June 2013)
  • The Chase (written with Janet Evanovich) (Feb 25, 2014)[35]
  • "The Shell Game" Short Story prequel (written with Janet Evanovich) (2014)
  • The Job (written with Janet Evanovich) (Nov. 2014)
  • The Caper Short Story prequel (written with Janet Evanovich)
  • The Scam (written with Janet Evanovich) (Sept 15, 2015)
  • The Pursuit (written with Janet Evanovich) (June 21, 2016)

Diagnosis Murder Book Series[edit]

  • #1 The Silent Partner (2003)
  • #2 The Death Merchant (2004)
  • #3 The Shooting Script (2004)
  • #4 The Waking Nightmare (2005)
  • #5 The Past Tense (2005)
  • #6 The Dead Letter (2006)
  • #7 The Double Life (2006)
  • #8 The Last Word (2007)

Monk Book Series[edit]

Charlie Willis[edit]

  • My Gun Has Bullets (1995) Reprinted (2003) Kindle Edition (2009)
  • Beyond the Beyond (1997) Kindle edition (2009) (retitled Dead Space)

The Dead Man Series[edit]

  • Face of Evil (with William Rabkin) (2011)
  • Ring of Knives (with William Rabkin and James Daniels) (2011)
  • Hell in Heaven (with William Rabkin) (2011)
  • The Dead Woman (with William Rabkin and David McAfee) (2011)
  • The Blood Mesa (with William Rabkin and James Reasoner) (2011)
  • Kill Them All (with William Rabkin and Harry Shannon) (2011)
  • Beast Within (with William Rabkin and James Daniels) (2011)
  • Fire & Ice (with William Rabkin and Jude Hardin) (2012)
  • Carnival of Death (with William Rabkin and Bill Crider) (2012)
  • Freaks Must Die (with William Rabkin and Joel Goldman) (2012)
  • Slaves to Evil (with William Rabkin and Lisa Klink) (2012)
  • The Midnight Special (with William Rabkin and Phoef Sutton) (2012)
  • The Death Match (with William Rabkin and Christa Faust) (2012)
  • The Black Death (with William Rabkin and Aric Davis) (2012)
  • The Killing Floor (with William Rabkin and David Tully) (2012)
  • Colder Than Hell (with William Rabkin and Anthony Neil Smith) (Jan 2013)
  • Evil to Burn (with William Rabkin and Lisa Klink) (March 2013)
  • Streets of Blood (with William Rabkin and Barry Napier) (June 2013)
  • Crucible of Fire (with William Rabkin and Mel Odom) (2013)
  • The Dark Need (with William Rabkin and Stant Litore) (2013)
  • The Rising Dead (with William Rabkin and Stella Green) (2014)
  • Reborn (with William Rabkin, Kate Danley, Phoef Sutton, and Lisa Klink) (2014)

The Jury Series[edit]

  • .357 Vigilante (1985) Kindle Edition 2010 (retitled Judgment)
  • .357 Vigilante: Make Them Pay (1985) Kindle Edition 2010 (retitled Adjourned)
  • .357 Vigilante: White Wash (1985) Kindle Edition 2010 (retitled Payback)
  • .357 Vigilante: Killstorm Unpublished, released in a Kindle Edition 2010 (retitled Guilty)


  • Unsold TV Pilots (1992)
  • Unsold Television Pilots 1955–1989 (1990)
  • Television Series Revivals (1993) retitled "Television Fast Forward" in the 2010 ebook edition
  • Science Fiction Film-Making in the 1980s (1994) – co-written with William Rabkin, Randy & Jean-Marc Lofficier
  • The Dreamweavers: Fantasy Film-Making in the 1980s (1994) – co-written with William Rabkin, Randy & Jean-Marc Lofficier
  • Successful Television Writing (2003) – co-written with William Rabkin
  • Tied In- The Business, Craft, and History of Media Tie-In Writing (2010) – editor
  • The James Bond Films 1962-1989 (2022)
  • The Joy of Sets: Interviews on the sets of 1980s Genre Movies (2022)


  • The Walk (2004) Kindle Edition 2009
  • The Man with the Iron-On Badge (2005) Kindle Edition 2011 (retitled Watch Me Die)
  • Top Suspense: 13 Stories by 12 Masters of the Genre (2011) Contributor
  • Thrillers: 100 Must Reads (2010) contributor
  • Die, Lover, Die! (2011) contributor
  • McGrave (2012)
  • King City (2012)
  • Ella Clah: The Pilot Script (with William Rabkin, Aimee Thurlo & David Thurlo) (2013)
  • Hollywood vs the Author (2018) contributor
  • The Buy Back Blues (Afterword to novel by Ralph Dennis) (2019)
  • All Kinds of Ugly (Afterword to novel by Ralph Dennis) (2020)
  • Tales of a Sad, Fat Wordman (Introduction to novel by Ralph Dennis) (2020)
  • Collectibles Edited by Lawrence Block (Contributor, Short story Lost Shows) (2021)
  • Crown Vic (October 2023)
  • Calico (November 2023)
  • Eight Very Bad Nights Edited by Tod Goldberg(Contributor, Short Story, If I Were a Rich Man) (Coming, November 2024)


Year Title Role/Job # of Episodes Written/
1987–1988 Spenser For Hire Writer 3 episodes, including the unsold spin-off pilot "Play It Again, Sammy"
1988 The Highwayman Writer 1 episode, "Haunted Highway"
1988–1989 Murphy's Law Staff Writer 5 episodes, ABC TV series starring George Segal based on the "Trace" and "Digger" books by Warren Murphy
1989 Hunter Writer, Story Editor 1 episode, "On Air"
1989–1990 Baywatch Writer, Executive Story Editor 4 episodes, including the final NBC episode, entitled "The End," before the series went into first-run syndication
1990–1991 She-Wolf of London Writer, Supervising Producer 11 episodes
1991–1992 Likely Suspects Writer, Supervising Producer 5 episodes, including "Smells Like Teen Spirit," an Edgar Award Finalist for Best Teleplay
1993–1994 Cobra Writer, Supervising Producer 7 episodes
1994–1995 Diagnosis: Murder Writer 6 episodes
1995 The Cosby Mysteries Writer, Supervising Producer 2 episodes
1995 Sliders Writer 1 episodes, “Prince of Wails”
1995 Deadly Games Writer 2 episodes, "The Boss" and "The Car Mechanic"
1995 Stick With Me, Kid Writer, Supervising producer 3 episodes
1995 SeaQuest DSV Writer, Supervising producer 3 episodes
1995 The Greatest Shows You Never Saw Writer, Producer CBS TV Special, based on his book “Unsold Television Pilots”
1995–1996 Flipper Writer 2 episodes
1996–1998 Diagnosis: Murder Writer, Supervising Producer, Executive Producer 26 episodes
1999 Martial Law Writer, Executive Producer 3 episodes
2001–2002 A Nero Wolfe Mystery Writer 6 episodes, including "Prisoners Base," an Edgar Award Finalist for Best Teleplay
2002 The Nightmare Room Writer 1 episode, “My Name is Evil”
2003 She Spies Writer 1 Episode, "Crossed Out"
2003–2005 1-800-Missing aka Missing Writer / Supervising Producer 8 episodes
2003–2006 Monk Writer 3 episodes “Mr. Monk Can’t See a Thing” (based on his book Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse), “Mr. Monk Meets the Godfather,” “Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico
2004 The Best TV Shows That Never Were Writer, Executive Producer ABC TV Special, Based on his book Unsold Television Pilots
2007 Psych Writer 1 episode, “Forget Me Not”
2008 Fast Track: No Limits Writer, Executive Producer TV movie, ProSeiben Germany, M6 France, Showcase Canada
2010–2012 The Glades Writer 3 episodes
2019–2022 Mystery 101 Writer / Creator 7 movies, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series co-created with Robin Bernheim


  1. ^ "Pulp Fiction". UCLA Magazine. Retrieved 2019-09-27.
  2. ^ "Writer Lee Goldberg: 'Almost all the work comes from personal relationships' – MS in Leadership for Creative Enterprises". creative.northwestern.edu. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  3. ^ Meza, Ed (2007-05-31). "Joha steers 'Fast Track'". Variety.com. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  4. ^ "Internationales Action-Movie "Fast Track – No Limits" auf ProSieben (official ProSieben press release)" (in German). Presseportal.de. 2008-02-19. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  5. ^ "Constantin to Make Lee Goldberg's 'The Walk'". deadline.com. 2021-04-20.
  6. ^ Goldberg, Lee (2009). Amazon Listing for Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop. Obsidian. ISBN 978-0451226983.
  7. ^ "Lee Goldberg's Diagnosis Murder Website". Diagnosis-murder.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  8. ^ Solomon, Richie (2007-01-02). "A Storyteller's Journey: Lee Goldberg". Storylink.com. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  9. ^ "Lee Goldberg Signs 12-Book Deal". galleycat.com. Retrieved 2011-09-23.
  10. ^ "Amazon Launches Sci Fi/Fantasy Imprint 47North". publishersweekly.com. Retrieved 2011-10-22.
  11. ^ "Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg Ink Deal For New Series". galleycat.com. Archived from the original on 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  12. ^ "USA Today's Best-Selling Books list". USA Today.
  13. ^ "Publishers Weekly Bestseller Lists". PublishersWeekly.com.
  14. ^ Sehgal, Parul. "New York Times Bestseller list". The New York Times.
  15. ^ "New York Times Bestseller list". The New York Times.
  16. ^ Simms, Dave. "The Opposite of Jack Reacher: PW Talks with Lee Goldberg". PublishersWeekly.com.
  17. ^ "Lost Hills Finds Home at Thomas & Mercer". Publishers Weekly.
  18. ^ "Five new thrillers offer guilt-free distraction". Washington Post.
  19. ^ "Review:Lee Goldberg Scores Again with Vivid 'Movieland'". ABC News.
  20. ^ "Review:'Malibu Burning'". Publishers Weekly.
  21. ^ "Review:'Ashes Never Lie'". Publishers Weekly.
  22. ^ "'How Brothers Lee and Tod Goldberg Turned Crime Fiction into a Family Business'". Orange County Register.
  23. ^ "Review:'Calico'". Kirkus Reviews.
  24. ^ a b "Western Writers of America Announce 2024 Spur Awards". Western Writers of America.
  25. ^ Reid, Calvin (September 3, 2014). "Two Novelists Launch Brash Books". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2015-02-03.
  26. ^ Cowsert, Derek (September 19, 2014). "Kansas City-based Brash Books gives life to old mysteries". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on 2014-09-21. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  27. ^ "RALPH DENNIS: THE LOST 'HARDMAN' CLASSICS – On Rescuing a Classic Crime Series from Paperback Obscurity". crimereads.com. 12 February 2019.
  28. ^ Dennis, Ralph (August 2018). "Atlanta Deathwatch Review". Publishers Weekly.
  29. ^ "'Nice Guys' director worked his way up from two other nice gigs". inquirer.com.
  30. ^ "The War Heist". Mystery Scene magazine.
  31. ^ "Brash Books Releases Lost Hardman Novel". Publishers Weekly magazine.
  32. ^ "Richard Himmel's Pulp Noir Books Are Back In Print". Chicago Tribune. 20 January 2021.
  33. ^ "The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers". Iamtw.org. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  34. ^ "Agoura Book Program Taps Lee Goldberg as 2021 Featured Author". The Acorn Newspaper. 22 July 2021. Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  35. ^ "Evanovich.com".

External links[edit]