Paul D. Marks

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Paul D. Marks is an American novelist and short story writer. His novel White Heat, a mystery-thriller set during the Rodney King riots of 1992, won the first Shamus Award for Independent Private Eye Novel from the Private Eye Writers of America.[1]

His story "Ghosts of Bunker Hill" (EQMM December 2016) was voted #1 in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine’s 2016 Readers Choice Award[2] and was nominated for a Macavity Award[3] for Best Short Story. "Bunker Hill Blues" (EQMM September/October 2017) came in #6 in the 2018 Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine's poll.[4] "Howling at the Moon" (EQMM November 2014) was short-listed for both the 2015 Anthony Award[5] and Macavity Award[6] for Best Short Story, and came in #7 in Ellery Queen’s Reader’s Choice Award.[7] Marks’ story “Windward” from the Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea anthology has been selected for the 2018 Best American Mystery Stories[8] (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), edited by Louise Penny & Otto Penzler. Due fall, 2018. "Windward" also won the 2018 Macavity Award for Best Short Story[9] and was short-listed for the 2018 Shamus Award[10] for Best Short Story and was a 2018 Derringer finalist in the Best Novelette category.[11] And Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, which was co-edited by Marks and Andrew McAleer, was nominated for a 2018 Anthony Best Anthology award.[12]

His fiction has been recognized by the SouthWest Writers,[13] Lorian Hemingway International Short Story Competition,[14] Futures Fire to Fly, Southern Writers Association, Deadly Ink Short Story Competition, Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction.

His short fiction has been published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Akashic’s Noir series (St. Louis), Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Crimestalker Casebook and more. He is co-editor of the Coast to Coast: Sea to Shining Sea mystery anthologies from Down & Out Books.

According to Steven Bingen, co-author of MGM: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot, Marks is also the last person to have shot a film on the MGM backlot. “That 40 page chronological list I mentioned of films shot at the studio ends with his [Paul D. Marks’] name on it.”[15]

He has served on the boards of the Los Angeles chapters of Sisters in Crime and the Mystery Writers of America.


A native of Los Angeles, much of Marks’ writing is inspired by the city’s history and culture. Los Angeles and Southern California is often as much a “character” in his work as the human characters. Novelist and Anthony Award finalist, S.W. Lauden has said of Marks’ work: “…[it’s] almost as if the region was one of the main characters.”[16]

His stories often deal with the changing nature of the city and the displacement it causes people. His characters are frequently people who time has passed by or who no longer fit in today’s society.

Marks’ first novel, the Shamus-Award winning White Heat, takes place during the Rodney King Riots and deals with race and racism in the context of a mystery-thriller. Vortex, his second full length work, is also set in Los Angeles and updates the noir theme of a soldier returning home from war feeling alienated. Both are heavily influenced by the Los Angeles region and vibe. His Ellery Queen Reader's Choice Award-winning short story, Ghosts of Bunker Hill, is set in the Angelino Heights community of old Victorian houses and LA’s downtown Bunker Hill neighborhood, and was inspired by his explorations of the area before it was torn down for redevelopment.

Though mostly known for mystery novels, crime and noir fiction, he writes in a variety of genres, including mainstream and literary. Terminal Island, the story of Japanese immigrants in a fishing community off the coast of Los Angeles and their interaction with a new white neighbor during World War II was published in Weber: The Contemporary West.[17]

Marks’ influences include Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, David Goodis, Dorothy B. Hughes, John Fante, Ross Macdonald, Walter Mosley, James Ellroy and even artist Edward Hopper. He’s also been influenced by film noir, Los Angeles history, including the Hollywood “dream factories,” and various styles of music.

He studied short story writing under T.C. Boyle, at USC. Marks' non-fiction articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Daily News, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and American Premiere magazine. He was also a contributing editor to The Hollywood Gazette.

Marks blogs on a periodic basis at: and


P.I. Duke Rogers Series[edit]

  • White Heat, Marks’ Shamus Award-winning novel, White Heat, is being reissued in May, 2018 by Down & Out Books.
  • Broken Windows, the sequel to White Heat, due in the fall of 2018 by Down & Out Books.


  • Coast to Coast Anthologies:
  • Coast to Coast: Murder from Sea to Shining Sea, co-edited with Andrew McAleer and includes the Shamus Award-nominated story The Dead Detective by Robert Levinson
  • Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, also co-edited with Andrew McAleer and includes the Agatha Award-nominated story A Necessary Ingredient by Art Taylor


  • Vortex
  • L.A. Late @ Night: 5 Noir & Mystery Tales from the Dark Streets of Los Angeles


  1. ^ Lynch, Jeremy. "2013 Shamus Award Winners". Crimespree Magazine. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Readers Awards About". Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Macavity Awards 2017". Stop Your Killing Me!. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  4. ^ Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (May/June 2018). Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Announcing 2015's Anthony Award Nominees!". Criminal Element. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Macavity Awards Nominees 2015". Mystery Fanfare. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  7. ^ "2014 Readers Award". Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (May 2015).
  8. ^ Kern, Ian. "Best American Mystery Stories 2018". The Mysterious Bookshop. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  9. ^ Mystery Readers International Retrieved September 2018. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Retrieved 28 May 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ The Short Mystery Fiction Society Retrieved 15 April May 2018. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Bouchercon 2018 Retrieved 28 May 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "2005 Winners". SouthWest Writers. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition 2010 Contest Winners Announced". Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  15. ^ "More Stars Than There Are in Heaven - MGM: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot - Part I". Cafe Noir. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  16. ^ Lauden, S.W. "Interrogation: Paul D. Marks". S.W. Lauden. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  17. ^ "Weber: The Contemporary West" (PDF). Weber State University.

External links[edit]