LAWRENCE BLOCK

 

 

 

Lawrence Block was born in Buffalo NY in 1938.  He became a professional writer in 1958 and over the past 55 years has written dozens of books under his own name and countless pseudonyms. Along the way he has been given four Anthony awards, twelve Shamus Awards, and ten Edgar Awards including the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Each of his enormously popular series has its fans: hardboiled private eye Matthew Scudder, gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, sleepless spy Evan Tanner, stamp collecting hit man Keller, etc.

 

Twenty years ago I did a Lawrence Block checklist for my mail order customers. In those pre-internet days there were very few cover images shown on that list. Now, twenty years later, I can show you the updated list with all the covers scanned, plus new information about the books from the best possible source: Lawrence Block.

 

For many years Mr. Block did not care to talk much about his earlier efforts written under pen names, but in recent years he has really opened up and verified many of those titles. Best of all, he has begun putting out e-book versions of many of those books. For example, he recently brought all of the formerly-difficult-to-find John Warren Wells books out in new e-books.

 

 

 

And there are now Lawrence Block e-books that were originally credited to Sheldon Lord and Andrew Shaw as well. Those e-books are available – and recommended – on all the popular e-book sites such as Amazon etc.

 

 

Lawrence Block fans (like me) are kept up to date on this prolific author’s doings through his informative newsletters and from his highly recommended website:

 

http://lawrenceblock.wordpress.com/

 

The movies have not yet done justice to Lawrence Block’s storytelling skills, but Block fans hope that will all change next year with the release of a new film version of A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES. It’s a great story, and Liam Neeson looks like good casting in the role of Matthew Scudder. The film version is being written and directed by Scott Frank, who did such a memorable job adapting Elmore Leonard’s GET SHORTY and OUT OF SIGHT.  So we are optimistic.

 

In addition to the books shown here, Lawrence Block also wrote the screenplay for the Wong Kar Wai film MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS. Unfortunately the published screenplay is only available in a Chinese-language edition.

 

 

 

The checklist that follows focuses on Block’s paperback originals. He wrote a remarkable collection of books under various names including his own over the first 20 years of his writing career. And his high standard of excellence has continued as a bestselling “hardcover firsts” writer, with most of his books from the past 30+ years appearing under his own name. As Ed McBain said about Block: “Even at the outset of his career, when he was turning out books at a furious pace, he managed to bring elegance and taste to even minor assignments, particularly with a knowing, wry take on the relationships and interactions between his characters…. Not only is he one of the premier crime novelists of our time…. He is also one of our most accomplished short story writers.”

 

 

The others come and go, but Lawrence Block endures over the decades. At his best he is a dazzling, brilliant writer, capturing his readers again and again with each new book. This checklist, dedicated to Larry, spotlights the diverse and superb breadth of his talent. 

 

Thanks to Lawrence Block, Ed & Jeannie Kaufman, Tom Lesser, Robert Speray, Attila Gyenis, Tony Jacobs at Sideshow Books, Mark Goodman at Green Lion Books, Ron Blum at Kayo Books, Chris Eckhoff, Grant Thiessen at bookit enterprises, Don Z. Block and Tim Friesen at Pandora’s Books Ltd..

 

All of the books shown here are for sale. Inquire for prices.

 

 

NOT listed on this checklist: Large print library editions, foreign language editions, signed limited editions, audio books, e-books, etc.

 

LAWRENCE BLOCK: THE PAPERBACKS

 

1. WRITING AS LESLEY EVANS

STRANGE ARE THE WAYS OF LOVE – Crest s336, 1959. Author’s first book. Cover by Barye Phillips.

 

 

 

 

 

2. WRITING AS SHELDON LORD

CARLA – Midwood 8, 1958. Cover art by Paul Rader. Author’s second book, but published before STRANGE ARE THE WAYS OF LOVE.

 

 

Lawrence Block created the Sheldon Lord pen name and used it for books and magazine stories. Several other writers, including Peter Hochstein, Hal Dresner and Milo Perichitch, used the pseudonym Sheldon Lord. Only the Lord titles confirmed by Lawrence Block are shown here. 

 

A STRANGE KIND OF LOVE – Midwood 9, 1959. Cover art by Rudy Nappi.

2nd printing: Midwood 33-885, 1967. Cover by Paul Rader.

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BORN TO BE BAD – Midwood 14, 1959. Cover by Paul Rader.

 

 

Below: 2nd printing: as PUTA – Midwood 165, 1962.

 

3rd printing: Midwood 33-852, 1967.


 

69 BARROW STREET – Midwood 24, 1959. Cover by Rader. Reprinted as Midwood F103 in 1961.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below:

3rd printing: Midwood 33-857, 1967. New Rader cover.

 

 

Hard Case Double HCC-069 – as by Lawrence Block writing as Sheldon Lord. 1st hardcover edition, Subterranean Press, 2012. Cover by Robert McGinnis. With STRANGE EMBRACE (shown below under Ben Christopher.)

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OF SHAME AND JOY – Midwood 29, 1960. Cover by Rader. Reprinted as Midwood F121 in 1961.

A WOMAN MUST LOVE – Midwood 33, 1960. Cover by Rader.

 

KEPT – Midwood 35, 1960. Cover by Rader.

CANDY – Midwood 40, 1960. Cover by Charles Frace’.

A GIRL CALLED HONEY by Sheldon Lord and Alan Marshall (Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake) – Midwood 41, 1960. Cover by Rader. Dedication: “to Don Westlake and Larry Block, who introduced us”.

 

Collected in the 2010 anthology HELLCATS AND HONEYGIRLS.

SO WILLING – with Donald E. Westlake as Alan Marshall – Midwood 48, 1960.

               

Collected in the 2010 anthology HELLCATS AND HONEYGIRLS.

 

21 GAY STREET – Midwood 55, 1960. Cover by Rader. Reprinted as Midwood Y-159 in 1962.

3rd printing: as Midwood 33-854, 1967. New Rader cover.

 

 

PADS ARE FOR PASSION – Beacon B387, 1961.

As A DIET OF TREACLE by Lawrence Block – Hard Case Crime HCC-039, 2008. Cover by Chuck Pyle.

 

 

 

COMMUNITY OF WOMEN – Beacon B446F, 1961.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below: 3rd printing: Beacon B725X, 1964.

 

UK PB: Softcover Library S66, 1969. Photo cover.

 

 

APRIL NORTH – Beacon B456F, 1961.

Cover by Al Rossi. Reprint, Beacon B801X, 1965, says “Third Big Printing” on cover.

UK PB: Softcover Library 161, 1971. Photo cover.

 

THE SEX SHUFFLE – Beacon B757X, 1964. Dedicated to Jill.

 

 

Lawrence Block told me this is his final novel as Sheldon Lord. There are later Sheldon Lord titles, but they were written by other writers.

2nd printing: Softcover Library S75168, 1970.

 

UK PB: as LOVE IS FOR LATER – Softcover Library 135, 1970. Photo cover.

As LUCKY AT CARDS by Lawrence Block – Hard Case Crime HCC-028, 2007. Cover by Chick Pyle.

3. WRITING AS ANDREW SHAW

 

CAMPUS TRAMP – Nightstand NB 1505, 1959. Cover by McCauley.

 

Lawrence Block was the first of several writers who wrote as Andrew Shaw. He created the pen name and used it until he left the Scott Meredith Literary Agency at the end of 1962. During that period he enlisted ghost writers such as William Coons and Peter Hochstein to write some of the Andrew Shaw novels. This checklist identifies only the Shaw novels by Lawrence Block. After 1963, Andrew Shaw became a house name used by Gary Blumberg and other writers.

 

Below: Reed Nightstand 3005, 1973.

 

As by Lawrence Block writing as Andrew Shaw, Creeping Hemlock Press, 2010.

 

 

THE ADULTERERS – Nightstand NB 1511, 1960. Cover by McCauley.

 

 

The early Andrew Shaw books are chock full of in-jokes, references to Block’s college days at Antioch (known as “Clifton College” in CAMPUS TRAMP and later Shaw titles), a fictional joke title: A SOUND OF DISTANT DRUMS, and name checks of Block’s friends and fellow writers like Donald E. Westlake and Hal Dresner.

Reed Nightstand 3011, 1973.  Cover artist Robert Bonfils updates the original McCauley cover painting.

 

 

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL SEX CLUB – Nightstand NB 1517, 1960.

 

Says Andrew Shaw on the cover but John Dexter on the title page, which would have made this the second book credited to John Dexter. See also WRITING AS JOHN DEXTER.

 

The Shaw checklist has always been nebulous. The very nature of the ghostwriting makes identification of each author difficult. Great strides have been made of late, but we are still unsure on a few “maybe/maybe not” titles. We do Block was Shaw for three years, from the end of 1959 to the end of 1962. Book dealers selling you 1966 Shaws as “by Lawrence Block” are most likely mistaken.

As THE CORRUPTED – Reed Nightstand 3017, 1973. Cover by Robert Bonfils.

 

THE SIN-DAMNED – Nightstand NB 1520, 1960.

As THE SWITCHERS – Reed Nightstand 3020, 1973.

 

All of the Reed Nightstands have been “updated” for 70’s audiences by an unknown editor.

 

THE WIFE-SWAPPERS – Nightstand NB 1526, 1960.

Reed Nightstand 3039, 1973.

 

 

 

 

SEXPOT! – Nightstand NB 1531, 1960.

As BAD GIRL, Reed Nightstand 3050, 1973.

 

 

 

COLLEGE FOR SINNERS – Nightstand NB 1534, 1960.

 

Includes a reference to “Lord & Marshall” on page 112.

As THE LIBERTINES, Reed Nightstand 3026, 1973.

 

 

PASSION IN PAINT – Midnight Reader MR 402, 1961.

As THE LOVELOST – Reed Nightstand 4022, 1974.

 

 

 

 

TRAMP – Nightstand NB 1541, 1961.

 

Reed Nightstand 3036, 1973.

 

 

 

 

 

THE TWISTED ONES – Nightstand NB 1543, 1961.

 

Includes a reference to a book called STRANGE ARE THE WAYS OF LOVE by Lesley Evans.

 

As THE UNASHAMED – Reed Nightstand 3033, 1973.

 

 

 

 

 

 

$20 LUST – Nightstand NB 1546, 1961.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below:

As CINDERELLA SIMS – Reed Nightstand 3034, 1973.

 

As CINDERELLA SIMS by Lawrence Block – 1st hardcover edition, Subterranean Press, 2003.

 

 

 

GIRLS ON THE PROWL – Nightstand NB 1548, 1961.

 

 

Two of the characters here are anagrams of the author: Cornwall Becke and Lance Brecklow.

As THE WANTONS – Reed Nightstand 3031, 1973.

 

 

 

 

LOVER – Nightstand 1551, 1961.

 

Block’s e-book title is GIGOLO JOHNNY WELLS.

 

 

Reed Nightstand 3045, 1973.

 

 

 

 

TRAILER TROLLOP – Nightstand NB 1553, 1961.

 

 

Eighteen years later, Lawrence Block mentioned this book on page 28 of WRITING THE NOVEL.

 

As FOUR WILD GIRLS – Reed Nightstand 3047, 1973.

 

 

 

 

GUTTER GIRL – Bedside 1224, 1962.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(For many years we had LUST CAMPUS, Midnight Reader MR 408, on the Block list here. Recently Mr. Block confirmed that one was written by his ghost writer, Peter Hochstein.)

 

 

 

 

 

SLUM SINNERS – Midnight Reader MR 409, 1962.

 

A sequel of sorts to GIRLS ON THE PROWL. One character is a writer whose name is an anagram: Karl R. Colby.

 

 

 

 

As PITY THE DAMNED – Reed Nightstand 4037, 1974. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CROSSROADS OF LUST – Midnight Reader MR 427, 1962.

 

 

A violent crime thriller about an armored truck robbery that turns bloody. The book NO LONGER A VIRGIN by John Dexter is recommended. Like $20 LUST, this is one of the Shaws that could have been a Gold Medal by Lawrence Block. We hope to see this reprinted soon under the author’s real name.

 

 

 

 

FLESH PARADE – Midnight Reader MR 431, 1962.

 

The book BORDER LUST by Don Holliday is recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FLESH MOB – Midnight Reader MR 462, 1962.

 

A Clifton College novel. One character is reading THE TWISTED ONES.

 

 

SIN HELLCAT – Nightstand NB 1599, 1962. Collaboration with Donald E. Westlake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below:

As A PIECE OF THE ACTION – Reed Nightstand 4049, 1974.

 

 

Collected in HELLCATS AND HONEYGIRLS by Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake – 1st hardcover ed, Subterranean Press, 2010. With A GIRL CALLED HONEY and SO WILLING.

 

 

BUTCH – Nightstand NB 1604, 1962.

 

 

A reference here to THE LESBIAN by Dr. Benjamin Morse.

 

LUST WEEKEND – Nightstand NB 1614, 1962.

 

 

A reference to “a book called THE LESBIAN by a doctor named Morse.”

 

 

 

 

THE SADIST – Nightstand NB 1629, 1962. Cover by Robert Bonfils.

 

 

 

SINTIME – Nightstand NB 1635, 1962.

 

This was on the “maybe” list, but Block collector Don Z. Block tells me Lawrence Block signed his copy of SINTIME at last year’s New York Paperback Show.

 

 SIN BUM – Midnight Reader MR 472, 1963.

 

On the road again with Ted Travis. After his college dean in Ohio tells him it would be best not to come back in the fall, Ted spends a summer on the road, becoming a stag movie actor, a traveling pimp, a door-to-door salesman and more before falling in love with sweet Jennie and settling down in a rustic cabin in Vermont.  

 

 

Although many titles have now been confirmed as “by Lawrence Block” on the Andrew Shaw checklist, there are still some 1962 & ’63 Shaws yet to be verified. After Block left the Scott Meredith agency, he lost track of the Andrew Shaw books that continued to come out once a month, many of them by other writers.  As a result, a “complete” Block as Shaw list appears impossible..

 

 


 

 

 

4. WRITING AS B.L. LAWRENCE

 

This pen name was used only in mystery digests when the editor had more than story by Lawrence Block. The second story would then by bylined B.L. Lawrence. Examples include GUILY Nov 1958 and TRAPPED Apr 1959. Both of these stories were later collected in the Lawrence Block anthology ONE NIGHT STANDS.

Scans courtesy of The Fiction Mags Index at www.philsp.com

 

 

 

5. WRITING AS WILLIAM ARD

 

BABE IN THE WOODS – Monarch 172, 1960.

 

When Scott Meredith client William Ard grew gravely ill, Meredith assigned some of his young Nightstand writers to fulfill Ard’s contracts. “Lou Largo” was a series of mystery originals for Monarch Books. John Jakes wrote a couple of them, and Lawrence Block wrote BABE IN THE WOODS. William Ard died in 1960.

 

6. WRITING AS LIZ CROWLEY

I SELL LOVE – Monarch MB 508, 1960.