Charles Willeford Books In Order

Hoke Moseley Books In Publication Order

  1. Miami Blues (1984)
  2. New Hope for the Dead (1985)
  3. Sideswipe (1987)
  4. The Way We Die Now (1988)

Canongate Crime Classics Books In Publication Order

  1. The Difference (1999)

Standalone Novels In Publication Order

  1. High Priest of California (1953)
  2. Pick-Up (1955)
  3. Wild Wives (1956)
  4. The Black Mass of Brother Springer / Honey Gal (1958)
  5. Made in Miami / Lust Is A Woman (1958)
  6. The Woman Chaser (1960)
  7. Deliver Me from Dallas! / The Whip Hand (1961)
  8. Co*ckfighter (1962)
  9. No Experience Necessary (1962)
  10. The Burnt Orange Heresy (1971)
  11. Kiss Your Ass Good-Bye (1987)
  12. The Shark-Infested Custard (1993)
  13. Understudy for Death (2018)

Collections In Publication Order

  1. The Machine in Ward Eleven (1963)
  2. Poontang and Other Poems (1967)
  3. The Second Half Of The Double Feature (2003)

Plays In Publication Order

  1. The Ordainment of Brother Springer (2009)

Short Stories/Novellas In Publication Order

  1. The Old Man at the Bridge (2009)
  2. Strange (2011)
  3. Sentences (2013)

Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order

  1. Off the Wall (1980)
  2. Something About a Soldier (1986)
  3. New Forms Of Ugly (1987)
  4. I Was Looking for a Street (1988)
  5. Collected Memoirs of Charles Willeford (1999)
  6. Writing & Other Blood Sports (2000)

Anthologies In Publication Order

  1. Miami Noir (2020)

Hoke Moseley Book Covers

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Charles Willeford Books Overview

Miami Blues

After a brutal day investigating a quadruple homicide, Detective Hoke Moseley settles into his room at the un illustrious El Dorado Hotel and nurses a glass of brandy. With his guard down, he doesn t think twice when he hears a knock on the door. The next day, he finds himself in the hospital, badly bruised and with his jaw wired shut. He thinks back over ten years of cases wondering who would want to beat him into unconsciousness, steal his gun and badge, and most importantly, make off with his prized dentures. But the pieces never quite add up to revenge, and the few clues he has keep connecting to a dimwitted hooker, and her ex con boyfriend and the bizarre murder of a Hare Krishna pimp.

Chronically depressed, constantly strapped for money, always willing to bend the rules a bit, Hoke Moseley is hardly what you think of as the perfect cop, but he is one of the the greatest detective creations of all time.

New Hope for the Dead

Miami homicide detective Hoke Moseley is called to a posh Miami neighborhood to investigate a lethal overdose. There he meets the alluring stepmother of the decedant, and begins to wonder about dating a witness. Meanwile, he has been threatened with suspension by his ambitious new chief unless he leaves his beloved, if squalid, suite at the El Dorado Hotel, and moves downtown. With free housing hard to come by, Hoke is desperate to find a new place to live. His difficulties are only amplified by an assignment to re investigate fifty unsolved murders, the unexpected arrival of his two teenage daughters, and a partner struggling with an unwanted pregnancy. With few options and even fewer dollars, he decides that the suspicious and beautiful stepmother of the dead junkie might be a compromised solution to all of his problems. Packed with atmosphere and humor, New Hope for the Dead is a classic murder mystery by one of the true masters of the genre. Now back in print, Charles Willeford’s tour de force is an irresistible invitation to become acquainted with one of the greatest detective characters of all time. From the Trade Paperback edition.


Florida homicide detective Hoke Moseley’s life suddenly went to bell one morning. His ex wife had married a big time pro ballplayer. His two teenage daughters moved in. And his lieutenant had dumped ever? unsolved murder in Miami on him. So Hoke decided to bail out stretch out on Singer Island, give up police work, and watch the ocean roll. But trouble wasn’t going to let Hoke get away. Not a stone’s throw from his laid back new life, a slick, handsome psychopath was planning his next armed robbery. The heist would suck a curmudgeon retiree into a life of crime, blast a half dozen people, off the planet, and leave nary a clue behind. It was a case right up Hoke’s alley: weird enough to catch his attention, personal enough to make him mad, and twisted enough to make Hoke forget he didn’t want to be a cop…
a good guy in a world gone very, very bad.

The Way We Die Now

When Miami Homicide Detective Hoke Moseley receives an unexplained order to let his beard grow, he doesn’t think much about it. He has too much going on at home, especially with a man he helped convict ten years before moving in across the street. Hoke immediately assumes the worst, and considering he has his former partner, who happens to be nursing a newborn, and his two teenage daughters living with him, he doesn’t like the situation on bit. It doesn’t help matters when he is suddenly assigned to work undercover, miles away, outside of his jurisdiction and without his badge, his gun, or his teeth. Soon, he is impersonating a drifter and tring to infiltrate a farm operation suspected of murdering migrant workers. But when he gets there for his job interview, the last thing he is offered is work.

In this final installment of the highly acclaimed Hoke Moseley novels, Charles Willeford’s brilliance and expertise show on every page. Equally funny, thrilling, and disturbing, The Way We Die Now is a triumphant finish to one of the most original detective series of all time.

High Priest of California

hard boiled pulp fiction author of MIAMI BLUES


In Pick Up, Charles Willeford has created a work of psychological suspense that is at once poignant, terrifying, and utterly authentic in its depcition of alcoholic desire and destruction.

Wild Wives

Jake Blake is a private detective short on cash when he meets a rich and beautiful young woman looking to escape her father’s smothering influence. Unfortunately for Jake, the smothering influence includes two thugs hired to protect her and the woman is in fact not the daughter of the man she wants to escape, but his wife. Now Jake has two angry thugs and one jealous husband on his case. As Jake becomes more deeply involved with this glamorous and possibly crazy woman, he becomes entangled in a web of deceit, intrigue and multiple murders. Brilliant, sardonic, and full of surprises, Wild Wives is one wild ride.

The Black Mass of Brother Springer / Honey Gal

The Washington Post calls this darkly humorous novel by Charles Willeford, one of the great crime writers of the 20th century, ‘his masterpiece.’

This new edition includes a new introduction by James Sallis, and the previously unpublished play version of the novel THE ORDAINMENT OF BROTHER SPRINGER.

Made in Miami / Lust Is A Woman

Art student Ralph Tone is working in Miami as a bellboy. He meets Hollywood hopeful Maria Duigan and falls head over heels for the ambitious beauty. As Ralph fuels his obsession by booze, pills, and lack of sleep, they both quickly become entangled with sleazy po*rnographer Donald McKay. Charles Willeford’s MADE IN MIAMI was originally released to the unsuspecting mas*ses in 1958 under the title LUST IS A WOMAN by a publisher incapable of spelling the author’s name correctly on the cover. Written in white heat by ‘the unlikely father of Miami crime fiction’ Atlantic Monthly to match the requirements of the market, the book remains a textbook example of lurid 1950s pulp fiction. It was also a springboard to the author’s later masterpieces MIAMI BLUES and SIDESWIPE.

The Woman Chaser

Richard Hudson, woman chaser and used car salesman, possesses a pimp’s understanding of the ways in which women and men are most vulnerable. One day Richard decides to make an ambitious film, which turns into a fiasco. Enraged, he exacts revenge on all who have crossed him. ‘No one writes a better crime novel than Charles Willeford.’ Elmore Leonard


A former professional boxer, actor, horse trainer and radio announcer, Charles Willeford 1919 1988 is best known for his Miami based crime novels featuring hard boiled detective Hoke Moseley, including Miami Blues and Sideswipe. His career as a writer began in the late 1940s, but it was his 1972 novel Co*ckfighter that announced his name to a wider audience. Of that book, Harry Crews said, ‘Charles Willeford renders the sport with such knowledge and attention to detail that…
I had the almost inexpressible impression of being on my knees again beside the great fighting pits of the southern circuit.’ Considered to be Willeford’s masterpiece, Co*ckfighter is a brutal and beautiful fiction of the American South, loosely modeled, according to the author, on Homer’s Odyssey. Frank Mansfield is the titular Co*ckfighter: a silent and fiercely contrary man whose obsession with winning will cost him almost everything. Mansfield haunts the cockpits, bars and roads of the rural South in the early 1960s, adrift but always capable of nearly anything. First published in complete form in 1972, and adapted by Willeford for a Monte Hellman film in 1974 which became infamous for its use of real animals in the fight scenes, the novel Co*ckfighter has been out of print for nearly 20 years. Co*ckfighter is issued here with an introduction by Jesse Pearson and is the second volume in PictureBox’s ongoing Charles Willeford reissue series.

The Burnt Orange Heresy

A new paperback edition of the neo noir novel book critics have called Willeford’s best. Fast talking, backstabbing, womanizing art critic Jacques Figueras will do anything blackmail, burglary, fencing, assassination to further his career. Crossing the art world with the underworld, Willeford expands his noir palette to include hues of sunny Florida and weird tints of Surrealism when Figueras takes a job for an art collector who doesn’t care how his art is collected, even if it involves murder.

Kiss Your Ass Good-Bye

Audio CD, Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio

The Shark-Infested Custard

From the master of Miami noir comes this tale of four regular guys living in a singles apartment building who experience firsthand that there’s more than one type of heat in Miami.

Larry Dolman is a rather literal minded ex cop who now works private security. Eddie Miller is an airline pilot who’s studying to get his real estate license. Don Luchessi is a silver salesman who’s separated from his wife but too Catholic to get a divorce. Hank Norton is a drug company rep who gets four times as many dames as any of the other guys. They are all regular guys who like to drink, play cards, meet broads, and shoot a little pool. But when a friendly bet goes horribly awry, they find themselves with two dead bodies on their hands and a homicidal husband in the wings and acting more like hardened criminals than upstanding citizens.

Understudy for Death

Audio CD, Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio

The Machine in Ward Eleven

This reissue of Willeford’s 1963 pulp classic is a timely reminder that madness is truly the dark heart of politics. Written at a time when people still had faith in their elected leaders, Willeford’s book laid bare the American dream. There is an almost Chekhovian wistfulness in the treatment of his stories, which belies their considerable and still relevant impact. ‘The most eloquently brainy and exacting pulp fiction ever fabricated!’ Village Voice

The Second Half Of The Double Feature

The widest ranging collection of Willeford’s short fiction, with 25 stories including several recently unearthed works that have never been published before.

The hardcover edition contains all of the trade edition, and adds Willeford’s complete published poetry and nearly 50 previously unpublished poems.

Something About a Soldier

Audio CD, Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio

Writing & Other Blood Sports

Audio CD, Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio

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