James Sallis Books In Order

Lew Griffin Books In Publication Order

  1. The Long-Legged Fly (1992)
  2. Moth (1993)
  3. Black Hornet (1994)
  4. Eye of the Cricket (1997)
  5. Bluebottle (1999)
  6. Ghost of a Flea (2001)

Turner Books In Publication Order

  1. Cypress Grove (2003)
  2. Cripple Creek (2006)
  3. Salt River (2007)

Drive Books In Publication Order

  1. Drive (2005)
  2. Driven (2012)

Standalone Novels In Publication Order

  1. Renderings (1995)
  2. Death Will Have Your Eyes (1997)
  3. The Killer Is Dying (2011)
  4. Others of My Kind (2013)
  5. Willnot (2016)
  6. Sarah Jane (2019)

Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order

  1. The Guitar Players: One Instrument and Its Masters in American Music (1982)
  2. The Guitar in Jazz: An Anthology (1996)
  3. Ash of Stars (1996)
  4. Difficult Lives (2000)
  5. Gently into the Land of the Meateaters (2000)
  6. Chester Himes: A Life (2000)
  7. Difficult Lives Hitching Rides (2018)

Collections In Publication Order

  1. Sorrow’s Kitchen Poems (2000)
  2. Time’s Hammers: The Collected Short Fiction of James Sallis (2000)
  3. A City Equal to My Desire (2000)
  4. Limits of the Sensible World (2003)
  5. Potato Tree (2006)
  6. Rain’s Eagerness (2013)
  7. Black Night’s Gonna Catch Me Here (2015)
  8. Night’s Pardons (2016)
  9. Dayenu and Other Stories (2021)

Dark Delicacies Books In Publication Order

  1. Dark Delicacies: Original Tales of Terror and the Macabre by the World’s Greatest Horror Writers (2005)
  2. Dark Delicacies II: Fear (2007)
  3. Dark Delicacies III: Haunted (2009)

Anthologies In Publication Order

  1. Whispers (1977)
  2. Breaking Windows (2003)
  3. Books to Die For (2012)
  4. Borderland Noir (2015)
  5. The Highway Kind (2016)
  6. The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction September/October 2017 (2017)

Lew Griffin Book Covers

Turner Book Covers

Drive Book Covers

Standalone Novels Book Covers

Non-Fiction Book Covers

Collections Book Covers

Dark Delicacies Book Covers

Anthologies Book Covers

James Sallis Books Overview

The Long-Legged Fly

Take a little James Lee Burke, a touch of Ross Macdonald, and a dash of Raymond Chandler, the conventions of the classic American detective story and the fine, thoughtful writing of an original new talent and you still don’t quite have The Long Legged Fly. This is a smart, tough novel teeming with life and always on the verge of igniting from its own energy. In steamy modern day New Orleans, black private detective Lew Griffin has once again taken on a seemingly hopeless missing persons case. The trail takes him through the underbelly of the French Quarter with its bar girls, pimps, and tourist attractions. As his search leads to one violent dead end, and then another, Griffin is confronted with the prospect that his own life has come to resemble those he is attempting to find; he is becoming as lost as the frail identities he tries to recover. Waking in a hospital after an alcoholic binge, Griffin finds another chance in a nurse who comes to love him, but again he reverts to his old life in the mean streets among the predators and their prey. When his son vanishes, Griffin searches back through the tangles and tatters of his life, knowing that he must solve his personal mysteries before he can venture after the whereabouts of others. The Long Legged Fly is exciting, visceral entertainment that takes the reader into a corner of society where life is fought for as much as it is lived. James Sallis has written a compelling novel that succeeds both as detective fiction and worthy literature.


Lew Griffin has quit the detective business and withdrawn to the safety of his old home in New Orleans’ Garden District, where he copes with his past by transforming it into fiction. Following the death of a close friend, he returns to the streets not only the urban ones he has conquered but also those of the rural South that he escaped long ago to search for the runaway daughter he didn’t know that his friend had. Griffin discovers that we rarely know anyone, even those closest to us. And he now finds that he must also face two things he most fears: memories of his parents and his own relationship with his now vanished son.

Moth is expansive, bursting with marvelous scenes and unforgettable characters, filled at once with the matter of fact violence of daily life and with redeeming human compassion.

Black Hornet

A sniper appears in 1960s New Orleans, a sun baked city of Black Panthers and other separatists. Five people have been fatally shot. When the sixth victim is killed, Lew Griffin is standing beside her. He’s black and she’s white, and though they are virtual strangers, it is left to Griffin to avenge her death, or at least to try and make some sense of it. His unlikely allies include a crusading black journalist, a longtime supplier of mercenary arms and troops, and bail bondsman Frankie DeNoux.
Yet it is the character of Lew Griffin that takes center stage, as in each of Sallis’s highly praised books. He is by now, well on the way to becoming what he will be; violent, kind, contradictory, alcoholic. Both na ve and wise, he is a man cursed by unspeakable demons. Nonetheless, he is seemingly encircled by redemptive angels, awaiting an opening.

Eye of the Cricket

Lew Griffin is a survivor, a black man in New Orleans, a detective, a teacher, a writer. Having spent years finding others, he has lost his son…
and himself in the process. Now a derelict has appeared in a New Orleans hospital claiming to be Lewis Griffin and displaying a copy of one of Lew’s novels. It is the beginning of a quest that will take Griffin into his own past while he tries to deal in the present with a search for three missing young men.
/Content /EditorialReview EditorialReview Source Amazon. com Review /Source Content His fourth book in the Lew Griffin series proves once again that James Sallis is one of the most death defying writers working in the mystery genre. Readers who have the persistence to untangle a twisted time line and go with the peculiar flow of Sallis’s unique prose will find many rewards. Griffin, a New Orleans based, 50 ish African American novelist, teacher, and occasional detective, dots his twisting tale with dozens of references to the act of writing, plus verbal samplings of everyone from James Joyce to Emily Dickinson. Griffin is obsessed with searches for missing children: a 15 year old boy named Delany who has dropped into a dangerous world of drugs; the somewhat older son of Griffin’s best friend, who also seems determined to destroy himself; and David, Griffin’s own, long gone son. Looking for a connection to David, Griffin abandons his hard won sobriety and sets out on a drunken quest through some of New Orleans’s seediest sectors. There’s not much mystery in this long section, but it leads to an ending that will have you on the edge of your seat. Previous books in the Griffin series available in paperback include Black Hornet and Moth.


As Lew Griffin leaves a New Orleans music club with an older white woman he’s just met, someone fires a shot and Lew goes down. When he comes fully to, Griffin discovers that most of a year has gone by since that night. What happened? Who was the woman? Which of them was the target? Who was the sniper? There are too many pieces missing, too few facts, and a powerful need to know why a year has been stolen from his life. Weaving Griffin’s search for identity one of the recurring themes in this magnificent series of novels with a sensuous portrait of the people and places the define New Orleans, Sallis continues not only to unravel Griffin’s past but to map his future and our own. Somewhere in the Crescent City and in the white supremacist movement crawling through it there’s an answer to the questions left by the shot that echoed through the night. But to get it, Griffin is going to have to work with the only people offering help, people he knows he should avoid: allies if he can trust them, and worse trouble for him if he can’t. Bluebottle continues the mysterious journey begun in Sallis’s The Long Legged Fly and continues, too, to show the growth and mastery of one of America’s finest crime fiction stylists.

Ghost of a Flea

The mystery of Lew Griffin is revealed in the concluding novel of an honored series. In his old house in uptown New Orleans, Lew Griffin is alone…
or almost. His relationship with Deborah is falling apart, his son, David, has disappeared again, leaving a note that sounds final. His friend Don Walsh, who is leaving the police department, is shot interrupting a robbery. And Lew is directionless: he hasn’t written anything in years; he no longer teaches…
there’s nothing to fill his days. Even the attempt to discover the source of threatening letters to a friend leaves him feeling rootless and lost.

Through five previous novels, James Sallis has enthralled and challenged readers as he has told the story of Lew Griffin, private detective, teacher, writer, poet, and a black man moving through time in a white man’s world. And now Lew Griffin stands alone in a dark room, looking out. Behind him on the bed is a body. Wind pecks at the window. Traffic sounds drift aimlessly in. He thinks if he doesn’t speak, doesn’t think about what happened, somehow things will be all right again. He thinks about his own life, about the other’s, about how the two of them came to be here…

In a story as much about identity as it is about crime, Sallis has held a mirror up to society and culture, while at the same time setting Lew Griffin the task of discovering who he is. As the detective stands in that dark room, the answers begin to come clear and the highly acclaimed series builds to a brilliantly constructed climax that will resonate in readers’ minds long after the story is finished.

Cypress Grove

As he has shown so often in previous novels, James Sallis is one of our great stylists and storytellers, whose deep interest in human nature is expressed in the powerful stories of men too often at odds with themselves as well as the world around them. His new novel, Cypress Grove, continues in that highly praised tradition.

The small town where Turner has moved is one of America’s lost places, halfway between Memphis and forever. That makes it a perfect hideaway: a place where a man can bury the past and escape the pain of human contact, where you are left alone unless you want company, where conversation only happens when there’s something to say, where you can sit and watch an owl fly silently across the face of the moon. And where Turner hopes to forget that he has been a cop, a psychotherapist, and, always, an ex con.

There is no major crime to speak of until Sheriff Lonnie Bates arrives on Turner’s porch with a bottle of Wild Turkey and a problem: The body of a drifter has been found brutally and ritualistically murdered and Bates and his deputy need help from someone with big city experience who appreciates the delicacy of investigating people in a small town. Thrust back into the middle of what he left behind, Turner slowly becomes reacquainted not only with the darkness he had fled, but with the unsuspected kindness of others.

Brilliantly balancing Turner’s past and present lives, Cypress Grove is lyrical, moving, and filled with the sense of place and character that only our finest writers can achieve. It is proof positive that the acclaim James Sallis has enjoyed for years is richly deserved.

Cripple Creek

As this tale opens, Turner, ex cop, ex con, and ex psychotherapist, remains on the lam in rural Cypress Grove, Tennessee, escaping the demons of past lives in Memphis, but he is starting to mend. There’s a developing relationship with Val Bjorn, teacher and country musician; there’s the appearance of his daughter from Seattle; and there’s the fact that he has come out of hibernation to accept the job as deputy sheriff of Cypress Grove. Then his boss, the kindly sheriff, is assaulted by a gang of mobbed up toughs in the act of breaking one of their own out of the small town jail. Turner pursues the thugs to Memphis, confronting his past and giving vent to his suppressed blood lust. Every action prompts a reaction, however, and soon the thugs return to Cypress Grove looking for some blood of their own. Sallis tells the violent tale quietly, effectively using jump cuts, flashbacks, and flashforwards to generate both suspense and, simultaneously, a sense of inevitability.

Salt River

The poignant and surprising new thriller by one of America’s most acclaimed writers.

Few American writers create more memorable landscapes both natural and interior than James Sallis. His highly praised Lew Griffin novels evoked classic New Orleans and the convoluted inner space of his black private detective. More recently in Cypress Grove and Cripple Creek he has conjured a small town somewhere near Memphis, where John Turner ex policeman, ex con, war veteran and former therapist has come to escape his past. But the past proved inescapable; thrust into the role of Deputy Sheriff, Turner finds himself at the center of his new community, one that, like so many others, is drying up, disappearing before his eyes.
As Salt River begins, two years have passed since Turner s amour, Val Bjorn, was shot as they sat together on the porch of his cabin. Sometimes you just have to see how much music you can make with what you have left, Val had told him, a mantra for picking up the pieces around her death, not sure how much he or the town has left. Then the sheriff s long lost son comes plowing down Main Street into City Hall in what appears to be a stolen car. And waiting at Turner s cabin is his good friend, Eldon Brown, Val s banjo on the back of his motorcycle so that it looks as though he has two heads. They think I killed someone, he says. Turner asks: Did you? And Eldon responds: I don t know. Haunted by his own ghosts, Turner nonetheless goes in search of a truth he s not sure he can live with.
James Sallis has been called by critics one of the best writers in America. It s a crime that a writer this good isn t better known, wrote David Montgomery in the Chicago Tribune, while Marilyn Stasio in the New York Times Book Review called his Turner books a superior series a keeper. Salt River will take his reputation even higher and reach the wider audience he so richly deserves.


This is the Audiobook Cassette Library Edition in vinyl case. ”Much later, as he sat with his back against an inside wall of a Motel 6 just north of Phoenix, watching the pool of blood lap toward him, Driver would wonder whether he had made a terrible mistake. Later still, of course, there’d be no doubt. But for now Driver is, as they say, in the moment. And the moment includes this blood lapping toward him, the pressure of dawn’s late light at windows and door, traffic sounds from the interstate nearby, the sound of someone weeping in the next room…
” Thus begins Drive, the story of a man who works as a stunt Driver by day and a getaway Driver by night. He Drives, that’s all until he’s double crossed. Powerful and stylistically brilliant, Drive has been hailed by critics as the ”perfect piece of noir fiction” New York Times Book Review and an instant classic…
and now a major motion picture starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Bryan Cranston. The film won the Award for Best Director at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.


A man travels alone to an island. There he reflects on his life as an artist – a writer – and the women he has loved. Soon the reader realizes that this man is on the edge of sanity and his review of his life is his attempt to retain what he can of sanity and meaning. ‘Renderings‘ is a novel written so tightly that no air escapes and no impurity seeps in.

Death Will Have Your Eyes

Haunting & visceral, this is a novel about spying but about much more its agents spy into that enigma known as the human condition. James Sallis investigates the cynical, violent, sophisticated world of modern espionage with authority & originality. David as he’s currently known was a member of an elite corps of spies trained during the coldest days of the Cold War. But those days are long gone & for almost a decade he has been out of the rat race & working as a sculptor. Then a phone call in the middle of the night awakens him: the only other survivor from that elite corps has gone rogue. They need David to stop him!

The Guitar in Jazz: An Anthology

The Guitar in Jazz presents in rich, entertaining detail the history and development of the guitar as a jazz instrument. In a series of essays by some of jazz’s leading historians and critics, the volume traces the impressive evolution of jazz guitar playing, from the pioneering styles of Nick Lucas and Eddie Lang through the recent innovations of such contemporary masters as Jim Hall and Ralph Towner. Editor James Sallis has included essays that focus on individual guitarists, including Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, and JoePass. Other chapters vividly describe important jazz guitar styles, such as swing guitar and fingerstyle guitar. In all, The Guitar in Jazz provides a full and captivating portrait of the guitar s place in jazz. The book also offers insights into the larger history of jazz its development, the social contexts in which the music came into being, and its eventual recognition as ‘the American classical music.’ The essays will appeal to guitar players and enthusiasts, and to all jazz lovers.

Gently into the Land of the Meateaters

In ‘Gently into the Land of the Meateaters‘, James Sallis gives the reader an intimate view of his concerns drawing meaning from tragedy, providing solace to the weak and vulnerable, gathering truth from love and their sources. This volume will appeal to all Sallis fans.

Sorrow’s Kitchen Poems

Slightly surrealistic, meditative, elegiac, this collection of poetry from author James Sallis is concerned with aging, relationships, loss, and love. It is poetry written and read late at night and in the early morning hours, when, sleepless, we think about life and what went wrong. Sallis is a noir genre mystery writer and the feeling of that genre is evident here despair that is occasionally surprised by joy. For these poems are not dark and depressing, despite the subject matter; they are suffused with happiness, with the celebration of everyday events. They are the reflections of an author in full command of the language, who fully recognizes life’s triumphs as well as life’s losses.

Time’s Hammers: The Collected Short Fiction of James Sallis

This book is a collection of the short fiction of James Sallis, best known for his crime novels set in New Orleans.

A City Equal to My Desire

From crimes of heart and crimes of violence, A City Equal to My Desire effortlessly guides you through the narrows of human existence in all its forms. In this selection of new stories, James Sallis, author of the acclaimed Lew Griffin series of detective novels, both entertains and engages the mind with stories that will linger in memory long after they’ve been experienced. ‘Sallis wants to take your experience of the world, mutate it to the edge of recognition, and then deliver it back before your eyes like a coin pulled from behind your earlobe. And in this way, he makes you see and feel, all over again, the meaning, the beauty and, pointedly sometimes, the horror of being human.’ Jack O’Connell from his introduction

Potato Tree

Best known for his Lew Griffin mystery series, his authoritative biography of Chester Himes, and myriad other writings over the past 40 years, James Sallis’ Potato Tree is a series of dramatic and surrealistic short stories. Vivid imagery and heart wrenching emotions seep into Sallis’ complex characters throughout the 41 stories in this unique and vibrant collection.

Dark Delicacies: Original Tales of Terror and the Macabre by the World’s Greatest Horror Writers

In a truly distinguished collection of twenty superb, sublimely dark tales written especially for this volume, such acknowledged contemporary masters of horror fiction as Clive Barker, Ray Bradbury, Ramsey Campbell, Nancy Holder, Richard Laymon, Brian Lumley, Joe Lansdale, Whitley Streiber, F. Paul Wilson, and Chelsea Quinn Yarboro serve up a veritable feast of fear. For the first time ever, Dark Delicacies, the world’s foremost horror bookstore, lends its famous name and imprimatur to an anthology designed to please the palate of the genre s most discriminating fans. Throughout, the editors Del Howison co owner of Dark Delicacies and leading horror anthologist Jeff Gelb present perfectly crafted, freshly original horror fiction fare that is as terrifying as it is chillingly delicious.

Dark Delicacies II: Fear

In a second distinguished collection of twenty superb, sublimely dark tales written especially for this volume, such acknowledged contemporary masters of horror fiction as Barbara Hambly, John Farris, James Sallis, Steve Niles, Tananarive Due, L. A. Banks, and Gary Brandner serve up a veritable feast of fear. For the second time, Dark Delicacies, the world’s foremost horror bookstore, lends its famous name and imprimatur to an anthology designed to please the palate of the genre’s most discriminating fans. Throughout, the editors Del Howison co owner of Dark Delicacies and leading horror anthologist Jeff Gelb present perfectly crafted, freshly original horror fiction fare that is as terrifying as it is chillingly delicious.

Dark Delicacies III: Haunted

A stellar cast of horror writers comprise this third entry in the Dark Delicacies anthology series. These twenty one short works will examine and lay bare all the ways in which we are haunted both literally and figuratively. With a new novella from David Morrell and a short story Chuck Palahniuk is writing as a teaching class on his blog, interest in this anthology will prove that the third time is no trick and all treat! Includes contributions from: Kevin J. Anderson Clive Barker Michael Boatman Heather Graham Richard Christian Matheson David Morrell Chuck Palahniuk Victor Salva And many more!

Breaking Windows

Edited by Luis Rodrigues, Breaking Windows features a well balanced presentation of stories, interviews, and essays from the avant garde Fantastic Metropolis website. Featuring a stunning cover by Hawk Alfredson, Breaking Windows includes such contributors as Michael Moorcock, Jeff VanderMeer, China Mieville, Carol Emshwiller, Andrew S. Fuller, Zoran Zivkovic, Dan Pearlman, John Dodds, Rhys Hughes, Jeffrey Ford, Colin Brush, Barrington Bayley, Rachel Pollack, Aleksandar Gatalica, Nathan Ballingrud, Luis Filipe Silva, Joao Barreiros, L. Timmel Duchamp, James Sallis, Andrew Hedgecock, Jeff Topham, and Paul Witcover.

Related Authors

Leave a Comment