Ross Thomas Books In Order

Arthur Case Wu Books In Publication Order

  1. Chinaman’s Chance (1978)
  2. Out on the Rim (1987)
  3. Voodoo, Ltd. (1992)

Mac McCorkle Books In Publication Order

  1. The Cold War Swap (1966)
  2. Cast a Yellow Shadow (1967)
  3. The Backup Men (1971)
  4. Twilight at Mac’s Place (1990)

Philip St. Ives Books In Publication Order

  1. The Brass Go-Between (1969)
  2. The Procane Chronicle / The Thief Who Painted Sunlight (1971)
  3. Protocol for a Kidnapping (1971)
  4. The Highbinders (1973)
  5. No Questions Asked (1976)

Standalone Novels In Publication Order

  1. The Seersucker Whipsaw (1967)
  2. The Singapore Wink (1969)
  3. The Fools in Town Are On Our Side (1970)
  4. The Porkchoppers (1972)
  5. If You Can’t Be Good (1973)
  6. Yellow-Dog Contract (1976)
  7. The Eighth Dwarf (1979)
  8. The Mordida Man (1981)
  9. Missionary Stew (1983)
  10. Briarpatch (1984)
  11. The Fourth Durango (1989)
  12. The Money Harvest (1993)
  13. Ah, Treachery! (1994)

Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order

  1. Warriors for the Poor: The Story of VISTA, Volunteers In Service to America (With: William H. Crook) (1969)
  2. Spies, Thumbsuckers, Etc. (1989)

Arthur Case Wu Book Covers

Mac McCorkle Book Covers

Philip St. Ives Book Covers

Standalone Novels Book Covers

Non-Fiction Book Covers

Ross Thomas Books Overview

Chinaman’s Chance

‘It was while jogging along the beach just east of the Paradise Cove pier that Artie Wu tripped over a dead pelican, fell, and met the man with six greyhounds.’ from Chinaman’s ChanceThus begins what may be the most popular of Ross Thomas’s unique stories. The combination of Wu, pretender to the Imperial throne of China, and Quincy Durant, who has his own colorful past, makes for a heady experience. After starting with the deceased pelican on a California beach, the plot mixes in the disappearance of a large sum of money that should have been buried in Vietnam, and the search for the missing member of a trio of singing sisters from the Ozarks. Only Thomas could have stirred this concoction with the style, humor, and suspense that captures the reader at the very beginning and doesn’t let go until the last word.

Out on the Rim

Would you be wary if someone gave you the assignment of delivering five million dollars to a Philippine terrorist never mind from whom or why? Booth Stallings, a terrorism expert just fired from his job at a bashful organization that never admitted its mount in the Washington merry go round, is wary. So wary that he cuts in con man Otherguy Overby, who in turn involves Artie Wu, pretender to the throne of China, and his partner, Quincy Durant. Obviously, good patriots don t want to hand over all that money to bad guys. Better they keep it for themselves. Which inevitably raises the question: Who among them will end up with the money?

The Cold War Swap

At the height of the Cold War, two Americans are runnng a bar in the West German capital, called Mac’s place. One of the pair, Michael Padillo, isn’t around a lot; he keeps disappearing on ‘business trips.’ McCorkle, his partner, wisely doesn’t ask questions; he knows Padillo has a second job he’s a reluctant US agent. But McCorkle is ready to answer a call for help from Padillo, and he joins his friend in a blind journey with no inkling of what they will encounter at the turn of each dark and dangerous corner.

The Backup Men

Wanda and her brother Walter hire McCorkle to help them protect an Arab prince from the most accomplished assassin in the world, but the situation becomes dicey when Walter is murdered. NYT. K.

Twilight at Mac’s Place

In Twilight at Mac’s Place, the quiet death of an aged spy triggers a desperate race to control his memoirs, which threaten to reveal Cold War secrets many would prefer stayed secrets. When the spy’s estranged son receives the then dizzying sum of $100,000 for all rights to the work, he is properly dizzied. He is also smart enough to seek the help of veteran Cold Warriors McCorkle and Padillo, owners of a D.C. bar called Mac’s Place that is both a capital landmark and a nest of intrigue.

The Brass Go-Between

Asked to deliver a quarter of a million dollars to whomever has stolen a prized African shield from a Washington museum, Philip St. Ives soon finds himself involved in a dangerous game. PW.

The Procane Chronicle / The Thief Who Painted Sunlight

Assigned to deliver the ransom money to whomever stole thief Abner Procane’s diaries, professional go between Philip St. Ives finds himself stumbling across dead bodies and cops on the make. NYT.

No Questions Asked

After losing the trail of a pair of book thieves he is tailing, Philip St. Ives flies to Miami to pay a call on the book’s owner, a rich woman with a taste for pain. NYT.

The Singapore Wink

Edward Cauthorne, an ex Hollywood stunt man and used car salesman whose career had been cut short by the Mafia with a mishap that killed his partner, is given the opportunity to receive $25,000 if he can find his partner alive, in a twisted tale of murder and blackmail. Reissue.

The Fools in Town Are On Our Side

‘Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?’ Mark TwainRoss Thomas chose the quotation from Huckleberry Finn as the text of his post World War II story as well as for the title. When Lucifer Dye is released from three months in a Hong Kong prison, debriefed, handed a false passport, a new wardrobe and a $20,000 check, his haughty control makes it clear that Dye’s career with his country has been permanently terminated. But a good agent is always in demand, and just a few hours later Dye is being interviewed for a highly ingenious position. Victor Orcutt, although a not very good imitation of a British pre war gent, has creative talents of his own. He has his sights a small southern city, with the ordinary run of the mill corruption one would expect in such a place. The canny Orcott knows there’s no profit in that . His creed is ‘To get better, it must be much worse.’ He and his two associates have looked up Dye’s history, and he now offers the ex spy’s a mission. For two and a half times the government’s bounty, Dye is to thoroughly corrupt the town. And the sly Dye takes the offer.

If You Can’t Be Good

In a world where everyone has an angle, a grudge, or a scam, would be historian and muckraker Deek Lewis attempts to find out who set a young woman on fire. NYT.

Missionary Stew

Missionary Stew follows political fundraiser Draper Haere on a quest to uncover the secret behind a right wing coup in an unnamed Central american country. Haere seeks the information in order to get dirt on his boss’s opponent in the 1984 US Presidential election. Haere’s pursuit of the truth repeatedly puts Haere’s life in danger, as the powers that be stop at nothing to keep the episode buried. Along the way, Haere carries on an affair with the wife of his candidate and enlists the aid of Morgan Citron, an almost Pullitzer winning journalist who has recently been released from an African prison where the prisoners where fed human flesh the titular Missionary Stew. Together Citron and Haere face up against cocaine traffickers, Latin American generals, corrupt US officials, and Citron’s estranged, tabloid publisher mother.


A long distance call from a Texas city on his birthday gives Benjamin Dill the news that his sister it’s her birthday, too, they were born exactly ten years apart has died in a car bomb explosion. It s the chief of police calling Felicity Dill worked for him; she was a homicide detective. Dill is there that night, the beginning of his dogged search for her killer. What he finds is no surprise to him, because Benjamin Dill is never surprised at what awful things people will do but it s a real surprise to the reader. As Newsday said when the novel was first published, One sure thing about Ross Thomas s novels: A reader won t get bored waiting for the action to start.

The Fourth Durango

The Fourth Durango is not your ordinary Durango. It’s not in Spain, or Mexico, and it’s not a ski town in the Colorado Rockies, although Durangos do exist in all of those places. This Durango has an industry, albeit a rather odd one it is a hideout business, a place where people pay to find sanctuary from former friends and associates who are either trying to kill them, or have them killed. Into this Durango comes a former chief justice of a state supreme court, followed by son in law Kelly Vines to act as his emissary to the beautiful and savvy mayor. Following them come a false priest, and a run of murders. It takes a Ross Thomas to stir these characters into a witty and ingenious mix readers will not be able to and certainly would not want to resist.

The Money Harvest

To coincide with the paperback release of Voodoo, Ltd., here is Thomas’s classic Edgar nominated political thriller out of print for years. Investigator and ladies’ man Jake Pope is out to discover what shocking secret Crawdad Gilmore was planning to reveal before he was shot to death.

Ah, Treachery!

Ah, Treachery!, the last novel Thomas wrote before his death, tells the story of one Captain Edd ‘Twodees’ Partain, drummed out of the Army and hounded by rumors of his involvement in a secret operation in El Salvador. Twodees gets hired on to help a fundraiser for the ‘Little Rock folks’ recover funds that were stolen from an illicit stash used to smooth over problems and pay off hush money. Meanwhile, Partain is involved in a storefront operation called VOMIT Victims of Military Intelligence Treachery trying to defend former intelligence operatives such as Partain from those who are trying to cover up the past permanently.

Spies, Thumbsuckers, Etc.

Limited signed edition of 350 copies. A thumbsucker is an article written on demand for a journal, something done in a hurry for a recent story

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