Although I’ve yet to hold a copy in my hands myself, Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller have theirs, and so it’s safe to say that it’s ready for purchase. Ordering information at the bottom of this page.

   Originally published in hardcover by Arbor House in 1986, 1001 Midnights by Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller, one of the finest reference texts ever published in the field of mystery fiction, quickly went out of print, but it has been in high demand in the used book market ever since.

1001 Midnights

   Here’s the blurb on the dust jacket of the original edition, including the list of names on the back cover:

   1001 Midnights is the essential reference – and reading – book for all aficionados of mystery, detective, and suspense fiction. It is comprised of 1001 plot summaries, author biographies, and critical evaluations of classic and important crime and espionage novels, as well as short story collections seminal to the genre. It is an indispensable volume of information and criticism.

   Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller, well known for their mystery novels and anthologies, bring their inside, practitioners’ knowledge of the form as well as their enthusiasm as fans to these trenchant and engaging summaries, biographies, and critical judgments. Other experts in the field, most notably Francis M. Nevins, also contribute entries on authors in their areas of expertise.

   All the major writers are represented, from Edgar Allan Poe to Elmore Leonard. Their careers and works are described, analyzed, and assessed – sometimes to surprising, irreverent, and unorthodox conclusions. Some highly touted practitioners of the mystery genre have their critical reputations debunked, while others currently out of favor are extolled.

   But in addition to the famous names there are numerous obscure writers, and 1001 Midnights is unique and rich as a result of their inclusion. Jim Thompson, Leigh Brackett, Thomas B. Dewey, William Campbell Gault, Helen Reilly, and dozens of others are all resurrected from undeserved obscurity and restored to their rightful place in the crime literature pantheon. In the process, the reader is apprised of great writers he or she may not have heard of but who are well worth seeking out.

   Whether you prefer hardboiled or classic, Golden Age or contemporary, pure detection or action/adventure, espionage or private eye, 1001 Midnights will afford hundreds of hours of reading pleasure. It is a book to refer to again and again for its practical information, facts, and bibliographies; its memory-jogging plot summaries; its enlightening critical insights; and its gold mine of newly unearthed crime literature treasures. 1001 Midnights is essential to the library of every mystery buff.

   Some of the mystery and suspense writers whose careers and works are included in 1001 Midnights:

Margery Allingham
Eric Ambler
John Franklin Bardin
Earl Der Biggers
Robert Bloch
Lawrence Block
Fredric Brown
James M. Cain
Paul Cain
John Dickson Carr
Raymond Chandler
G .K. Chesterton
Agatha Christie
Mary Higgins Clark
Wilkie Collins
K.C. Constantine
George Harmon Coxe
John Creasey
Carroll John Daly
Len Deighton
Thomas B. Dewey
Arthur Conan Doyle
Daphne DuMaurier
Ken Follett
Frederick Forsyth
Dick Francis
R. Austin Freeman
Jacques Futrelle
Erie Stanley Gardner
William Campbell Gault
Graham Greene
Frank Gruber
Dashiell Hammett
George V. Higgins
Patricia Highsmith
Tonv Hillerman
Evan Hunter
William Irish
P. D. James
M. M. Kaye
Emma Lathen
Jonathan Latimer
John Le Carré
Elmore Leonard
Gaston Leroux
Robert Ludlum
Ed McBain
Horace McCoy
John D. MacDonald
Philip MacDonald
Ross Macdonald
Gregory Mcdonald
William P. McGivern
Charlotte Macleod
Ngaio Marsh
Margaret Millar
A. A. Milne
Frederick Nebel
E. Phillips Oppenheim
Baroness Orczy
Robert B. Parker
Gerald Petievich
Edgar Allan Poe
Melville Davisson Post
Ellery Queen
Ruth Rendell
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Sax Rohmer
Lawrence Sanders
Dorothy L. Sayers
Georges Simenon
Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö
Mickey Spillane
Richard Stark
Rex Stout
Julian Symons
Ross Thomas
Jim Thompson
Dorothy Uhnak
S. S. Van Dine
Robert Van Gulik
Edgar Wallace
Thomas Walsh
Joseph Wambaugh.
Donald E. Westlake
Raoul Whitfield
Phyllis A. Whitney
Cornell Woolrich

   And many many others, as they always say.

1001 Midnights

   Published by George Vanderburgh and his Battered Silicon Dispatch Box press, the book is a softcover, folio size, 8-1/2 x 11, with 471 pages. The list price is $45.00. ISBN: 978-1-55246-750-3

   The book does not appear on George’s website, but his contact information is there. Otherwise your local specialty mystery bookshop should be able to order it for you.

   Highly recommended!