Michael Avallone Analysis


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Michael Avallone produced more than 150 novels and a host of short stories within the first three decades of his writing career. Many of his works were published as drugstore-rack flashy-cover paperbacks with provocative titles such as Never Love a Call Girl (1962), Sex Kitten (1962), and And Sex Walked In (1963). His best work, however, is crime fiction. Although he wrote many volumes under pseudonyms and many of them are gothics, it was his famous Ed Noon series of crime novels that captured fans of mystery fiction. He brought stories of crime detection down to the level of high school dropouts, with fast-moving plots, lusty women, and fistfights. Where Agatha Christie might carefully plant clues to the murder of a single country gentleman or woman, Avallone spiced up his chapters with murders, suicides, and gun battles that left a slew of corpses to be accounted for. Smarter than the cops he often works with, Ed Noon solves his jigsaw puzzle at the end of each novel in a flurry of heart-stopping action.


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Adrian, Kelly. “Mike Avallone: One of the Un-Angry Young Men.” The Mystery Readers/Lovers Newsletter 1 (June, 1968): 3-5. Brief profile of the author and his work, focused on his calm and professional demeanor.

Benvenuti, Stefano, and Gianni Rizzoni. The Whodunit: An Informal History of Detective Fiction. Translated by Anthony Eyre. New York: Macmillan, 1980. Originally published in Italian, this study of the genre places Avallone’s work in its historical context.

Haycraft, Howard, ed. The Art of the Mystery Story: A Collection of Critical Essays. Reprint. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1983. Massive compendium of essays exploring all aspects of the mystery writer’s craft. Provides context for understanding Avallone’s work.

Mertz, Stephen. “Rapping with Mike: A Michael Avallone Appreciation, Interview, and Checklist,” in The Not So Private Eye 8 (1980): 2-9. Discussion of Avallone’s contributions to detective fiction followed by an interview with the author and a bibliography of his works.

Pepper, Andrew. The Contemporary American Crime Novel: Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Class. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000. Overview of twentieth century American crime fiction focusing on the representation of social identity and its importance to the development of the genre. Sheds light on Avallone’s novels. Bibliographic references and index.