Bill Pronzini (born April 13, 1943) is an American writer of detective fiction. He is also an active anthologist, having compiled more than 100 collections, most of which focus on mystery, western, and science fiction short stories.
He published his first novel, The Stalker, in 1971. However, his best known works are the Nameless Detective series, which he began in 1971. As of April, 2009, there are more than 35 books in the series, as well as a number of short stories. Over the life of the series, Nameless has gracefully grown and matured as an “everyman” character, aging along with his creator and audience. While the stories involve the usual range of crimes typical to mysteries, they depict relatively little violence. Pronzini’s style is more character driven than plot driven, giving his stories insights, depth, and durability atypical for the mystery field. Because Nameless develops over the run of the series, it's most effective to read them in sequence.
His books have been translated into nearly twenty languages, and have been published in more than thirty countries.
William John Pronzini was born in Petaluma, California. He has been married three times. The first marriage was to Laura Patricia Adolphson, (1965 to 1967; divorce); the second was to Brunhilde Schier, July 28, 1972 (separated December 1985; divorce a couple years later). He married Marcia Muller (also a mystery writer) in 1992. They have collaborated on three novels: Beyond the Grave (1986), The Lighthouse, (1987); and Double (1984), a Nameless Detective novel, as well as on numerous anthologies.
In 1987 he won The Eye, the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by The Private Eye Writers of America. It is a more exclusive version of their Shamus Award. He has been nominated three times by the Mystery Writers of America for an Edgar Award, and received their Grand Master designation in May 2008.
Bill Pronzini has written so many novels, and compiled so many anthologies, that a complete listing is difficult to achieve. The following is a list of his best-known fiction.
Nameless Detective novels
See Nameless Detective for complete list
William Hart Davis (joint work with collaborator Jeffrey Wallmann) (one novel, Charlie Chan in The Pawns of Death)
Jack Foxx (four novels, Dead Run, Freebooty, The Jade Figurine, Wildfire)
William Jeffrey (joint works with collaborator Jeffrey Wallmann) (three novels, Border Fever, Day of the Moon, Duel at Gold Buttes)
Alex Saxon (one novel, A Run in Diamonds)
Twenty-three collections, mainly mystery.
with Barry N. Malzberg: four science fiction collections.
with Martin H. Greenberg: fifty-six collections, mainly mystery and western.
with Marcia Muller: twenty collections, mainly mystery, suspense, and western.
More than three hundred, appearing in Argosy, generally considered the first American pulp magazine; Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine; The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction; Alfred Hitchcock's Anthology; The 1890s Western detective short stories Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services (1998) regarding Sabina Carpenter, a Pinkerton detective widow, working in her fallen husband's profession.