Joe Gores (born Joseph Nicholas Gores on December 25, 1931 in Rochester, Minnesota, USA) is an American mystery writer, known best for his novels and short stories set in San Francisco featuring the fictional "Dan Kearny and Associates" (the "DKA Files") a thinly-veiled private investigation firm fronting as a repo agency. He is also known for his novels Hammett (1975) (made into the film, Hammett (1982)), Spade & Archer: The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon (2009), and his Edgar Award winning or nominated works, such as A Time of Predators, 32 Cadillacs and Come Morning.
Gores is a three-time Edgar Award winner, and only one of two authors (the other being Donald Westlake) to receive the Edgar Awards in three separate categories: Best First Novel (for A Time of Predators (1969) - a story set in the San Francisco Bay Area about a Stanford professor who re-learns his military commando skills to go after a gang of juvenile thugs who raped his wife), Best Short Story ("Goodbye, Pops" (Dec. 1969) (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine), and Best TV Series Segment (for a TV episode of Kojak he had written, "No Immunity for Murder" - Airdate Nov. 23, 1975). Gores has also won the Maltese Falcon Award (Japan's highest award in the mystery field), and was elected to the Mystery Writers of America. His novels 32 Cadillacs and Come Morning were also nominated for Best Novel Edgars. Interestingly enough, Gores and Donald Westlake wrote a chapter in each of their own respective books - Westlake's Drowned Hopes and Gores' 32 Cadillacs - having their characters being influenced by the same event. Gores has also written teleplays and screenplays for popular mystery-related shows including: Kojak, Magnum, P.I., Remington Steele, Columbo, T. J. Hooker, and Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer.
Gores currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a longtime resident. He obtained a degree in English Literature from Notre Dame University and received a Masters degree, also in English Literature, from Stanford University in 1961. Gores has also worked for twelve years as a real private investigator and as a repo man in San Francisco, among other stints as a truck driver, logger, assistant motel manager and an English teacher at a boy's school in Kenya. According to thrillingdetective.com: "He has often relied on his former occupations, particularly his stint as a private eye, to lend an air of authenticity to his work, blasting through the 'glamour' of detective work, [and] showing the drudgery and grunt work of detection."