Search - List of Books by John Ball
John Dudley Ball (July 8, 1911 — October 15, 1988), writing as John Ball, was an American writer best known for mystery novels involving the African-American police detective Virgil Tibbs. He was introduced in the 1965 In the Heat of the Night where he solves a murder in a racist Southern small town. It won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America and was made into an Oscar-winning film of the same name starring Sidney Poitier; the film had two sequels, and spawned a television series several decades later, none of which were based on Ball's later Tibbs stories.
Total Books: 134
Ball was born in Schenectady, New York, grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and attended Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He wrote for a number of magazines and newspapers, including the Brooklyn Eagle. For a time he worked part-time as a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy, was trained in martial arts, and was a nudist. In the mid 1980s, he was the book review columnist for Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine. Ball lived in Encino, California, and died there in 1988.
Ball's Last Plane Out consists of two stories which share characters and then meld together. The first involves a group of travelers in a troubled Third World country, waiting for the last plane out, which they hope will carry them to safety. The second story is shared by an aviation buff who is given his chance to increase his flying skills by the airline that has been built by the pilot Captain of the first story. They meet when an important character in the first story by chance recognizes the quality of our buff during a plane crash and introduces him to the original pilot Captain.