Max Allan Collins (born March 3, 1948) is an American mystery writer who has been called "mystery's Renaissance man". He has written novels, screenplays, comic books, comic strips, trading cards, short stories, movie novelizations and historical fiction. He wrote the graphic novel Road to Perdition (which was developed into a film in 2002), created the comic book private eye Ms. Tree, and took over writing the Dick Tracy comic strip from creator Chester Gould and one of the Batman comic books for a time. He wrote books to expand on the Dark Angel TV series. He has also written books and comics based on the TV series franchise CSI. More recently, he has written a book, Buried Deep, based on the TV Series Bones.
He has also written two novel sequels to Road to Perdition, Road to Purgatory and Road to Paradise. In addition to these, he also wrote three more graphic novels starring the characters from Road to Perdition. These graphic novels, called collectively On the Road to Perdition, form the basis of the film.
He also co-founded the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers with Lee Goldberg. The IAMTW is an organization for writers of tie-ins and novelizations.
Collins studied in the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.
Mourn the Living (1999) (Max Allan Collins's first written novel, but not printed until 1999)
Two for the Money (omnibus reprint of the first two books Bait Money and Blood Money) (2004)
The Mallory series is about a mystery writer in Iowa that solves crimes. There are five books in this series, the best of which might be A Nice Weekend for a Murder.
The Baby Blue Rip-Off (1983)
No Cure for Death (1983)
Kill Your Darlings (1984)
A Shroud for Aquarius (1985)
Nice Weekend for a Murder (1986)
Nathan Heller series
Collins's longest running series and arguably his best known work is his Nathan Heller series. Heller is a Chicago private investigator who gets involved in famous crimes and meets famous people of the 1930s and 1940s, including Orson Welles, Frank Nitti, and Sally Rand. The first novel in this historical fiction series, True Detective, won the 1984 Shamus Award for Best P.I. Hardcover from the Private Eye Writers of America. Collins won his second Shamus in 1992 for the Heller novel Stolen Away, an account of the Lindbergh kidnapping. His 1999 novel Flying Blind sees Heller investigate the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, along the way becoming romantically involved with her. The most recent book in this series, Chicago Confidential, moved the action into the 1950s. Collins has recently announced that he has completed a new entry in the series, due out in June 2011, about Marilyn Monroe. He has begun research on a Nate Heller novel about the JFK assassination.
True Detective (November, 1983)
True Crime (December, 1984)
The Million-Dollar Wound (February, 1986)
Neon Mirage (February, 1988)
Stolen Away (May, 1991)
Dying in the Post-War World (October, 1991) - Short story collection
Carnal Hours (April, 1994)
Blood and Thunder (August, 1995) (about Huey Long's assassination)
Damned in Paradise (October, 1996)
Flying Blind (August, 1998)
Majic Man (September, 1999)
Angel in Black (March, 2001)
Kisses of Death: A Nathan Heller Casebook (June, 2001) - Short story collection
Chicago Confidential (June, 2002)
BYE, BYE, Baby (1st quarter 2011)
Eliot Ness series
This series of novels is about real life Untouchable Eliot Ness's career as Director of Public Safety in Cleveland. The best of these might be Butcher's Dozen, a fictionalized account of the investigation of the Cleveland Torso Murderer.
The Dark City (1987)
Butcher's Dozen (1988)
Bullet Proof (1989)
Murder by the Numbers (1993)
Dick Tracy series
Dick Tracy (May, 1990), film novelization
Dick Tracy and the Nightmare Machine with Dick Locher (January, 1991) - comic strip collection
Dick Tracy Goes to War (February, 1991) - novel
Dick Tracy Meets his Match (February 1992) - novel
Dick Tracy: The Collins Casefiles, Vol. 1(October, 2003) - comic strip collection
Dick Tracy: The Collins Casefiles Volume 2 (October, 2004) - comic strip collection
Dick Tracy: The Collins Casefiles Volume 3 (January, 2005)- comic strip collection
In the Line of Fire (1993)
I Love Trouble (1994)
Air Force One (1997)
U.S. Marshals (1998)
Saving Private Ryan (August, 1998)
The Mummy (May, 1999)
The Mummy Returns (2001)
The Scorpion King (2002)
Windtalkers (April, 2002)
I-Spy (October, 2002)
The Pink Panther (July, 2005).
Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (July, 2008)
I Want to Believe (July, 2008)
G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra (2009)
Road to Perdition series
(*)Note: Road to Perdition: On the Road, is a single-volume collection of On the Road to Perdition Books 1-3.
The Titanic Murders (April 1999)
The Hindenburg Murders (June 2000)
The Pearl Harbor Murders (May 2001)
The Lusitania Murders (November 2002)
The London Blitz Murders (May 2004)
The War of the World Murders (July 2005)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation novels
(**)Note: Mortal Wounds, is a trade paperback omnibus which collects Double Dealer, Sin City, and Cold Burn into a single volume.
CSI: Miami novels
Criminal Minds novels
Jack & Maggie Starr series
A Killing in Comics (May 2007) - A murder mystery set around a fictionalized version of the Superman ownership dispute
Strip for Murder (May 2008) - A fictionalized version of the Al Capp/Ham Fisher feud and Fisher's suicide
Writing as Barbara Allan: Trash & Treasure series
(writing with wife Barbara Collins as Barbara Allan)
Antiques Roadkill (August 2006)
Antiques Maul (August 2007)
Antiques Flee Market (September 2008)
Writing as Patrick Culhane
Black Hats (April 2007) - A novel featuring Wyatt Earp and Al Capone in 1920s New York
Red Sky in Morning (August 2008) - A historic mystery set in San Francisco during World War II, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In addition to his work as a writer, Collins has also written and directed four movies: Mommy, Mommy 2: Mommy's Day, Real Time: Siege at Lucas Street Market, and Eliot Ness: An Untouchable Life (based on his Edgar Award–nominated play). All four were produced independently on location in Collins' hometown of Muscatine, Iowa. The first three are available on DVD — separately or in the Black Box set — from Troma Team Video, and the Ness film is distributed by VCI Entertainment.
Collins has also written and performed music with his rock band, Crusin'.