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Dick Lochte Books In Order

Publication Order of Leo Bloodworth And Serendipity Dahlquist Books

Sleeping Dog (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Laughing Dog (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rappin' Dog (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Diamond Dog (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Billy Blessing Series (with Al Roker) Books

The Morning Show Murders (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Midnight Show Murders (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Talk Show Murders (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Blue Bayou (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Neon Smile (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Trials of Nikki Hill (with Christopher Darden) (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
L.A. Justice (with Christopher Darden) (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Last Defense (with Christopher Darden) (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lawless (with Christopher Darden) (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Croaked! (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blues in the Night (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Lucky Dog and Other Tales of Murder (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


If you’re a die-hard crime fiction buff who was reading the genre around the mid-1980s, you will most likely immediately think of Sleeping Dog by Dick Lochte and the timelessly quirky characters Leo and Serendipity who burst onto the scene and won the hearts and laughs of millions of readers. But you might be surprised to know that Sleeping Dog was in fact a debut novel.

Lochte started grown up life as a journalist for some of America’s major newspapers, but at the age of 41 in 1985 he bit the bullet and decided to publish a novel. This was, indeed the fabulous Sleeping Dog, which was greeted with considerably warm critical responses, as well as an award. And its success and the fun he had in writing it gave him to realize there was something more to being a full time novel writer. He hasn’t stopped since.

Born in 1944, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Lochte was first educated on a primary and secondary level under a Jesuit schooling system and it was in this context that he realized he could use the written word to make his dreams reality in more ways than just one. When he was only 11, he won an important award for a very strange little story that he concocted about a 14th century prankster. It was based on the narrative behind a piece of music composed by Richard Strauss. The success was important not only for the adolescent Lochte’s ego. It also saw his photograph published in the newspaper and two important dies in his life were then cast: his love for the printed word and the thrill of being in press, and his propensity to write with a bold sense of narrative and a clear and often irreverent hard-boiled sense of humour.

This realization and his obvious talent and hunger to succeed pointed the way for him through a journalism degree at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he got to publish his first tentative sketch of a crime story in a university magazine. After graduating, he started off a journalism career as the writer responsible for the succinct one-liners describing television shows in the county’s TV Guide. Not such a great job, but certainly a start and a means to get his proverbial foot in the door of arts writing, he subsequently moved to Chicago where his day job was writing features for Playboy magazine – a publication known not only for its sexually provocative photographs, but also its intensely well-crafted and potently written articles – and at the same time, he moonlighted for important forward-thinking publications such as The Chicago Tribune, the Sun Times and the Daily News.

Success followed success for Lochte. By the time he was in his early 40s, he was freelancing on a regular basis for a range of national newspapers and had a regular column in the Los Angeles Times. Also he was quickly earning a reputation as a screenplay writer, book reviewer and theatre critic. It was then that he decided to revisit a spark that had been kindled when he was an adolescent and had encountered his first real private investigator novel by Raymond Chandler, by chance in the house of a friend. This Chandler novel overnight turned the young Lochte into an ardent fan of the crime literature genre, as a reader.

So it was that in 1985 Lochte’s debut novel, Sleeping Dog, saw light of day. It won him the prestigious Nero Wolfe Award, saw itself named the New York Times book of the year, a finalist in the Edgar, Shamus and Athony awards respectively, and more than that, it was unequivocally named by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association as one of the 100 all time favorite mysteries of the century. Quite a start for the tentative career of a novelist.

Believing that essentially the success of crime writing is premised on the confrontation between good and evil, Lochte has described in an interview that this kind of writing is understood and appreciated by its readership on a guttural emotional and psychological level, rather than an intellectual one. But this doesn’t on any level mean that it need be any less well crafted.

Featuring what can best be described as one of modern fiction’s oddest but most fascinating couples, Lochte’s Sleeping Dog gave life to Leo Bloodworth a tough, no-nonsense, hard-drinking middle aged Los Angeles private investigator who suffers from high blood pressure and a low tolerance for teenagers and who thinks he has seen it all. Bloodworth meets 14-year-old Serendipity Dahlquist, a quirky young lass who is confident and sharp, and like most teenagers, armed with her rollerskates and her bubblegum, believes that she is impervious to most things. Together they form an unexpected and initially unwilling team, wily and confrontational, genuinely witty and wise. One thing leads to another and eventually Leo and Serendipity find themselves in the ignominious situation of confronting the scary amorphous monster of organized crime in Mexico.

Leo and Serendipity’s friendship plays out over several of Lochte’s subsequent novels, including Laughing Dog, Rappin’ Dog and Diamond Dog, but he decided to curtail it from growing into a longer series as he didn’t want the characters to have to age as it would compromise the freshness of their friendship.

These days, occasionally co-writing with attorney Christopher Darden and entertainer Al Roker, Lochte continues to be a prolific writer of both novels and novellas that are published in print and in electronic form. A fan of the music of lyricist Johnny Mercer, the Dick Tracy cartoons and pulp crime fiction dating back to the 1930s and 1940s Lochte lives with his wife and son in Southern California where he comments that he enjoys the weather and occasionally the earthquakes, too.

Professionally, he has served as president of the Private Eye Writers of America and of the American Crime Writers League. He’s also a well known name in critics’ circles and writers’ associations across the country. Lochte has found the digital transition of literature to be phenomenally important not only for the publishing and marketing of his own work but also for the popular literature industry in particular. He feels that it has developed new readers and that it represents the future for readers. Lochte’s work is all available on kindle.

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