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Alan Grofield Books In Order

Publication Order of Alan Grofield Books

The Damsel (1967) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Blackbird (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dame (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lemons Never Lie (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Alan Grofield is the main character in four books of a series of 28 novels that Donald Westlake wrote under the pen name Richard Stark. Grofield is also featured as a supporting character in some other additional four books. The character made its debut in The Score, a novel that was first published in 1964.
Grofield is a professional thief and a career criminal. Despite this tarnishing attributes, he is cute, and a charming womanizer and his main passion in life is the theatre. He has a profound disrespect for film acting and television, and despite the fact that these can be lucrative; Grofield would rather pursue other career opportunities than getting featured in a movie or television. The main reason why Grofield is a professional thief is to ensure that his summer stock company is up and running but admits that he could quit his second profession if only he could make a living with his first job but finds his second profession fulfilling.
Grofield is also featured in The Score, the fifth book in Parker Series authored by Westlake under the pseudonym Richard Stark. This is the novel in which Grofield crosses path with his future wife, Mary Deegan who is taken hostage during a heist. She is also referenced in Grofield series and also features frequently in Lemons Never Lie. Mary helps Grofield operate his theater, and also serves as his heroine lady. Grofield is a happy man with her, but unfortunately, he does not feel guilty about spending nights with other women while he is away on a heist. He is somehow an inconsistent character unlike his companion Parker. His adventures range from the hard-boiled crimes (like in Lemons Never Lie) to more James Bond-style stories (like in The Dame, The Damsel, and The Blackbird). There is not a single mention of Grofield in any of the remaining novels in Parker series after Butcher’s Moon, and it is not revealed whether he is dead, or has retired from heisting.

The Damsel (1967)

The Damsel is Alan Grofield series debut novel by Donald Westlake first published in 1967. It features Alan Grofield as the main character, and even though this is the first book in Alan Grofield series by Donald Westlake, it is not the first book that features Grofield. Grofield was first featured in the Parker Series by the same author but under a pen name Richard Stark. Grofield is featured in two of these 24 books featuring a humorless professional criminal named Parker who is often recruited by other “professionals” to pull of armored cars, robberies of banks and other targets.

One of the Parker’s most trusted henchmen is Alan Grofield. Grofield is a professional actor, own a small theater company but despises being featured in Films or Television despite being an actor. To make ends meet, Grofield joins his friend Parker and his gang in a heist to bring home additional finances. In comparison to Parker, Grofield is somewhat lighter and a more reflective man. In 1967, Donald Westlake decided to feature Grofield in a series of his own, Alan Grofield series.

The eighth installment of Parker books is The Handle, and at the end of that episode, Grofield is wounded during a heist. His friend, Parker takes him into a hotel in Mexico City and provides him with a doctor to tend the wound. Parker then heads back to the United States leaving his mate with his money share, to recover.

Then, The Damsel the first novel in Alan Grofield opens up at this particular point. We find Grofield lying in bed in his hotel room on the fourth floor. Apparently, out of nowhere, a woman bumps in the room through the window. She seems scared, and it is like she is fleeing from imminent danger. Grofield surprises her and then demands to know what she is doing in his room. As expected, she narrates him a few lies, and in return, he tells her a few and the story is up and running.

It later turns out that the young woman is on a mission and that some evil men are trying to stop her from accomplishing the task. There is some sexual chemistry that sparks between Grofield and the young woman Elly, the story is full of witty banter, and the duo adventure together provides an opportunity for Grofield to showcase some clever tricks as they attempt to escape villains who are now pursuing both of them.

The Dame (1969)

In The Dame, the sequel to the first novel in Alan Grofield series by Donald Westlake, the curious professional criminal, Grofield flies to Puerto Rico. He meets a lady and some houseguest at a deserted mansion out of the countryside. Grofield and the woman immediately get on each other nerves and thus he chooses not to take the job.

However before he can leave, a person inside the house is killed. It comes evident that the murderer is a member of the staff or a guest and Grofield becomes the number one suspect in the eyes of everyone.
As usual, in cases like this, the only way that Grofield can redeem himself is finding the real killer. Even though there are lots of car chases and action scenes in this second installment, the main plot of the story involves a classic murder mystery where the killing could only have been committed by one of the many people living in the house. Moreover, even though Grofield is the main suspect, he plays Inspector Poirot questioning members of the house who were present the night when the killing occurred.

The story is smoothly written, and it is a quick and an enjoyable read. Grofield is more relaxed than his counterpart, Parker. In over two dozen novels, Parker probably never cracked even a single smile, but Grofield is a witty guy who gets in lots of trouble. As a result, Grofield novels are lighter and very enjoyable to their right. If you fancy action-packed stories spiced up with some sexual chemistry, and mysteries to solve, then Alan Grofield series by Donald Westlake is the recommended series for you.

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