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Alo Nudger Books In Order

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Publication Order of Alo Nudger Books

Buyer Beware (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nightlines (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Right to Sing the Blues (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ride the Lightning (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dancer's Debt (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Time Exposure (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Diamond Eyes (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thicker Than Blood (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death By Jury (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Oops! (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Alo Nudger Collections

The Nudger Dilemmas (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon

Alo Nudger is the lead character of the “Alo Nudger” series of novels by John Lutz, the New York Times bestselling author. Lutz has made a name for himself writing in practically every genre imaginable including mystery, thriller, amateur detective, futuristic, historical, espionage, police procedural, crime caper, occult, humor, urban suspense, private eye, and political suspense novels. With more than 40 novels and over two hundred short stories to his name, he has been a very successful author with his works translated into tens of languages and adapted for a variety of media. His debut novel in the Alo Badger series was “Buyer Beware” that was first published in 1992 to much popularity. With his novel attaining much popularity among detective fiction fans, Lutz went on to make the novel into a series of ten titles the last of which was “Oops” that was published in 1998. As an author he has been president of the Private Eye Writer of America and Mystery Writers of America. Over the years he has won several awards including the Derringer Lifetime Achievement Award, the PWA Lifetime Achievement Award, The Trophee 813 Awards, the PWA Shamus and the MWA Edgar Award. He has written two private detective series that include the “Carver” series and the “Nudger” series. Another of his novel Seeks Same was adapted into a movie titled Single White Female that starred Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bridget Fonda.

John Lutz background working in the police department has had a great influence in the writing of the Alo Nudger series. He once worked for the St Louis PD and was always intrigued by the black humor of the police, which he infused into the lead character Alo Nudger. While people get hurt in the series, Alo has to either adapt and become indifferent to the happenings or lose his mind by the cruelty of it all. Nonetheless, Nudger is not all about being an unfeeling detective finding children as just part of his job, as at the crux of the novels is the feeling that no matter how bad things became, understanding and compassion might just win in the end. Alo tends to live by the philosophy that people should not be doing nasty things to each other, even if there are some really nasty twists that Alo has to deal with. In his characteristic Chaplinesque Everyman demeanor, Alo presents the notion that hope and faith in the human spirit runs strong in the midst of sadness and desperation. The series has won several awards the most prominent of which have been the 1985 Edgar for Best Short Story for the novel “Ride the Lightning” and a Shamus for Best Private Eye Short Story for the novel “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You’.

Alo Nudger who has the honor of being one of the most Chaplinesque of private eyes is a different type of detective. Unlike your typical detective her does not live off of broads, booze, cigarettes, or danger. Rather, he survives on grocery coupons and antacid tablets for his constantly aching stomach. He is a detective specializing in finding lost children and while he is quite good at his job, his life is a mess. He drives an old Volkswagen that he soon exchanged for a 1979 Granada that is just as bad. His office is located above “Danny Donuts”, where the smell of grease and powdered sugar often permeates. However, he is best friends with the proprietor who sometimes acts as his unofficial receptionist taking his clients orders when he is not in. He is a quiet and nervous guy that loves baseball trivia and collect jazz records. While he is just under six feet he is best described as an out of shape middle-aged man with a slight pouch. He has few friends except for Jack Hammersmith the Homicide Lieutenant he once worked with who thinks he is a schmuck even as he often provides him with information on cases he is working on. In a life full of tragedy, he lost his first wife and two children in a car crash, got divorced to his second who now increasingly makes excessive demands for alimony. His latest flame is Claudia Bettencourt, a schoolteacher whose call to the suicide line her responded to.

“Buyer Beware” the first novel of the series is a standard detective novel that introduces Alo Nudger the premier lost child finding detective. Gordon had gotten divorced to his wife Joan who had up to now been following the visitation procedures from the custody ruling given by the court. But now Joan Clark has refused Gordon visitation rights to their daughter Melissa and has moved to Florida to be with another man. The court had ordered that Melissa was not to be removed from the state without written permission from the court, meaning that Gordon should now be granted custody for the violation. Alo Nudger takes the case and heads down to Florida as he believes Gordon is right in this case. Being the good detective that he is, he tracks down the child, only to find even more complications; at the scene is a missing mother and a dead body. Joan Clark seems to have been living in terrible circumstances and had never bothered to contact her wealthy father who is resident in the city. Alo now has to find Joan and resolve the mystery of the dead body.

“Nightlines” the second novel in the series is a pulse pounding narrative that opens to Jeannette Boyington seeking the services of Alo Nudger in finding the killer of her sister Jenine. It is an active police investigation and Nudger knows from experience not to interfere though in this case he needs the work to pay his bills. He soon finds himself in an intricate web of danger and deceit following a killer stalking the streets of his city. The serial killer seems to have something with the nightline special phones that the largest phone company in the state uses for testing their equipment. Most users of the phones are lonely people that contact other lonely people for some physical company if there is a connection. But things have gone haywire and people are dying. Nudger joins the network as an investigator, but soon finds himself caught up in the web when he falls for a woman that may just be the next target of a vicious killer.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Alo Nudger

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