Book Notification

Earl Emerson Books In Order

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Publication Order of Thomas Black Books

The Rainy City (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Poverty Bay (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nervous Laughter (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fat Tuesday (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deviant Behavior (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Yellow Dog Party (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Portland Laugher (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Vanishing Smile (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Million-Dollar Tattoo (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deception Pass (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Catfish Cafe (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cape Disappointment (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Monica's Sister (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two Miles of Darkness (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jackson Street (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Mac Fontana Books

Black Hearts And Slow Dancing (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Help Wanted: Orphans Preferred (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Morons and Madmen (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Going Crazy In Public (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dead Horse Paint Company (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Fill The World With Phantoms (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vertical Burn (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Into the Inferno (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pyro (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Smoke Room (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Firetrap (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Primal Threat (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

As an award winning mystery author and novelist, Earl Emerson has been jotting down thrillers and mysteries ever since 1985. During his early years, Earl Emerson worked as a Lieutenant in the Seattle fire fighter, USA for almost 32 years and that explains why most of his stories are related to fire and the fire department. Ever since he became an author, Earl Emerson has already two series in his name the Thomas Black detective and the Mac Fontana series and a number of thrillers. Due his set of unique abilities and writing skills, Earl Emerson has received two awards. In 1986 he was awarded with the Best Private Eye novel at the Shamus Award and later on he received a nomination at the Edgar Award for his work.

Apart from the award and the nomination, some of Earl’s works have been acknowledged in a much different platform. Two of his books, Slow Dancing and Black Dancing were shortlisted as the Best Thrillers of the Year by the critically acclaimed New York Times. At the moment, Earl Emerson is living with his wife and back-up cat in North Bend, Washington DC.

Black Hearts and Slow Dancing

As the fifth mystery from the award winning novelist, Earl Emerson, Black Hearts and Slow Dancing is the first book in the award winning, Mac Fontana series. In this book we are introduced to one Mac Fontana who apart from being tender and good looking is also very tough. Unlike any other firefighter, Mac Fontana is in charge of the volunteer fire department of Staircase, meaning they are not well paid or in some cases they are not paid at all. Since he has just moved from the Eastland’s, Mac Fontana undeniably has some skeletons hanging in his closet and has decided to turn over a new leaf and have a fresh start.

Apart from being a firefighter, Mac Fontana is also a loving father who is more than determined to ensure that his son is not only well raised but also receives the best education there is in Staircase. In this book also we are introduced to one, Maureen Costigan. Maureen Costigan is the town’s mayor, who is willing to do anything within her means to ensure that Mac Fontana is not only the town’s chief firefighter but also the town’s sheriff.

When, Maureen approaches Mac with the job offer he is a bit reluctant but later on he is lured by a good looking lady whose boyfriend has just been brutally murdered. Once he accepts the job, Mac Fontana owes to protect the city from both fire and criminals. A few years down the line, Mac Fontana is fired because he got close to an extremely rich developer who was suspected of conducting an arson for crime scheme. After being fired from the force, Mac Fontana becomes a target. He is beaten up severely on several occasions and in some cases he is even left for dead. Is Mac Fontana going to survive this ordeal or is going to be left for dead once again? Only time will tell.

Help Wanted Orphans Preferred

Help wanted, Orphans Preferred is the second installment of the Mac Fontana series. In this book fire chief and sheriff Mac Fontana becomes puzzled as strange things starts to happen. A homicidal maniac is targeting members of his team in the town’s fire department and is killing them one after the other. While Mac Fontana is working on the case, he becomes romantically involved with the wife of a paramedic who works within the same town and Fontana.

The relationship between Mac Fontana will eventually lead to a series of revelations that are going to change the course of the story line. Throughout this book, Earl Emerson was able to infuse his trademark and unique writing style which in turn gave the story the much needed edge. In the Mac Fontana series all the characters are not only well developed but have also been given life; they are all life like and almost everyone can relate to them. Characters such as Wanda and Claude Pettigrew have been developed to perfection and are also very memorable when compared to some of the other characters in this installment and throughout the entire series.

Morons and Mad Men

Regarded by men as the best book in the Mac Montana series, Morons and Mad Men is a close to home, thought provoking story that will undeniably keep you at the edge of your seat. By combining his acquaintance about firefighting and his habitual sense of humor, Earl Emerson was able to bring to life a fast paced action together with some off-beat characters who were absolutely phenomenon. As the third installment in the series, Morons and Mad Men is a story about one, Diane Cooper who like Fontana is a firefighter.

After the mysterious death of three colleagues in the fire department, Diane Cooper is chosen to take the fall. Since Cooper knows that she had nothing to do with the death of her colleagues, Diane Cooper contacts Mac Fontana to look into the case as things were not adding up. All in all, there is one issue that comes out clearly in this book; the issue of individuals in the public service contracting practices that normally affect people’s lives. In the book, Emerson raises this issue which is still a major concern in this age and era, but instead of making an argument he lets the reader contemplate about the issue and together with the characters in the book, make a decision on how to deal with the issue.

While conducting his investigation, Mac Fontana interviews a group of firefighters. Some of the firefighters rant their opinions regardless as to whether they are right or wrong. All Mac Fontana does is to listen carefully then respond with a ‘just the fact questions’. By using ‘just the fact questions’ the author is able to bring issues that are very complex in nature to the reader’s attention without simplifying them or suggesting a solution to the problem. Morons and Mad Men is a book that has generated a lot of discussions especially due to its direct approach to some of the issues that are usually over looked by many people.


Apart from being such a terrific writer, Earl Emerson has a unique set of skills that will turn any obvious story into a rather pretty good reading. Unlike any other fictional writer, the prose style in all of Earl Emerson books are usually well above the fluff which results into a rather hard-boiled story like the Mac Fontana series. Apart from going above the fluff, Emerson perfectly balances all of his writing which in turn brings amount moments and feelings of humor and real trepidation.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Earl Emerson

One Response to “Earl Emerson”

  1. Alan Blalock: 2 years ago

    I am a huge fan of both the Thomas Black & Mac Fontana books. Are there any pending books?


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