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Michael Zinn Lewin Books In Order

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Publication Order of Albert Samson Books

Ask the Right Question (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Way We Die Now (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Enemies Within (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Silent Salesman (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Missing Woman (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Out of Season / Out Of Time (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Called By a Panther (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eye Opener (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Lt. Leroy Powder Books

Publication Order of Lunghi Family Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Next Man (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Outside in (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
And Baby Will Fall / Child Proof (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Underdog (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cutting Loose (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Oh Joe (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Confessions of a Discontented Deity (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Collections

Telling Tails (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rover's Tales (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Reluctant Detective and Other Stories (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Alien Quartet (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

100 Great Detectives, Or, the Detective Directory(1991)Description / Buy at Amazon

Michael Zinn Lewin is a famous American author of mystery fiction books and short stories. Most of his novels are set in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she was brought up.

He’s best known for his series on Albert Samson, a low-key private detective who conducts his nosiness in Indianapolis.
The series mainly focuses on the humane understanding of the cases and challenges faced by Samson. One unique feature in the series and novels is that lead characters from one book appear in other books playing lesser roles.

Levin’s father is the writer of the 1967 bestselling The Report from Iron Mountain and On the Possibility and Desirability of Peace.
He is a graduate of Harvard University. Lewin has also written several standalone books, some of which are also set in Indianapolis.
He received a Mystery Masters Award, Maltese Falcon Society award and a Raymond Chandler Society award.

He was nominated for Edgar Award thrice and currently lives in Bath, England, for his debut novel in Albert Samson.
His other works include the Lieutenant Leroy Powder series. His book, Confessions of a Discontented Deity, is partly set in Heaven, and it’s a little different from Lewin’s history of the fiction genre.

Ask the Right Question
This is the debut novel in the Albert Samson series. The book introduces the smart Indianapolis private detective, Albert Samson. The story starts as Albert wanders around his home office as he lazily goes through his day. He has not dealt with a client for some time and doesn’t expect one that day too. When it’s almost closing hours, a young lady named Eloise Crystal enters the office to find him leaning on a pillow at his desk.

After some talk, Samson finally comes to conclude that she wants to find her biological father. Elsie is sure that the man she calls father and married her mother before birth and raised her since the first day is not her biological father.

Samson is unsure whether to take the job, but he later accepts it for a few days to see if he can help her. He has to do the job independently since this ‘young lady’ has to rush back to school before anyone notices. Samson tries to figure out how to find the man Eloise’s mother might have had a relationship with around 15 years ago.

He starts reading through newspapers and eventually gets a hint of the case. Once Samson has gotten his hands on the case, he doesn’t stop before unveiling a memorable conspiracy that is thought to have started during the Second World War and has persisted over the years.

It’s a deception and greed conspiracy, and the real victim may be one of Samson’s clients. He has to dig into the oast of one of the most prominent families in Indiana. What he unveils is something that makes people do during desperate moments.

The story is told from Samson’s point of view, and he narrates in first-person. The relation between Samson and his mother, an owner of a diner, is well crafted. The writing is crispy and easy to understand for the readers. Ask the Right Question is a fun and light read for someone who wants a break from complex books.
The Way We Die Now
This is the second in the Albert Samson series. In this novel, Mrs Jerome, an old lady who needs an affordable PI in Indianapolis, holds on to Samson to help her do some investigations. The investigation is on a death that will lead to a bizarre murder plot and shatter the truth on how we live and die today.
In Hoosier state, Samson is now a famous and unconventional representative of the private investigation genre. This time around, Samson is given a job by the wife of a security man accused of on-the-job murder. It’s clear that the husband to the lady shot a man who was offering some legal papers to a tenant in the apartment where the security man worked.

According to the accused, the tenant told the guard that she was being assaulted and asked for help from him. When the incident started being investigated, the tenant openly denied that she asked for help.

As Samson goes on with the investigation, he finds out that the security man is a former Vietnam Vet and might be suffering from PTSD and has some mental issues. At this point, the case doesn’t seem simple as he thought at first.

However, knowing and finding out are different things, and as Samson investigates, he has to gather enough information and evidence to get his client out of jail. Samson does everything he can, including hanging a 1970’sversion of wire outside a window in one of the bad guys’ homes, hoping that they will say something that will incriminate them.

Lewin creates a relatively unimaginative action sequence with excellent descriptive writing and dialogue. Samson is the narrator of the story, and it’s clear that he’s mostly hired because he’s a relatively cheap PI the clients can find in town. He is also a sharp PI who exchanges witty remarks with unlikable sorts with the best of them.

Something else that differentiates Samson from other people is that he doesn’t carry a gun around. The Way We Die Now is simple, and the reader can quickly figure out what might happen in the end. For the lovers of nicely-written traditional PI books, The Way We Die Now is for you. Despite the outdated technology, the book is still fascinating and enjoyable.

The book is narrated in first-person, where the reader gets to know what Samson encounters in his investigations. Additionally, the author offers a brief and insightful look at PTSD, a topic that is as much valid as it was several decades back. The characters in the book are interesting, and it’s likeable how they write uniquely develops them from the start of the novel.

The story is full of actions that will keep you engaged to the end. Lewin weaves an interesting plot that builds a satisfying ending.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Michael Zinn Lewin

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