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Stanley Hastings Books In Order

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Publication Order of Stanley Hastings Books

The Stanley Hastings series is a series of hardboiled cozy mystery books written by one of the highly reputed American authors named Parnell Hall. There is a total of 20 books published in this series, which were released between the years 1987 and 2015. All the books written by author Hall in the series depict the chief protagonist in the role of Stanley Hastings. He is described as a private investigator and actor living in the New York City. As per his character description, Stanley is tougher than he sounds. He is completely inept and a little bit coward also. While taking up the jobs as a private investigator, Stanley seems to be quite reluctant. But anyhow, he finishes whatever job is given to him by his lawyer boss. Stanley Hastings is a married man aged around 40 and has a son. Apart from working as a PI, Stanley also tries his luck in acting, but does not receive much success. Author Hall started writing the Stanley Hastings series in the year 1987 with the publication of its debut novel in the same year, which was titled as ‘Detective’. Currently, author Hall is working on the plot development of the next book in the series, which is expected to be released soon. The major events that take place in the series around Stanley take humorous turns.

As the series progresses, it is learned that he is quite a lucky man in spite of being in the forties and having a lousy job to do. His wife named Alice loves him very much and also his son Tommie. After struggling as a freelance writer and failing in the field of acting, he begins to work as a PI for Richard, but only temporarily. He hopes that someday he will be able to write a great novel which will bring fame and money in his life. That day, he will quit working under Richard. Stanley has a college degree in the field of liberal arts, but does not have any real job skills. Richard makes him get the accident victims sign retainers and collect photographic evidences for him. While doing so, he frequently stumbles into and onto a number of murder cases. In such situations, he seems to be more coward and clumsy. As far as the detective skills of Stanley Hastings are considered, he picks them from the television shows and old movies. Whenever Stanley finds himself stuck in a jam, he is often pulled out by his long time police contact named Sergeant McAuliff. Occasionally, Stanley also relies on the assistance of a professional robber and art connoisseur named Lery. Leroy also helps him to gain access to the place that he is not able to access on his own. Author Hall says that he has described Stanley Hastings’s life based on his own life experiences. He too was a failed actor and worked as a PI for some time. And also, author Hall considers himself to be one of the laziest authors around. He has even said that he did so because using his imagination to characterize Stanley would have meant that he had to do a lot of work.

The first book to have been published in the Stanley Hastings series by author Hall is titled as ‘Detective’. It was released by the Dutton Books publication in the year 1987. Author Hall has set the plot of this book in New York, United States, and has depicted Stanley Hastings, Martin Albrecht, and Richard in the lead roles. The success of this book can be understood from the fact that it was nominated for both the Edgar and Shamus Awards in the year 1988 in the category of the Best Debut PI Novel. At the beginning of the story, author Hall has introduced Stanley Hastings as an actor turned private investigator. Poor Stanley, as everyone feels about him, whenever he pursues any investigation it turns into a failure. And after seeing failures one after the other, Stanley becomes very much depressed. He fears that he is never going to succeed as a PI. Due to this fear, he sends Martin Albrecht away when he approaches him with an important case of a true detective nature. Unfortunately for him, when he comes across Martin Albrecht, he finds him dead. Now, he feels that he has been challenged and so, he agrees to investigate his case. With the help of this case, Stanley Hastings hopes that he will be to prove that he is a useful detective, after solving the case successfully. However, in order to be able to solve the important case of his life, Stanley is required to step into the modern day inferno consisting of mob and drug operations. When he realizes the level of difficulty in the case, he fears, whether he will remain alive in the end. This is the first novel that features the Manhattan based detective, who is the most unusual kind of private eye. In this novel, author Hall has very well shown how Stanley enters into the underworld of kicks and coke among the big New York and Miami boy after his client is found dead. Stanley is shown taking the calculated risks to unravel the mystery in Martin Albrecht’s murder case and somehow manages to prevent himself from getting killed in the process.

Another interesting novel written in the series by Parnell Hall is titled as ‘Murder’. This book was released in the year 1987 as a paperback edition by the publication. The plot once again depicts Stanley Hastings as a New York detective. In this story, he is shown as coming back into the swing of the things. No matter how safe Stanley Hastings tries to play and tone down the investigations, he is not able to prevent himself from getting attracted to dangerous situations because he knows it very well that trouble attracts him like a magnet. In one of the case that he comes across, he is required to help an innocent housewife and call girl come out of a filthy prostitution ring. He also needs to obtain the compromising video of the lady that lies with one of the pimps in the prostitution ring. Once again unfortunate events take place in Stanley’s life as he walks into the apartment of the pimp at a time when a slaughter is taking place. Later, he finds that he has been framed as the prime suspect of the gruesome slaughter. Now, the situation becomes even more difficult for Stanley Hastings as along with saving the innocent call girl, he also has to clear his name from the murder charge.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Stanley Hastings

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