Michael Bracken

Award-Winning Crime Fiction Writer

To advance to a specific anthology, select one of the following:


FedoraFedora IIFedora III

Guns + TacosHardbroiledSmall Crimes The Eyes of Texas



Wildside Press, 2001

This ain’t your Mama’s anthology and these tales ain’t for the faint-hearted. These are raw, gritty stories exploring the dark abyss of men’s souls.


With the sound of gunfire ringing in their ears and the stench of blood on their clothes, these private eyes and tough guys face their darkest fears and most cunning adversaries.


Here are tales of love and hate, sex and power, crime and punishment, fear and retribution—tales that grab you by the throat, slam you against the wall, then drag you back for more.


Here are men and women who catch everything life throws at them, then throw it right back.


Here are 14 hardboiled tales guaranteed to blow your hat off!


Featuring hard-hitting tales from some of the most talented crime fiction writers working today, including:


Nick Andreychuk • Michael Bracken • Ernest B. Brown

Michael Collins • Ruthe Furie • Michael Hemmingson

Robert D. Hughes • Fredrick Obermeyer

Percy Spurlark Parker • Shelley Singer

Dan A. Sproul • Tom Sweeney

Mark Troy • Tim Wohlforth

“[Percy Spurlark] Parker’s Las Vegas private eye has an even stronger outing in another collection of new stories, Fedora: Private Eyes and Tough Guys, edited by Michael Bracken, which also includes a good case for Shelley Singer’s classic-car-dealer-sleuth April Pinck; a satisfying non-series revenge tale, ‘Reunion’ by Dan A. Sproul; and a searing piece of social commentary by a crime-fiction master, Michael Collins’ ‘The Horrible, Senseless Murders of Two Elderly Women.’ ”—Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine


“New anthology series makes its debut with this impressive collection of P.I. stories....”—Thrilling Detective


“Buy it and they won’t break your legs.”—Murder One Newsletter


Edgar Award Nomination

“The Horrible, Senseless Murders of Two Elderly Women”

by Michael Collins

nominated for Best Short Story


Derringer Award Nomination

“Cuts Like A Knife”

by Michael Bracken

nominated for Best Short Mystery


Bronze ADDY Award


Awarded to Michael Bracken

For the book’s cover copy


Other Distinguished Mystery Stories

as noted in

The Best American Mystery Stories 2002

“The Horrible, Senseless Murders of Two Elderly Women”

by Michael Collins

“Teed Off”

by Mark Troy


Honorable Mentions of 2001

as noted in

The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories

Third Annual Collection

“The Horrible, Senseless Murders of Two Elderly Women”

by Michael Collins



Betancourt & Co., 2003

This still ain’t your Mama’s anthology! Whether they crawl up from the gutters or stroll down from the mansions, the private eyes and tough guys in these stories make the mean streets meaner and the dark alleys darker. While some stories punch you full in the face, others sneak up from behind and place the cold steel barrel of a .38 against the back of your skull. Either way, you won’t be able to defend yourself against the raw, gritty power between these covers.


Featuring original crime fiction by:


Ann Aptaker • Michael Bracken • Gary R. Bush

Brian Evankovich • Justin Gustainis • Robert D. Hughes

O'Neil De Noux • Percy Spurlark Parker

Anthony Neil Smith • Dan Sontup

Dan A. Sproul • James Stevens-Arce

Tom Sweeney • Simon Wood

“[Y]ou won’t find a better source for traditional hardboiled entertainment.”—Bleeker Books


L.A. Screamfest Film Festival Best Short Screenplay

adapted from


by James Stevens-Arce



Betancourt & Co., 2004

This ain’t never gonna be your Mama’s anthology. Like a sucker punch with a fistful of quarters, these stories will knock you off your feet.


From cold freezers to hot fires, the private eyes and tough guys between these covers travel through the blackness of men’s souls. Working skip traces, investigating abusive spouses, and collecting bad debts brings them face-to-face with their worst fears. They fight back the only way they know how, using every trick they’ve learned while working the mean streets.


Hot blood. Cold sweat. A quick glance over the shoulder. You’ll be with them every step of the way.


These and many more dark, hardboiled stories from some of the best crime fiction writers working today:


J. L. Abramo • Nick Andreychuk • Ann Aptaker

David Bart • Michael Bracken • James S. Dorr

Kevin Egan • Lee Goldberg • Michael Hemmingson

Carol Kilgore • Chelle Martin • Graham Powell

Dorothy Rellas • David Terrenoire • Tom Sweeney

Bev Vincent • George Wilhite

“Even more private eyes, even more tough guys from the best on-going P.I. short story series.”—Thrilling Detective


Derringer Award Nomination

“Freddie Swings In”

by David Terrenoire



by Lee Goldberg

adapted for the screen

and released in 2012



Down & Out Books, 2019

There’s a taco truck in Chicago known among a certain segment of the population for its daily specials. Late at night and during the wee hours of the morning, it isn’t the food selection that attracts customers, it’s the illegal weapons available with the special order. Each episode of Guns + Tacos features the story of one Chicagoland resident who visits the taco truck seeking a solution to life’s problems, a solution that always comes in a to-go bag.


The first season features original crime novellas by:


Michael Bracken • Trey R. Barker

James A. Hearn • Gary Phillips

William Dylan Powell • Frank Zafiro


and a bonus story by

Michael Bracken




Betancourt & Co., 2003

Fourteen delicious private eye tales guaranteed to whet your appetite for detection!


Wining, dining, and death. Fast living and fine dining combine to present today’s private eyes with culinary crimes suitable for even the most refined palate.


The private eyes in these stories face delicious dangers, savory sins, and tasty temptations...and the bad guys always get their just desserts. An appetizing selection of today’s top private eye writers and talented newcomers season their tales with the exciting spices of love, hate, justice, and vengeance.


Here are fourteen delicious private eyes tales—and one poem—guaranteed to whet your appetite for detection.


Featuring original stories by:


Nick Andreychuk • Jack Bludis • Carol Kilgore

Robert Lopresti • Andrew McAleer

D. Jeanette McSherry • Art Montague

Linda Summers Posey • Dorothy Rellas

Stephen D. Rogers • Kenneth Thornton Samuels

Dan Sontup • Tom Sweeney • Tim Wohlforth

“Scoop a copy of Michael Bracken’s Hardbroiled and whet your palate with some of the best and hottest authors in the P.I. genre today. A superb, original Private Eye anthology in every respect.”—Robin Moore, Number 1 best-selling author of The French Connection and The Green Berets


“...it’s a great ride.”—Thrilling Detective


“Filled with interesting stories, fascinating people and mysteries you will enjoy trying to solve, Hardbroiled is a must have for any serious mystery fan...”—Murder and Mayhem Book Club


“This concoction of expertly prepared stories is one of the best short mystery collections I have had the pleasure to read in a long time. If you like your mystery with hard boiled detectives and close to the bone suspense, you’ll love Hardbroiled.”—The Popper Gazette


Anthony Award Nomination


Shamus Award Nomination


by Jack Bludis


Betancourt & Co., 2004

Small crimes.


Big consequences.


Little things send our lives spinning in unexpected directions. Small crimes, thoughtless actions, and momentary lapses in judgment all have consequences we can’t begin to imagine. Stealing apples, failing to leave contact information after a minor traffic accident, accepting a small bribe to overlook faulty wiring, and many other small crimes change the course of people’s lives in Small Crimes.


Fifteen tales from today’s finest mystery writers, including:


Jack Bludis • Michael Bracken • Gary R. Bush

James S. Dorr • Kevin Egan • Ted Hertel, Jr.

T. P. Keating • Chelle Martin • Paula J. Matter

Dorothy Rellas • Stephen D. Rogers • Neil Schofield

Tom Sweeney • Tim Wohlforth • Simon Wood

“... the concluding novella, ‘Dreams Unborn,’ which though much grimmer may remind you of American Graffiti, is the best piece of fiction I’ve read by editor Bracken.”—Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine


Anthony Award Nomination


Larry and Eleanor Sternig Short Fiction Award

(Third Place)

“It’s Crackers to Slip a Rozzer the Dropsey in Snide”

by Ted Hertel, Jr.


Other Distinguished Mystery Stories

as noted in

The Best American Mystery Stories 2005

“Dreams Unborn”

by Michael Bracken






Down & Out Books, 2019

Texas has it all, from bustling big cities to sleepy small towns, and law enforcement alone can’t solve every crime. That’s where private eyes come in. They take the cases law enforcement can’t—or won’t. Private eyes may walk the mean streets of Dallas and Houston, but they also stroll through small West Texas towns where the secrets are sometimes more dangerous. Whether driving a Mustang or riding a Mustang, a private eye in Texas is unlike any other in the world.


The Eyes of Texas: Private Eyes from the Panhandle to the Piney Woods features seventeen original tales of Lone Star State private eyes from:


Trey R. Barker • Chuck Brownman • Michael Chandos

John M. Floyd • Debra H. Goldstein • James A. Hearn

Richard Helms • Robert S. Levinson • Scott Montgomery

Sandra Murphy • Josh Pachter • Michael Pool

Graham Powell • William Dylan Powell

Stephen D. Rogers • Mark Troy • Bev Vincent

“Bottom line, almost all of these detectives are interesting enough that they could carry a novel series, but their strong personalities and crime-solving expertise have been distilled into seventeen fast-paced tales that leave a lasting impression.”—Reviewing the Evidence


The Eyes of Texas “has its share of big city stories set in Houston, Dallas, and Austin but my favorites are those set in disparate, out-of-the-way small towns.”—MysteryPeople


Anthony Award Nomination

Best Anthology or Collection


Derringer Award Winner

“Lucy’s Tree”

by Sandra Murphy


Derringer Award Nomination

and selected for inclusion in

The Best American Mystery Stories 2020

“See Humble and Die”

by Richard Helms


Macavity Award Nomination

“West Texas Barbecue”

by Michael Chandos


Shamus Award Nomination

“Weathering the Storm”

by Michael Pool