Not Quite Parker: The Nolan Series by Max Allan Collins

Two for the Money by Max Allan Collins

(I try to use first editions to illustrate these pages, but could not find an image for Bait Money)

Max Allan Collins makes no secret of the inspiration for the first Nolan book, Bait Money: “[T]he concept was to take a Parker-like character who has reached the ancient age of 48 and wants badly to retire, and of course needs one last heist to do so.”

When the publisher wanted a sequel, he asked Donald Westlake for permission: “One Parker pastiche was an homage; a series really did seem a rip-off…” Westlake granted permission, saying that elements of the story humanized Nolan. He’s right about this. Nolan’s gruff, but he’s not entirely heartless.

The first two novels in the Nolan series have been reprinted as Two for the Money by Hard Case Crime, because Collins thinks of them as “one big novel now.” (The above quotes were drawn from the afterword to this edition.)

The Nolan Series

  • Bait Money (1973) [Two for the Money]
  • Blood Money (1973) [Two for the Money]
  • Fly Paper (1981)
  • Hush Money (1981)
  • Hard Cash (1981)
  • Scratch Fever (1982)
  • Spree (1987)
  • Mourn the Living (1999)

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