Donald E Westlake Books

Author Donald Edwin Westlake was born July 12, 1933 in Brooklyn and was raised in Albany, New York. After writing a lot in his teens, he got rejected two hundred times; he would finally make a sale in 1954. He would sell more stories here and there over the years while going to college. He would later spend two years in the United States Air Force. While living in New York City, he wrote on the side and worked at a literary agency. In 1960, he started writing full time, and it was this year that he sold his first novel under his own name (the novel was called “The Mercenaries”). He was married three times, the third to a well regarded gardener and writer of two non-fiction books. The Westlake garden has been opened many times for viewing by the public in the summer. He died New Year’s Eve, 2008 from a heart attack while he was about to go to a dinner with his wife while they were on vacation in Mexico. He was 75 years old.

Order of Parker Series

# Read Title Published
1 The Hunter 1962
2 The Man With The Getaway Face 1963
3 The Outfit 1963
4 The Mourner 1963
5 The Score 1963
6 The Jugger 1965
7 The Seventh 1966
8 The Handle 1966
9 The Green Eagle Score 1967
10 The Rare Coin Score 1967
11 The Black Ice Score 1968
12 The Sour Lemon Score 1969
13 Deadly Edge 1971
14 Slayground 1971
15 Plunder Squad 1972
16 Butcher's Moon 1974
17 Comeback 1997
18 Backflash 1998
19 Flashfire 2000
20 Firebreak 2001
21 Breakout 2002
22 Nobody Runs Forever 2004
23 Ask The Parrot 2006
24 Dirty Money 2008

Order of Dortmunder Series

# Read Title Published
1 The Hot Rock 1970
2 Bank Shot 1972
3 Jimmy The Kid 1974
4 Nobody's Perfect 1977
5 Why Me? 1983
6 Good Behavior 1985
7 Drowned Hopes 1990
8 Don't Ask 1993
9 What's The Worst That Could Happen? 1996
10 Bad News 2001
11 The Road To Ruin 2004
12 Watch Your Back! 2005
13 What's So Funny? 2007
14 Get Real 2009

Order of Sara & Jack Series

# Read Title Published
1 Trust Me On This 1988
2 Baby, Would I Lie? 1994

Order of Mitch Tobin Series

# Read Title Published
1 Kinds Of Love, Kinds Of Death 1966
2 Murder Among Children 1967
3 Wax Apple 1970
4 A Jade In Aries 1970
5 Don't Lie To Me 1972

Order of Sam Holt Series

Order of Alan Grofield Series

# Read Title Published
1 The Damsel 1967
2 The Blackbird 1969
3 The Dame 1969
4 Lemons Never Lie 1971

Order of Donald E Westlake Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published
1 Sally 1959
2 All My Lovers 1959
3 Man Hungry 1959
4 The Wife Next Door 1960
5 SO WILLING. 1960
6 All about Annette 1960
7 Virgin's Summer 1960
8 The Cutie 1960
9 Passion's Playthings 1961
10 Call Me Sinner 1961
11 Killing Time 1961
12 Campus Doll 1961
13 What Girls Will Do 1962
14 Strange affair. 1962
15 361 1962
16 Campus Lovers 1963
17 Killy 1963
18 Brother and Sister. . A Tender Compassionate Novel of Incestuous Love 1965
19 The Fugitive Pigeon 1965
20 Spy in the Ointment 1966
21 Just One of Those Days 1966
22 The Busy Body 1967
23 Philip 1967
24 God Save the Mark 1967
25 Up Your Banners 1969
26 Somebody Owes Me Money 1969
27 Ex Officio 1970
28 Adios Scheherazade 1970
29 I Gave at the Office 1971
30 Cops and Robbers 1972
31 Under an English Heaven 1972
32 Comfort Station 1973
33 Help, I Am Being Held Prisoner 1974
34 Gangway! 1974
35 Brothers Keepers 1975
36 Two Much 1975
37 Dancing Aztecs 1976
38 Enough 1977
39 Who stole Sassi Manoon? 1980
40 Castle in the Air 1980
41 Kahawa 1981
42 A Likely Story 1984
43 Levine 1984
44 High Adventure 1985
45 High Jinx 1987
46 Pity Him Afterwards 1987
47 Tomorrow's Crimes 1989
48 Anarchaos 1991
49 Humans 1992
50 Smoke 1995
51 Murderous Schemes 1996
52 The Ax 1997
53 The Spy in the Elevator 1997
54 Edgar Award Winners Collection 1999
55 The Hook 2000
56 The Scared Stiff 2001
57 Put a Lid on It 2002
58 Money for Nothing 2003
59 Memory 2010
60 They Also Serve 2010
61 Young and Innocent 2011
62 The Comedy is Finished 2012
63 Meteor Strike 2012
64 Look Before You Leap 2016
65 Man of Action 2016

Order of Donald E Westlake Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published
1 The Getaway Car 2014
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Donald E. Westlake was quite a prolific author, writing over a hundred novels. His work was mainly crime fiction, specializing in comic capers; there are some brief forays into other genres, one of which includes science fiction. Westlake released work under his own name and under pen names, the biggest of which is Richard Stark. Under the Stark name, he wrote about Parker, who starred in 28 novels. Other characters he wrote about include Phil Crawford, Dortmunder, Mitchell Tobin, Grofield,Sam Holt, and Sara Joslyn. Dortmunder is the comic flip side of Parker, and once said that a novel he wrote (“The Hot Rock”) was supposed to be a Parker, but kept turning funny. It became book one of the “Dortmunder” series. He also wrote stand alone novels and some short stories. Westlake also wrote some screenplays that include “Cops and Robbers”, “The Stepfather”, and “The Grifters”.


He is one of three authors to win three Edgar Awards in three categories; in 1968 he won for “God Save the Mark” (best novel), in 1991 for “The Grifters” (best screenplay), and in 1990 for writing “Too Many Crooks” (best short story). The Mystery Writers of America named him a Grand Master, which is their highest honor. Westlake was nominated for an Academy Award for the work he did on “The Grifters” in the best adapted screenplay category.


Many movies have been made based of Westlake’s work. “The Hunter” has twice been made into a movie, once called “Point Blank” (with Lee Marvin playing Walker, who was supposed to be Parker) and the second time it was called “Payback” with Mel Gibson playing Parker but his name was changed to Porter. Jason Statham played Parker in 2013, in a movie that was based off of “Flashfire”. “The Hot Rock” was adapted in 1972, with Robert Redford playing Dortmunder. In 1973, Robert Duvall played Parker (named Macklin in this picture) in “The Outfit”.


For those readers looking to get into novels by Donald E. Westlake, this section will help with that. It will go over the novels “The Hot Rock” and “Bank Shot”.

The Hot Rock: This is the first novel in the “Dortmunder” series and was released in the year 1970. Introducing John Archibald Dortmunder, who does not carry guns, nor does he allow his crew to carry them. After he gets out after his recent stay in jail, he has another score. It is a large gem that is called Balabomo Emerald that has a worth of about half a million dollars. His client on this one is the United Nations ambassador of Talabwo (an African nation). Akinzi currently has the gem, and they are the neighbor of Talabwo. They will get 150,000 in cash when they are able to deliver the stone. All of the planning and preparations go well, as is the execution. But the results of the heist are terrible. That is because Dortmunder has the worst luck of any thief there is.

Bank Shot: This is the second novel in the “Dortmunder” series and was released in the year 1972. John Archibald Dortmunder has been working on a scam selling encyclopedias until he can pull of his next big heist. This newest mark is wise to what is going on, and he has to get out quick. He may have a lead on the next con, the Main Street bank is working out of a mobile home, for just a short time. All he has to do is get past the seven guards and get the bank on wheels rolling and drive off. Simple plan. One that goes wrong.