Derek Strange & Terry Quinn Books

Description /Buy link takes you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Derek Strange & Terry Quinn is a series of detective mystery novels by renowned detective mystery fiction author George P. Pelecanos. The first novel in the series was the 2001 published “Right as Rain”. The lead characters in the series are the title characters Terry Quinn and Derek Strange.

Get notified when George Pelecanos releases a new book at

Order of Derek Strange & Terry Quinn Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Right as Rain ( By: George Pelecanos) 2001 Description / Buy
2 Hell to Pay ( By: George Pelecanos) 2002 Description / Buy
3 Soul Circus ( By: George Pelecanos) 2003 Description / Buy
4 Hard Revolution ( By: George Pelecanos) 2004 Description / Buy
5 What It Was ( By: George Pelecanos) 2012 Description / Buy
Print: Print PDF

Derek Strange is a private investigator and former police officer who now works locating missing children, doing background checks, and trailing cheating spouses. His private investigations business, which has been in operation for a quarter of a century is aptly, titled “Strange Investigations”. Strange’s partner is Terry Quinn, also an ex-cop of Irish extraction with brown hair, freckles on his nose, green eyes of and of medium build. When he is not working with Strange, he loves to read Westerns at the Bonifant vinyl store where he works.

“Right As Rain”, the first novel in the Derek Strange & Terry Quinn introduces Derek Strange, a black ex-police officer that left the police force twenty five years ago and went into private investigations. Strange gets a visit from an old woman whom he attends church with, who wants him to investigate the fatal shooting of her son by Terry Quinn. Given that Chris Wilson was a black officer killed by a white one, his mother suspects foul play.

The investigations committee had declared the incident a clean killing and cleared Quinn of any wrongdoing. Nonetheless, Quinn is unable to escape the cloud of suspicion over his head and quits the force to start a new life selling vinyl records. Having tried his best to become anonymous, he gets a rude shock when a former cop named Strange asks him to meet to discuss the shooting. Their discussion soon turns into one of the unlikeliest of partnerships that has resulted into the award-winning Derek Strange & Terry Quinn series of novels.


George P. Pelecanos series of novels has been nominated and won several awards most of which have been for the second novel in the series “Hell to Pay”. The novel was nominated for the 2003 Dilys Award for Best Mystery Novel, the 2003 Shamus Award for Best Private Eye Novel, and the 2003 Anthony Award. In 2002, the novel was the winner of the Best Thriller/Mystery at the L.A. Times Book Prize Awards.


Right as Rain: The first novel in the series “Right As Rain” is one of the most highly regarded novel in the series. When two ex-police officers decide to engage in some high powered private investigations, they uncover some of the darkest secrets of the police force that have always been swept under the carpet. The novel brings to the fore the violence and institutionalized racism in the US police force as never before.

Soul Circus: The third novel in the series is a popular moving, gritty and bleak story of life and death in the United States capital of Washington. Terry Quinn teams up with Derek Strange to run a private investigations company in the black ghettos of Washington D.C. The two detectives are quite good at their job and when they get an assignment to find a missing girl, they quickly find her.

However, their investigations also cause the murder of a young mother, making them question the morality of earning a living in such circumstances. However taking up more jobs due to their notoriety, they are soon enveloped in the darkness of the ghettos. They take on drug dealers, crime lords, gunrunners, and ordinary people unable to escape the criminal underworld.

Hell to Pay: The second novel in the series has some of the most fascinating of plots. Quinn and Strange have to deal with a missing teenage girl that has likely been forced into prostitution and a crooked police officer. A series of senseless deaths shakes Derek Strange to the core, and he vows to track down and bring to book the vicious killers that will not stop killing.


Many fans of the Derek Strange & Terry Quinn also enjoy the “C.W. Sughrue” Series by James Crumley. Sughrue the lead in the series is an ex-army officer who manages to work in private investigations in the midst of an odyssey of sex, gunplay, and liquor in Montana.

Most fans of the Derek Strange & Terry Quinn also love the “Lew Griffin” series of novels by James Sallis. The lead in the series is detective Lew Griffin, a black private detective who takes on seemingly impossible cases alongside the most unlikely of allies.

What Is The Next Book in The Derek Strange & Terry Quinn Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Derek Strange & Terry Quinn Series. The newest book is What It Was and was released on January, 1st 2012.

1 thought on “Derek Strange & Terry Quinn”

  1. Derek Strange is one smooth guy, and he’s good at his job as a cop too. The author did well at developing all the characters, but I have to say that Strange is the best.

    George Pelecanos is a fantastic storyteller and although the plot lines may not seem like they will work, he somehow finds a way to bring everything together. I will keep coming back to these books. I’m hooked.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *