By the writer of the Quarry series.

Who is Nathan Heller?

Published since 1983, the Nathan Heller series is a historical crime series written by American author Max Allan Collins published since 1982.

The story follows Nathan Heller, a Chicago private investigator (also known as the private eye to the stars) from the 1930s to the 1950s who often get involved in famous crimes. During his investigations, he happened to meet famous people, from Frank Nitti to Amelia Earhart, but also The Kennedys and even Orson Welles.


Nathan Heller Books in Order:

True Detective Nathan Heller Books in Order True Crime Nathan Heller Books in Order The Million-Dollar Wound Nathan Heller Books in Order Neon Mirage Nathan Heller Books in Order

  1. True Detective – In the mob-choked Chicago of 1932, private detective Nathan Heller may be willing to risk his life to earn a Depression dollar, but he never sacrifices his slicing wit. That’s why mystery fans and critics alike rank the historical thriller True Detective at the top of their lists —and why the book swept up a Shamus Award for best novel from the Private Eye Writers of America.
  2. True Crime – Chicago P.I. Nate Heller finds himself on dusty back roads with a supposedly dead John Dillinger and the rest of Ma Barker’s boys as he tries to foil their bold, audacious plan to kidnap J. Edgar Hoover.
  3. The Million-Dollar Wound – Chicago P.I. Nate Heller returns home from duty in Guadalcanal a decorated, damaged, and dangerous hero—and drops directly from one war into another: the gangland coup to topple Frank Nitti as he tries to strong-arm the Hollywood unions.
  4. Neon Mirage – When Nate Heller clears Bugsy Siegel of murder, the Chicago P.I. and brash, handsome gangster become unlikely friends…and rivals in love. Bugsy invents modern Vegas, but receives bullets as his reward and Heller becomes his avenger.

Stolen Away Nathan Heller Books in Order Carnal Hours Nathan Heller Books in Order Blood and Thunder Nathan Heller Books in Order Damned in Paradise Nathan Heller Books in Order

  1. Stolen Away – When an incarcerated Al Capone claims he can help find the Lindbergh baby, detective Nate Heller is sent to the scene as a Chicago liaison, never dreaming that the fate of accused kidnapper Bruno Hauptmann would one day be in his hands.
  2. Carnal Hours – When the richest man in the Bahamas is murdered by fire, Chicago P.I. Nate Heller races to clear the dead man’s playboy son-in-law—despite stray bullets, Nazi spies, and carnal distractions.
  3. Blood and Thunder – Private detective Nate Heller finds himself in the dangerous swamp of Louisiana’s mob-infested political machine when former governor-turned-presidential candidate Huey Long is assassinated.
  4. Damned in Paradise – On leave from the Chicago police department, Nate Heller goes to Hawaii to help family friend Clarence Darrow by investigating the rape and murder of a bride only to uncover a morass of bigotry, lies, and revenge.

Flying Blind Nathan Heller Books in Order Majic Man Nathan Heller Books in Order Angel in Black Nathan Heller Books in Order Chicago Confidential Nathan Heller Books in Order

  1. Flying Blind – For Chicago P.I. Nate Heller, guarding Amelia Earhart against death threats has its side benefits. But when Amelia goes missing in the South Pacific, Heller mounts a one-man search that will lead to success, heartbreak…and revenge.
  2. Majic Man – Chicago P.I. Nate Heller heads to D.C. to protect Secretary of Defense James Forrestal from a murder threat…but is the statesman’s worst enemy his own mental illness? The surprising, UFO-tinged truth is in Roswell, New Mexico.
  3. Angel in Black – Honeymooning in LA, private detective Nate Heller is a suspect in the LAPD’s Black Dahlia murder investigation and must rely on old friend Eliot Ness to help solve the crime before it’s too late.
  4. Chicago Confidential – Caught between the Kefauver Organized Crime investigation and his reluctant ties to the mafia, Chicago P.I. Nate Heller keeps his head down—until an honest cop and a lovely drug addict are murdered, and he decides it’s time for some rough justice.

Bye Bye, Baby Nathan Heller Books in Order Chicago Lightning Nathan Heller Books in Order Triple Play Nathan Heller Books in Order Target Lancer Nathan Heller Books in Order

  1. Bye Bye, Baby – It’s 1962, and Twentieth Century Fox is threatening to fire Marilyn Monroe. The blond goddess hires Nate Heller, private eye to the stars, to tap her phone so she will have a record of their calls in case they take her to court. When Heller starts listening, he uncovers far more than nasty conversations. The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia—even the Russians—are involved in actions focused on Marilyn. Not long after Heller signs on, Marilyn winds up dead of a convenient overdose. The detective feels he owes her, and the Kennedys, with whom he busted up corrupt unions in the 1950s.
  2. Chicago Lightning: The Collected Nathan Heller Short Stories – Tough, cynical, and clever, Nathan Heller has been called “the perfect private eye”, the best investigator that Chicago has to offer. In this engaging collection of thirteen stories, Heller encounters gangsters and petty crooks, noble doctors and quacks, loving wives and wanton women, and even the occasional honest cop.
  3. Triple Play: A Nathan Heller Casebook – Includes the novellas “Dying in the Post-War World”, “Kisses of Death”, and “Strike Zone”
  4. Target Lancer – Long before November 22, 1963, Nathan Heller, “P.I. to the Stars,” knows that a conspiracy is in the works. Several years earlier, Heller had been involved with the Kennedys, the Mob, and the CIA in the early stages of a plan to assassinate Fidel Castro. Shortly after, Heller’s Mafia contact is murdered.

Ask Not Nathan Heller Books in Order Better Dead Nathan Heller Books in Order Do No Harm Nathan Heller Books in Order

  1. Ask Not – Chicago, September 1964. Beatlemania sweeps the nation, the Vietnam War looms, and the Warren Commission prepares to blame a “lone-nut” assassin for the killing of President John F. Kennedy. But as the post-Camelot era begins, a suspicious outbreak of suicides, accidental deaths, and outright murders decimates assassination witnesses. When Nathan Heller and his son are nearly run down on a city street, the private detective wonders if he himself might be a loose end. . . .
  2. Better Dead – It’s the early 1950’s. Joe McCarthy is campaigning to rid America of the Red Menace. Nate Heller is doing legwork for the senator, though the Chicago detective is disheartened by McCarthy’s witch-hunting tactics. He’s made friends with a young staffer, Bobby Kennedy, while trading barbs with a potential enemy, the attorney Roy Cohn, who rubs Heller the wrong way. Not the least of which for successfully prosecuting the so-called Atomic Bomb spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. When famous mystery writer Dashiell Hammett comes to Heller representing a group of showbiz and literary leftists who are engaged in a last minute attempt to save the Rosenbergs, Heller decides to take on the case.
  3. Do No Harm – It’s 1954 and Heller takes on the Sam Sheppard case—a young doctor is startled from sleep and discovers his wife brutally murdered. He claims that a mysterious intruder killed his wife. But all the evidence points to a disturbed husband who has grown tired of married life and yearned to be free at all costs. Sheppard is swiftly convicted and sent to rot in prison.