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Ellroy PowellJames Ellroy: Demon Dog of Crime Fiction was released October 2015. Here’s the link to the book’s page on Palgrave Macmillan’s website. You can also buy the book on or

James Ellroy is both an acclaimed crime novelist and enigmatic literary figure. Works such as the LA Quartet and Underworld USA trilogy have become synonymous with his literary style as well as his self-styled Demon Dog of American crime fiction persona. Ellroy’s artistic vision, drawn from stylistic experimentation and the harrowing experiences of his early life, is contradictory and changeful and his influences range from fellow crime writers to classical music. James Ellroy: Demon Dog of Crime Fiction is a study of all Ellroy’s key works, from his debut novel Brown’s Requiem to the epic Underworld USA trilogy. This book traces the development of Ellroy’s writing style and the importance of his Demon Dog persona to American crime fiction. Drawing on extensive interviews and access to unpublished archival material, this book presents the most in depth and comprehensive portrait yet of James Ellroy, the man and author.

‘Steven Powell is THE James Ellroy authority.’

-Craig McDonald, author of Death in the Face.

ConversationsMy book, Conversations with James Ellroy, was released in February 2012. You can find more information about the book at University Press of Mississippi website. Here is the link to buy the book on or

This is a fascinating collection of interviews with the ‘bad boy’ of American crime fiction, conducted between 1984 to 2010. Born Lee Earle Ellroy in 1948, James Ellroy is one of the most critically acclaimed and controversial contemporary writers of crime and historical fiction. Ellroy’s complex narratives, which merge history and fiction, have pushed the boundaries of the crime fiction genre: American Tabloid, a revisionist look at the Kennedy era, was Time magazine’s Novel of the Year 1995, and his novels L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia were adapted into films. In Conversations with James Ellroy, Ellroy talks extensively about his life, his literary influences, his persona, and his attitudes towards politics and religion. In interviews with fellow crime writers Craig McDonald, David Peace, and others, including several previously unpublished interviews, Ellroy is at turns charismatic and eloquent, combative and enigmatic.

‘This is a superb collection of Ellroy interviews. As most of his readers will
know, Ellroy is an excellent interviewee. He is candid, lively, informative and
never dull. The interviews here cover the full spectrum of his work. […] This is a don’t miss for Ellroy fans. Highly recommended.’

-Richard B. Schwartz, author of Nice and Noir: Contemporary American Crime Fiction

My latest book is the anthology 100 American Crime Writers published by Palgrave Macmillan as part of their Crime Files series. It is available to buy on and

From Edgar Allan Poe to James Ellroy, crime writers have provided some of the most popular, controversial, acclaimed and disturbing works in American literature. 100 American Crime Writers provides critical biographies of some of the greatest and most important crime writers in American history. Both an important scholarly work and an enjoyable read accessible to a wider audience, this addition in Palgrave’s Crime Files series includes discussion of the lives of key crime writers, as well as analysis of the full breadth and scope of the genre – from John Dickson Carr’s Golden Age detective stories to Raymond Chandler’s hardboiled Philip Marlowe novels, Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct police procedurals to Megan Abbott’s modern day reimagining of the femme fatale. Drawing on some of the best and most recent scholarship in the field, all of the key writers and themes of the genre are discussed in this comprehensive study of one of the most fascinating and popular of literary genres.

‘This is a uniquely comprehensive guide. It combines range with coverage. Each entry has a useful biographical summary along with a concise critical survey of the writer’s fiction. The suggestions for further reading are just what are needed. This volume will make an invaluable companion to a large and complex field.’

– David Seed, University of Liverpool, UK

I contributed an essay to Cross-Cultural Connections in Crime Fiction edited by Vivien Miller and Helen Oakley. My piece was titled ‘”Betty Short and I Go Back”: James Ellroy and the Metanarrative of the Black Dahlia Case.’

Drawing on a range of disciplinary tools and critical analyses, this unique collection explores interdisciplinary connections between academic and professional crime writing, historical studies of crime and ‘true crime’, and screen portrayals of crime and criminals from the 1850s to the present day. The essays are based on murder and exploitation, outlaws, gunfighters, private eyes, bounty hunters, serial killers, gangsters, and the police procedural, and explore representations of race, gender, sexuality and memory. International in its coverage, the book includes analysesof well-known writers such as Maj Sjöwall, Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle, James Ellroy and Elizabeth Ruth.

‘A wide-ranging collection of essays on crime fiction, television and film which makes valuable new contributions to its subject area. Its crossing of cultural boundaries and a particular focus on issues of spatial representation, generic hybridity and gender mark it as a welcome addition to its field.’

– Peter Messent, University of Nottingham, UK

You can buy Cross-Cultural Connections in Crime Fiction on and

Serial Crime FictionI have written a chapter for the anthology Serial Crime Fiction titled ‘The Structure of the Whole: James Ellroy’s LA Quartet Series’. You can find more information on the book at Palgrave’s website.

Serial Crime Fiction is the first book to focus explicitly on the complexities of crime fiction seriality. As a whole the book argues that, far from being limited and repetitive, serial crime fiction exploits a seemingly infinite variety of permutations to explore major social issues. Covering definitions and development of the serial form, implications of the setting, perceptions and marketing of the series, this book also offers lively and innovative readings of nineteenth- to twenty-first-century crime fiction from Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the UK, and the USA. Authors studied include Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, Sara Paretsky, David Peace, James Ellroy, Maurice Leblanc, Lisa Marklund, Andrea Camilleri, and Jorge Luis Borges, across print, film and television.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jason Carter permalink
    January 15, 2016 8:03 pm

    Hi Steve, will your “Demon Dog of Crime Fiction” (2015) book be released in paperback? I LOVED the “conversations” book! Taken together, all those Ellroy interviews practically comprise an alternate Ellroy book! Thanks so much!

    • January 15, 2016 9:17 pm

      Hi Jason, thanks so much for your kind comment. Presently, there are no plans for a paperback edition but that might change depending on how well the book does. There is an e-book edition which is slightly cheaper. The issue of cost can be a real burden in academic publishing. You could try and get your library to order a copy.


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