Richard S. Prather


Richard S. Prather had a long and successful writing career and it was in 1950 that Richard's first Shell Scott mystery novel, The Case of the Vanishing Beauty, was published by Fawcett's Gold Medal Paperback Originals. His successful and best-selling Shell Scott series of thirty-six novels plus four short story collections, published between 1950 and 1987, have sold over 40 million copies in the United States and have enjoyed foreign language publication, selling millions more world-wide. In addition to the Shell Scott mysteries, Richard penned three novels under pseudonyms. He wrote the first Dragnet novel based on the television show, Dragnet, titled, "Dragnet: Case No. 561," published under the name, David Knight; used that same pseudonym for the initial publication of Pattern for Murder, later republished by Gold Medal Books as "The Scrambled Yeggs" by Richard S. Prather; and used the pen name Douglas Ring for "The Peddler," which was later republished under his own name by Gold Medal. He also published a number of short stories; and lent his name to the "Shell Scott Mystery Magazine."

Richard Scott Prather was born in Santa Ana, California on September 9, 1921. He served in the United States Merchant Marine during World War II, from 1942 until the end of the war in 1945. Richard married Tina Hager in 1945. He then worked as a civilian chief clerk of surplus property at March Air Force Base in Riverside, California until leaving that career to become a full time writer in 1949. Tina, his wife of 58 years, passed away in April of 2004. Richard passed away February 14, 2007.

Richard S. Prather's last book published before his death, "Shellshock," came out in hardcover in 1987 by Tor. He received the Private Eye Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award in 1986, and was twice on the Board of Directors of the Mystery Writers of America. His Shell Scott mysteries are still available as POD paperbacks and e-books, and a number of his novels are at as unabridged audio books. The non-Shell Scoot novel, "The Peddler," is now back in print, published by Hard Case Crime, November 2006.

"The Death Gods," unpublished at Prather’s death, was the ultimate conclusion to a best-selling writing career, and Prather was able to use his character, Shell Scott, to fulfill some of his personal passion about alternative vs. allopathic medicine. The 1,000 page handwritten manuscript was given to author, Linda Pendleton, wife of Don Pendleton, with hopes of readying it for publication. Prather’s fans have patiently awaited the arrival of "The Death Gods," the final Shell Scott novel, and Linda Pendleton/Pendleton Artists, is pleased to present it.

Prather’s mystery writing and classic Private Eye, Shell Scott character remain an inspiration to fans, both old and new, and to aspiring and established writers.

Linda Pendleton published "The Exclusive Richard S. Prather Interview" in December 2006, which became Prather's final interview.

Where to find Richard S. Prather online

Where to buy in print


The Death Gods (A Shell Scott Mystery)
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 148,260. Language: English. Published: October 14, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Happy-go-lucky, Los Angeles Private Eye, Shell Scott, bulldozes his way thru thugs, often with light-hearted humor, and with a beauty or two along the way, in this final novel of the long-running Shell Scott Series by Richard S. Prather. More than 40 million copies of Richard S. Prather's hard-boiled Shell Scott mysteries have been sold in the U.S., with millions more world-wide since 1950.

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