Robert Crais

Robert Crais
Born (1953-06-20) June 20, 1953
Independence, Louisiana, United States
Pen name Elvis Cole, Jerry Gret Samouche
Occupation Novelist, Screenwriter
Genre Fiction, crime fiction, thrillers

Robert Crais (pronounced to rhyme with 'chase') (born June 20, 1953) is an American author of detective fiction. Crais began his career writing scripts for television shows such as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Quincy, Miami Vice and L.A. Law. His writing is influenced by Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Robert B. Parker and John Steinbeck. Crais has won numerous awards for his crime novels. Lee Child has cited him in interviews as one of his favourite American crime writers. The novels of Robert Crais have been published in 62 countries and are bestsellers around the world. Robert Crais received the Ross Macdonald Literary Award in 2006 and was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 2014.


Born in Independence, Louisiana, he was adopted and raised as an only child.[1] He attended Louisiana State University and studied mechanical engineering.[1]

Crais moved to Hollywood in 1976 where he found work as a screenwriter for the television series Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey and Miami Vice, and was nominated for an Emmy award.[2] Following the death of his father in 1985, Crais published the novel, The Monkey's Raincoat, which won the 1988 Anthony Award for "Best First Novel" and[3] the 1988 Mystery Readers International Macavity Award for "Best Paperback Original".[4] It has since been selected as one of the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.

In 2006 Crais was awarded the Ross Macdonald Literary Award[5] and in 2010 the Private Eye Writers of America's (PWA) Lifetime Achievement Award The Eye.[6] In 2014 Crais received the Mystery Writers of America's (MWA) Grand Master Award.[7]

Crais novels include: Demolition Angel, Hostage, Suspect, and The Two-Minute Rule. All of Crais' books feature the characters Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, with The Watchman (2007), The First Rule (2010) and The Sentry (2011) centering on Joe Pike. Taken is a 2012 detective novel by Robert Crais. It is the fifteenth in a series of linked novels centering on the character Elvis Cole. The 2005 film, Hostage, was an adaptation of one of his books.[8]


Elvis Cole/Joe Pike novels

Nr Year Title Award Result
1. 1987 The Monkey's Raincoat Anthony Award – Best Paperback Original 1988 Won[9]
Macavity Award – Best First Novel 1988Won[10]
Edgar Award – Best Paperback Original 1988 Nominated[11]
Shamus Award – Best Original P.I. Paperback 1988 Nominated[6]
2. 1989 Stalking the Angel
3. 1992 Lullaby Town Anthony Award – Best Novel 1993 Nominated[9]
Shamus Award – Best P.I. Hardcover 1993 Nominated[6]
4. 1993 Free Fall Edgar Award – Best Novel 1994 Nominated[11]
5. 1995 Voodoo River Dilys Award Nominated[12]
6. 1996 Sunset Express Shamus Award – Best P.I. Novel 1997 Won[6]
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 1996 selection
7. 1997 Indigo Slam Shamus Award – Best P.I. Novel 1998 Nominated[6]
8. 1999 L.A. Requiem Dilys Award Won[12]
Edgar Award – Best Novel 2000 Nominated[11]
Anthony Award – Best Novel 2000 Nominated[9]
Shamus Award – Best P.I. Novel 2000 Nominated[6]
9. 2003 The Last Detective Audie Award Finalist
10. 2005 The Forgotten Man Shamus Award – Best P.I. Novel 2006 Nominated[6]
11. 2007 The Watchman Barry Award – Best Thriller 2008 Won
Mystery Ink's Gumshoe Award – Best Thriller 2008 Won
Anthony Award – Best Novel 2008Nominated[9]
International Thriller Writers Awards – Best Novel 2008 Nominated
12. 2008 Chasing Darkness Southern California Independent Booksellers Association – Best Mystery Award Nominated
13. 2010 The First Rule Shamus Award – Best Hardcover P.I. Novel 2011 Nominated[6]
14. 2011 The Sentry
15. 2012 Taken Shamus Award – Best Hardcover P.I. Novel 2013 Won[6]
Left Coast Crime – The Watson (mystery novel with the best sidekick) 2013 Nominated[13]
16. November 10, 2015 The Promise

Other novels

Year Title Publisher Award Result
2000 Demolition Angel Doubleday Mary Higgins Clark Award 2001 Nominated[11]
Dilys Award Nominated[12]
2001 Hostage Doubleday New York Times Book Review Notable Book
2006 The Two-Minute Rule Simon & Schuster London Evening Standard Best Crime Novel of the Year
Otto Penzler, The New York Sun Top Ten Best Crime Novels of the Year
Oline Cogdill, Sun-Sentinel Top Ten Best Crime Novels of the Year
January Magazine Best Books of 2006
Audie Award Finalist
2013 Suspect


  1. 1 2 "Encyclopedia of World Biography". Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  2. "34th Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners". Television Academy: Emmys. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  3. "Macavity Awards". Retrieved 2012-03-14.
  4. "History of Bouchercon". Retrieved 2012-03-14.
  5. "Santa Barbara Book and Author Festival - Awards". Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Shamus Award". Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  7. "MWA Announces 2014 Grand Master and Raven Awards". Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  8. "Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  9. 1 2 3 4 "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Award Nominees and Winners". Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  10. "Macavity Awards". Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  11. 1 2 3 4 "Edgar Award Database". Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  12. 1 2 3 "The Dilys Award". Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  13. "2013 Left Coast Crime Awards". Retrieved January 25, 2014.
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