The Last Good Kiss (C.W. Sughrue #1) (Paperback)

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The Last Good Kiss (C.W. Sughrue #1) By James Crumley Cover Image
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Other Books in Series

This is book number 1 in the C.W. Sughrue series.

Staff Reviews

Some adjectives: tough, hard-boiled, sleazy, derelict, suspenseful, ridiculous, drama-rama (okay, that's a noun I think). "Rolling Stone" calls it the "last good mystery," but I really don't know what that means, coming from "Rolling Stone," and as time has not ceased and mysteries continue to be written. In general, people should be more careful with hyperbole. But this book is pretty good if you're looking for some tawdry crime-ridden nonsense circa 1978, featuring pretty ladies, beer-drinking bulldogs, an alcoholic famous author, a mysterious pottery artist, more dogs, more beer, whiskey, and one tough-tough-tough but tenderhearted private eye. Ah, life.

— Beth

The Last Good Kiss starts with a major bender as the detective takes an impromptu tour across the west with an alcoholic author and his beer-drinking bulldog. It gradually morphs into a domestic tragedy, a mystery that draws you into the intrigue and suspense with laconic humor. A unique book that still exemplifies all that is good about noir.

— Jacob S.


One of the most influential crime novels ever written, by a legend of the genre. 

Tough, hard-boiled, and brilliantly suspenseful, The Last Good Kiss is an unforgettable detective story starring C. W. Sughrue, a Montana investigator who kills time by working at a topless bar. Hired to track down a derelict author, he ends up on the trail of a girl missing in Haight-Ashbury for a decade. The tense hunt becomes obsessive as Sughrue takes a haunting journey through the underbelly of America's sleaziest nightmares.

About the Author

James Crumley was born in Three Rivers, Texas, and spent most of his childhood in South Texas. After serving three years in the U.S. Army and completing college degrees in history (BA, Texas College of Arts and Industries) and creative writing (MFA, University of Iowa), he joined the English faculty at the University of Montana at Missoula. He was also a visiting professor at a number of other institutions around the country, including the University of Texas at El Paso, Colorado State University, Reed College, and Carnegie-Mellon. His works include a novel of Vietnam, One to Count Cadence, and seven detective novels: The Wrong CaseThe Last Good Kiss, Dancing Bear, The Mexican Tree Duck, Bordersnakes, The Final Country, and The Right Madness. He died in Missoula in 2008.

Praise For…

"The last good mystery." —Rolling Stone

"James Crumley is a first-rate American writer.... pyrotechnically entertaining, sexy, compassionate." —The Village Voice

"What Raymond chandler did for the Los Angeles of the Thirties, James Crumley does for the roadside West of today." —Harper's
Product Details
ISBN: 9780394759890
ISBN-10: 0394759893
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Publication Date: November 5th, 1988
Pages: 256
Language: English
Series: C.W. Sughrue