Reed Farrel Coleman

Reed Farrel Coleman (born March 29, 1956) is an American writer of crime fiction and a poet.

Reed Farrel Coleman
Reed Farrel Coleman
Left Coast Crime, Denver, CO, April 2008
Born (1956-03-29) March 29, 1956 (age 64)
Brooklyn, New York
Pen nameTony Spinosa
OccupationPoet, crime fiction writer
GenreCrime fiction
Notable worksMoe Prager series
Notable awardsAnthony (2006)
Audie (2013)
Barry (2006)
Macavity (2010)
Shamus (2006,2008,2009)
Years active1991 to present
ChildrenKaitlin, Dylan

Life and careerEdit

Reed Farrel Coleman, the youngest of three boys, was born and raised in the Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island, Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn. As a teenager, while walking to work, he heard a shot and saw a man lying in the street with a fatal stomach wound. That is when he realized, "People really do get hurt." He started writing in high school. He has worked at an ice cream store, in air freight at Kennedy Airport, as a car leasing agent, in baby food sales, cooking at a restaurant, as a cab driver, and delivering home heating oil. Coleman met his wife Rosanne at The New School in a writing class. They have two children, Kaitlin and Dylan. He now lives on Long Island.[1][2]

Coleman did not consider making writing a career until taking a Brooklyn College detective fiction class.[2] He is a multiple award-winning author, particularly his Moe Prager series. Also published are series featuring protagonists Gulliver Dowd, Dylan Klein, and Joe Serpe. The Dowd character was based on a retired police detective that he had met. The Joe Serpe novels were originally written under the pen name Tony Spinosa, but are now available as Coleman titles. He has written the stand-alone novels Tower with Ken Bruen, Bronx Reqiem with Det. (ret.) John Roe of the NYPD, and Gun Church, as well as several short stories, essays, and poems. Coleman has won Anthony, Audie, Barry, Macavity and Shamus Awards.[3][4][5][6][7] His books and stories have additionally been nominated for Gumshoe and Edgar Awards.[8][9] The books have been translated into seven languages.[10]

He considers William Blake, Lawrence Block, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett to be early influences. Later he found significance in the writing of colleagues Peter Blauner, Ken Bruen, Jim Fusilli, S.J. Rozan, and Peter Spiegelman. He says, though, that his single greatest writing influence was his college poetry professor, David Lehman, who provided "permission to be a writer and...the first clues on self-editing".[2][11] NPR has referred to him as "a hard-boiled poet", The Huffington Post says, "Coleman is the resident noir poet laureate of the United States" and The New York Times has commented, "If you dragged one (of his books) across the asphalt, you'd half-expect it to leave a chalk outline".[1][12][13]

With a four-book contract, Coleman takes over writing Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone series with the September 2014 publication of Blind Spot. He has also been signed to a two-book deal featuring retired Suffolk County (NY) cop turned PI Gus Murphy.[14] He is an adjunct instructor of English at Hofstra University, a former Executive Vice President of Mystery Writers of America, and a founding member of Mystery Writers of America University.


Dylan Klein seriesEdit

  • Life Goes Sleeping, Permanent Press, 1991. ISBN 1877946052
  • Little Easter, Permanent Press, 1993. ISBN 1877946230
  • They Don't Play Stickball in Milwaukee, Permanent Press, 1997. ISBN 1877946958

Moe Prager seriesEdit

Joe Serpe seriesEdit

(writing as Tony Spinosa)

Gulliver Dowd seriesEdit

Gus Murphy seriesEdit

Robert B. Parker's Jesse StoneEdit

  • Blind Spot, G.P. Putnam, 2014. ISBN 978-0399169458
  • The Devil Wins, G.P. Putnam, 2015.[15]
  • Debt to Pay, G.P. Putnam, 2016. ISBN 978-0399171437.
  • The Hangman’s Sonnet, Penguin Random House, 2017.
  • Colorblind, Penguin Random House, 2018.
  • The Bitterest Pill, Penguin Random House, 2019.

Standalone novelsEdit

Essays and short storiesEdit

(a selection)


  • "Portrait of the Killer As a Young Man"
    Dublin Noir: The Celtic Tiger Vs. the Ugly American, ed. Ken Bruen, Akashic Books, 2006, pp. 61–66. ISBN 978-1-888451-92-4
  • "Killing O'Malley" (as Tony Spinosa)
    Hardboiled Brooklyn, ed. Coleman, Bleak House, 2006, pp. 108–115. ISBN 1-932557-17-2
  • "Bat-Head Speed"
    These Guns for Hire, ed. by J. A. Konrath, Bleak House, 2006, pp. 299–306. ISBN 1-932557-20-2
  • "Another Role"
    Indian Country Noir, eds. Sarah Cortez & Liz Martínez, Akashic Books, 2010, pp. 214–238. ISBN 978-1-936070-05-3
  • "Mastermind" (fr. Long Island Noir, ed. K. Jones)
    USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series, ed. Johnny Temple, Akashic Books, 2013, pp 170–179. ISBN 978-1-61775-184-4
  • "The Terminal"
    Kwik Krimes, ed. Otto Penzler, Thomas & Mercer, 2013, pp. 93–96. ISBN 978-1612183008


  • "Go East, Young Man: Robert B. Parker, Jesse Stone, and Spenser"
    In Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero, ed. Otto Penzler, BenBella Books, 2012, pp. 193–210. ISBN 978-1-935618-57-7
  • "Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell (1998)"
    Books to Die For, eds. John Connolly & Declan Burke, Hodder & Stoughton, 2012, pp. 649–654. ISBN 978-1-444-75650-0


  • The Lineup: Poems on Crime 2, ed. Gerald So with Bagley, Narvaez & Rainone, Poetic Justice Press, 2009.
  • The Lineup: Poems on Crime 3, ed. Gerald So with Cortez, Narvaez & Rainone, Poetic Justice Press, 2010.
  • The Lineup: Poems on Crime 4, ed. Gerald So with Coleman, Cortez, & Narvaez, Poetic Justice Press, 2011.


Anthony AwardEdit

  • 2006 Best Paperback Original - The James Deans - WINNER
  • 2010 Best Paperback Original - Tower (w/Ken Bruen) - finalist
  • 2012 Best Novel - Hurt Machine - finalist

Audie AwardEdit

  • 2013 Original Work - Gun Church - WINNER

Barry AwardEdit

  • 2006 Best Paperback Novel - The James Deans - WINNER
  • 2008 Best Novel - Soul Patch - finalist
  • 2012 Best Novel - Hurt Machine - finalist

Gumshoe AwardEdit

  • 2006 Best Novel - The James Deans - finalist

Edgar AwardEdit

  • 2006 Best Paperback Original - The James Deans - finalist
  • 2008 Best Novel - Soul Patch - finalist
  • 2014 Best Short Story - "The Terminal" in Kwik Krimes - finalist

Macavity AwardEdit

  • 2006 Best Mystery Novel - The James Deans - finalist
  • 2010 Best Mystery Novel - Tower (w/Ken Bruen) - WINNER
  • 2008 Best Mystery Novel - Soul Patch - finalist
  • 2014 Best Mystery Short Story - "The Terminal" in Kwik Krimes - finalist

Shamus AwardEdit

  • 2006 Best PI Paperback Original - The James Deans - WINNER
  • 2008 Best PI Hardcover - Soul Patch - WINNER
  • 2009 Best PI Hardcover - Empty Ever After - WINNER
  • 2017 Best PI Hardcover - Where It Hurts - WINNER


  1. ^ a b Wilson, Michael (May 15, 2006). "Reed Coleman Writes of Crime and Brooklyn". New York Times. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Reed Farrel Coleman". Heirloom Bookstore. 2007. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  3. ^ "Anthony Award Nominees and Winners". Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  4. ^ "Winners and Finalists". Audio Publishers Association. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  5. ^ "Barry Awards". Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine. Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  6. ^ "Macavity Awards". Mystery Readers International. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  7. ^ "Shamus Award Winners". Private Eye Writers of America. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  8. ^ Sobin, Roger M. (2007). The Essential Mystery Lists: For Readers, Collectors, and Librarians (2007 ed.). Poisoned Pen Press. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-59058-457-6.
  9. ^ "Edgar Awards". Mystery Writers of America. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  10. ^ "Reed Farrel Coleman". The Book Report. 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  11. ^ "Reed Farrel Coleman". Beaks and Geeks Podcast @3:40. June 10, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  12. ^ Corrigan, Maureen (May 14, 2009). "A Wise Guy Mystery Writer Makes Good". NPR. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  13. ^ Pinter, Jason (October 6, 2010). "Books Uncovered - Indie Press Edition!". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  14. ^ Deahl, Rachel (April 7, 2014). "Coleman to Handle Jesse Stone for Putnam". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on July 9, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  15. ^ "Reed Farrel Coleman". Beaks and Geeks Podcast @9:20. June 10, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.

External linksEdit