VJ Books Blog

Stuart M. Kaminsky (born 1934) is an award-winning American mystery writer. He is best known for three long-running series of mystery novels featuring the protagonists Toby Peters, a private detective in 1940s Hollywood; Inspector Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov, a Moscow police inspector; and veteran Chicago police officer Abe Lieberman. A more recent series follows Florida process-server Lew Fonesca.

Kaminsky’s Inspector Rostnikov novel A Cold Red Sunrise received the 1989 Edgar Award for Best Novel. He has earned six other Edgar nominations, most recently for the 2005 non-fiction book Behind the Mystery: Top Mystery Writers Interviewed, which was also nominated for an Anthony Award, a Macavity Award, and an Agatha Award. In 2006 Kaminsky received the Grandmaster Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

Kaminsky, who grew up in Chicago, earned a B.S. in journalism and an M.A. in English from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in speech from Northwestern University. He taught film and film history at Northwestern for 16 years, and then taught at Florida State for six years.

Kaminsky’s first novel was the 1977 Toby Peters mystery Bullet for a Star. He has since published more than 50 novels as well as story collections and nonfiction works. Kaminsky is a past president of the Mystery Writers of America.

Besides being one of America’s most prolific mystery writers, Kaminsky has inspired many other writers in the genre, including fellow Chicagoan Sara Paretsky, who dedicated the first novel in her V. I. Warshawski private-eye series to Kaminsky.
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