Collector’s Corner

From the very start of my fiction career, I have been fortunate to enjoy the attention and support of the book-collecting community. It is with great fondness that I remember the serious first edition mavens lining up with heavy shopping bags at Miami Book Fair and at independent and mystery bookstores around the country. I am flattered and grateful that book lovers have found my stuff not only worth reading, but worth keeping.

I am pleased to offer for sale a limited number of signed first editions from my own collection. These include all the Key West novels, as well as selected non-fiction and collaborations.

All books are in perfect condition, except as noted. Satisfaction is guaranteed. Selected foreign language editions are also available. International shipping by arrangement.

Please check availability by writing to:

And be sure to see the bottom of this page for a truly unique opportunity…



FLORIDA STRAITS—My first published novel, and the start of the Key West series. I own exactly two copies from a modest first printing. There is some slight fading on the spine. Simon & Schuster, 1992.



SCAVENGER REEF—A darkly funny mystery about art, money, and friendship. Only one copy available. Slightly faded on spine. Simon & Schuster, 1994.



SUNBURN—The Chihuahua–as well as most of the cast of Florida Straits–returns in this comedy-drama about a Godfather trying, better late than never, to ease his guilty conscience. Hyperion, 1995.



Also available—The British first edition, Macmillan, 1995.



TROPICAL DEPRESSION—Murray Zemelman, aka The Bra King, is depressed. Then suddenly he isn’t. Was it the Prozac, the Key West sunshine, or the chance to make millions as a partner in an Indian casino? Hyperion, 1996.



Also available—The British first edition, Macmillan, 1996.



VIRGIN HEAT—A love story, sort of. Mafia princess Angelina Amaro loves Mafia soldier Sal Martucci. Sal rats out Angelina’s Dad, and gets a new face from the Witness Protection Program. Father and daughter have quite different ideas of consummation and closure when all three meet again. Hyperion, 1997.



Also available—British first edition, Orion, 1997.



MANGROVE SQUEEZE—A different Mafia–the Russians–provide the nastiness in this comedy-thriller about plutonium, true love, aging parents, and the fun people you might meet if you lived in a mangrove swamp. Hyperion, 1998.



Also available—British first edition, Orion, 1998.



WELCOME TO PARADISE—The facetiously-named Big Al Maracotta is a small man with a big dog. The literally-named Big Al Tuschman is a large man with a little dog. Only natural that a pair of bumbling thugs would confuse the two. Villard, 1999.



Also available—British first edition, Orion, 1999.



THE NAKED DETECTIVE—Meet Pete Amsterdam, world’s most reluctant private eye. But even he can’t resist the bizarre but fetching blonde-in-distress who appears at his hot tub one sultry Key West day. Villard, 2000.



Also available—British first edition, Orion, 2000.







THE BIG TIME—My first published book, and a Business Week ten-best, this group portrait of the Harvard Business School’s Class of 1949 is also a social history of America at the height of its swagger. Very rare. Harper & Row, 1986.



THE HUNGER FOR MORE—Essentially a book-length essay, this is a take-no-prisoners commentary on greed and values, perhaps even more timely now than when first published. I am proud that this book continues to be cited in our ongoing cultural dialog, and remains a favorite among collectors. Times Books, 1989.






BOSS OF BOSSES–Written with two then-active FBI agents, this 1991 bestseller, later a TV movie starring Chazz Palminteri, remains a classic of the true-crime genre. My name appears only in an Acknowledgment. I have never before signed copies of this book. I am offering a single first edition. Simon & Schuster, 1991.



NOT FADE AWAY—I am proud to share the byline of this memoir with the late Peter Barton, whose life and much-too-early death are chronicled here. The most emotionally difficult collaboration I have ever done, it was also probably the most rewarding. Rodale, 2003.



Peter Barton did not live to see his memoir published. Mindful of his legacy, however, he signed a small number of loose sheets that were later sewn into the finished volumes. These are very rare, mostly owned by friends and family.

Signed by Peter Barton and Laurence Shames–$200.






Jeff MacNelly, Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist and creator of the widely syndicated comic strip Shoe, was a dear friend of mine in Key West. The basis of our friendship was marvelously simple: His stuff made me laugh; my stuff made him laugh.

While cartooning was Jeff’s livelihood, he was a terrific artist in many media. He could draw like an Old Master; he sculpted in metal and clay; when I knew him (he died, far too young, in 2000) he was getting back into oil painting. He appeared at my door one day with this inspired rendering of Bert the Shirt.

For more about the origin of the work, or to buy a giclee of the image, please visit

After living with the original and enjoying it every day for many years, I am now prepared to offer it for sale. The painting is 16×20 inches, framed in Hawaiian koa wood and signed by the artist in the lower left. The price is $75,000. Please write to:


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