NIGHT COVER, HARD LINE and LATE PAYMENTS - the Leroy Powder novels
Altogether there are three Leroy Powder novels: NIGHT COVER, HARD LINE and LATE PAYMENTS. Powder does also feature strongly in UNDERDOG, and occasionally in the last five Albert Samson novels and the Adele Buffington novel.
There are also some short stories featuring him. “Night Shift,” is included in the RELUCTANT DETECTIVE collection and "911" and "Powder Goes Hunting" both appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. A lot more recently "The Cards You're Dealt" was in Ellery Queen's MM, and has also been published by Hayakawa's Mystery Magazine. The story is also being used in a class to prepare Japanese students to translate from English.
Powder is not, by and large, a nice fella. Ironically, a real Indianapolis policeman once claimed that I based Powder on him in a story in the “Indianapolis Star.” A pity I’d never met the guy.
But a lot of people like Powder – he was my mother’s favorite character of mine. A reviewer in “The New Yorker” said of NIGHT COVER, “In the several days during which Mr. Lewin allows us to share his long waking hours, Leroy Powder becomes exhilaratingly alive.” That’s good, right?
And HARD LINE won Japan's Maltese Falcon Society's award for "Best foreign novel" in 1987. The falcon I received is pictured on my home page.