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Rafferty's Rules: A Rafferty P.I. Mystery

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Rafferty’s Rule 23: You show me a man who always fights fair and I’ll show you a man who loses too often. Fifteen years ago, Rafferty saved Vivian Mollison from a crazed junkie who tried to blow her head off. A lot has changed since then. Rafferty’s no longer a cop, and Vivian’s now twenty-five, studying sociology at SMU, with a father who made a fortune in computers. S Rafferty’s Rule 23: You show me a man who always fights fair and I’ll show you a man who loses too often. Fifteen years ago, Rafferty saved Vivian Mollison from a crazed junkie who tried to blow her head off. A lot has changed since then. Rafferty’s no longer a cop, and Vivian’s now twenty-five, studying sociology at SMU, with a father who made a fortune in computers. So when Rafferty gets summoned to the Mollison estate and told to chase down the five outlaw bikers who kidnapped Vivian and put her into a drug-induced twilight zone, it’s mixed emotions. The payday will be big, but he’ll have to earn every penny of it. The bikers aren’t likely to come quietly and who knows how many people could get hurt in the crossfire. But behind all that fun and excitement, there’s still a girl who needs his help. Rafferty saved Vivian once. Can he do it again? If you’re a fan of Spenser, Mike Hammer or Matt Scudder, then this hardboiled pulp thriller, from Shamus Award Winner W. Glenn Duncan, will keep you reading late into the dark night. RAFFERTY'S RULES is a hardboiled P.I. mystery in the tradition of the best pulp thrillers. Rafferty’s a Dallas P.I. and an ex-cop who spent enough time on the streets to understand how things work. And when they don’t, Rafferty’s the guy you’ll want on your side. He may quote Latin occasionally, smoke too much and be a cynical sonofabitch, but when it all hits the fan and you need someone you can trust, you’ll be glad you called Rafferty. Originally published by Ballantine, this 30th Anniversary release of RAFFERTY'S RULES marks the first time that W. Glenn Duncan’s work has been available in digital format. We doubt that Rafferty would quietly accept the ongoing march of technology that provides this opportunity, but even a grizzled P.I. has to grow up sometime. This hardboiled PI series will continue with the first new Rafferty story in nearly three decades. FALSE GODS, written by W. Glenn Duncan Jr. (son of the original author) sees Rafferty looking for a missing girl, up to his ass in religious fundamentalists and needing all the help he can get from his old pals Cowboy and Mimi—and a few new ones—to make sure he gets out alive. Join the Rafferty Readers’ Group at RaffertyPI.com to get the latest news on the upcoming release of FALSE GODS. Praise for W. Glenn Duncan: “Sometimes it seemed W. Glenn Duncan's Texas P.I. Rafferty had a rule for everything, but the fact remains that most of them were a hoot. And, of course, a further irony is that "Rafferty's Rules" is, in fact, an Australian football term for "no rules at all.” - Thrilling Detective Website “I have all of the Rafferty titles in my collection. I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff over the years, but the Rafferty books are a mainstay. I think they're terrific!” - Paul Bishop “Duncan truly captured the pure essence of the definitive smart-ass private eye in his character Rafferty. Take part Sam Spade with a little Mike Hammer, mix in some Spenser and you have an awesome character.” - Cliff Fausset “At first sniff, it may smell like Spenser with a cowboy hat, but take a good whiff: W.


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Rafferty’s Rule 23: You show me a man who always fights fair and I’ll show you a man who loses too often. Fifteen years ago, Rafferty saved Vivian Mollison from a crazed junkie who tried to blow her head off. A lot has changed since then. Rafferty’s no longer a cop, and Vivian’s now twenty-five, studying sociology at SMU, with a father who made a fortune in computers. S Rafferty’s Rule 23: You show me a man who always fights fair and I’ll show you a man who loses too often. Fifteen years ago, Rafferty saved Vivian Mollison from a crazed junkie who tried to blow her head off. A lot has changed since then. Rafferty’s no longer a cop, and Vivian’s now twenty-five, studying sociology at SMU, with a father who made a fortune in computers. So when Rafferty gets summoned to the Mollison estate and told to chase down the five outlaw bikers who kidnapped Vivian and put her into a drug-induced twilight zone, it’s mixed emotions. The payday will be big, but he’ll have to earn every penny of it. The bikers aren’t likely to come quietly and who knows how many people could get hurt in the crossfire. But behind all that fun and excitement, there’s still a girl who needs his help. Rafferty saved Vivian once. Can he do it again? If you’re a fan of Spenser, Mike Hammer or Matt Scudder, then this hardboiled pulp thriller, from Shamus Award Winner W. Glenn Duncan, will keep you reading late into the dark night. RAFFERTY'S RULES is a hardboiled P.I. mystery in the tradition of the best pulp thrillers. Rafferty’s a Dallas P.I. and an ex-cop who spent enough time on the streets to understand how things work. And when they don’t, Rafferty’s the guy you’ll want on your side. He may quote Latin occasionally, smoke too much and be a cynical sonofabitch, but when it all hits the fan and you need someone you can trust, you’ll be glad you called Rafferty. Originally published by Ballantine, this 30th Anniversary release of RAFFERTY'S RULES marks the first time that W. Glenn Duncan’s work has been available in digital format. We doubt that Rafferty would quietly accept the ongoing march of technology that provides this opportunity, but even a grizzled P.I. has to grow up sometime. This hardboiled PI series will continue with the first new Rafferty story in nearly three decades. FALSE GODS, written by W. Glenn Duncan Jr. (son of the original author) sees Rafferty looking for a missing girl, up to his ass in religious fundamentalists and needing all the help he can get from his old pals Cowboy and Mimi—and a few new ones—to make sure he gets out alive. Join the Rafferty Readers’ Group at RaffertyPI.com to get the latest news on the upcoming release of FALSE GODS. Praise for W. Glenn Duncan: “Sometimes it seemed W. Glenn Duncan's Texas P.I. Rafferty had a rule for everything, but the fact remains that most of them were a hoot. And, of course, a further irony is that "Rafferty's Rules" is, in fact, an Australian football term for "no rules at all.” - Thrilling Detective Website “I have all of the Rafferty titles in my collection. I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff over the years, but the Rafferty books are a mainstay. I think they're terrific!” - Paul Bishop “Duncan truly captured the pure essence of the definitive smart-ass private eye in his character Rafferty. Take part Sam Spade with a little Mike Hammer, mix in some Spenser and you have an awesome character.” - Cliff Fausset “At first sniff, it may smell like Spenser with a cowboy hat, but take a good whiff: W.

30 review for Rafferty's Rules: A Rafferty P.I. Mystery

  1. 5 out of 5

    K

    My first encounter with this author was surprisingly enjoyable. If I wasn’t already a fan of Spencer and Elvis Cole, I might have thought this character to be uniquely entertaining. Unfortunately, Rafferty is essentially a copy of Spencer, even down to the annoying girlfriend. The storyline is decent, but the characters are a bit two-dimensional, and the writing lacks the ingenuity of Parker or Atkins. Nevertheless, I found the book to be enjoyable and, having just finished a Spencer novel, was i My first encounter with this author was surprisingly enjoyable. If I wasn’t already a fan of Spencer and Elvis Cole, I might have thought this character to be uniquely entertaining. Unfortunately, Rafferty is essentially a copy of Spencer, even down to the annoying girlfriend. The storyline is decent, but the characters are a bit two-dimensional, and the writing lacks the ingenuity of Parker or Atkins. Nevertheless, I found the book to be enjoyable and, having just finished a Spencer novel, was in a pretty good place for comparison. In fact, the author does about as good a job as possible in emulating the flavor of the wisecracking private detective so beloved by fans of Parker and later, Atkins. The parallels are unavoidable: for back-up, Rafferty calls on a character named “Cowboy,” who is tough as old boot leather and favors a Ruger Blackhawk large caliber revolver. In the domestic department, he enjoys a saccharine-laced relationship with a woman who is beautiful, sexy, and possessed of unending patience. Sound too familiar? It is if you read any of the Spencer novels but, as is the case with those, this book is all about irreverent fun in the midst of a rather serious crime-solving story. Rafferty manages to be smarter than the cops, tougher than the bad guys, and never without a witty remark. So 3.5 stars rounded down for an overall decent read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    This was originally written in the late ‘80’s and recently updated. It is great, fun reading. Rafferty is an old fashioned politically incorrect PI in Dallas. His friends are all equally incorrect. In this novel he is hired to find the motorcycle gang to whom a millionaire’s daughter was sold and who kept her for approximately ten months while they (and the drugs the forced into her) turned her zombielike. It is filled with action and comedy and is just enjoyable reading. Everyone who likes hard This was originally written in the late ‘80’s and recently updated. It is great, fun reading. Rafferty is an old fashioned politically incorrect PI in Dallas. His friends are all equally incorrect. In this novel he is hired to find the motorcycle gang to whom a millionaire’s daughter was sold and who kept her for approximately ten months while they (and the drugs the forced into her) turned her zombielike. It is filled with action and comedy and is just enjoyable reading. Everyone who likes hard boiled PI’s should take the time to spend some with Rafferty. Thanks to the author and publisher for an E-Galley for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paula Michalowski

    Anything but by the rules! A wisecracking shamus who just might make you laugh out loud as he runs amuck killing the bad guys and saving the damsels. A lot of fun but still serious stuff.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ted Tayler

    "Breaking the Rules" This had to have been written at least twenty years ago. It's a throwback. When men were men etcetera. It was so redolent of the great private eyes stories of the Fifties. I loved the Rafferty character and with his supporting cast of males, females and bikes it produced a sure-fire hit for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    BonusMom

    Excellent This is an excellent quick read. It has action, humor and a little romance. The characters interact well and the story flows smoothly. Loved the humor and quirkiness of the characters, all of whom remind you of someone else. Loved it.. highly recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    I soooo wanted to love this book, but I didn't. It's a series, which after reading this first one, kinda surprises me a bit. The story itself isn't bad. There are several quite interesting characters. But the writing, oh it's not real great. Primarily the dialogue between characters is pretty rough. It seems forced, campy at times, predictable, and just not real imaginative. Which is a detachment from the parts of the story that describe places and things. That writing is okay, if not good. So, I soooo wanted to love this book, but I didn't. It's a series, which after reading this first one, kinda surprises me a bit. The story itself isn't bad. There are several quite interesting characters. But the writing, oh it's not real great. Primarily the dialogue between characters is pretty rough. It seems forced, campy at times, predictable, and just not real imaginative. Which is a detachment from the parts of the story that describe places and things. That writing is okay, if not good. So, I've been meaning to read this book for a long time. I liked the first 30-40 pages because its just the sorta book I go for, then things got forced, campy, predictable, etc. If you're looking for a good private-eye/detective book, there are many others out there better than this one. I say skip it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Collins

    Loved it! I am a die-hard Mike Hammer fan and Rafferty reminds me a lot of him. Hardnosed, stubborn, determined to do what's right, and not afraid to get into trouble doing it. This story has everything I love and look for in my mysteries-plenty of action, a great central character with his woman by his side (yeah, I know; a little backwards thinking, but I can't help it), and the bad guys getting their's in spades. I highly recommend this first in series and I can't wait to sink my teeth into t Loved it! I am a die-hard Mike Hammer fan and Rafferty reminds me a lot of him. Hardnosed, stubborn, determined to do what's right, and not afraid to get into trouble doing it. This story has everything I love and look for in my mysteries-plenty of action, a great central character with his woman by his side (yeah, I know; a little backwards thinking, but I can't help it), and the bad guys getting their's in spades. I highly recommend this first in series and I can't wait to sink my teeth into the others.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    #1 in the Rafferty series. This 1987 series debut by author W. Glenn Duncan is a promising start. Ex-cop Rafferty, who has left the Dallas PD by mutual agreement, has his own rules for everything. He is a hard-boiled, pulp era detective who owes a debt to Mike Hammer and Spenser (even as regards their single but committed romantic relationships). His sidekicks, Cowboy and Mimi, form a most distinctive pair of backups. Rafferty's a Dallas P.I. and an ex-cop who spent enough time on the streets to #1 in the Rafferty series. This 1987 series debut by author W. Glenn Duncan is a promising start. Ex-cop Rafferty, who has left the Dallas PD by mutual agreement, has his own rules for everything. He is a hard-boiled, pulp era detective who owes a debt to Mike Hammer and Spenser (even as regards their single but committed romantic relationships). His sidekicks, Cowboy and Mimi, form a most distinctive pair of backups. Rafferty's a Dallas P.I. and an ex-cop who spent enough time on the streets to understand how things work. Fifteen years ago, Rafferty saved Vivian Mollison from a crazed junkie who tried to blow her head off. A lot has changed since then. Rafferty’s no longer a cop, and Vivian’s now twenty-five, studying sociology at SMU, with a father who made a fortune in computers. So when Rafferty gets summoned to the Mollison estate and told to chase down the five outlaw bikers who kidnapped Vivian and put her into a drug-induced twilight zone, it’s mixed emotions. The payday will be big, but he’ll have to earn every penny of it. The bikers aren’t likely to come quietly and who knows how many people could get hurt in the crossfire. But behind all that fun and excitement, there’s still a girl who needs his help.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    😊 Rafferty lives by his own rules, once a cop who saved a little girl called Vivian from a crazed junkie ready to blow her head off for some cash gets a call to save her again. But how little Vivian is now 25 and a sociology student. Vivian gets herself into a situation which she believes she can handle just so she can do a sociology appear on biker gangs. So, when Rafferty learns that Vivian was previously missing for 10 months at the hands of biker gangs he learns she was sold from one gang to 😊 Rafferty lives by his own rules, once a cop who saved a little girl called Vivian from a crazed junkie ready to blow her head off for some cash gets a call to save her again. But how little Vivian is now 25 and a sociology student. Vivian gets herself into a situation which she believes she can handle just so she can do a sociology appear on biker gangs. So, when Rafferty learns that Vivian was previously missing for 10 months at the hands of biker gangs he learns she was sold from one gang to another. Permanently kept in a drug induced stupor and had God only knows what done to her. She was found abandoned and returned to her parents and her parents want revenge. Vivian isn't the one bright girl before her ordeal. Rafferty doesn't do revenge though but at what price will be change his mind? A few grand per head of each biker he kills? Rafferty begins the hunt....... Well written exciting book. Although based around kidnap of a young girl there is no gruesome describing sex or otherwise scenes. It is however mentioned upon such things did happen. The author did a good job telling how things went down without having going into great detail.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ken Finlay

    I don't consider myself politically correct - I come from an age when good manners mattered, I open doors for women - men, too. I try to treat people well, and sometimes I tie myself up in knots trying to be nice to everyone. That doesn't mean I treat all people equally - some people are not worthy of respect and I mostly just ignore them. I'm a fan of Chandler and Hammett - and Rafferty deserves his place among their creations. He's tough, he's got a sense of humour, and he strides down those me I don't consider myself politically correct - I come from an age when good manners mattered, I open doors for women - men, too. I try to treat people well, and sometimes I tie myself up in knots trying to be nice to everyone. That doesn't mean I treat all people equally - some people are not worthy of respect and I mostly just ignore them. I'm a fan of Chandler and Hammett - and Rafferty deserves his place among their creations. He's tough, he's got a sense of humour, and he strides down those mean streets without hesitation. The story is linear, and all the better for it - he seeks justice for a young woman who was taken and abused by bikers (she has returned to her family but is barely functional) - he tells her parents that he will find those men who abused her ... but he won't agree to kill them. I didn't take any bets on their survival :) It's a very familiar story and it takes a skilled writer to make it just that little bit different - I liked the main characters and I enjoyed the story. If you like hard-boiled crime fiction - this is a damned good example.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Rule Number 45: Always Expect the Unexpected Rafferty has many rules that he makes up as he goes. They are flexible to meet his needs. Rafferty irritates some characters in this book. He has a smart mouth and there isn't a joke he hasn't worked into conversation. He has a girlfriend he is crazy about and a mixture of friends to help him in his private investigator duties. He is lots of fun to read about. I wish I got just a little more at the end, but that doesn't spoil the fun. I recommend you r Rule Number 45: Always Expect the Unexpected Rafferty has many rules that he makes up as he goes. They are flexible to meet his needs. Rafferty irritates some characters in this book. He has a smart mouth and there isn't a joke he hasn't worked into conversation. He has a girlfriend he is crazy about and a mixture of friends to help him in his private investigator duties. He is lots of fun to read about. I wish I got just a little more at the end, but that doesn't spoil the fun. I recommend you read this book and enjoy!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anita Rodgers

    I didn't realize it until I started reading that this book was actually written in the 80's. So the prose is a bit dated. And though it supposed to take place in Dallas, if the city hadn't been mentioned, I'd have thought it took place in California or New York. That being said, it's a good tough P.I. mystery, was a wise talking former cop P.I. If you like that and don't mind some misogynistic phrasing, then you'll probably enjoy it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ramona

    Great read Rafferty is a PI, he roots for the underdog. He gets a job to find some bikers that kidnapped a rich family's daughter, kept her for 20 months, then dropped her off at the side of the road. She'd been drugged and passed around, now she's just not the same. Rafferty won't take extra money to kill them ( like the Mom offered), but he will kill them if he has to. Really rich characters supporting cast .

  14. 5 out of 5

    Don Gorman

    (3). This book is just big fun. Rafferty is a winner. Retired cop, tough guy, as implied in the title, full of rules, all over the top and sardonic as hell. A small supporting cast, a weird little story but action galore. Rafferty does have a pair of sidekicks to help him out with the heavy lifting and a terrific lady friend that keeps him just the slightest bit grounded. This was a hoot. Good stuff.

  15. 5 out of 5

    John

    This is 250 pages of pure enjoyment. The quips are as rapid-fire as the violence; it's like DEATH WISH meets THE BIG SLEEP. The story is simple, and despite having a private investigator as the main character, it's more thriller than mystery. The writing is excellent, and Rafferty's complicated moral code lands him in the gray area between hero and anti-hero. The book was eventually turned into the Lorenzo Lamas movie SNAKEEATER III: HIS LAW, at which point author W. Glenn Duncan threw up his han This is 250 pages of pure enjoyment. The quips are as rapid-fire as the violence; it's like DEATH WISH meets THE BIG SLEEP. The story is simple, and despite having a private investigator as the main character, it's more thriller than mystery. The writing is excellent, and Rafferty's complicated moral code lands him in the gray area between hero and anti-hero. The book was eventually turned into the Lorenzo Lamas movie SNAKEEATER III: HIS LAW, at which point author W. Glenn Duncan threw up his hands and retired from writing altogether.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Fifteen years have passed since policeman Rafferty saved Vivian Mollison life from a crazed junkie. Now he is being employed as a private investigator by her parents to trace the bikers who had recently 'kidnapped' her and left her stranded. An enjoyable quick and easy read, with some likeable wise-cracking characters.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Steve Switsky

    great book for the hairy-knuckled crew but enough arcane references to satisfy the snob in you. i enjoy seeing bad people terminated instead of rehabilitated enough so that they can go out and wreak havoc again - so sue me good plot, moves fairly rapidly, well done, will read next installment.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    Good read. Rafferty reminds me a lot of Robert Parker’s “Spenser” books. The story lines moves along well, Rafferty has some of Spenser’s wit, they share an occupation and a tough-guy image that masks a strong sense of ethics and standing up for the right...and the little guy or gal, as the case may be.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    For an indie novel, Rafferty's Rules is OK. It seems like a Spenser wannabe, or perhaps some combination of Spenser, Elvis Cole, and a few other detectives with fists of iron and hearts of gold. The writing and creativity aren't up to Parker's and Crais' level, but it wasn't terrible. The author passed away in 2019, so there won't be more than the seven installments already in the series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    John Shearer

    Rafters Rules (1) This is a good read that has not been giving off clues to the perpetrators . The story starts fast and goes from there, not a lot of twists and turns but enough to make it a good mystery

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Golik

    Very witty moves at a good pace. Did not care for the ending. The ending was to abrupt.I liked the book rafferty and hilda. I enjoyed reading how they spent time together.. Very nice

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robbie

    I very much enjoyed this one and am looking forward to reading all the others in the series. The protagonist was likeable, tough and intelligent. That meets my criteria for an excellent mystery. I rate this one 5 stars.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mary Barrett

    Five stars Wow! Now that was a good PI book! A lot of action. Someone who had actually served time on a police department and was a wise cracking, bad ass. My kind of series. I also appreciate the lack of torrid love scenes. This is no cozy mystery, thank goodness!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linda Look

    Rafferty is a private investigator asked by the parents of a college student who was abducted and sold to a motorcycle group to find and bring to justice those involved. Likeable characters, good plot, fast read. I rate this a 4.9

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Quinn

    An excellent mystery This is the first Rafferty mystery I've read and it won't be the last! I liked his character and how he interacts with others. The ending was very good too. Looking forward to the next book too!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Susan J Bociek

    Nice chap, that Rafferty A very likeable kind of rogue-ish P.I. with a great sense of humour and strong morals. You can't help liking Rafferty and his antique dealing girlfriend though they make an odd couple! I will definitely read another Rafferty book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Cochrane

    I liked it. Rafferty has a rule for everything. And you have to admire someone with rules. Good read. Lots of action. Plus some humor. I don’t know when this was written but the scene where Rafferty beat out the reporter to the pay phone made me smile. Recommended.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gary Sedivy

    This book reminds me of Robert B. Parker’s “Spenser” novels. The main character is a smart-mouth tough guy with rules of conduct. It is an easy read, cotton-candy. Good supporting characters, quick moving story. I’ll read another in the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nina Mintzer

    Fair. Not Spenser , too rough for me. After reading the reviews I decided to give it a try. I read the whole book but I think it will be the first and last. Rafferty is a bit too rough around the edges for me,although he does have good instincts and definite feelings.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kim A. Mann

    Wow In the tradition of the hard bitten, smart mouth private investigator Rafferty holds his own. Fast paced, interesting, intense...a good story told well. I will recommend this book.

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