Few writers have ever had the loyal reader following as Bill Pronzini and his "Nameless Detective." In terms of life on the printed page, the "Nameless Detective" celebrates his thirty-fifth birthday in 2003. The fourteen stories in this collection span the entire thirty-five years of "Nameless's" existence. In "It's a Lousy World," Nameless proves that a friend of his did not commit the crime he was accused of -- and shot for, while in "The Pulp Collection," Nameless finds that he has something in common with the dead stranger on the floor -- they both collected pulp magazines. "Dead Man's Slough" and "The Ghosts of Ragged-Ass Gulch" both force Nameless to leave his city of San Francisco and take to the hinterlands to solve a pair of strange murders. "Incident in a Neighborhood Tavern" is a slice of modern urban life -- Nameless is just enjoying a quiet beer at the end of the bar when a punk comes in and robs the place, setting in motion a chain of events leading to the solving of two crimes at once. The classic story "La Bellezza Del Bellezze" finds Nameless solving a murder in an old Italian neighborhood while in "Souls Burning" Nameless tries to help an old friend who just can't seem to stay out of trouble, but wants to make one last chilling try at setting things right. Fourteen first-rate crime fiction stories by Bill Pronzini, one of the true masters of the mystery story. Book jacket.