Books by Stuart Woods

Stuart Woods' career hasn’t been limited to writing. In 1960, he moved from Georgia to New York City to become a writer, but ended up working in advertising instead. He also enlisted in the Air National Guard, where he spent 10 months in Germany during the Berlin Wall crisis. It wasn’t until Woods moved to Ireland that he began to write a novel, although that was interrupted 100 pages in when he discovered a passion for sailing. After competing in the Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic Race and the Fastnet Race in the 70s, he returned to Georgia and resumed writing once more. Woods is now the author of 33 novels. His most recent book, Bel-Air Dead, is out this month. Photo credit: Harry Benson


CARNAL CURIOSITY by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 8, 2014

"Zero mystery, zero ingenuity, very little suspense. But Woods mostly keeps his eye on the ball, which elevates this installment well above the run of his recent work."
New York lawyer Stone Barrington, who's slept his way through 30 fleet, mindless suspensers, comes a cropper with his latest conquest. Read full book review >
STANDUP GUY by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 7, 2014

"The subplots lead nowhere, and the main upshot of Fratelli's little problem is some uncharacteristically salty language."
New York attorney Stone Barrington (Doing Hard Time, 2013, etc.) reaps the whirlwind after advising a walk-in client how to live safely on several million dollars in ill-gotten gains. Read full book review >
DOING HARD TIME by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 8, 2013

"The nonstop action is certain to keep fans turning pages, even though the figures Woods is putting through their paces are plot functionaries rather than characters in any meaningful sense."
Now that he's graduated from the Yale School of Drama, Stone Barrington's son Peter heads with his friends and movie collaborators, Ben Bacchetti and Hattie Patrick, on a road trip to La-La Land, little suspecting that a Russian mobster is determined to kill him. Read full book review >
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES by Stuart Woods
Released: April 9, 2013

""I will dine out on the stories for years," vows duBois as he heads back to Paris. Fans of Stone's well-upholstered, featherweight adventures can only marvel at how well this installment's title would suit them all."
News flash: Superlawyer Stone Barrington, that sworn enemy of deferred gratification, wakes up in substandard accommodations, and he's alone! Read full book review >
COLLATERAL DAMAGE by Stuart Woods
Released: Jan. 8, 2013

"Agatha Christie's reputation as a puzzle-master survived the long series of spy thrillers that culminated in Passenger to Frankfurt, and Woods will no doubt survive his anti-terrorist confections, along with all his regulars, at least till the inevitable next round."
The sister whose brothers died only weeks earlier in their attempt to plant an atomic bomb in Stone Barrington's new Los Angeles hotel (Severe Clear, 2012) resolves to follow in their footsteps. Read full book review >
SEVERE CLEAR by Stuart Woods
Released: Sept. 18, 2012

What chance does a cabal of bombers have against New York uber-lawyer Stone Barrington; his ex–NYPD partner, Lt. Dino Bacchetti; the CIA's Holly Barker; head of MI-6, Felicity Devonshire; CEO of Strategic Services, Michael Freeman; Woodman & Weld attorney, Herb Fisher; President Will Lee; and his wife, Katharine, Director of the CIA? Read full book review >
BLUE WATER, GREEN SKIPPER by Stuart Woods
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2012

"An entertaining adventure tale worthy of republication."
Republication of the real-time maritime adventures of the bestselling crime-thriller author. Read full book review >
UNNATURAL ACTS by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 17, 2012

"More coherent than most of Stone's recent adventures, with actual resolutions for the major plot lines instead of the usual annoying to-be-continued signs."
Now that everything in New York super-lawyer Stone Barrington's life is perfect, it's time to start grooming a successor: ex-loser Herbie Fisher, now a junior associate at Woodman & Weld. Read full book review >
D.C. DEAD by Stuart Woods
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"Acknowledging the fact that everyone in the nation's capital knows everything about everyone else, Stone and Dino develop a mantra—"It's Washington"—that serves as the perfect model for another gauge of familiarity—"It's Woods.""
Now that their sons have gone off to Yale in a blaze of triumph (Son of Stone, 2011), super-lawyer Stone Barrington and his friend Lt. Dino Bacchetti, NYPD, get called back to Washington to do what they do worst: investigate a murder. Read full book review >
SON OF STONE by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 20, 2011

"Further proof, if the series needed it, that there's no lifecycle trauma that won't yield to the power of money, contacts and bling."
New York super-lawyer Stone Barrington's teenaged son comes to live with him. Wait, there's less, much less. Read full book review >
BEL-AIR DEAD by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 1, 2011

"Redoubtable Stone not only beds the best women and corrals the best lifestyle perks but succeeds so well in his job that he's rewarded with a full partnership in his law firm and a large share of control over Centurion himself. What a guy."
Stone Barrington (Lucid Intervals, 2010, etc.) fights to protect a Hollywood studio from a takeover bid that goes way beyond hostile. Read full book review >
STRATEGIC MOVES by Stuart Woods
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 1, 2011

"Woods, who evidently writes to a precise word length without bothering with beginnings and endings, delivers loads of juicy complications but no payoffs."
Another installment of nonstop, high-stakes, utterly inconsequential action for Stone Barrington (Lucid Intervals, 2010). Read full book review >
SANTA FE EDGE by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

"In retrospect, Woods's endless rounds of dead-end scheming find an uncanny echo in contemporary reality TV. Think of this as one more installment in The Real Sexed-Up Felons of Santa Fe, with all the pleasures and limitations that title implies."
Santa Fe attorney Ed Eagle's murderous ex-wife and assorted lesser satellites continue to hatch plots at cross-purposes, all as inconclusively as ever. Read full book review >
LUCID INTERVALS by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 20, 2010

"Some of these riddles are handily resolved, others fade away, and then this weightless tale is done, setting the stage for the inevitable next installment."
Jet-setting New York attorney Stone Barrington's old acquaintances present him with a fistful of new problems. Read full book review >
KISSER by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 1, 2010

"Competent, routine work less notable for suspense or sleuthing chops than for what goes on, early, often and satisfyingly, between the sheets."
Manhattan attorney Stone Barrington (Loitering with Intent, 2009, etc.) gets dragged back onto the police force to close the books on his 17th case. Read full book review >
HOTHOUSE ORCHID by Stuart Woods
THRILLERS
Released: Sept. 22, 2009

"The familiar characters' familiar moves are as stylized as Kabuki in this pedestrian procedural. But at least the ending doesn't simply hit the Reset button for the next round."
Who poses the greater danger to Holly Barker (Iron Orchid, 2005, etc.): the man who once tried to rape her, or a vigilante who shoots political figures who don't share his views? The answer is the only surprise on tap. Read full book review >
LOITERING WITH INTENT by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 21, 2009

"Middling for this wildly uneven series. Readers who quit halfway through won't miss a thing."
Beneath the excruciatingly apt title lurks a welcome return to detection, more or less, for jet-setting New York attorney Stone Barrington. Read full book review >
MOUNTING FEARS by Stuart Woods
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 13, 2009

"Wildly erratic Woods's latest won't be news to anyone except folks who think that all presidential elections, especially if they're fictional, have to be as exciting as the 2008 election was in real life."
President William Jefferson Lee IV's reelection campaign turns out to be just one darned thing after another. Read full book review >
BEVERLY HILLS DEAD by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 15, 2008

"Precious little mystery or suspense, but the book's momentum and the blacklist plot line will keep the pages turning."
1947. Eight years after tussling with starlets, mobsters and studio heads in The Prince of Beverly Hills (2004), former Beverly Hills cop Rick Barron is back, now on the other side of the desk. Read full book review >
SHOOT HIM IF HE RUNS by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

"Despite stiff competition, this meandering Caribbean idyll is the most relentlessly unoriginal of all Stone's adventures. Other crimebusters live on in movies; maybe Stone will get a sitcom."
New York attorney Stone Barrington dabbles once more in international intrigue, unaware that he's out way past his depth. Read full book review >
FRESH DISASTERS by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 10, 2007

"No pretense of mystery, and more closure than Stone's recent adventures (Dark Harbor, 2006, etc.), though pesky Herbie is still on the loose at the fadeout. Middling for this wildly uneven series."
High-rolling New York attorney Stone Barrington takes on a brace of transparently simple cases that just won't stay solved. Read full book review >
SHORT STRAW by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 10, 2006

"The result, shorn of the franchise cheerleading that's sunk Stone Barrington's latest adventures (Dark Harbor, 2006 etc.) in stagnant self-approbation, is Woods's most entertaining tale in years."
Whatever happy years Ed Eagle may have enjoyed after marrying Barbara Kennerly (Santa Fe Rules, 1992) vanished the moment he woke up on his 50th birthday to find that she'd cleaned him out and taken a powder. Read full book review >
DARK HARBOR by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 11, 2006

"Earnest and inept, although at least it lacks the heroic scale of such recent outings as Two Dollar Bill (2005)."
Stone Barrington takes a break from recent rounds of overscaled intrigue for an old-fashioned whodunit, his first since L.A. Dead (2000). Read full book review >
IRON ORCHID by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 25, 2005

"A sitcom approach to international intrigue in which paper dolls from Woods's previous work keep slipping into new outfits as insubstantial as they are."
Now that she's exhausted the criminal permutations of Orchid Beach (Fla.) and Stone Barrington's New York City (Reckless Abandon, 2004), police chief Holly Barker enlists in Woods's third franchise: fighting President Will Lee's nemesis, a political assassin who's crazy like a fox. Read full book review >
TWO DOLLAR BILL by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 10, 2005

"How does Woods keep churning out bestsellers? By taking exceptional pains not to adulterate the formula with any new character types, plot twists or ideas."
Jet-setting New York attorney Stone Barrington (Reckless Abandon, 2004, etc.) proves that you just can't be too careful about who you take into your house. Read full book review >
THE PRINCE OF BEVERLY HILLS by Stuart Woods
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 14, 2004

"Woods (Reckless Abandon, 2004, etc.) writes with smooth confidence as famous names add spice to a diverting summer read that simmers but never gets hard-boiled."
In Hollywood of 1939, a handsome young policeman makes good as a studio security officer, battling a sadistic mobster, finding love, and rubbing elbows with movie stars. Read full book review >
RECKLESS ABANDON by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 12, 2004

"A skeletal thriller, evidently written on the back of a series of cocktail napkins, that's most notable, like Woods's other recent novels, as a pretext for bringing his stable of stock heroes and villains into different permutations with nary a new idea in sight."
Now that Stone Barrington, on a Florida trip, has helped nail the guy who killed Holly Barker's fiancé (Orchid Blues, 2001), Orchid Beach police chief Holly comes to the Big Apple to involve him in her hunt for a mobbed-up fugitive from her brand of justice. Read full book review >
CAPITAL CRIMES by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"Mercurial Woods's most recent thrillers (The Short Forever, 2002; Blood Orchid, 2002) have been so ludicrous that it's a pleasure to report that this fleet, workmanlike entry is merely uninvolving and unbelievable."
Liberal? Feeling alienated from the political process? A disenchanted Lefty is taking matters into his own hands by murdering right-wing politicos. Read full book review >
DIRTY WORK by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 1, 2003

"A crisp, fleet timekiller: the fashionplate lawyer's best outing since Dead in the Water (1997)."
A routine stint of bedroom peeping sets jet-set New York lawyer Stone Barrington against an international assassin with more disguises than a barrel of cross-dressing monkeys. Read full book review >
BLOOD ORCHID by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Juiceless, uninspired, routine: Woods's worst yet."
Hit-or-miss thrillermeister Woods (The Short Forever, p. 140, etc.) misses big-time with this tale of a real-estate developer who's executing the competition, and everybody else in sight, in Police Chief Holly Barker's beloved Orchid Beach. Read full book review >
ORCHID BLUES by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 1, 2001

"Saturday matinee fodder that'll keep you turning pages faster than an Elect recruit can field-strip a sidearm—though it'll help if your own capacity for critical reflection is just as low."
How could Florida's Orchid Beach Police Chief Holly Barker outdo her action-packed debut (Orchid Beach, 1998)? By losing her bridegroom to the lunatic terrorists who, having failed to kill presidential candidate William Henry Lee in The Run (2000), are trying again now that he's been elected. Read full book review >
COLD PARADISE by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 23, 2001

"Environmentalists rejoice: This product contains 80% recycled characters and storylines. And since nobody important gets killed, they'll all be available for next season's installment, just in case you misplace your copy of this one."
Welcome back to Stone Barrington's world of felony glamour, where the pantry's always well stocked with beluga caviar, 9-mm. ammo, quality sex, and perps with more lives than Wile E. Coyote. Read full book review >
THE SHORT FOREVER by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 1, 2001

"Woods notes in closing that his editor requested no changes in his manuscript, since nothing needed fixing. Readers may well come up with other explanations."
Hours after his latest lover dumps him, that paragon of lawyer/adventurers Stone Barrington (Cold Paradise, 2001, etc.) is en route to London for a round of intrigue that does indeed seem to go on forever. Read full book review >
L.A. DEAD by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 23, 2000

"Given a mystery that's unmysterious, unsuspenseful, and inconclusive, the only possible interest here is in the continuing saga of Stone's amours, which, like the case itself, are still unresolved at the fadeout. "
Just when you thought his romantic problems had been resolved for good (Worst Fears Realized, 1999), Stone Barrington is snatched from the brink of holy matrimony by still another well-timed homicide. Read full book review >
THE RUN by Stuart Woods
THRILLERS
Released: June 1, 2000

" On the plus side, Woods's trademark characters, unsurprising and banal, fit perfectly into their roles as political candidates and advisors. Maybe there's some insight here after all."
Woods, most often seen recently in the company of lawyer/sleuth/adventurer Stone Barrington (Worst Fears Realized, 1999, etc.), pushes the scion of the Lee family (Grass Roots, 1990 paperback) into a run for the presidency. Read full book review >
ORCHID BEACH by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 15, 1998

"Middling for Woods's checkered output: not as glamorously nasty as L.A. Times (1993) or as fleet as Dead in the Water (1997), but not as dopey as this year's Swimming to Catalina either (p. 439)."
Lawyer/cop/shamus/adventurer Stone Barrington chronicler Woods gives his swaggering hero and any Stone-weary readers a welcome break—though the result is a so-so suspenser with a distaff paragon just as deadly and insubstantial as the male. Read full book review >
SWIMMING TO CATALINA by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1998

"Such leftovers don't make very tasty or nutritious fare, not even when the virtues of every predictable scrap are extolled at the top of the author's stentorian voice.(Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection; $250,000 ad/promo)"
Even though Stone Barrington is back from the Caribbean (Dead in the Water, 1997), the debonair attorney-adventurer seems to spend half his time, as the title indicates, in the water—though mostly, like the book, treading water or plain floundering. Read full book review >
DEAD IN THE WATER by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Trying to make this neat, utterly unsurprising, tale— Woods's best since L.A. Times (1993)—last more than one sitting would be like staying up all night nursing a Godiva truffle. (Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection; $300,000 ad/promo)"
 Woods bounces back from the doldrums of his last few formula thrillers in this tidy did-she-do-it puzzler, nicely stirred by Caribbean breezes. Read full book review >
DIRT by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Besides, it hardly seems fair to the poor blackmailers when they're badly outnumbered by well-armed victims too despicable to root for. ($275,000 ad/promo combined with paperback publication of Choke)"
 Eased out of the NYPD, lawyer/shamus Stone Barrington (New York Dead, 1991) is free to mix with an even sleazier crowd: a vicious pair of blackmailers and their equally slimy victims. Read full book review >
CHOKE by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 11, 1995

"A fleet, mindless tale that doesn't include a thing, from the slightest unexpected plot twist to the ghost of an original idea, that might slow you down to its nominal hero's speed. (Author tour)"
 A middle-aged tennis pro who blew his chance at Wimbledon glory 20 years ago gets involved with a cardboard cast trying to cut each other out of the Key West landscape. Read full book review >
IMPERFECT STRANGERS by Stuart Woods
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 4, 1995

"Perfectly crummy. (Book-of-the-Month Club/Quality Paperback Book Club alternate selections)"
 Plot-starved novelists could do worse than raid old Hitchcock films for stories, but they had better pilfer with greater skill than Woods (Heat, 1994, etc.) does in his craftless new thriller. Read full book review >
HEAT by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 1, 1994

"But he writes fairy tales for guys that continue to find a market. (Literary Guild alternate selection; $135,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
 Woods (L.A. Times, 1993, etc.) offers a high-concept action thriller that never lives up to its potential. Read full book review >
DEAD EYES by Stuart Woods
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"Smooth running, but shallow characters (the villain is a total cipher) and lack of dramatic payoffs leach suspense: Wait Until Dark this isn't. (First printing of 100,000)"
 A blind actress is tormented by a stalker—in another slick but uninspired thriller by Woods (L.A. Times, p. 332, etc.), who himself seems in the dark about how to capitalize on his melodramatic premise. Read full book review >
L.A. TIMES by Stuart Woods
Released: May 12, 1993

"Not Woods—and not readers of this devilishly entertaining thriller. (First printing of 100,000)"
 Woods—an off-again (Santa Fe Rules, etc.), on-again (New York Dead, etc.) writer—is very much on here, turning his big weakness- -stagnant characters—into a strength. Read full book review >
SANTE FE RULES by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 1992

"Chiefs; Under the Lake) terrific."
 Woods (New York Dead, 1991, etc.) may hail from Sante Fe, but he doesn't do his hometown much honor with this slack mystery/homage. Read full book review >
NEW YORK DEAD by Stuart Woods
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"Woods's best since Under the Lake."
 Silky-smooth cop-thriller, Woods's first since Chiefs (1981)- -only this one's set not in the author's usual deep South (Palindrome, 1990; Grass Roots, 1989, etc.), but in N.Y.C., where Stone Barrington, lawyer-turned-cop, must solve the case of a skydiving celebrity. Read full book review >
PALINDROME by Stuart Woods
Released: Jan. 1, 1991

Anagram would have been a more appropriate title for this jumbled mystery-suspenser by the usually reliable Woods (Grass Roots, etc,). Read full book review >