Stuart Woods RIP

Stuart Woods RIP

Guilty Pleasures – the Novels of Stuart Woods

One of my favorite writers is Stuart Woods. Boy, can the dude pump them out!  In the last count, he has written over 80 books almost all of the best sellers and he has been pumping out one to two a year since he first got published in the late ’70s.

He died this week at age 83.  He wrote over 90 books in his life and I have read most of them.

He started out writing “Chiefs” which became a movie as well.  The main character is a police chief in a small town in Georgia.  The character reappears in many later novels, eventually becoming a two-term president, and in town, Delgado also appears as a place in many of his later novels.  Most of his novels are set in NYC, Maine, Key West, Los Angeles, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Most of his books feature the exploits of Stone Barrington, an NYC high-society type who is a James Bond-like character.  He is a retired NYC cop, a lawyer, a real estate investor, a part-time CIA agent, and a player with many love interests.  He is also best friends with three presidents and the not-so-secret lover of the current President. He introduced me to Knob Creek bourbon which is now one of my favorite bourbons, and he is also partial to Martinis-made James Bond style.

In this alternative universe, the President serves two terms, his wife serves two terms, and her secretary of State is elected President. Stone is friends with them all.

Stone’s best friend is Dino Bachetti, his old NYC homicide partner who became NYC Police Commissioner and helps Stone out officially and unofficially over the years.  He has had a lot of love interests including Holly Barker who was a former secretary of state and president.

Another recurring character is Ed Lee who is a friend of Stone who lives and works out of Santa Fe New Mexico.  Ed Lee is a 6’8 former college basketball player who becomes an attorney.

My only criticism is that his books are very formalistic.  At some point, someone is going to be able to program a computer to write novels and his novels would be a great place to start because I am sure that a computer could generate believable Stone Barrington novels.  Having said that, his novels are still enjoyable.

He has written a few non-Stone Barrington novels stand-alone novels. One I enjoyed recently was Palindrome which is a psychological thriller set on an island off the South Carolina coast. Written in the mid 90’s I believe.

I often start a novel of his while waiting around in the PX for my wife to finish up, and throughout several visits, often finish the novel.

The following is a list of his novels, I bolded the ones I have read. One of my bucket list reading goals is to finish reading all of his novels, including the last two coming out this fall..

The list

Stuart Woods   BOLD read

Stuart Woods Books in Order

 Publication Order of Stone Barrington Books

New York Dead (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dirt (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dead in the Water (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Swimming to Catalina (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Worst Fears Realized (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
L.A. Dead (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cold Paradise (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Short Forever (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dirty Work (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Reckless Abandon (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Two Dollar Bill (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dark Harbor (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fresh Disasters (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shoot Him If He Runs (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hot Mahogany (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Loitering with Intent (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Kisser (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lucid Intervals (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Strategic Moves (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bel-Air Dead (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Son of Stone (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
D.C. Dead (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Unnatural Acts (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Severe Clear (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Collateral Damage (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Unintended Consequences (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doing a Hard Time (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Standup Guy (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Carnal Curiosity (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cut and thrust (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Paris Match (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Insatiable Appetites (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hot Pursuit (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Naked Greed (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Foreign Affairs (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Scandalous Behavior (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Family Jewels (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dishonorable Intentions (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sex, Lies & Serious Money (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Below the Belt (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fast and Loose (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Indecent Exposure (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Quick & Dirty (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Unbound (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shoot First (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Turbulence (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Desperate Measures (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Delicate Touch (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Wild Card (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Contraband (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Stealth (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Treason (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hit List (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Choppy Water (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shakeup (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hush-Hush (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Double Jeopardy (2021) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Class Act (2021) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Foul Play (2021) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Criminal Mischief (2021) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Holly Barker Books

Orchid Beach (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Orchid Blues (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blood Orchid (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Reckless Abandon (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Iron Orchid (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hothouse Orchid (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Ed Eagle Books

Santa Fe Rules (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Short Straw (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Santa Fe Dead (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Santa Fe Edge (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Herbie Fisher Books

Barely Legal(With Parnell Hall) (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Rick Barron Books

The Prince of Beverly Hills (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Beverly Hills Dead (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Teddy Fay Books

Smooth Operator(With Parnell Hall) (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Money Shot(With Parnell Hall) (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Skin Game(With Parnell Hall) (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bombshell(With Parnell Hall) (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Jackpot(With Bryon Quarterboys) (2021) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Will Lee Books

Chiefs (1981) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Run Before the Wind (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Deep Lie (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Grass Roots (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Run (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Capital Crimes (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mounting Fears (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Under the Lake (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
White Cargo (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Palindrome (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
L.A. Times (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Heat (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dead Eyes (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Imperfect Strangers (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Choke (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Blue Water, Green Skipper (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A romantic’s guide to the country inns of Britain and Ireland (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

AI Program Writes Stone Barrington Book

I have often thought that someday an AI program will be able to write an effective thriller.  I write to Stuart Woods and IBM proposing a challenge.

Big Blue and Stuart Woods would both write a Stone Barrington novel.  A jury of readers and critics would read the result and determine which one was the computer version and which was the human version.

Stuart Woods took the challenge and IBM big blue went to work.  IBM won the contest as the jurry thought the computer version was better.

About Stuart Woods:

Stuarts Woods is an American novelist. He was born in Georgia in 1938, and died in August, 2022. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1959. He then enrolled in the National Guard before moving to New York to start a career.


He then moved to London and spent a further 3 years working in advertising before deciding that he wanted a change and he began writing his first novel. It is at this time that he decided to move to Ireland where he lived a solitary lifestyle, only leaving his home to make money writing adverts for local television.

SailingWoods moved to Ireland in the 70s and this was where he fell in love with sailing. He spent many years competing in sailing competitions and learning how to be a better sailor. He finally bought his boat when his grandfather died and left him some money, so he could afford it. It was then that he took sailing more seriously and spent most of 1974 learning more about sailing.WritingWoods began writing about his experiences in his yacht races and he published 1977, the book Blue Water, Green Skipper. It seemed like he had found an ideal career based on the thing he loved most, sailing.Changing PlansHis second book was supposed to be about another boat race that he was due to take part in, but the race was canceled due to inclement weather, so he decided to drive around the UK and write a book about his adventures in the county inns.ChiefsWoods then went on to write his first novel called Chiefs. He made the mistake of selling the book to publishers unfinished because he thought he would have gotten a lot more for it had he waited until the book was finished.Norton was the company to publish the hardback, but he felt like the company let him down because they didn’t do much to promote the book. He then contacted Bentham Books, who published the paperback and it was much more successful.Charlton HestonIn 1983, the book was made into a tv series starring Charlton Heston and Danny Glover. It was aired by CBS over three nights and it ended up being nominated for three Emmy Awards.The popularity of the tv show meant that more people wanted to read the books and there was renewed interest in the paperback version of the books Woods won the Edgar Award for the Best First Novel.Series Over StandalonesWoods is one of those authors who are more focused on the series of novels over the standalone. His most popular series is the Stone Barrington Novels. He has just released his 27th novel in the series and he has written 3 more novels, which are set to be released in 2014.Who is Stone Barrington?Stone Barrington is a counsel for a law firm. After he finished college, he joined the police and served 14 years on the force. He left after disagreeing with his superiors and then got a job with the law firm. The novels tell the story of his exploits so far.In the Stone Barrington novels, Woods is often congratulated for getting the law procedures correct when he has no background in law himself. It is noticed a lot and one fan asked how he gets it all right. He indicates that he is a massive fan of law procedurals such as LA Law and Law & Order, so gets all of his knowledge from there. He has made a few friends who are Lawyers, so if he gets anything wrong, they tell him.Holly BarkerHolly Barker is a character in another series of books that he writes. She is an ex-army officer and navy brat. She left the army because of a sex scandal and she has to learn how to live a civilian life. She begins her new life as the Chief of Police and she learns just how dangerous her new life is.Even though Woods has written several series, which focus on the life of a single character, the characters from each of the novels do crossover into other series. For example, Stone Barrington appears in the second Holly Barker novel and he also appears in the second novel of the Rick Barron novels.Rick BarronThe Rick Barron novels are only two books deep at the moment. Rick Barron was a police detective and he was demoted after a run-in with a higher officer. He gets the job as security for Centurion Pictures but finds himself in the middle of a double murder case in the period that is said to be the golden age of Hollywood cinema.The first Rick Barron novel, The Prince of Beverly Hills, was meant to be a standalone novel but Woods ended up writing a sequel after he was bombarded with emails from fans asking him to write another. He has no plans to write another at this moment in time.After Chiefs was made into a TV series, one of his other books was adapted for TV as well. Grass Roots was made into a TV series in 1993. Since then, no other books have been made for TV.Woods indicates that he would love it for his other books to be made into movies and if a director has read one of the books and wants to buy the rights, then he encourages the writer to get in touch with his agent.

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