first book of poetry, Proletarian Laughter, was published in 1948. In May 1949, he and his wife, Lara, divorced. In July of
the same year, he left the Army, leaving a mailing address of General Delivery, Dallas, Texas. He enrolled in the Universitarias
de Belles Artes in Lima, Peru, studying art and art history in the graduate program. He was dismissed from the university
when officials learned that he had neither an undergraduate degree nor a high school diploma. He lived in New York City for
a month at the end of 1949 before re-enlisting in the armed forces.
was stationed at Hamilton Air Force Base in California through April 1952. He married Mary Jo Norton in July of that year,
and lived for a while in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1953, Willeford's first novel, High Priest of California, was published.
Bound as a double volume with another writer's novel, it sold 55,000 copies, about a third of its print run. In January
1954, he re-enlisted once again; he was stationed this time at Palm Beach Air Force Base, while living in West Palm Beach.
In 1955, he was reassigned to Harmon Air Force Base in Newfoundland. Willeford finally left active duty in November 1956.
By that time, two more novels of his had been published.”
Sergeant Charles Willeford is the author of Something About a Soldier, Miami Blue, New Hope for the Dead, Sideswipe,
The Shark-Infested Custard, The Way We Die Now, Cockfighter, High Priest of California, Wild Wives, The Woman Chaser, I Was
Looking for a Street, The Black Mass of Brother Springer, Pick-up, Strange, Poontang and Other Poems, Burnt Orange Heresy,
The Old Man at the Bridge, The Second Half of the Double Feature, The Machine in Ward Eleven, Made in Miami, Kiss Your Ass
Goodbye, Writing and Other Blood Sports, The Guide for the Undehemorrhoided, Understudy for Love, Difference, Lust is a Woman,
and Miami Love.
to the book description of Miami Blues, “After a brutal day investigating a quadruple homicide,
Detective Hoke Moseley settles into his room at the un-illustrious El Dorado Hotel and nurses a glass of brandy. With his
guard down, he doesn’t think twice when he hears a knock on the door. The next day, he finds himself in the hospital,
badly bruised and with his jaw wired shut. He thinks back over ten years of cases wondering who would want to beat him into
unconsciousness, steal his gun and badge, and most importantly, make off with his prized dentures. But the pieces never quite
add up to revenge, and the few clues he has keep connecting to a dimwitted hooker, and her ex-con boyfriend and the bizarre
murder of a Hare Krishna pimp. Chronically depressed, constantly strapped for money, always willing to bend the rules a bit,
Hoke Moseley is hardly what you think of as the perfect cop, but he is one of the the greatest detective creations of all
to the book description of New Hope for the Dead, “Miami homicide detective Hoke Moseley is
called to a posh Miami neighborhood to investigate a lethal overdose. There he meets the alluring stepmother of the decedent,
and begins to wonder about dating a witness. Meanwhile, he has been threatened with suspension by his ambitious new chief
unless he leaves his beloved, if squalid, suite at the El Dorado Hotel, and moves downtown. With free housing hard to come
by, Hoke is desperate to find a new place to live. His difficulties are only amplified by an assignment to re-investigate
fifty unsolved murders, the unexpected arrival of his two teenage daughters, and a partner struggling with an unwanted pregnancy.
With few options and even fewer dollars, he decides that the suspicious and beautiful stepmother of the dead junkie might
be a compromised solution to all of his problems.
with atmosphere and humor, New Hope for the Dead is a classic murder mystery by one of the true masters of the genre. Now
back in print, Charles Willeford’s tour de force is an irresistible invitation to become acquainted with one of the
greatest detective characters of all time.”
to the book description of Sideswipe: A Hoke Moseley Detective Thriller, “Hoke Moseley has
had enough. Tired of struggling against alimony payments, two teenage daughters, a very pregnant, very single partner, and
a low paying job as a Miami homicide detective, Hoke moves to Singer Island and vows never step foot on the mainland again.
But on the street, career criminal Troy Louden is hatching plans of his own with a gang including a disfigured hooker, a talentless
artist, and a clueless retiree. But when his simple robbery results in ruthless and indiscriminate bloodshed, Hoke quickly
remembers why he is a cop and hurls himself back into the world he meant to leave behind forever. A masterly tale of both
mid-life crisis and murder, Sideswipe is a page-turning thriller packed with laughs, loaded with suspense, and featuring one
of the truly original detectives of all time.”
to the book description of The Shark-Infested Custard, “From the master of Miami noir comes
this tale of four regular guys living in a singles apartment building who experience firsthand that there's more than one
type of heat in Miami. Larry Dolman is a rather literal minded ex-cop who now works private security. Eddie Miller is an airline
pilot who's studying to get his real estate license. Don Luchessi is a silver salesman who's separated from his wife but too
Catholic to get a divorce. Hank Norton is a drug company rep who gets four times as many dames as any of the other guys. They
are all regular guys who like to drink, play cards, meet broads, and shoot a little pool. But when a friendly bet goes horribly
awry, they find themselves with two dead bodies on their hands and a homicidal husband in the wings—and acting more
like hardened criminals than upstanding citizens.”
to the book description of The Way We Die Now, “When Miami Homicide Detective Hoke Moseley
receives an unexplained order to let his beard grow, he doesn't think much about it. He has too much going on at home, especially
with a man he helped convict ten years before moving in across the street. Hoke immediately assumes the worst, and considering
he has his former partner, who happens to be nursing a newborn, and his two teenage daughters living with him, he doesn't
like the situation on bit. It doesn't help matters when he is suddenly assigned to work undercover, miles away, outside of
his jurisdiction and without his badge, his gun, or his teeth. Soon, he is impersonating a drifter and tring to infiltrate
a farm operation suspected of murdering migrant workers. But when he gets there for his job interview, the last thing he is
offered is work. In this final installment of the highly acclaimed Hoke Moseley novels, Charles Willeford's brilliance and
expertise show on every page. Equally funny, thrilling, and disturbing, The Way We Die Now is a triumphant finish to one of
the most original detective series of all time.”
to the book description of Cockfighter, “A former professional boxer, actor, horse trainer
and radio announcer, Charles Willeford (1919-1988) is best known for his Miami-based crime novels featuring hard-boiled detective
Hoke Moseley, including Miami Blues and Sideswipe. His career as a writer began in the late 1940s, but it was his 1972 novel
Cockfighter that announced his name to a wider audience. Of that book, Harry Crews said, "Charles Willeford renders the
sport with such knowledge and attention to detail that... I had the almost inexpressible impression of being on my knees again
beside the great fighting pits of the southern circuit." Considered to be Willeford's masterpiece, Cockfighter is a brutal
and beautiful fiction of the American South, loosely modeled, according to the author, on Homer's Odyssey. Frank Mansfield
is the titular cockfighter: a silent and fiercely contrary man whose obsession with winning will cost him almost everything.
Mansfield haunts the cockpits, bars and roads of the rural South in the early 1960s, adrift but always capable of nearly anything.
First published in complete form in 1972, and adapted by Willeford for a Monte Hellman film in 1974 (which became infamous
for its use of real animals in the fight scenes), the novel Cockfighter has been out of print for nearly 20 years. Cockfighter
is issued here with an introduction by Jesse Pearson and is the second volume in PictureBox's ongoing Charles Willeford reissue