When I first started this website, you could not buy a Bill S. Ballinger book, except as a used book or collectible edition. There were no Ballinger e-book editions available, and a paperback edition had not been published since the 1980's. It was unlikely that a casual reader would stumble into a Ballinger book while browsing around for something fun to read. This for an author who's novels were international bestsellers, translated into multiple languages, including two books (Portrait in Smoke and Rafferty) that were made into memorable noir films of the classic era.
With great pleasure, I am adding this new page to the site covering Bill S. Ballinger e-books, in particular highlighting the fact that crime and suspense fiction publisher 280 Steps, working together with the Ballinger estate, is bringing Bill S. Ballinger back to the masses--and doing it with style.
Check out the available titles below, and be sure to click through to the 280 Steps website and pick up on the great titles they are putting out by other authors. They are bringing back Ballinger contemporary Harry Whittington, and others from the classic paperback era. 280 Steps is also publishing new work by working writers. The covers are just great.

E-book Titles Now Available

The Body Beautiful e-book cover image

The Body in the Bed (A Barr Breed Mystery)

280 Steps e-book, multiple formats
First US edition: Harper, 1948, hc
"The Body in the Bed, the first in the Barr Breed series, is a hardboiled PI mystery that includes a murdered mistress, a frightened philanderer, a disappearing lucky charm, deceit and greed. If you like The Maltese Falcon and writers like Michael Harvey, Jack Fredrickson and Michael Wiley, this will be right up your alley."

The Body Beautiful e-book cover image

The Body Beautiful (A Barr Breed Mystery)

280 Steps e-book, multiple formats
First US edition: Harper, 1949, hc
"On date number one, the beautiful showgirl was cool, Barr Breed determined. On date number two, she was warm and his hopes were high. On date number three, she was stone cold dead... Chicago private eye Barr Breed has to solve the case in which there appear to be no clues and no suspects... the second and last in the Barr Breed series, a thriller about vice, vengeance and murder."

Portrait in Smoke e-book cover image

Portrait in Smoke

280 Steps e-book, multiple formats
First US edition: Harper, 1950, hc
"With its combination of suspense, humor, intrigue and Ballinger's trademark multiple-point narrative, Portrait in Smoke is an exciting thriller about a gorgeous blonde in trouble. Danny April owns of a small time collection agency in Chicago that specializes in finding people who don’t always want to be found. From the moment he finds in his files a photograph marked "Krassy Almauniski, winner of the Stockyard News beauty contest", he’s obsessed and ends up following an old trail that leads to nothing but trouble." Made into the noir film Wicked As They Come, 1956.

Rafferty e-book cover image


280 Steps e-book, multiple formats
First US edition: Harper, 1953, hc
"What had happened to Rafferty—the good cop—the man who hated killers—the family man? Rafferty is a story of infatuation, which leads a man of good character to the petty sins of deception and dishonesty, and finally to the act of murder." Made into the noir film Pushover, 1954.

Bill S. Ballinger Collectors

If you have any information for collectors, ephemera, photos, or other information that you would like to share, feel free to let us know where you've posted it, and we'll share a link. If you don't have a place of your own to post it, get in touch and we'll find a place for it on this site.