James Arthur Crumley (October 12, 1939 – September 17, 2008) was the author of violent hardboiled crime novels and several volumes of short stories and essays, as well as published and unpublished screenplays. He has been described as "one of modern crime writing's best practitioners", who was "a patron saint of the post-Vietnam private eye novel" and a cross between Raymond Chandler and Hunter S. Thompson. His book The Last Good Kiss has been described as "the most influential crime novel of the last 50 years."Crumley had a cult following, and his work is said to have inspired a generation of crime writers in both the U.S. and the U.K, including Michael Connelly, George Pelecanos, Dennis Lehane and Craig McDonald, as well as writers from other genres such as Neal Stephenson, but he never achieved mainstream success. "Don't know why that is," Crumley said in an interview in 2001, "Other writers like me a lot. But up until about 10 to 12 years ago, I made more money in France and Japan than in America. I guess I just don't fit in anyplace" in the genre book marketplace.Crumley's first published novel, 1969's One to Count Cadence, which was set in the Philippines and Vietnam, began as the thesis for his master's degree in creative writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1966. His novels The Last Good Kiss, The Mexican Tree Duck and The Right Madness feature the character C.W. Sughrue, an alcoholic ex-army officer turned private investigator. The Wrong Case, Dancing Bear and The Final Country feature another p.i., Milo Milodragovitch. In the novel Bordersnakes, Crumley brought both characters together. Crumley said of his two private detectives: "Milo's first impulse is to help you; Sughrue's is to shoot you in the foot."