Edward Sidney Aarons (1916 – June 16, 1975) was an American writer who authored more than 80 novels from 1936 until 1975. One of these was under the pseudonym "Paul Ayres" (Dead Heat), and 30 were written using the name "Edward Ronns". He also wrote numerous stories for detective magazines such as Detective Story Magazine and Scarab.

Aarons was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and earned a degree in Literature and History from Columbia University. He worked at various jobs to put himself through college, including jobs as a newspaper reporter and fisherman. In 1933, he won a short story contest as a student. In World War II he was in the United States Coast Guard, joining after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. He finished his duty in 1945, having obtained the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

Book List in Order:52 titles

  • This time it all began with a search for a vanished Russian atomic scientist, Aleksei Kazeishvili. A perfect assignment for K section’s indefatigable undercover agent Sam Durell. The chances of coming out alive from this one were pretty slim. But t...


  • As chief field agent for K section, Sam had long ago narrowed the circle of those he trusted almost to the vanishing point. He had become accustomed to a solitary life spent grappling with danger and the unknown. Some people figured danger was like a...


  • “YOU’RE CAUGHT IN A NUTCRACKER, SAM, BETWEEN THE RUSSIANS AND CHINESE.” It was supposed to be a routine assignment. Nothing dangerous. Nothing sticky. Just track down the famous missing Afghan Dragon -- a national treasure worth in the neig...


  • “THE ASSASSINS ARE HIGHLY TRAINED. EMPLOYED BY SOMEONE WHO KNOWS ALL ABOUT K SECTION AND THE INTERNAL SECURITY BUREAU. SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO DESTROY US. AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.” The first time Sam became aware of them, they had murdered Premie...


  • “NOT AN HOUR, NOT A MINUTE, NOT A SECOND WHILE YOU ARE IN LUBINDA WILL YOU BE SAFE. YOU WILL NOT REST, YOU WILL NOT EAT OR DRINK, YOU WILL NOT SLEEP. YOU WILL DIE, DURELL.” Durell was used to threats. He had always lived on the knife-edge of ...


  • It started with a trap for an assassin. An international assassin. Right here in the good old U.S. of A. Only this time it was worse than it had ever been for Sam. Because this time the lovely Deirdre, the only woman Sam Durell had ever really loved,...


  • Sam Durell had been with K Section for more years than he cared to remember. As chief field agent he knew the world’s cities and jungles better than any man alive. And the fact that he was still alive was proof of his toughness. But this assignm...


  • Sam had gotten the safe open and was looking at the envelopes when he heard the first thump on the deck outside. He had no time to look further. Footsteps sounded in the pilot room adjacent to the safe. Durell’s face went blank. He tossed the...


  • "MYJOB IS TO STAYALIVE--FIRST, LAST, AND ALWAYS." --Sam Durell Sam Durell had survived in this business by taking no one for granted. Long ago he had learned to live alone, hunt alone, depend on himself alone. Now he wasn't alone and he wished...






  • “Hello, Cajun. “I’ve come to kill you,” said the man in the mask. “Why?” asked Sam. “It’s my job,” said the man. “To kill me?” Sam asked. “Orders,” said the man. “I’ve been sent by K Section -- by your former boss Ge...


  • SAM DURELL once said his job was troubleshooting for a government agency so secret that even the government didn’t know about it. This time everybody seemed to know more about his job than he did. This time he was practically dead before he s...


  • Twice before Sam had crossed the infamous Madame Hung. Each time he had endured agony, escaping at the final moment. Last time he had finished her off - he thought. But apparently she was like the cat with nine lives - and now she had kidnapped his b...


  • She called herself Sally. He called himself Prince Mujilikaka. She had only recently met Durell. He had known Durell years ago. She was someone Durell liked immensely. He was someone Durell regretted knowing. Both were legal claimants to the Elephant...


  • A small, innocent-looking container had been washed ashore in the little Japanese fishing village of Hatashima. Except it was not so innocent. It contained the hideous results of successful scientific research -- a bit of biological warfare gone astr...


  • Sam could hear the planes overhead. U.S. Navy planes. They had no business here. They were violating neutral territory. Somebody in Southeast Asia was hijacking American fighter planes. Not one at a time. In bunches. If Sam could get to a certa...


  • STAR STRUCK Someone was hijacking satellite secrets from the Big Three. Even the Russians and the Chinese were willing to deal with Sam Durell to get them back. But Sam didn’t like the way they played. They always cheated. So there was Sam wi...


  • “Durell? Sam Durell?” Sam stood silent and motionless. “Sam, please answer me. It is quite all right. You can answer.” Sam heard a scratching sound, a faint click of metal on metal. There was quiet, sustained breathing. The voice called ...


  • For Sam Durell the action starts with a walk in Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C.,... and ends in an international race for a trillion-dollar formula. Along the way he picks up a bevy of beautiful hippies. Together they travel from the lush keys o...


  • THE GIRL FROM THE MOON The Russians claimed her because she was half-Russian. The Chinese claimed her because she was half-Chinese. The Iranians claimed her because she was in their country. The British said she didn’t exist…and if she did ...


  • Something damned strange was happening to the weather. Not just freakish blizzards in the Sahara, but unseasonable monsoons and typhoons in the East, savage hurricanes and tornadoes in the U.S., and in Europe, disastrous floods and snow, snow, snow. ...


  • Right from the beginning, Durell wanted to say no. It was the kind of assignment that turned the guts of a man who’d spent a lifetime protecting the security of his country. It made Durell look at the livid scars on his body and wonder who the hel...


  • They called themselves the Brothers of the Night, and Sam Durell knew that for years they had specialized in organized crime -- women, numbers, horse parlors -- the usual rackets that were out of the CIA’s domain. Why suddenly had their operatio...


  • They yelled “treason” and then they fired him. After years of death-dealing, near-suicidal service, Sam Durell was tossed out on his ear by the CIA. Get out of Europe, they told him, get out and don’t ever come back. Durell refused. Bu...


  • Durell got his orders from McFee, Chief of K Section of the CIA. “This time,” McFee told Durell, “it’s really hot, Sam. All signals are red -- everywhere.” “And it up to me -- “ “It’s up to you. Find that underground railway or...


  • It was better not to think about what Holcomb had gone through before he died. First torture -- slow, deliberate, beyond all human endurance. Then the terrible, agonizing escape to this empty island in the Tarakutas off the coast of Borneo, somewhere...


  • Durell could recognize that special knife thrust as the favorite technique of Helmuth Dinov, commander of Moscow’s deadly Blue Squad Four, elite professional assassins who could kill a man in any of a hundred brutal ways. Could Lisette Pollini t...



  • BUSTLING BAZAARS EXOTIC SHOPS ... these were the gay facades masking the sinister filth that went on in the tortuous streets, diverting tourists from dim harems where flesh and dope are bought and sold like cigarettes, from dark alleys where a man...


  • A C.I.A. man meets all kinds working the international racket. Durell had known heroes and he had known killers -- but there was never anyone quite like Jack Talbott. Granted, there was nothing really special about an agent’s turning sour and se...






  • Their plane had been purposely lured off course, deliberately shot down. That meant the Russians knew where they were and would send a ship. How long would it be before they came and found the tape Durell was guarding? How long before they discovered...


  • THE THIRD MAN The First Man had been given up for dead long ago and in another country. Now, twenty years later, there came a single bright shred of evidence that he was still alive. They sent the Second Man to find him. He got himself taken by...


  • When the first note arrived, it was thrown away as the work of a crank. When the next note came--with duplicates to the U.S. State Department and the CIA-- , routine search was made. Nothing. So file it and forget it. It's only a rumor. The ...



  • Standing beside Lissa, the girl who had breathed life into his pain-racked body, Adam stared at the tragic, twisted remains of the once-shiny space vehicle which had taken him to the stars. Its streaked, heat-rusted metal, cracked and cratered, made ...


  • "The Prince is somewhere in Europe, gambling, wrenching, drugging himself to death. He must be found at once and brought here. And the woman Zoraya must not be allowed to interfere." The other man grinned. "Can she make a corpse walk ...


  • Sam Durell’s work for the C.I.A. was lonely, dangerous, mean and dirty. The risks went unheralded by medals and Sunday supplement stories. Death walked with the man who yielded to a moment’s carelessness, or who was unlucky, and death came in ugl...


  • A WORLD OF MENACING SHADOWS, OF WHISPERED LIES Durell knew he was in danger. But danger, in his business, was something you accepted daily, like the sunrise. Durell was the sort of man who never turned a corner or opened a door thoughtlessly. He h...


  • Sam Durell was flying to Rome to take the place of a dead man. Another agent for the C.I.A. had been cut down by the enemy. He had been found in a back alley, his blind eyes staring up at the brilliant Italian sun. Well, Durell thought, it was sim...


  • IN ARIZONA a man named Tom Everett who operated a filling station had been brutally beaten before his throat was cut. IN INDIANA a man named John Miller who ran a contracting company had been killed in exactly the same way. IN NEW YORK a man na...



  • My name’s Sam Durell. I’m troubleshooter for an agency so secret that even the government doesn’t know about it. My assignment: track down the traitors, the saboteurs, the secret official killers. And find Llona before the dread secret...


  • MOST BLONDES ARE DANGEROUS--BUT STELLA MARNI WAS MURDER ON HEELS... Locked inside that beautiful head was the key Sam Durell had to find--the identity of the leader who trafficked in souls between New York and Budapest. Hungarian refugees were ...


  • Sam Durell had come a long way in a hurry--from Washington to Paris and then to an obscure airfield in West Germany. The tough, broad-shouldered agent looked down glumly at the cheap topcoat he was wearing, his stiffly cut Russian-style suit, and his...


  • SOMEWHERE IN EUROPE a shot would be squeezed off, and a high official would fall to an assassin’s bullet. Out of the ensuing charges of treachery and deceit would evolve an equation that spelled atomic war… The man who would order that shot fi...


  • Sam Durell heard it first at K Section of the Central Intelligence Agency: Calvin Padgett had disappeared. He had vanished from his guarded quarters, slipped past the MPs, got beyond the barbed wire, eluded the radar screen, escaped the 'copter patro...


  • Armand O'Bae didn't simply disappear. He was kidnapped, tortured, then thrown from an upper-story window. An unfortunate accident said the gentlemen involved, and more unfortunate that O'Bae had taken with him the sinister secret of a nin...


  • Carmody was a prisoner-of-war in North Korea for nearly two and a half years. During that time, upon information received, one of his fellow prisoners was beaten to death by his captors, and Carmody decides upon revenge when he is released. However, ...


  • The message was terse and to the point: Fleming -- stop this frantic search for your wife. It is idiotic. It is dangerous. Sail away from Puerto Caballo now -- tonight -- and forget this madness. Your bride of two nights is sick, sick enough to be ea...


  • The schooner Pan had been a proud forty-foot creature of hardwood and brass and clean, white canvas. Now, torn and wounded, her foremast gone, her mahogany decks encrusted with salt and littered with debris, she limped into the quiet cove. Her cre...








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    The gripping tale of a treacherous beauty and the two men she turned into fugitives — men whose only chance for freedom lay in their courage to face death . . .Richard S. Aarons wrote the Assignment spy thrillers starring CIA Agent Sam Durell,...