10 best-paid American mystery writers

10. James Ellroy, $50 million

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James Ellroy had an early and tragic initiation into the world of crime. He was only 10 when his mother was murdered and the case was never solved. Ellroy is famed for his short, staccato sentences. Perhaps his best known work is his "L.A. Quartet," which includes "The Black Dahlia" (1987), "The Big Nowhere" (1988), "L.A. Confidential" (1990), and "White Jazz" (1992).

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