Edward Sidney Aarons (1916 - June 16, 1975) was an American writer, author of 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. Among other works of fiction, Aarons is known for his spy thrillers, particularly his "Assignment" series, which are set all over the world and have been translated into 17 languages. The 42 novels in this series starred CIA agent Sam Durell. The first "Assignment" novel was written in 1955, and Aarons continued writing the series until up to his death. Fictional CIA agent Sam Durell is the protagonist for all of the stories in this series and so while the publisher listed this as the "Assignment series" it is well known as the "Sam Durell series." In later editions the publisher also used "Sam Durell" in the blurb immediately after the front cover - For example Assignment Ceylon has "This is number thirty-six of the famed Sam Durell novels-one of the bestselling suspense series in the history of publishing." One consistent element is that all of the story titles started with the word "Assignment." The stories were written over a span of 28 years from 1955 to 1983 with each more or less being set in present time at the time it was written. When initially issued the stories were not numbered and the publisher showed the list of available stories in the "Assignment" series in alphabetical order though often the alphabetical list did not include all of the previous stories. Each story is a standalone work and while they can be read in any order reading them in the order given here will provide some continuity as there are occasional references to people or incidents from previous assignments.
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Used availability for Edward S Aarons's Assignment Afghan Dragon
June 1976 : USA Mass Market Paperback
February 1979 : UK Paperback
April 1976 : USA Mass Market Paperback