"I also assume that there's no harm in reading Himes' Coffin
Ed and Gravedigger Jones out of order."
Plotwise and characterwise, probably not. However, the series
definitely evolves as the series goes along, in the sense
that Himes's worldview becomes deeper and darker.
I'm with you on its being very worthwhile to read Stark's
Parker series in order. I read them out of order the first
time, read each as I found it, but after i complted the set,
I went back and read them in order. Got a lot more out of
them. Besides there being groupings (for instance, the first
four or the most recent three), things change in Parker's
life (although he doesn't seem to age), and his relationships
with various sometimes partners.
James Sallis's Lew Griffin series should most definitely be
read in order of publication (which is sometimes very
different from the chronology of the events in the
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