Quarry at Large

October 13th, 2009 by Max Allan Collins

Quarry in the Middle

We’ve another great QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE review, this one from Craig Clarke. Check it out at his Somebody Dies blogsite:


And my friend Ed Gorman, who has long been a booster of the Quarry novels, interviewed me about the series. It’s been linked lots of places, but in case you missed it, here goes:


And the Fresh Fiction website has singled out the previous Quarry, THE FIRST QUARRY, for some unexpected love:


Bill Crider posted a nice review and general Quarry write-up:


My LAPD cop pal Paul Bishop, who been helping me via e-mail on BYE, BYE BABY research questions, has a great website, and he’s been kind enough to showcase Quarry…and the last time I visited, he was playing Bobby Darin’s “All By Myself”!

Anyway, see the man at:


That novel is up for both Barry and Anthony awards at the upcoming Bouchercon. Speaking of which, here are my two panels at the Indianapolis event:

Oct. 15, Thursday:
“This Pen for Hire,” 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Oct. 16, Friday:
“PI Novel through the Years,” 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Presumably these will both be followed by one-hour autograph sessions.

Matt Clemens is attending the con, and so is Barb, though neither are doing panels this year.

I’ll be at the Shamus Awards, where the Nate Heller short story “The Blonde Tigress” has been nominated (it appeared in EQMM). That’s Friday evening at 7:00 pm. at the evocatively named Slippery Noodle.

I continue on my insane effort to wrap up the new Heller, BYE BYE, BABY, before Barb and I leave early Thursday morning. I have been maintaining a punishing pace, but I enjoy being immersed in a novel I’m writing. Even if I get the three remaining chapters written, however, the book will not be “done” done. I will still have to put together the bibliographic end note, which is chapter-length, as well as I do a complete polish of the whole thing. So another week’s work awaits. Why batter myself like this? It’s an artificial deadline, to replace the real one I missed long ago, plus I want to avoid the frustration and distraction of going away for four or five days with the story nearly told.

My friend Stu Kaminsky passed away a few days ago. We were often talked about in the same breath, because of his Toby Peters character and my Nate Heller, and in the late ‘80s we seriously considered doing a crossover novel (we even had a subject picked out). Stu was a fine writer, but what I most remember is the warm way he treated me. We spent a day together once, which included seeing ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA (his first time seeing this film for which he wrote the English dialogue in its uncut form), and thereafter whenever he saw me, he treated me the way you would your best friend. We were not close, rarely spoke on the phone, but when we were together, we might have been brothers. This is unique in my experience and I won’t forget it.


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3 Responses to “Quarry at Large”

  1. Brian_Drake says:

    Great to see all the good Quarry reviews, Max. I’d love to review it for my blog but I’m not plugged in to the review copy club. :) I’ll post something when I get my hands on it. In fact, I may get a running start by talking about the other Quarry books. What I really like about those books is how you crafted Quarry’s voice so perfectly. I can read a Quarry and then a Heller, and there’s no doubt that they are two different people with their own way of communicating to the reader. I can’t say the same about Hammett or Spillane’s work, for example, where their first person narrators seemed to sound like Mike Hammer or the Op, even when they weren’t. –Brian Drake

  2. Brian, write me privately at macphilms@hotmail.com and I’ll see about getting you an advanced copy of QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE.

    I appreciate your praise about the variation between 1st person voices. It’s something I worry about, although I admit it pretty well takes care of itself. The trickiest may have been Jack Starr and Nate Heller, who were very similar characters, Starr being Heller Lite — I was trying to do Rex Stout, so presumably there’s more Archie in Jack than in Nate.

  3. Jonni says:

    That’s an apt answer to an ineietstrng question