Quarry on a Roll

November 3rd, 2009 by Max Allan Collins

Antiques Flee Market

Hey, don’t forget to pick up a copy of ANTIQUES FLEE MARKET out in paperback this week — by Barbara Allan (that’s Mr. and Mrs. Collins to you) — the winner of the Romantic Times Award for Best Humorous Mystery of the Year! Barb and I are so happy with the new, more whimsical cover-art approach Kensington has taken for this reprint, and for the forthcoming ANTIQUES BIZARRE.

The positive reviews for QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE continued last week, and I was honored to have Jeff Pierce at January Magazine (one of the best fiction news and review sites on the web) choose the book as his pick of the week.

Mostlyfiction provided a great review with a Collins reading list (a pretty good one, though omitting any movie and TV tie-ins, as well as a few random titles, like BUTCHER’S DOZEN and MURDER BY THE NUMBERS in the Eliot Ness series).

They also ran a Quarry-centric interview with me.

It’s really gratifying to have such web attention for Quarry, now that mainstream media sources for reviewing have dried up so dramatically. When THE LAST QUARRY came out, and DEAD STREET too for that matter, the books landed reviews (1, 2) in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. That seems a thing of the past, with EW’s book review section pared back. And of course lots of newspapers have dropped local reviewers in favor a handful of nationally distributed ones.

Quarry in the Middle

That makes web sites like the ones you’ve seen me link to recently vitally important for the future of books. Word of mouth is important, too.

A major reason I decided to write originals for Charles Ardai at Hard Case Crime — as opposed to just letting him reprint the original Nolan and Quarry novels (my first Hard Case Crime book was TWO FOR THE MONEY, reprinting the first two Nolans, BAIT MONEY and BLOOD MONEY) — is that I wanted a new generation of readers to get to know my work. In reprint, I was honored to be among Westlake, Block, Erle Stanley Gardner and other masters of the medium; but I felt it was more important to be seen and read in the company of the new breed of noir writers, like Jason Starr and Christina Faust. By doing originals for Charles, I am part of the new wave, and not consigned to oldie-but-goodie programming.

I have not been terribly productive this past week. I am still decompressing from writing the new Heller, BYE BYE, BABY in under two months (not counting month upon month of research, of course — still a personal record, though). This week I will get back to RETURN TO PERDITION, the graphic novel finale of the PERDITION saga.

My son and your trusty webmaster Nate Collins is home for a visit, but he is spending a lot of his time working on two Japanese-to-English free-lance translation gigs that came in on top of each other, and he may also be doing some mystery stories in translation for a very famous American magazine. More on that later. In the meantime, when we are not working (Barb is writing her draft of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF), we’ll be having some fun, taking in movies (ASTRO BOY was lots of fun), watching/listening to DVDs with Riff Trax (TRANSFORMERS II was a riot but the length and stupidity of it wore us and the Riffers down), and going to see the great comedy group Broken Lizard next weekend. Nate and I watched the fun Sam Raimi horror film DRAG ME TO HELL over Halloween weekend, and Barb and I watched the excellent woven-anthology film TRICK ’R’ TREAT, which inexplicably was shelved by Warner Bros and went straight to video. Probably the best horror film of the last five years, and disheartening to think that studio execs found it less than worthy of wide release.


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