Giving Away a Girl!

February 5th, 2019 by Max Allan Collins

E-Book: Amazon
MP3 CD:Amazon
Audio CD: Amazon

[All copies have been claimed. Thank you for the terrific response! –Nate]

Yes, it’s another Max Allan Collins book giveaway, this time of Girl Most Likely. The usual conditions prevail – you must agree to post a review at Amazon with reviews at Barnes & Noble and blogs also welcome. (If you dislike the book, you are encouraged to keep it to yourself and consider your obligation satisfied).

Reviews do not have to be lengthy.

IMPORTANT: Do not post your Amazon reviews until April 1, when the book goes on sale – no foolin’. Amazon won’t run reviews till the book is available (pre-orders don’t count). Blog reviews can appear any time.

Other conditions are: you must include your snail mail address in your e-mail, and we can accept only USA requests.

I have ten advance copies to give away. Technically, these are Advanced Reading Copies and are uncorrected…only I didn’t make any corrections after this stage of publication, so you’ll be getting the real book. No hardcover is being published, so the trade paperback is it.

This grass roots support is vital. The book is published by Thomas & Mercer, Amazon’s suspense line, so I really encourage reviews at Amazon most of all, since they keep a close eye on their publications. T & M are giving me a great deal of support, and I will be doing everything I can to help in that effort. You’ll be seeing guest blog entries from me elsewhere, for example.

Whether or not you send in for one of the ten freebies – and act quickly, because these tend to go the first day – I can really use the support of those of you interested enough in my work to drop by here.

I will soon be composing an essay for Crime Reads about the attractions – and dangers – of an author known for one thing (noir in my case) writing a change-of-pace novel. And Girl Most Likely certainly is that. Oh, it’s got violence and suspense, all right. But the protagonists are not the tough guys/gals I often write about in my overtly hardboiled fare – rather, Krista and Keith Larson are non-genre figures, reminding you (I hope) of real people you know.

Both father and daughter are law enforcement – Krista is a police chief who previously was a detective on the Galena PD, Keith a retired homicide cop from Dubuque – so you won’t find them foreign in any way. But Heller or Quarry or Hammer, they ain’t. And no first-person in sight.

So that’s a danger. I’ve already encountered that with the Barbara Allan books, which despite being good mysteries and funny as hell – and in that regard very much cut from the same cloth as my other work – do not please all of my longtime readers. Some of those readers refuse to even try the “Trash ‘n’ Treasures” Antiques mysteries. And some who do don’t like them. Different strokes.

Girl Most Likely is not as radically different as the Antiques books are from other things I’ve done (often with Matthew Clemens), like the CSI books, What Doesn’t Kill Her, the Reeder and Rogers trilogy, USS Powderkeg, (did you order that yet?) and the Barbara Allan-bylined standalones – Bombshell and Regeneration. But this Girl is different. It flows from my desire to follow the example of Nordic noir, for one thing.

We’ve had two advance reviews from the “trades” – a patronizing one from Kirkus and a bad one from Publisher’s Weekly. This demonstrates the dangers of a change-of-pace book. Kirkus thinks Girl Most Likely reads more like a novel written by Barbara Collins, tacking on the left-handed compliment of that not being altogether a bad thing. The problem with that is, Barb has never published a novel that I didn’t collaborate on with her (I am the “Allan” in “Barbara Allan,” remember). As for PW, they hope next time I’ll “return to form,” which means obviously that I should stick to hardboiled noir.

Both those reviewing services, by the way, publish only unsigned reviews.

As long as real people read Girl Most Likely – that’s you I’m talking about – these snarky, sullen reviews from the trades won’t hurt the novel. Maybe library sales could suffer a little, but I am pretty firmly placed in those ranks.

An author like me, who only occasionally rises to the bestseller lists, depends on library sales. I’m always amused when a reader apologizes to me for checking my books out from the local library, rather than buying them. Well, no apologies are necessary – those libraries buy the books!

I will be talking more about Girl Most Likely as we approach the pub date. In the meantime, I will be writing the prequel, Girl Can’t Help It (yes, it’s about rock ‘n’ roll).

As for the attractions of a change-of-pace novel, that’s obvious, isn’t it? The chance to do something new, to flex different muscles, and maybe to attract new readers, who otherwise wouldn’t have tried any of my books.

Hey. Everybody. Thanks for the support. More free books to follow!

* * *

Saw Stan & Ollie today and loved it. In this part of the world, finding a theater that had this snapshot of “the boys” at the end of the team’s career was tricky as hell. But we did it. The leads (Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly) were sublime, the supporting cast damn near as good, and the script a sensitive but not overly sentimental job of it.

Also, you will understand why it was tough for the very popular likes of Abbott & Costello and Martin & Lewis to stay together. You can extrapolate why rock acts split, as well, when fans can’t understand why their favorites (who are making such great money) can’t just get along.

I found it moving. I’m at an age where the movies and music I grew up loving get to me in a visceral way. I choked up in this one more than once.

* * *

Here’s a nice review of Quarry’s Climax that does not obsess over the sex scenes! The reviewer dislikes the Quarry TV series, though. I liked it. Of course, I was getting the checks….

And Angel in Black is included in this look at various Black Dahlia books (both non-fiction and fiction).


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12 Responses to “Giving Away a Girl!”

  1. Michael Tearson says:

    I am hoping you will send me the new Girl Most Likely to read for review. I am a MAC fan since the 1970s–and on my wall I proudly display an original art Secret Agent X-( I purchased from him in the late 1970s!

    Michael Tearson
    25 Lindisfarne Ave.
    Westmont NJ 08108

    Best wishes for continued health and good stuff all around.

  2. Michael Tearson says:

    By the way I went to see Stan & Ollie Sunday night as I figures it would be more fun hanging with Laurel & Hardy than Brady & Belichek. I was right. John C. Reilly especially amazed me with how precisely he captured Hardy’s voice in tone and phrasing. He and Coogan were wonderful.

  3. Glen Davis says:

    I dig the Trash and Treasures series. They’re a lot different than Quarry, but still well constructed mysteries.

  4. Neal Alhadeff says:

    I had the same reaction to “Stan and Ollie.” I always felt a love come through in the Laurel & Hardy movies and “Stan & Ollie” projected this same relationship. Cohan and Reilly were great. My only complaint is that I’d have loved to have seen more of Danny Huston as Hal Roach. Maybe there’ll be a spin-off biopic!

  5. Thank you for your great comments.

    Barb and I have been watching the new blu-ray set of Laurel & Hardy, prime Roach material. Wonderful.

  6. Sean Kelly says:

    I just got this notice from Amazon for Girl Most Likely:
    Coming Soon from Max Allan Collins for You.

    I will place a pre-order with my local bookseller.

  7. Hi Max,

    As blogging and reviewing is purely a hobby for me, to stay ahead of the game, I have already finished reading ‘Girl Most Likely’.

    Katie from Little Bird Publicity has already sent through a pre-prepared Q&A conversation she would like published on April 1st.

    I had planned to post my review shortly after that date, however as Goodreads will allow advanced review posting, I can always advance post sooner if you would like, then publish the Q&A later, as planned.

    I’ll leave it up to you, just drop me an email and let me know!

    I must admit that I generally try to offer a balanced review, as befits the integrity of the author, so I wouldn’t be too discouraged by the couple of negative reviews to date, although I appreciate that they may not make comfortable reading.

    I admire authors who are able to write across multiple genres and although I have to admit to having one or two small reservations about the relevance and continuity of a couple of the story threads, this in no way detracted from the quality of the storyline as a whole. I read a lot of murder / mysteries and psychological thrillers and ‘Girl Most Likely’ is way up there with them as one of the best.

    Best Wishes :)


  8. Thanks, Yvonne! I have replied at your own site. But I wish all reviewers were as smart and balanced as you are (but that ain’t gonna happen).

  9. The problem is that reviews are always quite subjective by nature, as a book and author are simply a matter of personal taste when all is said and done. “One man’s meat is another man’s poison” as the saying goes. Definitely meat for me :)

  10. Tim Field says:

    MAC – What new Laurel and Hardy Blu-ray collection? I can’t find anything on Amazon.

  11. It’s a British set. I can play region B. It’s probably not much, if any, better than the DVD set, LAUREL AND HARDY — THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION, which has all the Hal Roach stuff and lots of bonus material.

  12. Tim Field says:

    Thanks for the info – I keep hoping for an ultimate set someday including their Hal Roach silents.