Posts Tagged ‘Antiques Knock-Off’

Jon Breen And J. Kingston Pierce

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Two of my favorite reviewers had major news this week.

First, Jon Breen – who has been one of my biggest boosters for thirty years – is stepping down from his post at EQMM – The Jury Box. For my money, Breen is the best reviewer/critic of his generation. It’s a sad day for me to see Jon leave reviewing behind – from a selfish standpoint, since he’s a reviewer who usually likes my stuff – but I congratulate him on an incredible run. Further congrats are in order, because Jon is a fine mystery writer himself, one of the best traditionalists around, and this will give him time to get back to tending his own literary garden. He promises two columns per year at EQMM, discussing short stories and classic reprints.

Jon’s last regular column graciously singles out a dozen of his favorite writers including yrs trly, by way of a nice mention of the QUARRY reprint series from Perfect Crime. He even calls the first novel, QUARRY (aka THE BROKER) a “landmark” work. Yup, he showed excellent taste to the very last….

Second, J. Kingston Pierce (that’s Jeff to me) is the auteur behind the great crime-fiction blog the Rap Sheet (part of January Magazine). He is, thank God, not stepping down; in fact, he’s stepping it up, taking over the Kirkus crime-fiction blog, too. This may take some getting used to for me, since Kirkus has generally lambasted my work during the same thirty years that Jon Breen praised me. In fairness, Kirkus liked one of the dozen Hellers (NEON MIRAGE) and have been keen on the Spillane/Collins Mike Hammers, so far.

Anyway, Jeff has posted his first blog and he too has graciously included me as he discussed his favorite “comfort food” authors. This does not mean that my work resembles meatloaf with gravy and mashed potatoes and corn (well, some corn), rather that I am a dependable entertainer. Read about it yourself.

The first dual review of the two J.C. Harrow “Killer TV” novels has appeared, and it’s a doozy. Gotta check this out.

David Burke did nice little write-up at Matt Clemens’ hometown paper, the Quad City Times. A fun read. You’ll note that the headline refers to Matt as my “friend,” a downgrade from the Yahoo piece that credited him as the sole author of the CSI novels. (Matt – I told you there would be a reckoning!)

I can’t explain it, but according to this website, YOU CAN’T STOP ME is one of the ten bestselling novels of 2011 so far. I’ve heard we’re high on the Amazon UK lists, too. Back those trucks of money up to the house any time, guys!

We had some nice coverage, including a You Tube review, of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER VOL. 2: THE LITTLE DEATH. The reason last year’s release is getting precedence over the current one is LITTLE DEATH’s Audie nomination.

We also received an outstanding review from Dick Lochte on ENCORE FOR MURDER in the new Mystery Scene. No link available, but it says in part: “Expect a lot of action, snappy patter, much of it gleefully non-PC, and several nice plot touches, including a clever method of cleaning dirty money, all smoothly presented by a full cast.” He also says the CD presentation resembles “a particularly well-written three-part episode” from the Stacy Keach TV version of Hammer. I will note, however, that the only time Stacy has appeared as Hammer in presentations actually derived directly from Spillane material is on THE LITTLE DEATH and ENCORE FOR MURDER.

Finally, I’m pleased to report that ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF made the top 50 hardcover mysteries list at Barnes and Noble (#40).


Even More Free Books!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
Antiques Bizarre

We were able to lay hands on a few more copies – ten each – of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF by Barbara Allan and NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU by M.A.C. and Matthew Clemens. We also have ten copies of the just published paperback of ANTIQUES BIZARRE by Barbara Allan.

First come, first serve, to anyone pledging to review the book on a blog and/or on Amazon (and/or Barnes & Noble). Ask for one or both or even all three, depending on your interest and taste.

When these ten (of each) are gone, the days of a free lunch – or anyway, a book to read while you’re eating the lunch you paid for – are over.

E-mail me at and include your snail mail address. We can’t honor requests from overseas. We only do business with good law-biding Americans! Or maybe it’s because it’s so damn expensive mailing books internationally….

Bill Crider, that terrific writer and the host of my favorite mystery website, has written a wonderful review of NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

Matt Clemens and I did a joint interview you may find of interest at

And Matt was interviewed by Sean Leary a while back, but it’s only turning up now on the net. Check it out.

Our local paper, the Muscatine Journal, gave Barb and me a nice write-up about the Trash ‘n’ Treasures ANTIQUES series, among other things, including info about a book signing coming up on Saturday, March 19, at the Davenport Barnes & Noble. This is the first signing in support of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF and NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

I hear from fans all the time, bemoaning the fact that we don’t do as many signings as we used to, but signings just aren’t what they used to be. We are limiting ourselves to our home area, and a few places we get to now and then, anyway – like Chicago and St. Louis. But we are attending the St. Louis Bouchercon, and it’s looking likely that Crusin’ will be playing, probably with some guest stars from the mystery community.

Speaking of Crusin’, we appeared Saturday night (March 5) at the Thirsty Camel, a bar/restaurant outside tiny Conesville, Iowa. The Camel is a big tin building, beautifully appointed in rustic style, that you approach by driving down a dirt road with cornfield on either side. It’s way back from the road – though a very modern lektrical sign points the way – by a rodeo set-up. This is as down-home as I get, by the way.

The Camel has burned down twice, and this new version is sparkling new. The original Camel was one of the Crusin’ regular stops of our golden era – 1975–1980. For about two years of that period, I was a professional musician – the band very successful, and showcasing Bruce Peters (the greatest guitarist and showman ever to come out of Iowa), and my buddy Paul Thomas on bass – both gone, now. Powerhouse Ric Steed drummed. Everybody sang, but Bruce was the best singer the band ever had.

The current version of Crusin’ features a guitar player who challenges Bruce’s mastery of the instrument – Jim Van Winkle – and also has original Daybreakers member Chuck Bunn as part of the line-up, with rock-steady drummer Steve Kundel a longtime veteran of the group (first coming in around 1989). Even with this strong a line-up, going in to play in a part of the world where our most popular line-up is frankly legendary was slightly intimidating…but I am pleased to report that we had a large, enthusiastic crowd, and quite a few people stopped me to say that we sounded just as good as we had “back in the day.” And it looks to be a once-a-month venue for us again.


Little Death up for Big Audie

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

The big piece of news this week is that my radio-style novel for audio, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER VOL. 2: THE LITTLE DEATH, has been nominated for an Audie, the Academy Award of the audio book world. We are in the Best Original category, which makes it as much the writer’s award as anybody’s…but I am the first to salute the great cast headed by everybody’s favorite Mike Hammer, Stacy Keach, and my pal Mike Cornelison, and to applaud producer/director Carl Amari, the maestro behind the Twilight Zone radio series.

This would seem as good a time as any to remind you that THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER VOL. 3: ENCORE FOR MURDER comes out…today.

As mentioned last time, to celebrate my birthday on March 3, we have arranged with Kensington for free e-books of ANTIQUES ROADKILL and YOU CAN’T STOP ME at any on-line retailers, starting today, March 1, through March 3. Actually, it’s more to celebrate the release of new books in the respective series represented by those two titles, ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF and NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

What do I want for my birthday? I want you to take advantage of this free offer and then, out of guilt or shame or generosity or whatever might move you, order the new titles and, this time, cough up the dough. [Nathan: and if you like the books, rate them!]

I have just returned from St. Louis, where Barb, Nate and I (and Nate’s girl friend Abby) celebrated my birthday (not yet a national holiday…we’re working on it). That town is evil where food is concerned – everything from barbecue to cupcakes – but between meals, we managed to see two excellent films, the Iowa-based (but not shot) CEDAR RAPIDS, a sweet dramedy (what an awful word) that was consistently amusing and fitfully insightful; and the utter delight that is THE ILLUSIONIST. The latter is a French animated feature from the great Jacques Tati’s final unfilmed-in-his-lifetime screenplay. Since Tati was a genius who only made a handful of films, suddenly having another one seems like a gift to the world. When THE ILLUSIONIST began, in black-and-white, and Tati’s magician character appeared, I was so stunned by the animator’s ability to restore Tati to life via his every facial expression and characteristic body movement that I damn near cried into my popcorn. Fortunately I am too much of a tough guy to do that, and anyway it was already over-salted.

Another terrific review for KISS HER GOODBYE has turned up. This guy gets it.

And the Library Journal has given ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF a favorable verdict.

Politics Daily talks about Mike Hammer’s favorite gun, and mentions both Mike and me.

Be sure to check out Matt Clemens’s new book piece on Ed Gorman’s blog about the painful birth of NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

Finally, a conservative website lists Mike Hammer in the number two slot on an array of right-leaning fictional heroes…and they think I am terrific! Do they know I voted for Obama?


[Nathan: Also, head over to the Download Page for a wallpaper-ized QUARRY’S EX cover!]

Hey Kids – Free E-Books!

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

The offer to send out advance copies of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF, NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, and KISS HER GOODBYE got plenty of responses. Books have been shipped. We ran through the Spillane title very quickly, though, and we were not able to fill requests outside the USA.

If you still would like review copies, and have a review blog or write reviews for a newspaper or magazine, you can write me at, and I’ll pass the requests along to the publishers. Be specific about which book (or books) you’re interested in.

BUT we have a brand new offer for free e-books…

…starting March 1 and going through March 3rd (my birthday), you can get a free download of the first Trash ‘n’ Treasures mystery, ANTIQUES ROADKILL at all e-book retailers. Those of you who have ignored these books because they are not hardboiled now have an opportunity to see what you’ve been missing, and for free.

AND…you can get a free download of the first J.C. Harrow “Killer TV” novel, YOU CAN’T STOP ME, also from March 1 through March 3rd (did I mention that was my birthday?). Again, those of you who ignored this novel when it was published, because it was a CSI-type book and not a Quarry or Heller, can get a free look. We had a great response on YOU CAN’T STOP ME, and the early reaction to the sequel, NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, is even stronger.

Antiques Roadkill
You Can't Stop Me
Please take advantage of this generous offer from Kensington, and spread the word to any of your friends who read e-books. It helps spread the word about both series, and the last time a promotion of this kind was tried for us, it made a top five bestseller out of the first Harrow.

How can we do this, you ask? Volume, volume, volume!

Really, it’s the dope dealer ploy – first one’s free.

Last week there was a lot of Collins coverage on the net. Not so much in the last seven days, though a very fun write-up of my second, long-out-of-print MIKE HAMMER comic strip collection turned up at the fun blog, Davy Crockett’s Almanack. You can find this book and the first volume as well on e-bay without much difficulty.

The prolific reviewer Harriet Klausner has posted a very nice review of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF. Some people criticize Klausner for reviewing too much, but her write-ups get carried all over the net, and we’re glad to have her support.

See you next week. On March 1st. Two days before my birthday (not yet a national holiday in all states).