Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Lightning’

Mike Danger Loses A Friend

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

For those of you out of the comics scene loop, I’m sorry to report that Eduardo Barretto passed away recently. Eduardo was the initial artist on the MIKE DANGER comic book, drawing the first six issues, and while other good artists followed, nobody came close to his classic approach. He also drew my Eliot Ness/Batman graphic novel, SCAR OF THE BAT, providing the best Bat-art I ever got.

My collaborations with Eduardo were long distance, and we only met once, briefly, at a San Diego Comic Con. He was about to go into a meeting with an editor, and we pretty much passed like ships in the night. But I loved his work and regret I didn’t get a chance to work with him again. He was on the very short list of artists I suggested for ROAD TO PERDITION.

There were a lot of nice write-ups about Eduardo in the wake of his passing, but here’s a nice representative one.

Crimespree 44

I am pleased and honored to be a cover boy again, this time on CRIMESPREE 44. The interview, conducted by editor Jon Jordan himself, has some glitches and typos but is otherwise a particularly good one, I think, thanks to Jon’s questioning. If you can’t pick up a copy at a mystery bookstore, you can just pay $6 through Paypal to, or send a check for $6 to:

Crimespree Magazine
536 South 5th St
Milwaukee WI 53204.

It’s also available as an e-book from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble online.

My pal Leonard Maltin called recently to say how much he liked BYE BYE, BABY. He even included it in his seasonal wrap-up on new and notable Hollywood-oriented books.

At, several regular reviewers were asked to present best 10 books of the year, and Tom Callahan included BYE BYE, BABY on his.

We also received some Best of 2011 honors at the cool Sons of Spade site.

I was asked to write about one of my favorite authors, Ed McBain, for Amazon, and you can find my piece (and others) right here. If you like my work and McBain’s, you’ll want to take a look.

A nice CONSUMMATA review popped up here. That little book has generated nice online buzz (and was recently part of a Titan giveaway promotion at Ain’t It Cool News); no link, ‘cause the contest’s over….

You may find this review of the graphic novel ROAD TO PERDITION of interest. It’s quite insightful, but has the unusual perspective of a reviewer who likes the book but does not like the film. I like the film a lot, but I am always up for hearing from people who like the book better….

That gifted comics scribe John Ostrander said some nice things about CHICAGO LIGHTNING.

Finally, let me wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas this week, and a happy holidays in general. This has been a rough year in many ways – the loss of Eduardo Barretto is a reminder of other losses, including Chuck Bunn from Crusin’ and my longtime film collaborator Mike Cornelison. My mom at her nursing home no longer recognizes Barb and me. I have always gotten misty-eyed at that line in “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” that says we’ll all be together “if the fates allow.” The fates have been kinder in other years.

Still, I am remarkably blessed. I have a beautiful, funny, talented, supportive wife in Barb – did I mention beautiful? – and a talented, funny, supportive son in Nate (I would call him “handsome,” but as much as we look alike, that would be inappropriate). My career manages to roll along nicely despite a marketplace that resembles a back-alley in Iraq. I have so many friends, many of whom collaborate with me – like Jane Spillane, Matt Clemens and Phil Dingeldein, among many others (you know who you are, or anyway I hope you do) – who make my life a particularly full and happy one. Among those friends are the readers who support my work and stop by this weekly update. I raise a rum-spiked glass of egg nog to you all.


Lightning Strikes

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
The Simon & Kirby Library: Crime

CHICAGO LIGHTNING did very well on its Kindle Deal of the Day 99-cent sale – something like 8000 copies. For a short story collection, that’s amazing, even at the discount. If you prefer a real, physical object (it’s called a book), you should pick this up. Also, the audio version read by Dan John Miller really is fun.

The Simon and Kirby CRIME comics collection from Titan hit the New York Times list, another amazing accomplishment, for which I can take zero credit, though my intro is getting some nice comments in reviews.

I am wrapping up SPILLANE ON SCREEN (I’ll ship it out this week) and starting serious work on SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT, the Jack and Maggie Starr novel for Hard Case Crime. I am delighted to be returning to this series. The cover is by Glenn Orbik (can’t share it yet, but it’s an eye-popper) and Terry Beatty will do interior chapter illos and a fake EC-style cover as a frontispiece.

Thanksgiving here was low-key and very enjoyable, with Nate and his girl friend Abby joining us (as well as our granddog, Toaster) and Barb cooked a fantastic traditional turkey dinner. We watched lots of movies, also episodes of AUCTION HUNTERS (a good rival to STORAGE WARS), saw the very good ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (after suffering through an abysmal Justin Bieber video that almost ruined a good movie), and did very minimal Black Friday shopping (picked up some cheap Blu-rays at Walmart, mostly for Riff Trax purposes).

On Saturday night, at the VFW Hall in Lone Tree, Iowa, for an anniversary party, Crusin’ had its first gig with new bass player, Brian Van Winkle, who did a fine job. It’s going to be a very good version of the band.

See you next week with less personal stuff, apologies for which are mitigated by the holiday season.


Chicago Lightning on Kindle for $0.99 (Today Only)

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
Chicago Lightning

I’m thrilled to announce that M.A.C. has again been featured over at Amazon’s daily Kindle deals with the complete collection of Nathan Heller short stories, CHICAGO LIGHTNING, on sale for 99 cents. There’s thirteen short stories spanning Heller’s career, and since my computer science degree came with four years of math classes, I can work that out to less than eight cents per story.

This sale is one day only, today (Wednesday), so act fast. If you do miss it, you should still check it out — Amazon sometimes extends the sale with a reduced-but-over-one-dollar price.

Anyway, my father let me borrow the audiobook (masterfully read by by Dan John Miller) and I still bought a copy without hesitation, so there’s no excuse not to grab it while you can.

Spread the word:

And if you enjoy CHICAGO LIGHTNING, please post a review either on Amazon or your own blog; it really does help us out.

One more thing: Happy Thanksgiving!


True Detective Hits #1

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
True Detective

Last week, Amazon released the trade paperback (and e-book) edition of TRUE DETECTIVE. At the same time, they chose the book as the Kindle Pick of the Day, priced it at 99-cents for 24 hours, and it was at #1 – out of 900,000-some books – by mid-afternoon. The next day the price was back up to around eight bucks, and still it stayed high on the charts. To take advantage of this new Nate Heller interest, Amazon dropped it to $1.99, where it’s still priced as I write this, and the book remains after five days in the upper reaches of the Kindle charts.

Cross your fingers that this is a new start for Nate Heller. The sale day TRUE DETECTIVE sold 13,000 e-book copies. Keep in mind that the first printing of the book back in 1983 was only 12,000. (The original edition went into a second printing, but we probably sold almost as many e-books in one day as the initial publication did in its two printings.)

If you invested in one, thanks. If you haven’t, what’s stopping you? A big week for Nate Heller and I’m very pleased.

Also a big week for Hard Case Crime. THE CONSUMMATA has received some terrific advance reviews, like this one.

And QUARRY’S EX, which is in bookstores now (I saw it myself in a Barnes & Noble) has been racking up sweet notices, like this one from Craig Clarke.

And here’s more love for QUARRY’S EX from a military web site, getting off on the hitman’s Marine Corps ties.

Here’s one more great QUARRY’S EX notice.

In addition, Charles Ardai has announced Hard Case’s acquisition of the final unpublished James M. Cain novel, THE COCKTAIL WAITRESS. A long while back, I convinced Otto Penzler to publish two of the three unpublished James M. Cain novels remaining in the great author’s files, and he did (CLOUD 9 and THE ENCHANTED ISLAND, at Mysterious Press). Then when Charles looked me up (to reprint the first two Nolan books) in the earliest stages of trying to get Hard Case launched, I told him about the THE COCKTAIL WAITRESS. He tracked it down, but couldn’t convince the Cain estate to let him publish it. I kept after him, cheerleading for one of my favorite authors, and Charles kept in the game, stayed doggedly after the prize. Finally he has pulled it off, and last week the news was all over the internet and elsewhere, too many places for me to provide here. But check out a couple of important ones, like this one at the Huffington Post.

And this one at the New York Times (Charles always gives me credit – thanks, Charles!)

And Ed Gorman was nice enough to write about my upcoming Heller collection, CHICAGO LIGHTNING, commenting on the success of TRUE DETECTIVE on Kindle.

A few days later, Ed reported on a meeting we had in the parking lot at Half-Price Books in Cedar Rapids, where I told him how much I hated the movie DRIVE. He discusses this, then in the comments section I provide an acid little review…read all the way down, though, to get a correction I made.

Finally, here’s a really cool theater-centric review of Barbara Allan’s ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF from a guy. I wrote him with my thanks and it turns out he’s a big M.A.C. fan from way back. I knew you guys are out there – I can hear you breathing!