Posts Tagged ‘eBooks’

Free E-Book! Plus Decoder Ring

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Well, no decoder ring. But I’m sanctioned to offer 25 copies to potential reviewers/bloggers of the new TOP SUSPENSE collection. I’ll let my buddy Lee Goldberg explain:

Hold on tight for a literary thrill-ride into the wickedly clever, frightening, and exhilarating world of Top Suspense, a sizzling collaboration of twelve master storytellers at the peak of their powers in thirteen unforgettable tales…Max Allan Collins, Bill Crider, Stephen Gallagher, Joel Goldman, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Naomi Hirahara, Vicki Hendricks, Paul Levine, Harry Shannon, Dave Zeltserman, and yours truly.

This unforgettable anthology – packed full of cold-blooded killers, erotic tension, shady private eyes, craven drug dealers, vicious betrayals, crafty thieves, and shocking twists – is coming out on APRIL 1 and is only a taste of the thrills you will find in the breathtakingly original ebooks by these authors at

Top Suspense

The early reviews are excellent, with a lot of attention being paid to the hard-to-find Nathan Heller story, “Unreasonable Doubt,” that leads off the anthology. Yes, my story was chosen for that prime slot! Oh, all right…the authors are arranged in alphabetical order. And speaking of reviews….

As regular readers of this update know, I’ve run a couple of reviewer giveaway offers here already. So let me remind you that the point of this exercise is less about getting free books into eager hands and more about getting reviews posted on the net. Amazon is particularly important; Barnes & Noble, too. I’ve sent out about 20 copies of NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, but only three reviews have been posted at Amazon. It’s particularly important to get four and five star reviews posted because those who don’t care for a book almost always post a one-star review, which brings the overall score way, way down.

So I urge those of you who got free books – and even you hardy souls who actually coughed up the dough – please take the time to post a review. Doesn’t need to be long – just a sentence is fine. Grass roots support means a lot.

Also, if you do a blog review, please post it at Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble, too. If it’s a long review, you can do a condensed version.

For an electronic copy of TOP SUSPENSE, e-mail with your preference of ePub (most non-Kindle readers), Mobi (several readers including the Kindle), or PDF. If you don’t know which format you need, just include which device you use to read eBooks.

We’ve had some good coverage in both the mainstream media and the net this week.

One of the web’s best book review sites, Bookgasm, has published a strong review of NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU. They would rather read Heller or Quarry, but they like it.

Publisher’s Weekly loves the upcoming Mike Hammer novel KISS HER GOODBYE:

Set in the 1970s, Collins’s impressive third posthumous collaboration with Spillane (after 2010’s The Big Bang) finds “an older, ailing Mike Hammer returning to New York and finding it (and himself) changed,” though readers will see little evidence by the bloody climax that the notoriously violent PI has lost a step to age or illness. Having survived a near-fatal shooting, Hammer has been licking his wounds and lying low in Florida, returning North only for the funeral of a close friend, who shot himself to avoid the ravages of end-stage cancer. The suicide verdict doesn’t sit well with Hammer, whose search for the truth leads to more murders and a possible link with a Studio 54 stand-in. Collins’s mastery of the character demonstrates that whenever he runs out of original material to work from he would be more than capable of continuing the saga on his own.

Kirkus seems to like KISS HER GOODBYE, too:

The violent death of his old cop mentor calls Mike Hammer back to New York and more of the same death-dealing intrigue he first made his specialty in I, the Jury 64 years ago.

According to Capt. Pat Chambers, all the evidence indicates that Insp. Bill Doolan, retired and facing the end stages of cancer, shot himself in the heart. But Mike (The Big Bang, 2010, etc.) isn’t buying it, and it’s not long before new evidence bears him out. A waitress is killed in a senseless mugging only a few blocks from Doolan’s funeral. A friendly hooker who has dinner with Mike is struck by a hit-and-run driver who was obviously aiming for her companion. The waitress’s ex-boyfriend, who supposedly left town years ago, turns up dead. What can an aging private eye do? “I was older. I was jaded. I was retired,” reflects Mike. “But I was still Mike Hammer.” Naturally, he’s lionized by everyone in the Big Apple, from rookie Congressman Alex Jaynor to kinky ADA Angela Marshall to reformed crime-family scion Anthony (“don’t call me Little Tony”) Tretriano, to hot Latina chanteuse Chrome, who sings in Anthony’s club, to Alberto Bonetti, the druglord whose son Sal Mike killed in self-defense. Sal will be followed into the great beyond by over two dozen souls, most of them sent hither by Mike.

Working from an unfinished novel by the late Spillane, Collins provides the franchise’s trademark winking salacity, self-congratulatory vigilantism and sadistic violence, topped off with a climax that combines the final scenes of two of Mike’s most celebrated cases.

Mike Dennis contributes a great review of KISS HER GOODBYE, as well.

And Craig Clarke raves about the new Mike Hammer audio, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER VOL. 2: ENCORE FOR MURDER, at his fun “Somebody Dies” blog.

The always interesting Noirboiled turns a passage from the first Quarry novel into a noir poem.

And David Marshall James offers a terrific, amusing-in-its-own-right review of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF.


Eliot Ness Back In Print

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Speaking Volumes, the audio company that has brought out several of my novels on CD, is branching out into e-books and print editions. I’m pleased to announce that all four “Eliot Ness in Cleveland” novels are now available in what look to be handsome editions (my author’s copies have not arrived yet). This is the first new printing of MURDER BY THE NUMBERS since its original publication in 1993, so that title in particular may be of interest.

Dark CityThe Dark City: Print | E-Book
Butcher's Dozen
Butcher’s Dozen: Print | E-Book

Each Ness novel is based on a real investigation by the famous Untouchable during his very exciting tenure as the Public Safety Director of Cleveland – less written about than his Chicago days, the Cleveland years mark Ness’s major contributions to crimebusting. THE DARK CITY has him cleaning up a notoriously corrupt police department (with a guest apperance by Nathan Heller), BUTCHER’S DOZEN (the best known of the novels) is the first book-length look at the famous Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run, BULLET PROOF has Ness taking on corrupt unions, and MURDER BY THE NUMBERS finds Ness making an unlikely alliance with black numbers gangsters to defeat the famous Mayfield Road Mob’s takeover of a “colored” racket. The latter book explores Cleveland as the source of Chester Himes’ imaginary Harlem in his Coffin Ed and Gravedigger Jones crime novels, featuring the real-life black cop who provided the basis for those famous characters.

Bullet ProofBullet Proof: Print | E-Book
Murder By The Numbers
Murder by the Numbers: Print | E-Book

These novels formed the basis for the second act of my play (and film) ELIOT NESS: AN UNTOUCHABLE LIFE.

A very smart review of Mickey Spillane’s classic MY GUN IS QUICK favorably mentions my introduction to that Penguin collection of the first three Mike Hammer novels. Nice to see somebody “getting” Mickey Spillane.

David Rachels’ web site, NOIRBOILED, often has interesting stuff on display, including mini-interviews with authors and “poems” culled from crime novels. He has panned several of my novels and he gives a patronizing, half-heartedly positive review to the current reprint of QUARRY. He’s a smart guy, so it’s worth a look, but I don’t agree at all with his labeling of the Quarry series as chiefly a Richard Stark imitation. His description of QUARRY as a novel built on the Stark approach/structure doesn’t show much insight to either approach or structure – a good deal of the magic of the Parker novels is the section midway that either devotes a chunk to a single point of view other than Parker’s or gives single point-of-view chapters to various characters, enabling Stark to play games with time (a trick Don Westlake admitted to me having learned from Kubrick’s THE KILLING). QUARRY, a first-person novel built much more on the traditional private eye paradigm than that of Stark’s quirky crook books, is far, far less indebted to Richard Stark than the Nolans, which began as outright Stark pastiche (though I believe they grew into something of their own). To really understand what I am doing in the Quarry novels – or for that matter what Stark is doing in the Parker novels – a reviewer would need a better grasp of W.R. Burnett, Horace McCoy, Dan Marlowe and Jim Thompson than Rachels reveals. Rachels also does not appear aware that – after the first book, anyway – Parker never kills a civilian, and he skips entirely any consideration of the key role Vietnam plays in both Quarry the killer and Collins the novelist.

My friend Ed Gorman – one of the best living crime writers – has always been generous to me in his reviews. He continues that tradition in a wonderful review of SPREE, the final (to date, anyway) Nolan and Jon novel. He talks a lot about the Comfort family, and I happen to agree with him that that criminal hillbilly clan is among my proudest achievements. By the way, the Comforts were named as an overt reference to one of my favorite novels, Stella Gibbons’ classic COLD COMFORT FARM. One of the books begins with a sentence that includes the phrase “Cole Comfort’s farm.”

Next week I will talk about the avalanche of Collins material that 2011 will bring. Golden Age or Apocalypse…your call.