Posts Tagged ‘Encore for Murder’

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 www.topsuspensegroup.com.

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.

M.A.C.

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).

M.A.C.

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?

M.A.C.

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

The Big Year

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this will be a big year for me, and for my collaborators Barb, Matt and Mickey.

Some of this has to do with publishers holding onto books a while before publishing; some of what is seemingly a big output has to do with my working with those gifted collaborators I just mentioned. My big fear is that some of this work – all of which, I think, finds us at the top of our collective game – may slip through the cracks. Those of you who follow these updates are encouraged (well, actually I’m begging) to support this stuff, and tell your friends, write about the stuff on blogs, and post Amazon and Barnes & Noble reviews.

Encore for Murder

Writers who are at all prolific suffer – we “grind” out and “crank” out books. People who use that kind of phrase really don’t know much at all about writing. But expect to hear that sort of thing said about me this year. Now, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business is okay. That’s fine. I am still rock ‘n’ rolling, after all.

This week we are sharing with you the first look at the terrific cover of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER VOL. 3: ENCORE FOR MURDER. This was about as fun and rewarding a project as you could imagine. Working with actors like Stacy Keach, Tim Kazurinsky, David Pasquale, and Mike Cornelison is a dream come true. As I’ve mentioned before, Tim is one of my favorite Second City/SNL talents, and Pasquesi is a great stand-up who shared the stage with Jeff Garlin and Fred Willard at the Second City Reunion last year. And Mike Cornelison is probably the best Pat Chambers ever. The previous Hammer audio, THE LITTLE DEATH, was adapted from a screenplay; but ENCORE FOR MURDER was written specifically for the audio novel format, and I’m really proud of it. Like Sinatra said after listening to a playback, “If you don’t like that, you don’t like ice cream.”

Also coming up in the Big Year are:

ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF, Kensington hardcover, March. Both Barb and I think this is the best of the Antiques novels, both in terms of mystery and funny, and it presents a conclusion to the story arc of the first five books. Best cover we’ve snagged.

NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, also Kensington but a paperback, and also March. This is the second J.C. Harrow novel by Matt Clemens and me, and we both think it’s superior to the first one (which was well-received, and which we like, but there was room to improve…and we did). It’s a satire on reality TV and features two really scary serial killers. We went for broke on this one. Frankly, if this doesn’t do well, there won’t be another. Please support this one. Here’s an idea: buy thousands, go up in a plane, and dump them over your town. Just a thought.

KISS HER GOODBYE, Harcourt “Otto Penzler” hardcover, May. This was a particularly strong unfinished manuscript from Mickey, circa 1975, and I am hugely happy with the results. I think it’s at least as good as THE BIG BANG. I had great material to work with. Thanks, Mick!

BYE BYE, BABY, Forge, hardcover, August. The first Nate Heller novel in ten years. This was delivered in 2009, and faces the clutter of the other M.A.C. novels out there this year. Marilyn’s murder, solved. Find out what really happened, and see if Heller at age 58 is any less violent or randy than he was back in the ‘30s and ‘40s. (Hint: he hasn’t mellowed.)

QUARRY’S EX, Hard Case Crime, trade paperback, August. Postponed from last year. Made some “best book of the year” lists in 2010 without being published. Good trick, even for Quarry.

THE CONSUMMATA, Hard Case Crime, trade paperback, October. The long-awaited sequel to THE DELTA FACTOR by Mickey with me batting clean up. Cubans, bondage, and Robert McGinnis!

RETURN TO PERDITION, DC Vertigo hardcover, October. Graphic novel. The final chapter in the PERDITION saga, with MS. TREE artist Terry Beatty coming on board. This may not be the final PERDITION novel or even graphic novel, but it is guaranteed the last chronologically. Terry is doing his best work.

In addition, I am close to signing an agreement that will bring all of the Nate Heller books back out in trade paperback and e-book, including two new collections of short stories and novellas. The Ness novels are already out, as are the early Quarrys (though not yet on e-book), and likely Nolan will be next. Also, trade paperbacks of the Barbara/Max Collins collaborations REGENERATION and BOMBSHELL are on the horizon (with e-books), as well as short story collections of both authors. Look for Barb/Max titles to appear as “Barbara Allan” works.

After our exchange of views on his review of an early Quarry novel, David Rachels asked me to contribute to his regular feature “Five Quick Questions” at his always interesting Noirboiled site. Despite the brevity of the format, some new things came up. And David, who teaches Japanese lit, e-mailed to say he had ordered Nate’s book, SUMMER, FIREWORKS & MY CORPSE!

Both QUARRY’S EX and THE CONSUMMATA are nicely showcased in the latest news release from Charles Ardai about the return of Hard Case Crime. It appeared lots of places, but this link takes you (appropriately enough) to the Violent World of Parker site.

Similarly, the news release about the e-book-oriented Top Suspense Group (of which I’m a member) got wide cyber attention, but here it is at my pal (and fellow TSG member) Lee Goldberg’s great website.

Jeff Pierce of Rap Sheet fame has a wonderful site about sexy covers of tough mysteries, and he went nicely nuts over the McGinnis cover of THE CONSUMMATA.

Did I mention that 2011 is my 40th anniversary in the writing game? BAIT MONEY sold in December 1971.

M.A.C.