Posts Tagged ‘Kiss Her Goodbye’

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.


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).


Hey Kids, Free Books!

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Some really terrific reviews have come in, and some generally cool coverage of M.A.C. stuff past and present. I’ll share all that with you below, but first, I want to let the reviewers among you know that I have some copies available for you, if you want to review one of the new books on your blog or at Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble.

I have half a dozen advance reading copies of KISS HER GOODBYE, the new Mike Hammer novel. We have four hardcover copies of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF available, and eight copies of NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

Just e-mail me at, provide your snail mail address, and I’ll send these out till I run out.

Also, here’s a fun bonus for followers of this weekly blog – a site has posted my BATMAN comic strip story from 1989. I was hired to develop and write a BATMAN syndicated strip, teamed with the great Marshal Rogers, and then was forced by the Tribune Company Syndicate to quit or else be fired from DICK TRACY (which they soon did anyway) or be sued. The story appeared without my byline, but I wrote it, and here it is. It’s a Catwoman tale.

Okay, back to the reviews. Romantic Times has given ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF a flat-out rave. Their reviews include some plot summary, which I’ve omitted:

ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF ****1/2 (highest rating any mysteries get this month in RT)

If you like laugh-out-loud funny mysteries, this next Trash ‘n’ Treasures installment will make your day. Place your bets on this screwball comedy cozy where the clues are thick and the mother-daughter dynamics are off the charts.

The Kingdom Books site has a lovely review of KNOCK-OFF, too.

Craig Clarke, at his fine site Somebody Dies, has reviewed NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU. Craig is a big supporter of my work, but he did not like the first Collins/Clemens novel, YOU CAN’T STOP ME, and made no bones about it – he didn’t even bother finishing it. He made some apt criticisms of the first novel, and Matt and I took them to heart, so it’s gratifying indeed that the first major review of the novel comes from Craig…and it’s a rave.

The ubiquitous Harriet Klausner also likes NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, and her reviews are carried all over the web. Some don’t like Harriet because she reviews so much, and often gives favorable reviews – neither of these seem like bad things to Matt and me! has a lengthy excerpt from NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU here, and their own offering of reading copies. also has posted an informational piece on NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

Though it’s very early for a book not coming out till next May, rave reviews are already coming in for the Spillane/Collins KISS HER GOODBYE. Check out this incredible review from the talented comics writer Ron Fortier.

And I would rate Bill Crider’s review of KISS HER GOODBYE, at his incredible Pop Culture Magazine site, among the most gratifying I’ve ever received. Few know pulp mysteries better, and Bill is one of the most solid mystery writers of his generation. Unfortunately, he is also one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, so I find it impossible to resent him. Anyway, check this out!

Yet another article labels ROAD TO PERDITION one of the 10 Best Comic Book movies. A fun, smart list also worth checking out.

That terrific all-around-pro James Reasoner has said some very nice and (I think) smart things about the new Perfect Crime reprint of QUARRY (aka THE BROKER), the first Quarry novel. I have to admit it’s weird and even disconcerting to read a review of a novel you wrote going on 40 years ago, but a good review is a good review. And I’ll be damned if Reasoner doesn’t “get it,” which is important. His description of what I’m up to in QUARRY is exactly what I’m up to in the novels about the character written in the last few years. So either I’m consistent, or I haven’t grown a whit.

The always interesting site Noirboiled Notes has posted a second patch of Five Quick Questions with me, this time strictly about me and Mickey Spillane.

Paul Bishop is a real cop, great guy and first-rate writer, plus he has a terrific site called Bish’s Beat. He talks about both KISS HER GOODBYE and the QUARRY reprints from Perfect Crime here.

I am heartsick at the news about Borders, crossing my fingers that the stores in Davenport and Des Moines aren’t among those closing. These are choppy, dangerous waters in the book biz, but as long as there are readers, guys like me should manage. Nate and I are still discussing doing some e-book publishing, and keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a Top Suspense Group e-book anthology.


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.