Posts Tagged ‘No One Will Hear You’

Hello, Bye Bye

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
Bye Bye, Baby

Here is the cover of the new Heller – first in ten years – BYE BYE, BABY. It’s out mid-August from Forge, a hardcover. A lot of people seem to like this cover very much, and it’s certainly handsome, but I protested the lack of historical accuracy…particularly since the Heller books are noted for historical accuracy. I was also concerned about the detective centerstage who resembles Mickey Spillane (which sends a mixed, weird signal for a non-Spillane/Collins title) and who might be taken for Nate Heller…who this image resembles not a bit. Heller is more a Peter Gunn type at this age and stage.

There were a number of photos taken at the cover photo shoot that I liked a lot better, but there was concern that the model looked too overtly like Marilyn, whose image is copyrighted or trademarked or something. I may be able to share some of this photos with you later.

Don’t mean to be complaining, because a great deal of effort went into this and, as I say, a lot of people think it’s strong.

I hope everybody’s out there reading the new Mike Hammer, KISS HER GOODBYE. We’ve already had a lot of great reviews, but here are some nice ones at Goodreads.

And I was really pleased by this insightful KISS HER GOODBYE review at “Ed’s Blog” (not Ed Gorman, surprisingly!).

Also, Matt Clemens and I received a terrific review of the second Harrow, NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, at Kindle Taproom.

Here’s an interesting blog post about Sally Rand, dealing in part with my use of her as a character in a number of the Nate Heller books (and complimentary about how I did so). This comes at a funny moment, since I’m working on the new Heller right now (the JFK book) and Sally Rand (aka Helen Beck) is back. She is, in fact, the love interest – a man and a woman in their late fifties having sex…romantic or sickening? Your call.

Here’s an odd list that ROAD TO PERDITION made – not a comic book list, but a film noir list. A lot of negative comments about the list follow, because it really should have been labelled neo-noir or in some fashion separated itself from the real noir films of the forties and fifties. Still, I’m glad we were included.

Back to work! Nate Heller has just left a murder crime scene….


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.


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!]