Posts Tagged ‘Quarry in the Middle’

Quarry’s Vote!

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

If you’re attending Bouchercon in San Francisky this coming weekend, you won’t see me there. Barb and I just had too much work and other conflicts to swing it. But if you’re a Bouchercon member, you can still say hi to me by voting for QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE as Best Paperback in the Anthony awards. The book is also up for a Barry.

QuarrySpeaking of Quarry, later this month Perfect Crime will begin its trade paperback reprint series of the first five Quarry novels (PRIMARY TARGET has been renamed QUARRY’S VOTE for consistency sake). We will preview the wonderful new covers by Terry Beatty one-a-week here on my weekly updates. This week, of course, it’s the real first Quarry, QUARRY, as opposed to the other first Quarry, THE FIRST QUARRY. Got that?

A nice write-up on THE LAST LULLABY unfortunately reminds me that we don’t seem to have a distribution deal yet for that good movie. If haven’t already, go ahead and order the DVD from It’s a nice DVD, bare bones but a very solid transfer.

Over on the Violent World of Parker site, they’ve taken notice of the Ennis Willie SAND collection, but they mistakenly call Sand a Parker imitation when the two series were concurrent. I straighten ‘em out in comments below the write-up.

People seem to enjoy hearing what I like and don’t like of current stuff, so I’ll say that Barb and I are really digging Little Steven’s Underground Garage on XM – I hope to hear “Psychedelic Siren” there at some point! We are also loving Kim Wilde’s new CD, COME OUT AND PLAY, which is a German release although I got mine through Amazon UK – she is probably my favorite ‘80s recording artist, and I believe Barb agrees with that assessment, disco vibe but a genuine rocker (her father is Marty Wilde, Brit teen idol who back in the day covered Bobby Darin’s rock hits). Some artists lose their enthusiasm and start to sound, well…old. The ever-beautiful Kim’s pipes sound better than ever, and the songs (some written with her brother Ricky Wilde) are top-notch.

We are also really, really enjoying the ELLERY QUEEN boxed set with Jim Hutton and David Wayne, and scads of guests stars. It’s somehow incredibly cool that Jim Hutton did Queen and his gifted son Tim did Archie Goodwin…I would not want to have to say who is the better actor, and QUEEN and NERO WOLFE as TV shows are about a dead heat (okay, I’d give the nod to WOLFE but these mid-1970s QUEEN episodes, with their 1947 setting, are wonderful).

On the other hand, we walked out of SECRETARIAT, in part because the kids running the Muscatine Mall theater couldn’t figure out how to get it in focus. It’s the heartwarming story of a rich Republican woman who abandons her family to race horses (which she inherits, getting even richer). You see, she has to take over from her father (Scott Glenn) who has a disease, the chief symptom of which is sitting in the dark with a bad haircut. You will be shocked to learn that this Disney masterpiece includes a shamelessly hammy performance from the normally so very restrained John Malkovich…he wears funny hats and plaid shorts…and (surprise, surprise, as Gomer Pyle used to say) there’s also a comic-relief fat lady.


Please, Sir, More Sex & Violence

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

I did a guest essay for the new Mulholland Books web site. It’s called “Sex and Violence, Please” and I think you’ll enjoy it.

Here’s a short, smart QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE review.

And here’s a tepid BIG BANG write-up, an example of the kind of review that always has me scratching my head – someone who begins by saying he doesn’t like Spillane/Hammer, then reviews the book in that context. Would you send a restaurant critic who hates Chinese food to the Ming Gardens Buffet? Just asking.

If you want to read a really lousy review of BONES: BURIED DEEP, it’s here. I post it as an example of a review by somebody who doesn’t understand the process of writing a tie-in. This novel, written before the show hit the air with only a rough cut of the pilot episode to guide us (Matt Clemens and me), gets beaten up because we are not faithful to the way the characters developed over the many years of the series. BURIED DEEP may not be a great novel, but it’s a better conceived novel than this is a review. And I plead guilty to not being psychic.

On the other hand, at least that site is reviewing tie-ins – mostly they get ignored. I am always surprised by how many “big fans” of mine do not read my tie-ins.

Oddly, some obits of the great actor Kevin McCarthy (who my buddy Ed Gorman knew very well) credit him with appearing in my indie movie MOMMY. I wish I’d had him in any film of mine.

Last week, Matt Clemens and I spent most of the week on the new J.C. Harrow proposal. We like it. And we shipped it. We’ll see.

Barb and I took a quick day-trip getaway to Des Moines on Friday, and on the way talked plotting for both Antiques Disposal (she’s doing her draft right now) and for the Nate Heller JFK novel, which I continue to research. Feels like I’m zeroing in on the plot, the shape, of what George Hagenauer calls “a monster.”


Quarry’s Latest Hit

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE has racked up another nomination, this time for the Barry Award (given via George Easter’s fine magazine Deadly Pleasures). This news popped up all over the internet, on the mystery-oriented sites anyway, but here’s the Deadly Pleasures site’s own coverage with the other nominees and a few comments from editor Easter.

This puts me in an increasingly tough spot – Barb and I had decided not to attend Bouchercon this year, due to both time and financial concerns, but both of these awards (the Barry and the Anthony) are given at the con. So is the Shamus – actually, at an event away from the con but held during it – and if I am lucky enough to snag a Shamus nom for QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE, Barb and I may have to reconsider. On the other hand, there are those who would not consider that novel a P.I. novel (although it actually is, in its twisted way), which could work against its chances for a nomination.

I continue to get great feedback on THE BIG BANG, and one of the coolest reviews yet has appeared at Book Reporter. Check it out.

The Goliath Bone Audio CD Barb and I listened to Stacy Keach’s reading of THE BIG BANG on a roadtrip last week, and I couldn’t have been more tickled. He does an incredible job, bringing out all the wry humor and toughness. If you are a fan of mine and/or Mickey’s, and haven’t checked out Stacy’s readings of THE BIG BANG and THE GOLIATH BONE, you are really, really missing out.

Speaking of THE GOLIATH BONE, a mass market paperback will be out in August from Vanguard. Mike Hammer’s future is tied closely to the success or failure of this edition, so any way you can support it will be appreciated. I know some fans have indicated they prefer to buy Mickey in mass market, because that’s how they’ve always bought the books. (Some collectors like to have editions of equal height to line up nicely on a shelf.)

I’m going to make a few recommendations. If you haven’t seen the excellent Starz comedy PARTY DOWN (just wrapped up its second season), you need to check it out via the recently released DVD of the first season. This great, little-known show has an incredible cast, sports surprising guest stars, and is at least as good as 30 ROCK and THE OFFICE (both of which I like). It’s a work place comedy – caterers in Hollywood, mostly actors forced into a mildly degrading day job – co-created and sometimes written by Rob Thomas, VERONICA MARS creator. Kristen Bell, Veronica herself, appears in several episodes (hilariously), and any number of veterans of that great P.I. show turn up as regulars (Ken Marino, Ryan Hansen) and guest stars (Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni). The great Jane Lynch is in the first ten episodes, and Martin Starr of FREAKS & GEEKS is a regular as a nerd snob. Lots of faces from THE STATE, from which RENO 911 sprang. You should watch from the beginning, though – Barb, Nate and I picked up midway first-season, and it’s just enough of a continuing story that your enjoyment will suffer if you don’t start at the top.

We have enjoyed several recent films: the very funny GET HIM TO THE GREEK, the surprising sleeper s-f thriller SPLICE, and Jackie Chan’s genuinely moving KARATE KID remake. I work at home, and I love movies – actually I love movie popcorn – and we try to get out to a movie once a week, which means I often force myself to go to something that seems only of middling interest. All of these fell into that category, and each one proved much more worthwhile than movies I’d expected to enjoy (and didn’t) like the idiotic ROBIN HOOD, the abysmal ALICE IN WONDERLAND, and the over-stuffed IRON MAN 2.

I want to thank those of you who stopped by to discuss what the title of the JFK assassination Heller might be. Right now it’s ASK NOT. Research proceeds apace, and my biggest job right now is figuring out what – and what not – to read of the perhaps sixty books I’ve assembled. I hope to be writing by August.

In the meantime, “Barbara Allan” has submitted the first chapter and synopsis of ANTIQUES DISPOSAL, and Matt Clemens and I are awaiting editorial reaction to the second Harrow, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU. Wish us luck, or maybe “break a leg,” since this is after all show business….


100,000 Served!

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Here at FOMAC (which does not stand for F**cking Old Max Allan Collins) we are celebrating. We are over 100,000 visitors to our humble site. Thank you to the Friends/Family/Fans of M.A.C.

QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE has been nominated for a Best Paperback Novel “Anthony,” which will be presented at Bouchercon in September.

It’s unlikely Barb and I will be attending the con, so the odds of winning this one are long indeed. Voting is done by attendees at the con, and writers who aren’t in attendance don’t often win. It’s a popularity contest, but then so is the writing game in general.

But this is a very nice honor. THE FIRST QUARRY was nominated last time. Keep in mind I’ve only had five Anthony nominations in my entire career (George Hagenauer and I won for MEN’S ADVENTURE MAGAZINES). So I’m very grateful, particularly to those of you who voted for the book in the preliminary round.

Last Quarry Audiobook

Speaking of Quarry, there is an excellent, reasonably priced audio book of THE LAST QUARRY from Speaking Volumes Audio, nicely read by actor Curt Palmer. You can buy it at Amazon or other of the usual suspects, or at Speaking Volumes’ own website.

There are more Quarry audios on the way from Speaking Volumes, including the early out-of-print books. I hope Curt Palmer is asked to read those, as well, because he does a nice, understated job. According to Curt’s site, he is going to do THE FIRST QUARRY and at least one more.

Also, Stacy Keach’s reading of THE BIG BANG is out from Blackstone Audio, and Barb and I are listening to it in the car now – another terrific job from everybody’s favorite Mike Hammer actor. Again, you can get it from various online sources, including directly from Blackstone Audio. But Amazon seems to have the best price.

Back to Quarry, I received a handful of bound galleys from Hard Case Crime. If you are an internet reviewer, and aren’t regularly receiving Hard Case Crime reading copies, write me at, and I’ll send you a copy (until my supply is gone).

I am working on the JFK Heller – still researching/plotting. I am considering titles for the book, and would love to get your opinions.

Among current candidates: