Posts Tagged ‘Top Suspense’

Thrilled to be Nominated

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

A very pleasant surprise last week (actually, two of them): the International Thriller Writers have nominated YOU CAN’T STOP ME for Best Paperback and the Mike Hammer “Long Time Dead” for Best Short Story.

Matt Clemens and I had been told that YOU CAN’T STOP ME had made the short list of ten for the ITW honor, but we were nonetheless blown away by the actual nomination. This comes at a very good time for us because, frankly, the current Harrow book isn’t burning up the bookstands, and we are (in TV terms) “on the bubble” with the fledgling series.

If you have not read either Harrow – YOU CAN’T STOP ME and the current NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU – maybe this news will be enough to get ya off the dime. I believe the Kindle prices on both books are very low – under five bucks each last time I checked.

And of course it’s very, very rewarding to have a Spillane/Collins collaboration singled out. Some people dismiss the posthumous Spillane material, without even a read, citing “purist” notions about not wanting to subject themselves to a work started by one writer and completed by another. Apparently they never read Ellery Queen.

Anyway, here is the full list of the nominees:

As I’ve said before, one of the cool surprises the net can serve up is a new review for an old book. Here’s a nice one about the Mallory novel, NICE WEEKEND FOR A MURDER. Mallory has been getting a little love lately, out in cyberspace, so maybe one of these days we’ll get him back into print.

OurTop Suspense Group anthology keeps getting great reviews, like this one. There are occasional complaints about typos and inconsistencies story-to-story, and we’re cleaning those up as we can – it’s a home-made effort by pros, understand. You can get it in actual book form now, and it’s really a beautiful-looking book. Reads good, too.

KISS HER GOODBYE keeps racking up nice reviews – this one is from somebody who I frankly think is getting jaded (he likes GOLIATH BONE and BIG BANG better – most reviewers and readers…including Jane Spillane…think KISS HER is the best of the trio), but overall it’s another good one.

Last week Barb and I wrapped up ANTIQUES DISPOSAL and got it shipped (well, e-mailed) to Kensington. We took two days off for a getaway (to Des Moines – yes, our life is a glittering, glorious, glamorous Jet Set fantasy) and came back for a nice weekend (not for murder) with son Nate, his girl Abby and our granddog, the supremely insane Australian Blue Heeler, Toaster. Also got in a really good Crusin’ gig at the local Eagles Lodge Hall, for Eagles pooh-bahs from all over the grand state of Iowa.

It is true, by the way, that Crusin’ will be playing at Bouchercon in St. Louis this fall. We will be having a handful of mystery-writer guests who will join us on a few songs. No instrumental sit-ins (that way lies madness), but we will have some guest vocalists. The first we’ve invited: Bob Randisi. Are you out there, Parnell Hall?


Bang Bang

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

J. Kingston Pierce over at the great Rap Sheet site has a fun discussion (with plenty of comments, including from me) about the relative merits of the USA and UK covers of THE BIG BANG, the second Spillane/Collins “Mike Hammer” collaboration. But the key piece of news here is that THE BIG BANG trade paperback is out this week, and if you didn’t pick up the hardcover, now’s your chance to get the Best Private Eye Novel of the Year (according to Sons of Spade).

Big Bang Paperback

Another book that’s out is the TOP SUSPENSE anthology, designed to be an e-book but also available in a very nice trade paperback, too. Here’s the pitch:

Don’t forget the blistering anthology TOP SUSPENSE is now available for $2.99 on Kindle and a mere $11.99 in trade paperback. Our authors at the peak of their powers in thirteen unforgettable tales. This pulse-pounding anthology – packed full of cold-blooded killers, erotic tension, shady private eyes, craven drug dealers, vicious betrayals, crafty thieves, and shocking twists – is only a taste of the thrills you will find in the breathtakingly original ebooks by these authors at

So sit back, bite down on a piece of strong leather, and prepare to get hit by some gale-force suspense and writing so sharp it will draw blood.


Top Suspense includes:

Unreasonable Doubt by Max Allan Collins
Death’s Brother by Bill Crider
Poisoned by Stephen Gallagher
Remaindered by Lee Goldberg
Fire in the Sky by Joel Goldman
The Baby Store by Ed Gorman
The Jade Elephant by Libby Fischer HellmannThe Big O by Vicki Hendricks
The Chirashi Covenant by Naomi Hirahara
El Valiente en el Infierno by Paul Levine
A Handful of Dust by Harry Shannon
The Canary by Dave Zeltserman
The Chase by Top Suspense Group

Press release over, and M.A.C. back again: this is a terrific bunch of writers, all of whom have work well worth sampling, making this a worthwhile purchase (the e-book price is damn near a gift). Several of the Top Suspense Group writers are good friends of mine, but one is among my best friends – Ed Gorman. This week Ed was nice enough to give my Eliot Ness series a push (and me in general). If you haven’t read Ed’s work yet, you are missing one of the great contemporary voices in crime fiction – funny, wry, sad, innately Midwestern.

Here’s an excerpt from a piece about Ed that I wrote a while back, dealing in part with the notion some people had (early in Ed’s mystery-writing career) that he was a penname of mine – a mistake that arose because (a) Ed is an Iowan but never attends conventions and rarely does book signings, and (b) there are at least superficial similarities in our style and approach:

I am proud to have Ed Gorman’s writing mistaken for mine – having him viewed for a time as the Ed McBain to my Evan Hunter was pretty cool, actually. And, for years, when I would tell people that I had, no kidding, really met Ed Gorman, multiple times, it all seemed to be part of my master plan to put this pen name across.

Of course, this mistaken identity couldn’t last – Ed Gorman is too distinctive a writer, with a laconic, wry voice that is his alone, whether in first- or third-person. But it was fun while it lasted….

Ed’s distinctive voice and style are an outgrowth of his interests. He is an endless resource of arcane information and informed opinion about popular storytelling in the 20th Century. That’s why I spent so many hours on the phone with him – we could do half an hour on why Rex Stout was, line for the line, the best wordsmith of all; forty-five minutes on why we both loved Hammett and Chandler but considered the former superior; or an hour on why certain highly regarded crime writers of our day were worthy of Emperor’s New Clothes awards. It’s Ed’s ability to analyze what works in the fiction he reads that has made him such a skillful writer himself.

No writer of the late 20th and early 21st century has mastered so many genres – Ed is equally adept at mystery, crime, horror, science fiction and western. He is a screenwriter and a columnist. He respects and understands these genres and forms, much as he respects and understands his job as a professional storyteller.

Read more about Ed Gorman here (cue the NBC “More you know logo”):