Seduction of the Innocent Title: Seduction of the Innocent
Release: February 19, 2013
Audio CD:
Audio MP3 CD:



Or so the esteemed Dr. Werner Frederick would have people believe—people like the Congressmen holding hearings on banning violent crime and horror "funny books." And when the crusade provokes a most un-funny murder, Jack Starr—comics syndicate troubleshooter—has no shortage of suspects. Was it the knife-wielding juvenile delinquent or the naked seductress? Perhaps a frustrated publisher or an outraged cartoonist. Or was it a comic book reader...?

Inspired by the real-life 1950s witch-hunt against Tales From the Crypt publisher EC Comics, SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT pulls back the curtain for an insider’s view of the history of comics—and features more than a dozen brand new illustrations in the classic EC style by comic book legend Terry Beatty!


2014 Shamus Award Nominee: Best Original Paperback P.I. Novel


The Barnes & Noble Review: “a gorgeous handful of interior illustrations by Terry Beatty constitute the delicious frosting on this quintessentially New York black-and-white cookie of a book.”

Blogcritics: "extremely satisfying for both comic and mystery fan-addicts"

Pulp Fiction Reviews: "truly a breath of fresh air." "wonderful spot illustrations provided by the super talented Terry Beatty; all done in the marvelous retro golden age style of art…add a really nice visual element to what is already a fun read."

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: "thoroughly entertaining…Besides the dandy storytelling here, there's the Glen Orbik cover, which replicates one of the more famous EC covers, plus a lot of illustrations by Terry Beatty in the good old EC style. Lots of bang for your buck here….Be on the lookout; you don't want to miss it."

Ed Gorman's Blog: "superior storytelling" "Beatty is among the very best illustrators of our time and his homage to the original EC drawings is magnificent."

The Geek Girl Project: "Max Allan Collins’ Seduction of the Innocent is a wonderful, fun, frothy mix of genres, with lots of in-jokes thrown in for fans of the aforementioned. It’s noir, pulp, and comic book, with a double-handful of alternate history thrown in for flavor. It’s a fast, exciting read, well worth carting along for moments-between or sitting down with for some self-indulgent reading."

The Celebrity Cafe: "punches with short, rib-cracking jabs until the final sequence that strikes with a hard right cross."

Book Reporter: "Few people alive today can tell a story better than Max Allan Collins. SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT is a great, page-turning read that is beautiful to look at and serves as another proud addition to the Hard Case Crime library."

pornokitsch: "The story is over the top, but fun, Mr. Collins loves his comics…and the whole book is permeated with a sense of, well, joy. Murderous, sexpot, hard-drinking, gun-totin' scandelous joy."

FEARnet: "Fantastic" "horror fans who only know Hard Case from its passing trip through Stephen King country with The Colorado Kid (and his upcoming novel, Joyland) are missing out on some exciting, gripping work by Collins"

The Fandom Post: A+ "Collins does a masterful job of paying homage to both Rex Stout and the comic industry in general."

Bookgasm: "Collins expertly and effectively re-creates the period and ambience of New York in the ’50s while presenting a classically hard-boiled whodunit murder mystery. The locations, fashions, pop-culture references and especially Jack’s narration are all dead-on accurate and evocative."

The Bookbag: "perfectly written, hitting all the right notes in terms of atmosphere, characterisation and plot and I loved it."

Not the Baseball Pitcher: "Not to be missed."

Crime Time: "an ingenious roman à clef…great fun, whether or not you are an aficionado of the comics of that era."

Cult Geek: "This is edge of your seat drama on a big scale, bringing back the “who done it” genre with serious clout behind it."

Somebody Dies: "as a slice of history or simply as a golden-age mystery…[Seduction of the Innocent is] fun either way."

ComicMix: "I’d like to say it is one of the best books ever written, but that’s a stupid concept. However, I can say it is one of the most fun books I’ve ever read."

MysteryPeople: "A must read for crime and comic fans alike."

MysteryPeople (2): "Seduction of the Innocent is classic Collins. It’s punchy, funny, and fast-paced. It’s the kind of book you can’t help but finish in one sitting, and that’s what makes it so satisfying."

nerds of a feather: "Seduction of the Innocent is marked by careful plotting, sharp dialog, and a mastery of genre conventions…"

Comichype: "phenomenally entertaining"

Books and Writers: "…everything I like in one handsome little package: Great pulp Hard Case Crime cover?- CHECK. Great narrative by one of my favourite US authors, Max Allan Collins? – CHECK. A crime fiction meets the world of comic books theme (including some rather nice internal illustrations between chapters)? – CHECK, CHECK, CHECK."

Bristol Comics Corner: "Seduction of the Innocent is comics-meet-crime-noir against the glorious (and grim) city backdrop, with added sex appeal. It’s this type of tale that publisher, Hard Case Crime, was born to tell….Seduction of the Innocent is just good fun."

Geek Hard: "[Seduction of the Innocent is] a fast read that’s jam-packed with tons of enjoyment. If you like good guys, bad guys, femme fatales and funny books, this one’s for you."

Spinetingler: "An insightful historical mystery infused with the page-turning thrust of pulp, a fan’s fond affection for vintage comics, and an insider’s perspective on the industry as only a comic-creator would know, Seduction of the Innocent is a richly crafted novel that fascinates and entertains on multiple levels, and marvelously displays the many different sides and diverse talents of its creator, Max Allan Collins."

The American Culture: "Overall, Seduction of the Innocent is a delightful read. It’s got classic detection, and it’s got a great hardboiled narrator. There is terrific art throughout, likable characters, and an interesting plot. In all, I really enjoyed this book. There’s plenty to sink your teeth into, and the book makes for a quick read; I highly recommend it."

Trash Mutant: "This book is great fun and it's also a surprisingly great way to learn more about the atmosphere and specific of the mid XX century comics industry." "Highly recommended."

Just A Guy That Likes To Read: "While this is the third mystery to feature the widow Maggie Starr and Jack Starr (a private eye of sorts), Seduction of the Innocent reads extremely well as a standalone."

NoirWHALE: "a fast read, hedged by a bevy of hilarious characters and culminating in a delicious ‘whodunit.’"

ComicBuzz: "Collins’s prose is a Chandleresque homage and he sets the tone, setting and location expertly"

Crime Fiction Lover: "[Collins's] knowledge of the comic book world and the period the book is set in allows him to inject a wealth of historical fact into the narrative…[with] enough thrills here to mean that readers can enjoy this book as a PI thriller, even if they are not as interested in the comics angle."

BioGamer Girl: "Seduction of the Innocent is a well-written novel that proves why Collins is the best at what he does."

International House of Geek: "a near-perfect journey of pulp fiction-y goodness"

Atomic Moo: "does a great job of using a little history and lot of imagination to create an engaging mystery."

KVLT KVLTVRE: "Max Allan Collins has an enviable reputation as both a skillful novelist and excellent comic book writer and that shines though in this thoroughly enjoyable and impossible to put down book."

ConSequential: "The writing is zippy and never feels like parody, and captures a bygone age of comics well."

Pulp 300: "definitely worth reading. And owning. HCC just does books right."

My Big Honkin Blog: "you’ll be looking for a firm handhold as the story takes on breakneck pace. The magic is in the mystery and the hunt for answers.:

October Country: "a solid murder mystery and a fascinating peek into one of the most controversial and misguided smear campaigns in American history." "another win for Hard Case Crime"

Bibliodiscoteque: "Seduction of the Innocent is an absolute must-read for a fan of comic history, wise-cracking investigators, and fans of historical fiction."

ComicAttack: “With great characters, witty prose, and a mystery that legitimately keeps you guessing, Seduction of the Innocent is a fun read from start to finish.”

Crime and Thriller Fiction Shots Magazine: "Seduction of the Innocent is a well-written classic sexy pulp novel that should be read even if it is just to get the low down on what was happening to comics during that era. A truly brilliant read."

Comics Can Be Murder: “Thumbs up.”

Nerdbloggers: “a familiar tale that still seems surprisingly fresh. I couldn't possibly recommend the book more to fans of the genre or classic comics.”

Frank the Movie Watcher: “so good I just couldn't put it down.”


"Max Allan Collins On Seduction of the Innocent, Controversial Comics And More" on Comic Book February 18, 2013.

"Max Allan Collins On Seduction Of The Innocent And The Darker Side Of Comics History" on UPROXX. February 18, 2013.

"Author Max Allan Collins Discusses Seduction of the Innocent, Horror-themed Comics and Much More!" on Dread Central. February 18, 2013.

"Ten Questions About Seduction Of The Innocent" on Terrible Minds. February 21, 2013.

"Seduction of the Innocent: The Story Behind the Story" on Lit Reactor. February 25, 2013.

"Max Allan Collins On Seduction Of The Innocent" on Crime Time. February 26, 2013.

"A Interview with Max Allan Collins" on Eight Days a Geek. February 27, 2013.

"Max Allan Collins, author of Seduction of the Innocent" on My Bookish Ways. February 27, 2013.

"Seduction of the Innocent" on Jildy Sauce. February 27, 2013.

"11 Most Controversial Comic Books" on The Huffington Post. February 28, 2013.

"Fanboy Comics Interviews Max Allan Collins" on Fanboy Comics. February 28, 2013.

"Seducing The Innocent Through Crime, Comics, & Prose" on Speak Geeky To Me. February 28, 2013.

"An Interview With Max Allan Collins On His "Seduction Of The Innocent" Novel, Politics, Craftmanship, Genre, Social Problems & Pop Culture" on Too Busy Thinking About Comics. February 28, 2013.

"Author Interview-Max Allan Collins" on Death, Books and Tea. February 28, 2013.

"Max Allan Collins Chats to ComicBuzz" on ComicBuzz. March 1, 2013.

"Seduction of the Innocent with Max Allan Collins" on SHOTSMAG. March 1, 2013.

"Interview With Max Allan Collins, Author of 'Seduction of the Innocent'" on The Geek Twins. March 2, 2013.

"Max Allan Collins drops by to discuss his writing and ‘Seduction of the Innocent’." on Books and Writers. March 17, 2013.

An Interview With Max Allan Collins About His Two Newest Books from Blogcritics. June 10, 2013.


Larger Cover Image (625 x 1000 JPG)

Cover Painting (555 x 864 JPG) by Glen Orbik (

Video and Audio Interview with Mr. Media (MP3 Audio Mirror Download)

The Art of Seduction: behind-the-scenes info from artist Terry Beatty.

Excerpt from Hard Case Crime

Press Release (June 18, 2012)

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