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Old 07-19-09, 02:16 PM   #1
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Hard Case Crime, Part 4

Welcome to part 4 of the Hard Case Crime discussion. Hard Case Crime is a terrific paperback imprint that's publishing throwback noir from new, established, and classic authors. At the Hard Case Crime Web site, you can check out the latest news about upcoming titles and get early glimpses of forthcoming cover art.

To start off part 4, here's the latest from Charles Ardai, publisher:

********************



Friends,

Why haven't you heard from me in so long? Because I've had a piece of news to share that I couldn't share until now.

As you probably know, the great Donald E. Westlake, one of the finest crime writers ever to pound an Underwood (and one of the finest men any of us in the business had the privilege to know), died on New Year's Eve this year. At the time, we all thought that the last novel he'd turned in to his hardcover publisher was the last novel of his we'd ever get to read. I certainly thought so -- until I heard from Don's friend of 50 years, Lawrence Block, saying that he had a manuscript in his hands of an unpublished Westlake novel that no editor had ever seen.

The book is called MEMORY, and it's outstanding. Don wrote it in the early 1960s but set it aside when his literary agent advised him that it was too literary and encouraged him to concentrate on more commercial sorts of crime fiction. And despite Larry's urging him to publish it over the decades that followed, Don never did.

He should have. It's a beautifully written, heartbreaking story about a man who suffers an assault (after being caught in bed with another man's wife) and wakes up in a hospital bed suffering from a peculiar sort of brain damage that doesn't make him unable to function but does make it hard for him to form new memories or retain old ones. Stuck far from home (and struggling even to remember where home used to be), paranoid about the attentions of the police, and desperate to reconstruct his lost life, Paul Cole sets out on an extraordinary private investigation: a missing persons case in which he himself is the missing person.

As I mentioned in the last e-mail I sent out, Hard Case Crime will be taking a hiatus after publishing two novels (rather than just one) this December. We won't publish any books in January, February or March. But when we come back in April 2010, it'll be a big, big comeback, since that's when we'll be celebrating Donald Westlake's MEMORY.

April's a long way off, of course -- but if you'd like to get a taste of MEMORY now, you can find a sample chapter (along with a first look at Glen Orbik's cover for the book) on our Web site: www.HardCaseCrime.com.



You'll also notice that we've finally put up a sample chapter for the first of our two December titles, burlesque performer Jonny Porkpie's THE CORPSE WORE PASTIES -- to find it, just click on the title of that book and then choose "Read a Sample Chapter." The sample will give you a peek into the seedy, wonderful world of burlesque. And if you're in New York when the book's publication date rolls around, you'll get to have more than just a peek, since Jonny's burlesque troupe will be mounting a live burlesque show to coincide with the novel's publication. I'll tell you more about this as we get closer, but at minimum you'll get a chance to see the author perform -- and the book's cover models, burlesque stars GiGi LaFemme and Nasty Canasta.

One other thing you'll notice if you visit our Web site: We've said we're publishing two books in December, but the site only shows one. Does this mean there's another December title we haven't put up on the site yet? Yes. That's precisely what it means. That one's a fun little treat and we'd like to keep it a surprise till we're closer to the publication date. It's got a Glen Orbik cover that will knock your socks off and might make you do a double take when you see it...but you'll have to wait till colder weather arrives to find out why.

After our December double feature and then the Westlake novel in April, we'll be switching to a bimonthly schedule for the rest of 2010, largely to give us a bit more time to work on and drum up attention for each novel, and to give readers more time to digest them all. (We've heard from some of you that the book-a-month schedule has left you with a pile of our books you haven't gotten to yet...and it can be hard to get each book the attention it deserves when there's always another coming just four weeks later.) For those of you who do like having a Hard Case Crime novel to read each month, I commend to your attention the 58 books we've already published (the 58th, Peter Rabe's STOP THIS MAN!, hits stores this week). Have you read them all? No? Well, you've got some great reading ahead of you, and a quick toll-free phone call to 1-800-481-9191 can get you as many of them as you want.

I'll have more news for you just as soon as I can tell you about our December surprise -- and about the various live events we have coming up. In the meantime, enjoy the dog days of summer...and, please, a good book.

Best,
Charles

P.S. This being t-shirt season, how about showing everyone at the beach or on the streets how much you love pulp fiction? Check out the stylish and sexy Hard Case Crime t-shirts at http://poeticlicenseprinting.com/art...casecrime.html.
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Old 07-20-09, 08:48 AM   #2
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

A new Westlake?
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Old 07-20-09, 09:06 AM   #3
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

Great news all around.
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Old 07-20-09, 03:22 PM   #4
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

Max Collins has reported that there is yet another unpublished Westlake novel that Don wrote in the '80s -- a non-humorous book about a stand-up comedian. When KING OF COMEDY came out, Don decided his book was superfluous and shelved it. But Max said he remembers it being really good.
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Old 07-24-09, 12:58 PM   #5
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

Thank you for posting this. I consider Westlake my favorite author of all time.
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Old 07-24-09, 06:37 PM   #6
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

For Westlake fans, might I recommend this?

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Old 07-25-09, 07:59 AM   #7
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

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Originally Posted by bishop2knight View Post
For Westlake fans, might I recommend this?

Yes you may. Parker as a graphic novel sounds pretty cool.
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Old 07-25-09, 11:05 AM   #8
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

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Yes you may. Parker as a graphic novel sounds pretty cool.
It's getting great reviews in the comic world. Some are calling it the best graphic novel of the year. I have only flipped through it, and the art is spectacular.
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Old 07-25-09, 04:49 PM   #9
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

I've got that comic. It's...interesting, I guess. I don't really see the point, but it seems well done.
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Old 07-27-09, 12:17 PM   #10
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

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I've got that comic. It's...interesting, I guess. I don't really see the point, but it seems well done.
The point? It's just a different medium. A different way to tell the story. Not much different then Hollywood producing a new movie.
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Old 07-29-09, 10:56 AM   #11
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

In stores now...

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Old 07-29-09, 01:17 PM   #12
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

You may notice that STOP THIS MAN has a $7.99 cover price. I'm crossing my fingers that it's not a permanent price increase. Sure, it's only a buck, but still...
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Old 07-30-09, 08:55 AM   #13
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

Ouch! And I thought $6.99 was high for these thin pulp reprints (as much as I love 'em).
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Old 08-04-09, 07:36 AM   #14
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

Passport To Peril was the last one I received I haven't seen another one since I wonder if Dorchester Publishing takes a month off in the summer?

Not that it matters I am so behind on reading these......

I spoke to soon I just received it in the mail.

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Old 08-09-09, 09:07 AM   #15
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

Interesting news from Charles Ardai...

***************************

Friends,

I know, in my last e-mail I wrote that I planned to keep the identity of our second December title a secret until we got closer to its Christmas-season publication date (I think I said something like "I'll tell you when it gets a little colder outside"). Well, it's only August and still plenty hot here in New York City -- but it's hard to keep a secret in the age of the Internet, especially when sites like Amazon.com put books up for pre-order four months in advance...

Yes: You can now see our second December title on Amazon.com (though you have to hunt around a little, due to a bizarre error that has our book's cover attached for some reason to a horror novel by Gord Rollo). But since they let the cat out of the bag early, I figured we might as well come clean, too -- so you can find a full complement of information on the book (cover art, description, sample chapter) at our Web site: www.HardCaseCrime.com.

And what is the book...? It's the very hard-boiled story of a man murdered by a blast from a sawed-off shotgun to the face at point-blank range; of a criminal on the run from Chicago who comes to a dirty Pennsylvania coal-mining town and winds up locking horns with the corrupt Masonic lodge that runs the town; of a Pinkerton detective who sets out to clean up the town; and of the doom that pursues a man across an ocean and leaves him at the mercy of the world's most ruthless criminal mastermind. It's a story narrated by a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, whose partner in investigating the twisted plot is a drug addicted private investigator with a brain like a steel trap.

And wait till you see the cover -- Glen Orbik has really outdone himself here, with his portrait of a gorgeous, bosomy dame in a transparent negligee watching with horror as a man with a brand on his arm appears in her doorway.

And the author -- it's one of the best-selling authors in the world. His books have been made into movies, computer games, comic books; they've sold tens of millions of copies. He's not someone you'd think of as a Hard Case Crime author in a million years!

Now, I can hear you out there, saying, "Come on, Ardai -- if you're gonna spill, spill already. What's the name of the damn book?"

Well.



Charles
-------------
Charles Ardai
Editor, Hard Case Crime
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Old 08-09-09, 11:16 AM   #16
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

Original cover, I think...



According to Wikipedia, The Valley of Fear is the final Sherlock Holmes novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The story was first published in the Strand Magazine between September 1914 and May 1915. The first book edition was published in New York on February 27, 1915.
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Old 08-10-09, 08:38 AM   #17
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

Sounds like a good way to cap off the year.
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Old 08-16-09, 10:19 AM   #18
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

I just started this book last night, and I'm really liking it. I'd never heard of the author before, but he's got a subtle humor to his writing style that I really like. I think I'm going to like this one. A real page-turner.

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Old 08-21-09, 09:16 AM   #19
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

^ This was an odd book. It seemed to start in one direction and then later go in another direction, almost completely forgetting about the main tension of the first part. I guess you could say I loved the first half. But overall, forgettable. A shame. Could have been fantastic if it had followed the compelling thread of the narrative it started.
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Old 08-21-09, 04:15 PM   #20
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

Just got Losers Live Longer (with the odd horizontal cover) in the mail yesterday. I assume this means it will hit bookshops within a week or two.
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Old 08-25-09, 04:10 PM   #21
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

I just finished Losers Live Longer ,not bad at times I thought the author was being too cute with his prose like "My feet looked black like I was kicking Alice Cooper in the face'...But I did like the ending.
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Old 08-27-09, 12:59 PM   #22
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

Well, a couple of you already have the jump on this, but it's appearing now in bookstores. Check it out!

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Old 08-27-09, 01:04 PM   #23
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

I wonder how much farther that leg reaches beyond the cover? Knowing Robert McGinnis, at least another few feet.
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Old 08-28-09, 06:57 AM   #24
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

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^ This was an odd book. It seemed to start in one direction and then later go in another direction, almost completely forgetting about the main tension of the first part. I guess you could say I loved the first half. But overall, forgettable. A shame. Could have been fantastic if it had followed the compelling thread of the narrative it started.
I just finished Stop This Man and I loved it much better than Losers Live Longer for me I like the older books in the Hard Case Crime series more than the newer ones.
Stop This Man was pure Noir for me ,I was actually even routing for the main character even though I knew he had radiation poisoning.
Right now I am reading Passport To Peril I am catching up with all these books because I had such a large pile of them.
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Old 08-28-09, 07:34 PM   #25
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Re: Hard Case Crime, Part 4

I've never read any of these books, but have heard good things and, frankly, the covers are awesome. I'd been curious about them, but never pulled the trigger...until today. I was picking up some stuff at the Dollar Tree and noticed that they had a copy of Money Shot, so I bought it. For a buck, I figured it's worth a try. (I probably won't get to it for a while, though.)
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