Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hard Case Crime Update from Charles Ardai

In the 1940s and 50s, one of the most popular private eyes toiling in the pages of hardboiled crime novels was Michael Shayne. The creation of Brett Halliday (real name: Davis Dresser), Shayne appeared in more than 50 novels, a dozen movies, a radio drama, a TV series, comic books, and more. He even had a magazine named after him -- MIKE SHAYNE MYSTERY MAGAZINE -- which was published for 30 years. When Shane Black, the creator of the "Lethal Weapon" movies, wrote the script for the first movie he directed himself, "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" (starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Val's a very good movie, one you should see if you haven't already), it was two of Halliday's Mike Shayne novels that inspired him.

Strangely, though, the Shayne novels have all been out of print for many years. And next year we're going to correct that when we bring out a new edition of MURDER IS MY BUSINESS -- featuring a brand new cover painting by Brett Halliday's long-time illustrator, the legendary Robert McGinnis.

Want to see it? It's up, along with a sample chapter from the book, at (Just look for "MURDER IS MY BUSINESS" in our list of titles.) It's a gorgeous piece of art and we're thrilled to be reuniting this classic author/artist team for the first time in decades.

In other news, Max Allan Collins' new novel about the hitman Quarry, QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE, is about to hit bookstores everywhere. It's part of the same series as THE LAST QUARRY and THE FIRST QUARRY, but you don't have to have read those to enjoy this one. (It's not a continuing story. In fact, the first book is set last, the second is set first, and the new one...well, the new one is set in the middle.) Everyone who's read this book has raved about it, and I think you're going to like it, too.

And a month from now we have our big December titles on the way: our new edition of Arthur Conan Doyle's final Sherlock Holmes novel, THE VALLEY OF FEAR, and burlesque star Jonny Porkpie's first novel, THE CORPSE WORE PASTIES. You can already pre-order those online, or from your favorite local bookstore.

And speaking of THE CORPSE WORE would you enjoy seeing the author, the book's two cover models, and a bevy of other burlesque performers in a live stage show based on the book? Well, if you're going to be in New York City on Saturday, November 21 or Saturday, November 28 (the Saturdays on either end of the book's publication date), you can. The show is called "LURID PULP," and it tells the story of how the burlesque world reacts when they discover that Jonny Porkpie has written a novel featuring thinly veiled portraits of some of the field's most famous performers. I'll give you a hint: Porkpie ends up murdered. And it's up to his partner in crime-solving, the gorgeous Nasty Canasta, to uncover the killer! (And I do mean "uncover.")

The show will be performed for two nights only -- 11/21 and 11/28 -- at the Bleecker Street Theater (45 Bleecker Street in New York), at 8PM. Copies of the book will be available there, too, and of course the cast and author will be there and glad to sign your copy if you want (some of his co-stars might as well). We'd love it if you'd come. To buy tickets, go to It's just $20 for the show, $25 if you want a copy of the book thrown in as well -- a better deal can't be had anywhere on Broadway.

So: a new Mike Shayne edition with a new McGinnis cover painting, a new Quarry novel, and a live burlesque show in tribute to a Hard Case Crime novel -- what could be better?

Enjoy 'em all,
Charles Ardai
Editor, Hard Case Crime

P.S. Many thanks to all of you who participated in our Twitter contest, and congratulations to the winners of advance copies of QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE (Brandon, Cheryl, Marty, Bill, Andrew, Cherie, Julia, Ward, Rob, Matt, Chad and Stephen) and THE CORPSE WORE PASTIES (Mary, Sean, Andrew, Vince, Kristopher, Donna, Matthew, Ty, Adrian, William, David, and Taylor).


Richard Robinson said...

1. I like MURDER IS MY BUSINESS, and this edition has a great cover, but I'll stick with my 1945 map-back, I guess.

2. So those of us who choose to stay away from Twitter are left out in the cold when it comes to the contests now. Oh well, I never own any of the earlier ones anyway.

Charles Ardai said...

We ran one Twitter contest, once. We've run 37 non-Twitter contests. We'll run more in the future. You may still not win (you know how it goes, you play the black and the red comes up...), but rest assured it won't be because from now on we'll always require Twitter.

Richard Robinson said...

Okay, Charles, I guess I over-reacted. Sorry. I guess I'm a littler twitter-d out these days, seems like you can't turn around without bumping into a tweet...

Keep sending the emails and I'll keep trying to win books. And yes, I'll probably buy the HC edition, just for the cover.