Saturday, January 02, 2010

Hard Case Crime Update from Charles Ardai


First things first: Happy New Year.

2009 was Hard Case Crime's busiest year ever, with 13 books coming out. The last two are still in stores now, and if you haven't read them yet, you're missing a treat. Jonny Porkpie's THE CORPSE WORE PASTIES is a hilarious detective story set in the world of burlesque; A.C. Doyle's THE VALLEY OF FEAR is also a detective story, but it's set about 100 years earlier and features a detective you may have heard of once or twice. (Interestingly, I could see Robert Downey, Jr. playing the lead in a film version of either book.)

Want a taste? You can read sample chapters from both books (as well as all our upcoming titles) on our Web site, Want more than a taste? You should be able to find them at your favorite local bookstore, but if they're sold out you can always order a copy online or by calling 1-800-481-9191.

Or...if you would like a copy of THE CORPSE WORE PASTIES that's been signed by the author and one of the lovely cover models, a few such copies were left after the stage show they put on in November. The author is making them available for $10 apiece (normal cover price plus a bit to cover postage/handling), and it's first-come-first-served -- so if you'd like one, send me an e-mail today and I'll pass it along to Mr. Porkpie pronto.

Or...if you prefer your PASTIES live, this month you've got another opportunity to enjoy a theatrical event celebrating the book, and this one's not just for New Yorkers. In the tradition of the long-running Off Broadway hit "Naked Boys Singing," last year saw the launch of a distaff alternative, "Naked Girls Reading" -- and this month's theme is "Naked Girls Reading Pulp Fiction." The titular naked girls (and yes, they really are) will be reading excerpts from a wide range of pulp novels, including THE CORPSE WORE PASTIES. The fun starts in Chicago on January 3, and then moves on to Seattle, Key West and Dallas (with possible stops in Madison, Miami, and Denver as well) before landing in New York on January 29. The author and cover models will be there at the New York event, so if you come to that one you can get your book signed and personalized; Jonny, Nasty, and GiGi won't be there in the other cities, but the lineup of sexy readers who will be there is certainly enticing enough to get you out in the cold. (Or in the warm, for those of you in Florida.) You can find out more at -- and if you're interested in coming, you should get tickets pronto, since the NGR shows are held in intimate venues where seating is limited (just 40 seats in New York, for instance), and the shows tend to sell out quickly.

What else is coming up? Our next new book hits stores at the end of March, and it's a big one (both in terms of length and in terms of significance): MEMORY, the final novel by the great (and much missed) Donald E. Westlake. After that, it's the stunning, heartbreaking NOBODY'S ANGEL about a Chicago cab driver on the midnight shift, written by Shamus Award finalist (and Chicago cab driver himself) Jack Clark. Then the great Brett Halliday makes his first bookstore appearance in something like 20 years with MURDER IS MY BUSINESS, and then the equally great Max Allan Collins brings Quarry back in QUARRY'S EX.

After that? We'll see, we'll see. We've got a bunch of cool things cooking, but none's quite ready to come off the stove yet. Rest assured you'll be hearing more as 2010 trundles along.

In the meantime: Go to your favorite bookstore and buy some books. It'll give you great reading to entertain you on these long winter evenings, and it'll help keep the bookstores (and outfits like ours) in business. It might not always feel like your $7.99 makes a difference -- but I can tell you it really does.

With thanks and warmest holiday wishes,
Charles Ardai
Editor, Hard Case Crime

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