Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Pillow Talk :: Jodi MacArthur


Bomb Squad Defuses Box Full of Kittens | NBC Miami

No Comment Department

Jane Austen novels heavily edited for errors—expert -, Philippine News for Filipinos: "LONDON— Jane Austen, one of the greatest novelists in English literature, had her work heavily edited to sort out the mess of her original manuscripts, an expert said Saturday.
[. . . .]
“It’s widely assumed that Austen was a perfect stylist — her brother Henry famously said in 1818 that 'everything came finished from her pen’ and commentators continue to share this view today,” the Oxford University academic said.
[. . . .]
“Austen’s unpublished manuscripts unpick her reputation for perfection in various ways: we see blots, crossings out, messiness — we see creation as it happens, and in Austen’s case, we discover a powerful counter-grammatical way of writing. She broke most of the rules for writing good English.”"

Here's the Plot for Your Next Hollywood Star Whackers Thriller

Actor Randy Quaid and wife claim asylum in Canada - Yahoo! News: "Hollywood actor Randy Quaid and his wife, wanted in the United States on vandalism charges, are seeking refugee status in Canada, saying on Friday they feared for their lives.

The couple were arrested in Vancouver on Thursday after police responded to a call and found there were arrest warrants out for them in California. Officials incorrectly said earlier that were arrested on Wednesday.

In a rambling presentation at an immigration hearing, Evi Quaid said eight of her husband's acting friends had been murdered in recent years and they feared he would be next.
'We feel our lives are in danger,' she told the Immigration and Refugee Board hearing.

Their attorney, Brian Tsuji, later read a note from the couple to reporters. 'Yes, we are seeking asylum from Hollywood star whackers.'"

BEAT to a PULP: Round One Book Trailer

You can watch it right here.

Paging Norman Bates

Decomposing Body Found In Apartment - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston: "HOUSTON -- A foul odor led police to a woman's body on Thursday.

Houston police said they got a complaint about a foul odor at a small apartment building in the 600 block of Fairview Drive at about 8 a.m.

Officers went to the building and they, along with residents, looked for the source. They searched under and around the building and determined it was coming from a specific unit, police said.

Detectives went to the apartment and a 31-year-old man answered the door. The man told the officers that his mother was ill and he preferred they search somewhere else.

Officers asked to permission to search for the apartment and found the body of 66-year-old Abigail Saucedo."

20 Heroic Librarians Who Save the World

20 heroic librarians who save the world: "If information is power, then there's no hero mightier than a librarian. Librarians are superheroes, adventurers, explorers and invaluable guides to other heroes. Here are 20 amazing librarians who save the world every day!"

Link via SF Signal.


Saul Cooper, Dillinger, Hillman, 1959.

No Comment Department

Toy Guns Lead To Lockdown On Sam Houston State - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston: "HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Students and faculty at Sam Houston State University were placed on lockdown Friday after reports of gunmen on campus.

Campus police said they received reports of a college-age group on campus with guns. However, officials said it turned out to be connected to a Nerf-ball competition."

15 Coolest Vintage Tech Ads

15 Coolest Vintage Tech Ads -

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Harris Co. sets up online reporting for property crimes | Cars and trucks | - Houston Chronicle: "People can now use the Internet to report minor crimes to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's online reporting system is available on the Office's home page at at the tab labeled 'Report Crime,' according to the Sheriff's Office.

The system allows people to report low-priority crimes that do not require deputies to respond to the scene."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Time Marches On

Sony finally stops selling cassette Walkman players | Electronista: "After more than 30 years of producing its Walkman portable cassette players, Sony said it's ending sales of the Walkman. The final batch was produced in Japan in April, and no more will be produced as soon as the current run is sold out."

It's That Time of Year

10 terrifying Halloween gadgets - Technology & science - Tech and gadgets -

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Cowlishaw: Believe it! Your Rangers are in World Series | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News

And Keep Off His Lawn!

Cambridge City News, Cambridge Local News Stories & Latest Headlines About Cambridge | Naked ex-guardsman, 72, chases off burglar: "A naked pensioner who had served in the Coldstream Guards chased off a burglar who burst into his bedroom."

Man on the Spying Trapeze

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Review of Interest (to Me, Anyway)

SONS OF SPADE: Mississippi Vivian (Ted Stephens) by Bill Crider & Clyde Wilson

So Quit Looking at that Monitor and go out and Get Rich

Hormone Found In Rich People Linked To Longer Life: "A hormone found predominantly in wealthy people was linked to a longer life, according to British research published Thursday."

She Probably Just Wanted to be Able to Use the HOV Lane

Police: Calif. Woman Drove Around With Mummified Homeless Body for Months - "COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Police have launched an investigation after discovering that a Southern California woman drove around for months with a homeless woman's mummified body in her passenger seat."

Will the Persecution Never End?

Image source: Fail Blog


Harry Widmer, editor, The Hardboiled Lineup, Lion, 1956.

Crocodile D. C.

Michael Shwedick's career handling reptiles came from childhood fascination

Check out the photo.
Hat tip to Beth Foxwell.

Ahem *Tugs Forelock, Scuffs Toe in the Dirt*

Today's Western Movie Poster

Who'd Have Guessed that Toll Collecting Was Such a Great Career Choice?

Audit: Excessive Perks for NJ Turnpike Employees: "MYFOXNY.COM - Auditors say the New Jersey Turnpike Authority wasted $43 million on unneeded perks and bonuses. In one case, an employee with a base salary of $73,469 earned $321,985 when all payouts and bonuses were included."

What the World Needs --

-- grammar-related movie blockbusters!

The Little Professor: Future Blockbusters: Some Suggestions for Producers

The Open Shadow -- Brad Solomon

A year after he published The Gone Man (see my comments here), Brad Solomon was back with The Open Shadow (1978). This is a better book, a very good one, in fact, and it likely deserves its place on Dick Lochte's list of the top 20 p. i. novels. It's a shame that after one more book, which wasn't a crime novel, Solomon disappeared. It's also a shame that he's pretty much forgotten. Copies of The Open Shadow are going for a penny on Amazon.

Fritz Thieringer and Maggie McGuane are private-eyes in Los Angeles. Maggie has hired a third person, Paul Brade. He's young, and Thieringer doesn't like him. He's already left two jobs, one as a cop and the other as a p.i. at a big agency, so a subplot in the novel has to do with whether Paul will fit in and work out. The major plot is so complicated that I'm not even going to try to describe it. It begins simply enough, with a woman who's worried about her husband because a young man is following him around. Nothing is simple after that. If you think the plot of The Big Sleep is complicated, then check this one out. All the pieces fit at the end, or at least I think they do, but it takes a while to get there. There's another California writer whose work I think influenced this book, but I won't say more. Wouldn't want to give too much away, in case somebody actually decides to read the book. As in The Gone Man, there's a lot of dialogue, but there's also some heavy duty violence. It's infrequent, but when it comes, it's powerful.

Maggie and Fritz are complex characters, the kind I'd like to know more about, but of course I never will. It would be nice to know what happens with Paul and if anything develops from Fritz's relationship with the mysterious Devereaux. I wish Solomon had written another book about them instead of Jake and Katie, but he didn't ask my advice. He's the gone man.

Zero Hour

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Buy Early and Often

 Discount Noir edited by Patricia Abbott and Steve Weddle - $4.49 : Untreed Reads Publishing:

"Description:  If you thought standing in line at your local warehouse store was murder, then you haven't been to Megamart. These flash fiction tales of superstore madness and mayhem will make you think twice the next time you hear 'clean up on aisle 13.'

This anthology contains works by: Patricia Abbott, Sophie Littlefield, Kieran Shea, Chad Eagleton, Ed Gorman, Cormac Brown, Fleur Bradley, Alan Griffiths, Laura Benedict, Garnett Elliot, Eric Beetner, Jack Bates, Bill Crider, Loren Eaton, John DuMond, John McFetridge, Toni McGee Causey, Jeff Vande Zande, James Reasoner, Kyle Minor, Randy Rohn, Todd Mason, Byron Quertermous, Sandra Scoppettone, Stephen D. Rogers, Steve Weddle, Evan Lewis, Daniel B. O'Shea, Sandra Seamans, Albert Tucher, Donna Moore, John Weagly, Keith Rawson, Gerald So, Dave Zeltserman, Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen, Jay Stringer, Anne Frasier, Kathleen A. Ryan, Eric Peterson, Chris Grabenstein and J.T. Ellison."

Interesting, and Scary

Your time is up, publishers. Book piracy is about to arrive on a massive scale – Telegraph Blogs: "Your time is up, publishers. Book piracy is about to arrive on a massive scale"

No Comment Department

St. Martins to publish first adult 'Sweet Valley High' novel | "Great news for grown-up fans of Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield: Today, St. Martin’s Press officially confirmed that they will publish Sweet Valley Confidential, the first hardcover adult Sweet Valley High novel. The novel — which “follows the cast of characters into adulthood,” according to St. Martin’s press release — will be written by the writer who created the franchise in the early 1980s, Francine Pascal."

Hat tip to Doc Quatermass.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Water on the Moon: NASA Impact Probe - ABC News: "Water on the moon? Scientists used to think it was as dry as, well, lunar dust.

But after a year of analysis NASA today announced that its LCROSS lunar-impact probe mission found up to a billion gallons of water ice in the floor of a permanently-shadowed crater near the moon's south pole."

The Birth of Wonder Woman

Letters of Note: The birth of Wonder Woman: "Here we have a piece of comic book history from early-1941 in the form of a letter from cartoonist Harry G. Peter, written to William Moulton Marston, in which he unveils some very early sketches of Marston's new superheroine, Wonder Woman; Marston's handwritten response to Peter can also be seen, penned in red below the original message. Wonder Woman's subsequent debut came just months later - December - in All Star Comics #8 (cover). The rest is history."

Crocs on a Plane!

Aircraft crashes after crocodile on board escapes and sparks panic - Telegraph

Hat tip to Mark Troy.

Snooki Has a Way with Words

Jersey Shore finale: Alligator versus guidos: "'I’m so excited because we are going to see the croco-dillies,' said Snooki."

Pulpy Update

A New Kind of Digital Publisher
CHANDLER, AZ - October 21, 2010
iPulpFiction.comWhere the Short Story Lives announces an exclusive digital publishing partnership with that will bring the best stories from classic pulp magazines to the mobile generation.
Black Mask Magazine is excited about working with," said Black Maskpublisher Keith Alan Deutsch. "Our franchise controls more than thirty classic pulp magazines of every genre, and is the perfect vehicle to introduce new generations of readers to the pleasures of reading pulp fiction."
iPulp will publish two series of stories based upon the holdings of the Black Mask Magazine franchise. The first is Black Mask DS (Digital Series), which features stories from the original Black Mask Magazine (1920 to 1951) — the premier detective and mystery magazine of all time. Black Mask Magazine was the first home to such distinguished and popular writers as Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Erle Stanley Gardner.
The second series, Black Mask PSR (Pulp Story Reader), will draw on material from ten other pulp magazines, including Astonishing Stories, Terror Tales, Strange Detective Mysteries, and Rangeland Romances. Story prices range from FREE, to $1 based on the length of the story.
“The depth and variety of stories published in Black Mask Magazine is tailor-made for iPulp,” said Keith Shaw, publisher of “iPulp already publishes short stories from a wide range of contemporary authors such as J. A. Jance, Ben Bova, and Pete Hautman. Black Mask’s exclusive classic content gives an appealing blend of the old and the new.”
Black Mask DS premiers on November 1st, 2010 with new stories appearing every 10 days. The Black Mask PSR series begins November 6th.
Let the fun begin!
# # #
About – Where the Short Story Lives
In the last century, dime novels and pulp magazines influenced writers of genre fiction, including such influential authors as Ray Bradbury, Raymond Chandler, and H. P. Lovecraft. Today, the pulps are mostly gone, but iPulpFiction.comWhere The Short Story Lives — keeps the genre short story alive and inspires a new generation of writers by taking pulp fiction to the mobile generation. is a new kind of digital publisher. iPulp does not sell eBooks. It is an online reading service designed for readers on the go. While is optimized for the Apple iPad, it can be accessed from any HTML 5 compliant browser such as FireFox, Safari, and Chrome. Stories can be read on computers, tablets, and even smart phones.
For more information contact:
Keith Shaw - (480) 773-8958
Keith Alan Deutsch – (215) 634-2834

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Dem promises move to trailer if elected Texas gov.: "TYLER, TEXAS — Most political candidates promise to start a new program or policy on their first day in office, but Bill White has different plans if elected Texas governor. The Democrat says his first bold move would be into a mobile home.

In another jab at Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who is costing taxpayers $10,000 a month by renting a mansion outside Austin, White vowed during a swing through East Texas on Wednesday to move into a trailer home if elected. The millionaire businessman and former Houston mayor currently lives in a 4,122-square-foot home appraised at $2.1 million, but said he would be the portrait of frugality the moment he took office."

Dr. Seuss Update

BOOKTRYST: Lost, Unpublished Dr. Seuss Manuscript Surfaces

Link via Neatorama.

Janet Hutchings Talks about EQMM

No Comment Department


Elmer Kelton, The Big Brand (short stories), Bantam, 1986.

Shake It One Time for Me - Legendary Rock 'N' Roll Pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis to Write Autobiography for It Books: "It Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announced today a deal to publish the memoir of rock 'n' roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis in 2012."

I Hope I Can Hang on Long Enough

Humans able to back up their brain within two decades, claims top scientist | Mail Online: "People will be able back up the human brain including all of the memories it contains within the next two decades, according to a leading scientist.

Award-winning Raymond Kurzweil, 62, has notched up a string of pioneering computer inventions including voice recognition technology during his career."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Top 50 Gambling Books of All Time

Top 50 Gambling Books of All Time -

Link via The Bunburyist.

More Nice Covers from Retrospace

Retrospace: Vintage Themes #14: Images of Horror

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Woman wearing garbage bag fails to rob jewellery store in El Paso, Texas | "SURELY this is the stupidest hold-up in history - and it was all captured on CCTV film.

A woman with a black rubbish sack over her head attempted to rob a jewellery shop while her accomplice waited outside with her getaway vehicle - a wheelchair."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Sheriff Rhodes Would Never Do This

Sheriff Candidate Lands in Jail - KPTM FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; |: "OMAHA (KPTM) -

He had hoped to serve as sheriff of Cass County.

But lately, the only thing 57-year-old Donnie Brennan is serving, is time in a jail cell.

Brennan, who is trying to unseat Cass County Sheriff Bill Brueggemann, is facing three felony charges. Including voting in a county where he legally doesn't live, and falsifying a candidate filing form."

Bob Guccione, R. I. P.

Penthouse Magazine Founder Bob Guccione Dies at 79 - "DALLAS (AP) — Bob Guccione tried the seminary and spent years trying to make it as an artist before he found the niche that Hugh Hefner left for him in the late 1960s. Where Hefner's Playboy magazine strove to surround its pinups with an upscale image, Guccione aimed for something a little more direct with Penthouse.

More explicit nudes. Sensational stories. Even more sensational letters that began, 'Dear Penthouse, I never thought I'd be writing you...'

It worked for decades for Guccione, who died Wednesday in Texas at the age of 79. He estimated that Penthouse earned $4 billion during his reign as publisher. He was listed in the Forbes 400 ranking of wealthiest people with a net worth of about $400 million in 1982."


USB Typewriter Keyboard Royal Aristocrat by usbtypewriter on Etsy

Hat tip to Randy Johnson.

Archaeology Update

Swiss archaeologists find 5,000-year-old door - Yahoo! News: "GENEVA – Archaeologists in the Swiss city of Zurich have unearthed a 5,000-year-old door that may be one of the oldest ever found in Europe.

The ancient poplar wood door is 'solid and elegant' with well-preserved hinges and a 'remarkable' design for holding the boards together, chief archaeologist Niels Bleicher said Wednesday.

Using tree rings to determine its age, Bleicher believes the door could have been made in the year 3,063 B.C. — around the time that construction on Britain's world famous Stonehenge monument began."

Gorilla at Large

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Poem at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Squish You, Babe :: Fred Zackel

A Contest and a Worthy Cause

Women of Mystery: Murder To Mil-Spec-----The Giveaway!: "Right now I am ready to give away three prizes. First prize is a Homes For Our Troops tee shirt and a copy of Murder to Mil-Spec. Second and third prizes are each a copy of Murder to Mil-Spec. Just drop a comment on this post between now and noon on Tuesday, October 26th and tell us how you plan to spread the word. If your name link does not give us a way to contact you, then put your email addy in your comment or I will not be able to find you and the prize you might have won will go along to someone else. Winners will be announced in a new blog post on Wednesday, October 27th."

More Hard Case News from Charles Ardai

Friends --

Apologies for going so long between updates. I was waiting until I could announce some good news -- and today's the day.

As you know, our relationship with Dorchester Publishing (Hard Case Crime's publisher since the line's launch in 2004) came to an end a few months ago when Dorchester announced it was getting out of the business of publishing mass market paperback books. This left Hard Case Crime without a home. I've spent the past six weeks in meetings with other publishers interested in giving us a new home, and I was gratified to receive offers from five of the firms we met with. They were all firms I respect greatly and would have enjoyed working with; but in the end, one stood out as clearly the best match, and that was Titan Publishing.

Based in London, Titan is a publisher both of fiction and of gorgeous art books focusing on pop culture such as movie poster art, pin-ups, newspaper comic strips, and Golden Age comic books; they have worked with filmmakers such as J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, and George Lucas; they've been around for 30 years and have more than 200 employees; and in addition to publishing books, they also have a magazine division, own retail stores, and produce merchandise such as t-shirts, sculptures, and accessories. It's fun to imagine what sorts of cool Hard Case Crime products we might create with them!

But first things first: books.

Titan plans to acquire all existing stock of our old books from Dorchester and to resume shipping those books to stores immediately. New books will start coming next fall, with two titles planned for each of September and October 2011. (Why so long a wait? It has to do with the sales cycle in the book publishing business. Titan's sales force is already selling July/August 2011 titles to stores now; September/October 2011 is the soonest we can get new books out if we want to have enough time for booksellers to consider and order them, and then for Titan to print and ship them, etc.)

Our 2011 titles will include two you've hear about before -- QUARRY'S EX by Max Allan Collins and CHOKE HOLD by Christa Faust, both of which were in the works at Dorchester but never got published -- and two you haven't heard about, by major writers in the field. (Can't say who yet...but they've both been named "Grand Masters" by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization's highest honor.) You'll be hearing more about all four books over the coming months, I promise. In the meantime, if you'd like a little taste of QUARRY'S EX and CHOKE HOLD, you can see their cover art and read a sample chapter from each at our Web site,

We will also still be going ahead with our special hardcover 'double' volume with Subterranean Press, featuring two long-lost Lawrence Block novels bound back-to-back. More info on that one as soon as we have a firm publication date and cover art to to show you!

In other news, HAVEN, the SyFy television series inspired by one of our books (THE COLORADO KID by Stephen King), just completed its first season and has been renewed for a second. If you haven't seen the show or only caught the first few episodes, I'd encourage you to give it a(nother) try -- it got really good by the end of the season (and no, I'm not just saying that because I wrote the penultimate episode and came up with the story for one before that...). It's a little different from what you see in our books, since every story contains elements of the supernatural -- but it's still a show about a FBI agent, a cop, and a criminal, and features some awfully hard cases...

Also: Universal Pictures acquired the rights to two other Hard Case Crime books -- LITTLE GIRL LOST and SONGS OF INNOCENCE by my close personal friend Richard Aleas -- and has attached a director (Jonathan Levine, "The Wackness") and screenwriter (Michael Bacall, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World") to the project. No guarantee that a movie will actually get made, of course -- but it's a very exciting first step.

What else is new? Well, Hard Case Crime's sister line, THE ADVENTURES OF GABRIEL HUNT, is staying with Dorchester for the time being, and they have plans to reissue all of those books -- including the sixth, which never came out in mass market paperback -- in the larger "trade paperback" format (as well as e-book format). If everything goes as planned, those should start coming next year. If you poke around online, you can also find an audiobook edition of one book in the series, HUNT THROUGH THE CRADLE OF FEAR, produced by AudioRealms. If there's ever been a genre suited to audiobook adaptation, it's tales of adventure! (If you don't feel like hunting for it -- pun intended -- here's a link:

That's all the news this time around. There will be more, probably fairly soon -- you'll certainly be hearing from me well before this time next year, when the new books come out. But in the meantime, I want to thank you for all your patience and your support. It's great to know you're out there, as passionate about our books as ever. I promise: We'll give you some good scratching for your itch just as soon as we can.

Charles Ardai

Keep Off His Lawn!

Don't stand in front of him, either.

Man urinates on tree after pulled over for drunken driving - WauwatosaNow: "A 71-year-old Waukesha man who had been pulled over for his fourth drunken driving offense got into more trouble when he insisted on urinating on a tree as officers were making the arrest Saturday morning."

Croc Update (Piranha Edition)

You will definitely want to see the photo at the link.

British fisherman grapples with 'giant piranha' goliath tigerfish | Mail Online

Back to the Future

BEAT to a PULP: Round One Is Now Available

By now you've heard a lot about this book, but my copy was waiting for me when I got home from Bouchercon yesterday. This is a great-looking, hefty volume of stories, and the Foreword (by some guy named Crider) is terrific. So are the stories, but you'll want to buy the book just for that Foreword, right?

Call for Proposals




APRIL 20-23, 2011

Pulp Studies Area

Robert E. Howard is arguably one of the most influential writers to
contribute to the evolution of American fantasy, adventure, western and
horror, but he continues to be one of the least-studied contributors to
early pulp magazines. His contemporaries H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton
Smith, Fritz Leiber and others have received more critical attention
though Howard almost single-handedly created the sword-and-sorcery genre
that was imitated by C. L. Moore and Fritz Leiber, and continues to
influence contemporary writers. Though a number of biographies have
chronicled the pulpster's brief and tragic life, very little analysis of
his work has appeared. The recent publication of The Collected Letters of
Robert E. Howard by the Robert E. Howard Foundation in three volumes, and
the upcoming A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert
E . Howard, have set the stage for invigorating Howard scholarship.

The proposed session will consist of 20-minute presentations that discuss
Howard's contributions to the development of the genre of
sword-and-sorcery, and may address, but are not limited to, the following

* The evolution of the genre through specific "series," including
Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn, Kull, the Gaelic heroes, El Borak, Conan.
* Howard's boxing stories and the concept of manhood.
* The development of themes in particular series: moral justice in
Solomon Kane; racial degradation in Bran Mak Morn; the immorality of
civilization in Kull's Valusia; the barbarism/civilization debate as
manifest in the Conan tales; El Borak as a modern barbarian; Howard's
* The evolution of Howard's idealized barbarian hero across different
series or within a particular character (Kull's evolution from Am-ra to
Kull; Brule and the Picts; Bran Mak Morn and the degenerate Picts;
Conan's manifestations as youth, pirate, and eventually king; El Borak as
evolutionary hero).
* Howard's horror stories: "Pigeons from Hell" and other tales.
Cthulhu mythos in Howard's tales.
* Elements of sword-and-sorcery in Howard's historical tales and horror
* Howard's theory of race and its contribution to the development of the
barbarian hero.
* Howardian influences in other writers such as Leiber's Lankhmar
series and Moore's Jiril of Jiory.
* Evolutionary themes in Howard's work.
* Howard's epistolary relationships with other writers.
* Howard's influence on later writers such as Robert Jordan.

Please submit 250 word abstracts of proposed papers to:> or

Submission Deadline: November 15, 2010

Justin Everett, Ph.D.
Interim Director of Writing Programs
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
600 S. 43rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Hat tip to Beth Foxwell.

Here's The Plot for Your Next Drug-Wars Thriller

20-year-old woman student is police chief of violent Mexican town: "A 20-year-old criminology student, the only candidate for the position, was designated as police chief in the violence-plagued town of Guadalupe Distrito Bravo, Mexican media reported Tuesday.

Marisol Valles Garcia took charge on Monday of security in the town, population 10,000, on the US border. The community is around 80 km east of Ciudad Juarez, itself regarded as the most violent city in Mexico."

Good News from Charles Ardai at Hard Case Crime

Hard Case Crime Returns!

Titan Books to Relaunch

Acclaimed Pulp Paperback Series

“Wickedly voluptuous.”

--Janet Maslin, New York Times

“Hard Case may be the best new American publisher to appear in the last decade.”

-- Neal Pollack, The Stranger

One hell of a concept. Those covers brought me right back to the good old days.

-- Mickey Spillane

New York, NY; London, UK (October 19, 2010) – Titan Books and series creator Charles Ardai announced today that they are teaming up to relaunch the popular Hard Case Crime series of paperback crime novels. Nominated five times in five years for the Edgar Allan Poe award, the mystery genre’s highest honor, Hard Case Crime has published such luminaries as Stephen King (the book that was the basis for the new TV series “Haven”), Mickey Spillane, Ed McBain, Donald E. Westlake, Lawrence Block, Pete Hamill, Max Allan Collins, Madison Smartt Bell and Roger Zelazny, to name just a few. Each book features new cover art in the classic pulp style, including covers painted by Robert McGinnis, the legendary illustrator who painted the original James Bond movie posters.

Hard Case Crime has won praise from dozens of major publications ranging from Time, Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly to Entertainment Weekly, Playboy and Reader’s Digest, and has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR’s Fresh Air, and in every major newspaper in America (including repeated coverage in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and USA Today).

First launched in 2004, Hard Case Crime published 66 titles through August 2010, at which time its long-time publisher, Dorchester Publishing, announced it was exiting the mass market paperback publishing business after nearly 40 years. After receiving offers from five other publishers (including two of the largest in the world) to continue the line, Charles Ardai selected UK-based Titan Publishing as Hard Case Crime’s new home.

“Titan has an extraordinary record of creating beautiful, exciting books with exactly the pop culture sensibility that Hard Case Crime exists to celebrate,” said Charles Ardai, founder and editor of Hard Case Crime and an Edgar Award-winning mystery writer himself. “Titan is one of the few publishers that loves pulp fiction as much as we do.”

Titan’s first new Hard Case Crime titles, scheduled to come out in September and October 2011, include QUARRY’S EX, a new installment in the popular series of hit man novels by “Road to Perdition” creator Max Allan Collins; CHOKE HOLD, Christa Faust’s sequel to her Edgar Award-nominated Hard Case Crime novel MONEY SHOT; and two never-before-published novels by major authors in the crime genre (both recipients of the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America).

Additionally, Titan plans to acquire all existing stock of Hard Case Crime’s backlist titles from Dorchester Publishing and resume shipping those titles to stores immediately.

“Hard Case Crime has done a remarkable job in a very short time of building a brand known for outstanding crime fiction and stunning artwork,” said Nick Landau, Publisher of Titan Books and CEO of the Titan Publishing Group. “We are thrilled to partner with Charles and look forward to bringing Hard Case Crime to a wider audience around the world, not only through the novels themselves but also through an innovative merchandise program.”

For more information, call Hard Case Crime on 646-205-2181 or e-mail; call Titan (US media) on 914-788-1005 or email; or call Titan (UK media) on +44 (0)20 7803 1906 or email

About Hard Case Crime

Charles Ardai founded Hard Case Crime in 2004 through Winterfall LLC, a privately owned media company responsible for a variety of print, film, and television projects. The series has been nominated for and/or won numerous awards since its inception including the Edgar, the Shamus, the Anthony, the Barry, and the Spinetingler Award. The series’ bestselling title of all time, The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, was the basis for the current SyFy television series “Haven,” on which Charles Ardai works as a writer and producer. There have also been a number of feature film deals involving Hard Case Crime books, including “The Last Lullaby,” based on The Last Quarry by Max Allan Collins and starring Tom Sizemore as the titular hit man, and more recently Universal Pictures’ purchase of the film rights to Little Girl Lost and Songs of Innocence by Richard Aleas.

About Titan Publishing Group

Titan Publishing Group is an independently owned publishing company, established in 1981. The company is based at offices in London, but operates worldwide, with sales and distribution in the US & Canada being handled by Random House. Titan Publishing Group has three divisions: Titan Books, Titan Magazines/Comics and Titan Merchandise. In addition to fiction, including novelizations of films such as Terminator Salvation, original novels based on TV shows such as Primeval and Supernatural and the popular computer game Runescape, and the celebrated Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series of novels launched in 2009, Titan Books also publishes an extensive line of media- and pop culture-related non-fiction, graphic novels, art and music books.


Richard Powell, Say It With Bullets, Graphic, 1956.

The Story of Seepy Benton's Life

Johnny Sheffield, R. I. P.

Johnny Sheffield, ‘Boy’ in Tarzan Movies, Dies at 79 - Obituary (Obit) - "HULA VISTA, Calif. (AP) — Johnny Sheffield, who played the character Boy in the Tarzan movies of the 1930s and ’40s, died on Friday at his home here. He was 79.

Mr. Sheffield beat out more than 300 youngsters for the role of Boy in the 1939 movie “Tarzan Finds a Son!” and went on to co-star with Johnny Weissmuller in seven more Tarzan films.

He later played another jungle boy, Bomba, in a dozen low-budget movies but quit the business after the last one 1955. He went on to earn a business degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked for various companies and in contracting and real estate."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Today's Western Movie Poster

There's Writing, and then there's Art

Hilary Duff presents 'Elixir' | Kirkus Book Reviews

15 Classic Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels that Publishers Rejected

15 classic science fiction and fantasy novels that publishers rejected

Link via SF Signal.


Maggie Mason gave me a box of these great coasters at Bouchercon. I might not be a Florida fan, but I do like the mascot.

Part 3 of Patti Abbott's Round Robin Story Challenge

Wombat's World <small>(a blog for writer K. A. Laity)</small>: Le Ronde, Part Three: Provocateur

Comanche Station

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Crimespree Award Winners

Central Crime Zone: Crimespree Award Winners

St. Paris

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW: Paris Hilton Tells Radar - 'I've Quit My Party Life' | Radar Online: "'My community service is really important to me,' Paris said.

'This week I started and we went down and got a bunch of pumpkins at the pumpkin patch and carving tools and paint, candy and a piñata and did a lot of fun things for the kids.'"

Tom Bosley, R. I. P.

Happy Days's Tom Bosley Dead at 83 - Death, Happy Days, Tom Bosley : "Tom Bosley the folksy father of Richie Cunningham on the '70s sitcom about the '50s, ABC's Happy Days, died Tuesday in his Palm Springs, Calif., home. On Oct. 1 he had turned 83.

The actor died of a staph infection, according to TMZ, which first reported his death.

Before finding fame on the small screene, Bosley won a Tony for starring as the beloved New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in the Puliter-Prize-winning 1959 musical Fiorello!. He also made a memorable mark in the 1964 Peter Sellers cult comedy The World of Henry Orient, as the too-understanding husband of Angela Lansbury's character."

Important Update

Colonel Russell Williams of Canada guilty of sex crimes, murder

If I were you, I wouldn't click on the link because of the photos. They're not safe for sensitive viewers. By the way, they were called to my attention by Walter Satterthwait, so he should get all the credit.

I Blame Seepy Benton

Scottsdale libraries investigated by ghost hunters: "If there's something strange in your neighborhood library, who ya gonna call?

The Scottsdale Public Library called ghost hunters Sonoran Paranormal Investigations Inc. to check out its Arabian and Civic Center branches to see whether they are haunted."

Retro Review

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Bank Job -- Steve Brewer

Me with Robin Burcell at Bouchercon

Eat your heart out, Steve Stilwell.

View of a Bridge

We had a nice room in San Francisco. This is the view from our balcony. That's the Bay Bridge. The Southern Pacific building is on the right.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Squirrels: Cute, nuisances or dinner?: "It's fall, and the eternal debate over squirrels rages anew:
Are they nature's court jester, providing hours of harmless laughs?

Are they nature's terrorists, hassling suburbanites and threatening America's infrastructure?

Are they dinner?

History will decide. Once again, Squirrel Awareness Month runs concurrently with the opening of squirrel hunting season in deep East Texas, a coincidence that brings to light the paradox of the squirrel experience in America."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.


Glenn Canary, Trailer Park Girls, Monarch, 1962.

Will the Persecution Never End?

Stars' weight battles: "Sure, Paris Hilton's always been skinny, but at the heiress' latest photo shoot in early October, more than her bikini bod was on display. Hilton's rib cage and hip bones were shockingly prominent as the 29-year-old frolicked in front of the cameras."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Today's Western Movie Poster

No Comment Department

Dropping by for lunch? Tell CMS who you are - "Parents who want to eat with their kids in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools cafeterias are expected to register as volunteers and get a criminal-background check - which comes with daily monitoring for new violations.

The reason? Lunch visits provide access to other children as well."

No Comment Department

Curiosity is banned at Westfield High: "What did surprise some Westfield students and their parents was a sheet titled 'Expectations of Integrity' included in the materials handed out by the three AP World History teachers. Their No. 1 rule discouraged random outbreaks of curiosity . . . ."

Buchanan Rides Alone

Monday, October 18, 2010

More Winners

The Rap Sheet: Still More About Awards

The Derringer short fiction awards and the Ellis Peters Historical award are at the link.

Here's the Plot for Your Next Canadian Thriller

AFP: Canadian colonel pleads guilty to murders, sex crimes: "The disgraced commander of Canada's largest air force base pleaded guilty Monday to 86 lurid crimes, including two murders, two sexual assaults and dozens of burglaries at women's homes."

Up, Up, and Away

Collectible Flying Machine Books on AbeBooks: "Welcome to the Beautiful Book Boutique. AbeBooks has many millions of books, many of which are rare books, collectible books, antiquarian books or unique books. They range in subject from vintage pop-up books and antique poetry volumes to out-of-print magazines and more. And every day, thousands of books sell and thousands more are added from booksellers all over the world."

Back Home Again in . . . Alvin

When we got to the head of the boarding line, imagine my surprise to find myself upgraded to First Class. Maybe that's what caused the problems with the check-in. Unfortunately, Judy didn't get an upgrade, and she refused to take the First Class seat in spite of all my pleading. So I got all the attention and the nice hot chocolate cookie. It was a smooth flight, and other than having to drive home during the evening rush, I don't have any complaints. I'm glad to be back in my little cave, and I should recover from the rigors of travel in a day or so.

Travel Update

We're in the SF airport, all checked in and enjoying free wifi. No one could explain why I couldn't check in on-line. I couldn't check in here, either. I had to get "special assistance." Maybe it's an age thing. Anyway, we'll soon be on the way back home. We had a great time at Bouchercon and visiting our daughter and son-in-law, but it's always nice to be home again.

Retro Review

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: If -- Worlds of Science Fiction, January 1954

The Caretaker of Lorne Field -- David Zeltserman

Can a man save the world every day simply by doing his duty, no matter how onerous that duty is and no matter what other people may think of him? Jack Durkin has been weeding Lorne Field every day of his adult life. The first-born sons in his family have done this for generations. Jack has a 300-year-old contract to prove it. He believes he's not pulling weeds but Aukowies, monsters that will destroy the earth if they aren't pulled from the soil and burned every day. People of the town used to believe it, too, and Durkin receives $8000 a year while living rent-free in an old house. His wife wants a better life, and his oldest son thinks his father's crazy. He's not the only one.

Things to from bad to worse for Jack, but he continues to do his job. Is he really crazy, or are the Aukowies real? I'm not telling, so do yourself a favor and find out for yourself by reading this gripping, intense novel.

A New Threat to Our Security

The graffiti knitting epidemic: A bunch of 'graffiti knitters' are on the loose in the UK – hellbent on liberating us from the forces of drabness. Maddy Costa hits the streets with a woman called Deadly Knitshade.

Hat tip to Art Scott.

He Should be Working on his Lawn

Stuart resident Herbert Johnson, 92, has been ordered to stay out of Martin County public libraries after waging an amorous campaign toward female employees.


Title novella "The Tall T" by Elmore Leonard, Avon, 1955.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Top 50 Scariest Horror Movies

Top 50 scariest horror movies of all time - Halloween movies -

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

The Tall T

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Belva Plain, R. I. P.

Belva Plain, who became a best-selling author at age 59 and whose multigenerational family sagas of Jewish-American life won a loyal readership in the millions, died on Tuesday at her home in Short Hills, N.J. She was 95.

Her daughter, Barbara Plain, confirmed her death.

Ms. Plain’s first novel, “Evergreen,” published in 1978, spent 41 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list in hardcover and another 20 in paperback, and was made into a miniseries by NBC in 1985.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Anthony Awards

The Rap Sheet has them.

Bouchercon Update

We went to the closing brunch this morning, and I'm sure someone will be posting the Crimespree Award winners and the Anthony winners soon. If I'm at the computer, I'll link to them.

As for us, I got my e-mail from Continental telling me that I could check in on-line for my flight tomorrow, so I went through the process only to be told that check-in couldn't be completed. So I called Continental. After about half an hour on hold, I was told that nobody knew why I couldn't check in, but that I was welcome to try again. As you can imagine, I was thrilled with that answer. But I tried anyway. It didn't work, but then what would you expect? I may be stuck in San Francisco forever or until I can walk back to Texas. I suppose there are worse places to be stuck.

Bouchercon was, as always, great fun, and it was nice to see a special award presented to the late David Thompson for service to the crime fiction community. The award will be presented each year in David's memory. It's a great idea, I think.

New Story at Beat to a Pulp

Click here.

Retro Review

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: The Gutter and the Grave -- Ed McBain

The Wild Girl -- Jim Fergus

The subtitle is "The Notebooks of Ned Giles, 1932." In the prologue, set in 1999, we meet Giles, as an old man, a photographer who's selling off some of his prints because he needs the money. One of these is his last print of a photograph of the Wild Girl, captured by a hunter and thrown into a jail in Arizona because no one knew what else to do with her. How Giles came to take this picture and what happened afterward is all recorded in his notebooks.

It's a heck of a story, based as it is on The Great Apache Expedition of 1932. What? You never heard of it? Probably the last Old West clash between the Apaches and the White Eyes. The expedition was raised to rescue the son of a Mexican rancher, the son having been kidnapped by the Apaches. The expedition was mostly a publicity stunt, and most of the participants weren't cut out for the Wild West, including the flamboyantly gay Tolley Phillips, Jr.; Big Wade, the professional photographer and drunk who's more or less the seventeen-year-old Ned's mentor; and Ned himself. Others are better suited to the ordeal. Margaret Hawkins is the daughter of an explorer and has been on expeditions before. And they've led to her own dark secrets.

The Great Apache Expedition was real, but the book is of course fiction. Fergus does a great job with the landscape of the Sierra Madres, with the characters, and with the action. The first two-thirds of the book are bouyed by Ned's good spirits even in the face of the depression. It's a little like Huck and Jim when they're on the river. But things inevitably take a dark turn.

Lots of things I like are here. A good coming-of-age yarn, action and adventure, a love story of sorts, and a moving conclusion. Well worth looking for.


S. E. Pfoutz, The Whipping Boy, Popular Library, 1956.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Croc Update

Rick Robinson tells me there's a croc on this cover. I'm studying it carefully and trying to find the elusive reptile.

Night and the City