The Hardboiled Collective, the brainchild of author and Sons of Spade creator Jochem Van der Steen, is a group of authors who like and respect each others’ work in the detective genre and are working to spread the word. I’m honored to be counted among them.
Thirteen Shots of Noir
by Paul D. Brazill
13 Shots Of Noir is a collection of short crime fiction and horror stories by English writer Paul D. Brazill. The first story, “The Tut”, was nominated for a 2010 Spinetingler Award, while the story “Anger Management” was chosen as one of the Predators and Editors top twenty crime stories. As author Wane Dundee says, “This collection of stories by short-fiction master Paul Brazill is a nifty, nasty mix that covers the gamut from noir to crime to suspense to horror to black humor, and then back again.”
Felony Fists by Paul Bishop is Book 1 of the Fight Club series, written under the shared pseudonym Jack Tunney. The book takes place in Los Angeles in 1954 and features Patrick “Felony” Flynn, who grew up in a Chicago orphanage and has been fighting all his life. Trained as an amateur boxer by Father Tim, the fighting priest at the orphanage, Pat was a champion middleweight in the Navy and now works as a patrol officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, where his skills with his fists make him a force to be reckoned with. Pat’s goal is to make detective and become part of the elite crew known as The Hat Squad. He gets his chance when LAPD Chief William Parker enlists him to help take down gangster Mickey Cohen, who is trying to take over LA’s fight game. But to do the job, Pat has to beat Cohen’s professional contender, the deadly and conscienceless heavyweight Solomon King. It’s a tough assignment for an amateur middleweight boxer, and when Pat and his partner, LA’s first black detective Tombstone Jones, uncover a big-money counterfeiting scheme, it gets even tougher. Pat’s not just fighting for his job or his reputation anymore. He’s fighting for his city’s future–and for his life.
The Good, The Bad, and the Murderous
Chester D. Campbell
Blog (group blog): http://murderousmusings.blogspot.com
Medicare fraud, drug trafficking, a hired killer, a crooked cop . . . it’s a nightmare scenario PI Sid Chance finds himself in when he takes on a tough assignment–to prove a young man just released from prison for murder when he was twelve innocent of a new homicide. Everything is thrown upside down when Jaz LeMieux, the wealthy ex-cop working with SId on the case, finds herself accused of a despicable crime. The evidence is damning. And when a hit man comes after Sid, all hell breaks loose.
Campbell is the award-winning author of five Greg McKenzie mysteries and two Sid Chance mysteries, of which The Good, The Bad, and the Murderous is the second.
Dead on the Island
From Publishers Weekly:
“Anthony Award winner Crider introduces private investigator Truman (Tru) Smith in this promising start of a series. Having returned to his native Galveston, Tex., to try–unsuccessfully–to find his missing sister, Tru spends his days reading Faulkner and running. His old friend Dino disrupts his solitude when he asks Tru to locate Sharon Matthews, whose mother had worked in one of the string of whorehouses run by Dino’s uncles when they controlled Galveston in the days of wide-open morality. At first Tru thinks the girl ran away after she discovered her mother’s past. But when he finds Sharon’s boyfriend murdered and then is beaten up outside a Houston nightclub, Tru begins to fear for Sharon’s safety. The disclosure of a vital secret by Dino leads Tru to dig into his own and Dino’s pasts to find the answers for several crucial questions. Crider ( Too Late to Die ) has created another well-drawn protagonist, this time a moody, introspective PI in the finest tradition, who works in a seamy city smoldering with old and dangerous secrets.”
Dead on the Island: Private-eye Truman Smith returns to his hometown of Galveston, Texas, to investigate the disappearance of his sister. He runs into people from his past, finds a cat, and gets into a lot of trouble. Publishers Weekly says that Smith is “another well-drawn protagonist, this time a moody, introspective PI in the finest tradition, who works in a seamy city smoldering with old and dangerous secrets. ”
Gator Kill: Who’d investigate the killing of an alligator? Private-eye Truman Smith would. Publisher’s weekly says: “Soon the brooding gumshoe is stumbling over the bodies of dead humans, is shot at and run down by a souped-up four-by-four as he’s embroiled in a plot complete with crooked police, a possible land-grabbing sheme and bad guys who, but for their lack of redeeming good nature, could be Damon Runyon inventions.”
When Old Men Die: Does anybody care when old men die? Private-eye Truman Smith does, and he’s going to find out who’s responsible, even if it kills him.
Someone is systematically burning a working class neighborhood to the ground . . .
Liam Mulligan, an old-school reporter at a dying newspaper, thinks the Providence cops are looking in all the wrong places. And people he knows and loves are vanishing in the flames. As the neighborhood burns, Mulligan must find the hand that strikes the match.
Publishers Weekly hails Rogue Island as one of the ten best debut novels of 2010, and the book recently won the Mystery Writers of America’s prestigious Edgar Award in the best first novel category.
“With Rogue Island, Bruce DeSilva accomplishes something remarkable: he takes everything we love about the classic hardboiled detective novel and turns it into a story that’s fresh, contemporary, yet timeless. By turns gripping, funny, and touching, it’s a tale filled with characters so vivid they jump off the page. One of the best debuts I’ve read since Dennis Lehane’s A Drink Before the War.” — Joseph Finder, New York Times best-selling author of Vanished and Paranoia.
What do Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, Ken Bruen, Alafair Burke, Thomas H. Cook, James W. Hall, Ace Atkins, Marcus Sakey, Otto Penzler, Peter Blauner, Tim Dorsey, and Sean Chercover have in common? They are all raving about “Rogue Island!”
Bullet for One
JOHN COBURN IS A PRIVATE EYE WHO WON’T LET THE LAW STAND IN THE WAY OF JUSTICE. Five years ago John Coburn watched as his father was gunned down by a masked man. Tortured by the fact that the killer was never caught, Coburn fights the feelings of failure that haunt his every waking moment.
Now, history has repeated itself. When his best friend Felix is murdered after agreeing to protect a witness, John Coburn dives in to catch the killer before the police and FBI. Battling official law enforcement and his own demons, Coburn turns over every lead, rattles every cage, and stretches his own moral code to the breaking point. As he digs deeper into a mystery that involves team of thieves, corrupt businessmen, and a mafia kingpin with a price on his head, Coburn realizes that revenge has a cost he cannot calculate.
If he fails, can he live with another ghost?
If he succeeds, can he live with the consequences?
The Skintight Shroud
Wayne Dundee’s Joe Hannibal books have been nominated for an Edgar, an Anthony, and six Shamus awards. Of The Skintight Shroud, Publisher’s weekly says, “Seen before in The Burning Season , Joe Hannibal is an old-fashioned private eye who smokes cigarettes, drinks bourbon, beds beautiful dames and hews to an old-fashioned code of ethics. That code is sorely threatened when Hannibal is asked by elegant 1950s TV star Henry Foxwood to probe the possible link between the murders of two porn-video stars. Foxwood is Hannibal’s client of record, but it’s soon clear that certain “concerned individuals” behind Foxwood’s “troupe” are Mafia. Grudgingly taking the case, in short order Hannibal receives threats from a capo’sital unnec. per web. nasty nephew, kills a thug and maims a pimp (both in self-defense) and finds himself becoming emotionally involved with the capo’s beautiful British mistress. Before Hannibal names the killer, a third murder and some engaging characters (including the Norman Rockwell farm couple who host the porn-shoots) maintain our interest in this readable mystery from the editor of Hardboiled magazine.”
The Junior Bender series and the Poke Rafferty series
Little Elvises: 2011 Edgar and Macavity nominee Hallinan brings back Junior Bender, the burglar-hero of Crashed in a hilarious Los Angeles thriller about old-time rock-and-roll, missing persons, the world’s oldest gangster, and a terrifying if somewhat hapless hit man named Fronts. Fans of Robert B. Parker, Donald E. Westlake, and Lawrence Block will love Junior Bender, whom Brett Battles called “smart and funny, with a penchant for finding himself in situations he’d much rather avoid. Do not miss any of these books.”
PRAISE FOR TIMOTHY HALLINAN
“Exceptional – a thriller with a heart . . . haunting and insightful.” – The Denver Post on The Queen of Patpong
“Timothy Hallinan is one of the great unsung mystery writers.” – Ken Bruen, author of London Boulevard
“Hallinan is terrific.” – T. Jefferson Parker, author of Iron RIver
“Hallinan is a stunning talent.” Gregg Hurwitz, author of You’re Next
“Hallinan has a genuine ability to write effective prose, engaging repartee, sharp and witty characterizations.” – Washington Post Book World
Revenge and Stairway to the Bottom, Mick Murphy Key West Mysteries
Revenge: When journalist Mick Murphy runs into his love fantasy in a wintry Harvard Yard, he is soon dragged into a web of brutal killings that began in Boston and end in Southern California. Trying to protect his dream girl, a Filipina named Michelle, Murphy runs afoul of a police friend and his nemesis, a Cuban-American cop, as well as Los Angeles County sheriffs, before he is beaten by a gang of Ameriasians and his Jeep is blown up. Holding onto his romantic dream, Murphy faces loss of friends and his life before the finale.
Stairway to the Bottom: After finding the murdered female killer from the Cold War time, Mick Murphy faces off with a hit man for Whitey Bulger who has escaped from witness protection to collect Bulger’s hidden millions. At the same time, retired Cold War agents come to Key West looking for someone that walked off with more than $20 million in diamonds and they think the missing hit man is their guy. Murphy thinks the situation is funny as he meets and talks to the agents, but dislikes the hit man even though Padre Thomas has given him absolution. It’s not long before his buddy Norm shows up with CIA agents looking for the diamonds. They are soon followed by the British, French, Israeli and Russian spy agencies. Everyone assumes Murphy can lead them to the Cold War agent, while Murphy tries helplessly to explain the man they are looking for is a Boston gangster. On the water, snorkeling a t the reef with Tita, Norm and a female CIA agent everything in Murphy’s world begins to unravel. As both those looking for the hit man and those looking for the diamonds collide, Murphy’s world changes forever.
Dead Men’s Harvest
The Harvestman is back! A merciless killer whose trophies of choice are the bones of his victims–harvested from living flesh–Tubal Cain the Harvestman has a grudge against Joe Hunter and is determined to wreak his revenge.
When Joe’s friend Rink is ambushed by a team of highly skilled killers, Joe is pretty sure his friend is being used as bait. And the intended prey is Hunter himself. Joe has to go ‘off radar’ to rescue his friend. The deadly game of cat and mouse reaches its climax on the rusty hulk of The Queen Sofia – a container ship used by human traffickers – moored off the North Carolina coast where Joe’s ex-sister-in-law is being held hostage. Against overwhelming odds, and amid a ferocious storm, Joe comes face to face with his old enemy Tubal Cain.
The Last Refuge
In The Last Refuge, Sam Acquillo’s at the end of the line. A middle-aged corporate dropout living in his dead parents’ ramshackle cottage in the Hamptons, Sam has abandoned his friends, family and a big-time career to sit on his porch, drink vodka and stare at the Little Peconic Bay. But when the old lady next door ends up floating dead in her bathtub it seems like Sam is the only one who wonders why. Burned-out, busted up and cynical, the ex-engineer, ex-professional boxer, ex-loving father and husband finds himself uncovering secrets no one could have imagined, least of all Sam himself. Meanwhile, a procession of quirky characters intrudes on Sam’s misanthropic ways. A beautiful banker, pot-smoking lawyer, bug-eyed fisherman and gay billionaire join a full complement of cops, thugs and local luminaries in this tale of money and murder.
Selected critical notice of The Last Refuge
” The characters are such original oddballs and their conversation so bracing you want to kick off your shoes and spend some time on the porch with them, just taking in the view and enjoying the talk.” – The New York Times
“Sam’s rediscovery of himself in middle age is the real focus in this accomplished debut novel, which also boasts outstanding dialogue and a vividly rendered setting. Expect to hear more from Knopf; he is definitely a writer to watch.” – Booklist “Star” review
“There’s a definite whiff of Elmore Leonard here, particularly in the snappy dialogue and the colorful, oddball characters. Knopf’s effortless narrative style and sense of humor bode well for the further adventures of Sam Acquillo.” —Publishers Weekly
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW: Crime/Marilyn Stasio
Sunday, May 22, 2005
“The spare, emotionally eloquent style of Chris Knopf’s first novel, THE LAST REFUGE (Permanent Press, $26) gives shapely form to the confessional story narrated by Sam Acquillo, a 52-year old systems engineer who has opted out of his fast-track life and gone to seed at his parents’ summer cottage—more of a shack, actually—on Little Peconic Bay in the Long Island resort town of Southampton. “It bothered me that people considered light-heartedness and optimism the norm,” says this reclusive hero, who has spent the past four years drinking alone, tinkering with his father’s ’67 Pontiac Grand Prix and brooding on “the desperate hopelessness of human existence.” Sam is drawn out of his self-pitying gloom when the crabby old lady in the next cottage drowns in her bathtub, and he lets a local cop talk him into serving as the administrator of her estate. Not that he’s looking for trouble, but the death looks fishy to Sam, who has a suspicious mind and knows a thing or two about waterfront property values. While his low-key investigation is only minimally suspenseful, the characters he chats up are such original oddballs and their conversation so bracing that you want to kick off your shoes and spend some time on the porch with them, just taking in the view and enjoying the talk.”
Blog: http://www.murderati.com (Thursdays)
An electrifying tale of cross and double-cross, Fifth Victim will keep you firmly on the edge of your seat.
White Knight Syndrome
Jochem Van der Steen
Jochem Van der Steen is the creator of the excellent Sons of Spade review site, which showcases his love for and knowledge of the private detective genre.
When he’s hired to bodyguard a beautiful and rich teenage girl he’s drawn into a web of family secrets, homicide and the dangers of falling in love.It’s not easy to be a White Knight in a world filled with betrayal and mob violence but Noah Milano is going to try anyway… Even if he has to die doing it…Read Excerpt
Praise for Van der Steen and his character Noah Milano:“J. Vandersteen takes us back to the glory days of pulp fiction. And I mean the genre, NOT the movie. His Noah Milano character rings completely true as a tough, lone-wolf private.” – Jeremiah Healy, author of Turnabout and The Only Good Lawyer
“The difference is mainly in the character of Noah Milano himself, a man struggling both internally and externally to break free from his ‘Family’ ties and to walk his own path toward what he deems Right and Just. This is good stuff. Read and enjoy.” – Wayne D. Dundee – author of the Joe Hannibal series
“Noah Milano is all too human, which makes him more appealing.” – Les Roberts, author of the Milan Jacovich series
‘Noah Milano walks in the footsteps of the great P.I,.’s, but leaves his own tracks.” – Robert J. Randisi, founder of PWA and The Shamus Award
Jochem’s deep and abiding love for classic pulp fiction comes through on every page, and his stories continue the time-honored tradition of the hardboiled American PI.” -Sean Chercover, author of Trigger City.