New (old) Donald Westlake coming from Hard Case Crime

Some exciting news from our friends at Hard Case Crime. Two short novels have been repackaged as Double Feature. The title is appropriate, as both were adapted into films, and both involve film.

I haven’t read either, nor seen the film adaptations, so I’m looking forward to this.

First in the volume is Ordo, which was adapted into a French film of the same name starring Roschdy Zem and Marie-Josée Croze (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and written and directed by Laurence Ferreira Barbosa.

After the intermission is A Travesty, which was adapted into a TV movie, A Slight Case of Murder directed by Steven Schachter, with a script by Schachter and William H. Macy. Macy also stars, along with Adam Arkin, Felicity Huffman, and James Cromwell. The title is swiped from the 1938 film, but I don’t believe there’s any relation beyond that.

Here is the HCC blurb:


Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Donald E. Westlake was also an Academy Award Nominee—for the screenplay of The Grifters—and a lifelong fan of the movies. So it’s no surprise that some of his most brilliant writing intersected with Hollywood in unexpected and unforgettable ways.

“One of the great writers of the 20th Century.”

In New York City, a movie critic has just murdered his girlfriend—well, one of his girlfriends (not to be confused with his wife). Will the unlikely crime-solving partnership he forms with the investigating police detective keep him from the film noir ending he deserves?

On the opposite coast, movie star Dawn Devayne—the hottest It Girl in Hollywood—gets a visit from a Navy sailor who says he knew her when she was just ordinary Estelle Anlic of San Diego. Now she’s a big star who’s put her past behind her. But secrets have a way of not staying buried…

These two short novels, one hilarious and one heartbreaking, are two of the best works Westlake ever wrote. And fittingly, both became movies—one starring Jack Ryan’s Marie-Josee Croze, and one starring Fargo’s William H. Macy and Desperate Housewives’ Felicity Huffman.

    • First appearance in bookstores in 40 years!
    • Donald E. Westlake won every major award in the mystery genre and gained fame both under his own name and writing as “Richard Stark”

I’m looking forward to checking out both, and maybe the movies as well. Coming February 2020.