Lost Westlake novel coming in 2012

We’ve been following the story of this book for awhile now, and now its release is officially scheduled for February 21, 2012.

From Hard Case Crime editor Charles Ardai:

A bit of exciting Hard Case Crime news this morning: we’re going to be bringing out a never-before-published novel by the great Donald E. Westlake.

Don began work on it in the late 1970s, but ultimately decided not to publish the book after Martin Scorsese released his movie “The King of Comedy” since Don was apparently concerned that the premise of his novel and Scorsese’s film were too similar.  He shouldn’t have worried — aside from both having to do with kidnapping a television comedian, the two are completely different.  But he did, and the result is that there’s a Westlake novel that’s been sitting unpublished in manuscript form for the past 30+ years.

The title is THE COMEDY IS FINISHED and it’s going to be our lead title for 2012 — only the second book ever to be published in hardcover by Hard Case Crime.  (Our first hardcover is our lead title this year, GETTING OFF by Lawrence Block, which comes out on September 20.)

Here is the book blurb from the Hard Case Crime website:

BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS.

The year is 1977, and America is finally getting over the nightmares of Watergate and Vietnam and the national hangover that was the 1960s. But not everyone is ready to let it go. Not aging comedian Koo Davis, friend to generals and presidents and veteran of countless USO tours to buck up American troops in the field. And not the five remaining members of the self-proclaimed People’s Revolutionary Army, who’ve decided that kidnapping Koo Davis would be the perfect way to bring their cause back to life…

The great-looking cover art is by Greg Manchess.

Below the fold is the full press release from Hard Case Crime’s new publisher, Titan Books.

Continue reading Lost Westlake novel coming in 2012

Hard Case Crime newsletter, 1/21/11

The latest…

Friends,

Bit by bit, we’re getting closer to the re-launch of Hard Case Crime with our new publisher, Titan Books. Our backlist titles are already available for pre-order from bookstores and online booksellers such as Amazon.com and BN.com; copies will start shipping in February.  And we’ve got new books on the way, too — if you go to our Web site, www.HardCaseCrime.com, you’ll find cover art and sample chapters for four upcoming titles, all of them brand new:

Continue reading Hard Case Crime newsletter, 1/21/11

Another lost Westlake on its way!

Do not miss the January 10, 2011 SFFaudio podcast, featuring guest Charles Ardai. It’s loaded with great information on the future of Hard Case Crime, the Gabriel Hunt series of pulp adventure novels, and much more. Interviewer Jesse Willis is to be congratulated for getting tons of stuff not yet revealed in the […]

Hard Case Crime 7/07: Songs of Innocence by Richard Aleas (#33)

LITTLE GIRL…FOUND.

Three years ago, detective John Blake solved a mystery that changed his life forever–and left a woman he loved dead. Now Blake is back, to investigate the apparent suicide of Dorothy Louise Burke, a beautiful college student with a double life. The secrets Blake uncovers could blow […]

Hard Case Crime news – 10/21/10

Full text of today’s Hard Case Crime newsletter below the fold.

In addition to the great news that they’ll continue publishing, we also learn that Charles Ardai’s John Blake novels (written as Richard Aleas) Little Girl Lost (which I just reviewed) and Songs of Innocence (which I’ll be posting on in the next couple of days) have been optioned for the movies. This doesn’t mean they’ll actually get made, of course–just ask The Green Eagle Score. But if the project moves forward in the right hands, it could result in a fascinating couple of films.

Continue reading Hard Case Crime news – 10/21/10

Comeback: The return of Hard Case Crime

Via Ed Gorman comes this great news.

We’ve got some big news to announce today: After a year’s hiatus, Hard Case Crime will be returning to bookstores with new titles in 2011, thanks to a deal we just signed with UK-based Titan Publishing.

Titan is a publisher both of […]

What’s going on with Hard Case Crime?

Hard Case Crime’s printer and distributor, Dorchester Publishing, isn’t quite shutting its doors, but it is going to a purely e-book and print-on-demand format. This is unfortunate, to say the least. In addition to mailing me the newest Hard Case Crime novel upon release through their wonderful book club, they were unfailingly polite and extraordinarily responsive the couple of times I had to deal with their customer service department. This is bad news, and I wish the best to those employees who I assume are losing their jobs.

What does this mean for Hard Case Crime? Publisher Charles Ardai promises that the imprint will continue. Titles #67 and #68 will be coming out but are delayed until next year.

The information in the above two paragraphs is drawn from the Hard Case Crime newsletter (in its entirety below the fold). The second paragraph may sound like wishful thinking, but it’s apparently not. Via Bill Crider is the following from Subterranean Press:

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve just reached agreement to publish an exclusive Hard Case Crime volume, which will also be the first in the series to debut in hardcover. Volume #69 will resurrect a pair of early Lawrence Block novels: 69 Barrow Street and Strange Embrace, bound back to back in the classic “doubles” format, featuring brand new art by Robert McGinnis. You can look for more details, including ordering info, later this year, with a projected publication date in the first half of 2011.

(Subterranean Press will also be bringing us the Block/Westlake sleaze omnibus Hellcats and Honeygirls in October.)

Subterranean Press is unlikely to be placing these novels in major chain booksellers, so if you want 69 Barrow Street and Strange Embrace–and you should!–you’ll probably have to order it. Please don’t forget. (I’ll be reminding you.)

I promote Hard Case Crime here so often, some of you must wonder if I’m on their payroll. I’m not. I don’t get promotional copies either–I’ve purchased every single Hard Case Crime book I own, which is all of them.

Many of you know how hard it was to get the Parker books for many, many years. Obviously, there are lots of people who like the Parker books. However, there didn’t seem to be enough to keep them in print and available to the general public. Mysterious Press reprinted several of them but could not generate enough interest to make it past The Jugger, despite the release of Payback and Stark’s revival of the character in Comeback and its follow-ups.

Not enough people were on board. I’m convinced that enough people would have been on board had the books been publicized better. And I don’t just mean by the publishing company. It’s our job as readers and fans to publicize as well. If we don’t? Well, we might just end up paying $100 or more for a used copy of Butcher’s Moon and owning a book that it’s impossible to discuss with others because no one we know will have read it or can read it.

Hard Case Crime is doing crime fiction fans a tremendous service by bringing these books back into print. Buy them, read them, tell your friends about them. Get them into multiple printings. Don’t let them vanish, like the Parker books did for so long. And help to assure that Hard Case Crime is able to continue doing the great work it is doing.

Full text of the 8/8/10 Hard Case Crime newsletter below the fold.

Continue reading What’s going on with Hard Case Crime?

A few things I’ve neglected to tell you about

I’ve had a very hectic time since Independence Day, and as a consequence, dropped the ball on a few items of importance. Here’s my makeup post.

To Twitter followers of the site–sorry about the avalanche of posts in the past 24 hours or so. The main purpose of the Twitter account is to […]

Hard Case Crime news - 5/21/10 (part 2)

Continued from Part 1. My thoughts below.

One other bit of news, and it’s a big one: Our best-selling title of all time, Stephen King’s THE COLORADO KID, is about to become a TV series!  The show is called “Haven,” and it debuts on July 9 on SyFy (the network formerly known […]

Hard Case Crime news - 5/21/10 (part 1)

Lots of interesting news in the latest Hard Case Crime newsletter, so I’m breaking it into to two parts so your eyes don’t glaze over.

Friends,

Back in 2008, we published one of our most popular books (and our first by a female author), Christa Faust’s MONEY SHOT.  The […]