Wednesday, August 15, 2007

From Hard Case Crime


We've put our next new title up on our Web site: THE MURDERER VINE by Shepard Rifkin. It's a powerful book that fictionalizes the same historical events that inspired the movie "Mississippi Burning," with the addition of a really stunning crime fiction twist. The author has an interesting history himself: now 89, Rifkin served on the S. S. Ben Hecht in 1947 and was imprisoned by the British in Acre Prison (a fortress on the northern coast of what is now Israel) after a failed attempt to run the British blockade of Palestine while transporting hundreds of refugees from the Holocaust. Rifkin and his crewmates were released -- but not before smuggling a camera into the prison, enabling what has been called "one of the most spectacular prison breaks in history." None of which has anything to do with THE MURDERER VINE -- but what a great story!

The cover for THE MURDERER VINE is by an artist new to Hard Case Crime, Ken Laager, and it's a doozy. You can see it and find a sample chapter from the book at

In other news, we have reached an agreement with best-selling suspense and horror author John Farris to bring out a new edition -- for the first time in 50 years, and the first time ever under his real name -- of one of his earliest novels, a tight, tough crime story called BABY MOLL. John wrote the book under the pen name "Steve Brackeen" when he was just 21 (two decades before he won fame and fortune as the author of THE FURY), and the book holds up beautifully after all these years. Robert McGinnis is hard at work on the cover.

And after four years of trying -- tracking down leads, exploring dead ends, putting out feelers, wearing out shoe leather -- we have finally succeeded in tracking down the estate of Steve Fisher. Fisher was a popular pulp writer, best known as the author of I WAKE UP SCREAMING. He also wrote countless hours of film and television, including two films for Humphrey Bogart (he and Bogie were friends). In 1958 he published what I think may be his best book, a novel of Las Vegas titled NO HOUSE LIMIT. And we'll be bringing out a new edition of that book next year.

What else is in the cards? Lots of good stuff, none of which I can tell you about yet -- but as soon as I can, I will. In the meantime, you can find SONGS OF INNOCENCE by Richard Aleas and FRIGHT by Cornell Woolrich in stores now, and in just a few weeks you'll be able to get your hands on the very smart and funny KILL NOW, PAY LATER by Robert Terrall, featuring a mouth-watering McGinnis cover. (Why is the girl on the cover undoing her bikini bottom? I couldn't tell you. But far be it for me to tell her not to.)

Then in October it's time for Ken Bruen and Jason Starr's SLIDE, sequel to their very popular first collaboration, BUST...followed a month later by the first new Mickey Spillane novel in years, DEAD STREET. It's going to be a busy fall.But for now, I hope you enjoy the last days of summer. And remember: Nothing goes better with a tall glass of lemonade than a cool, dark crime novel.

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