Sunday, June 22, 2014

Some e-books I read during the trip: Allan Guthrie, Peter Brandvold, Paul Levine, Gerard Brennan, J. David Osborne

That's a long subject line, isn't it?

We were on a smallish trip earlier this week: we went to Denmark, where we've never been. We visited Legoland, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (highly, highly recommendable) and the vintage Tivoli entertainment park in the centre of Copenhagen. It was a fun trip, for most part, but I'm not going to write about it. Instead, in the spirit of this blog, I'll say something about the books I read during the trip. I had nothing with me but my Kindle. I download only free e-books, since I don't have a credit card with which I could buy e-books, so I'm dependent on what comes free. Even with this approach, I've managed to accumulate a pretty good selection of new noir and hardboiled writing, with some westerns and horror thrown in. Mentioned should also be some classic noir stuff that's coming from publishers like Prologue Books.

Okay, to the books. Peter Brandvold's better known as a western writer, but I've never read any of his books in that genre, but they seem quite good. I read his short novel Paradox Falls that I think is mislabelled as horror. It's more like a suspense thriller, with a possible serial killer hunting some hikers in the Colorado mountains. The book reads pretty fast, but the ending is a bit abrupt. There was also some interesting stuff on being a writer that seemed a bit autobiographic, as the main character, a sympathetic young man yearning for his early love affair, makes his living writing sex westerns. Paradox Falls could've been published as a cheap paperback in the early eighties, and I mean this as a good thing.

Allan Guthrie's Kill Clock was even a shorter book, a novella-length tale of Guthrie's occurring character, Pearce. Guthrie tells his brutal tale with short sentences, but also manages to make Pearce a sympathetic character in all his bruteness and tendency to sudden bursts of violence. Kill Clock also has a good plot for a novella. Recommended quite highly.

Paul Levine's Last Chance Lassiter is the first Jake Lassiter story I've ever read, as I'm not very keen on courtroom thrillers. But this one was so funny and entertaining I'd be willing to try more of Levine's work. Very fluent writing, very smooth plotting, some quite funny wisecracking.

J. David Osborne runs Broken River Books that's a very interesting crime and horror fiction outfit specializing in edgy and bizarre neo-noir. Osborne's own short story collection Our Blood In Its Own Circuit is full with, well, edgy and bizarre stuff that's not easily labelled. I read the first three stories on our flight back, and two of them were very strong: the titular story is about Mexican cops who bathe in the blood of chickens, and the western story "Amends Due, West of Glorieta" is full of shocking violence and characters straight out of a Cormac McCarthy novel. Check out this free Broken River Books sampler!

I also started Gerard Brennan's novella The Point, a brutally realistic story about two brothers whose life goes to hell when they move to a small town on the seaside and the other one starts dealing stolen cars. The plot could be more original, but Brennan's clipped style makes it interesting. I'm only halfway in the middle, so there might be some surprises coming.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Me and my new book

Pulpografia Britannica just came from the printers! Here's me with a happy smile and my first book, Pulpografia that came out in 2000 and deals primarily with American crime pulpsters and paperbackers. You can see it's a worn copy. Hopefully this new book comes just as handy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Patricia Abbott's short story collection – in Finnish!

Just when I finished my book on British crime paperbackers, I was notified that another book was ready to be picked from the printers. It's Patricia Abbott's Merenneidot (meaning "Mermaids") short story collection I edited and published with a small print run. The book collects six of Abbott's insightful, clever, cruel and empathetic crime stories, most of them are in the flash fiction length, but the longest story in the book is about ten pages long.

The stories are: "Mermaids", "My Hero", "How to Launder a Shirt", "Johnny Jinx", "Hole in the Wall" and "Initiation". Most of these were originally published in the web, but some were print publications. Most of the stories came out in Finnish in my magazines Isku and Ässä, but "Mermaids" and "How to Launder a Shirt" were translated for this book and were never before published in Finnish. "Johnny Jinx" and "Hole in the Wall" were translated by my friend Lotta Sonninen and I'm sure their translations are better than my attempts!

The cover is by Aapo Kukko as are my usual mini books. See the Ray Banks book here and the Ed Gorman book here. (Seems like I haven't blogged about the Gorman book, but it's a translation of his "Scream Queen".)

Most of the copies I'm selling are going to the libraries here in Finland, but this is also available through me for a measly three euros!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Pulpografia Britannica to the printers

Just sent my Pulpografia Britannica to the printers. Here's the cover by Ville Manninen who did spectacular job.

It was a 15-year work. This at least should prove I'm no ADHD person, even though the idea crosses my mind every once in awhile.

Here's the list of authors tackled in the book:

Ray Alan
Eric Ambler
W. Howard Baker
John Boland
David Brierley
Jonathan Burke
Peter Cave
Johnny Cello
Peter Chambers
Philip Chambers
Leslie Charteris
James Hadley Chase
Peter Cheyney
Hugh Clevely
Basil Copper
John Creasey
Paul Denver
Adam Diment
Rex Dolphin
John Drummond
F. Dubrez Fawcett
P. A. Foxall
Stephen Frances
Pete Garroway
Tudor Gates
John S. Glasby
Berkeley Gray
Sean Gregory
Leonard Gribble
Angus Hall
Roger Hamilton
Rex Hardinge
Edwin Harrison
Jack Higgins
Harry Hobson
Hartley Howard
John Hunter
Warwick Jardine
Hank Janson (the pseudonymous efforts of the unknown authors)
George Joseph
Harold Kelly
Arthur Kent
Bill Knox
H. L. Lawrence
Brian McDermott
Arthur MacLean
Wilfred McNeilly
James Moffatt
Stanley Morgan
James Munro
Victor Norwood
Flann O'Brien
Peter O'Donnell
D. J. Olivy
Anthony Parsons
Bryan Peters
John T. Phillifent
Hugh C. Rae
Desmond Reid
Colin Robertson
Angus Ross
Kenneth Royce
Jimmy Sangster
Julian Savarin
Frederick E. Smith
Gordon Sowman
James Stagg
Jack Trevor Story
Rosamond Mary Story
Frank Struan
Martin Thomas
E. C. Tubb
Walter Tyrer
Gerald Verner
John Wainwright
Vernon Warren
Ronald Wills

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Some problematic Sexton Blakes

I've been posting some bibliographic puzzles here on Pulpetti for some time now. I'm finally getting my book on British crime paperbackers to print (hopefully at the end of the next week), but there are still some things I'd like to be more sure of. I have several Sexton Blakes translated in Finnish in the early sixties for which I haven't been able to find the original publishing info, as I don't have an access to original English stories.

Here's a lowdown, with the Finnish titles translated literally back to English (but do note that the English titles don't match any known Sexton Blake stories):

Edwin Harrison: "The Green Spider" (published in 1963): someone is coming to meet Sexton Blake at his office, but is hit by a car just in front of Blake's building and gets killed.
Edwin Harrison: "Spanish Blood" (1963): a matador is poisoned by syanide.
Anonymous (only Sexton Blake published in Finnish without the author's name): "The Disappeared Author" (1963): the promising writer of a great book gets lost.
Desmond Reid (a house name): "The Avenger from Dartmoor" (1962): the authorities let a a prisoner escape so that he can revenge and take out his former allies who let him down
Desmond Reid: "The Woman Is Dangerous" (1962): takes place in fictional state of Costa Barria, features also Huxton Rymer, but is still clearly from the post-WWII era
Desmond Reid: "The Trumper Killer": a jazz player makes extra money killing people
Desmond Reid: "The Angel of Death": an early story on animal rights movement, some young people are fleeing the circus animals
Jack Trevor Story: "Gold Means Death": Splash Kirby looks into the world of Italian immigrants and is kidnapped and taken to Italy
Jack Trevor Story: "Death Before One's Eyes": now, this is interesting: Blake is a first person narrator (the only time in the history of Sexton Blake?) and is approached by a former lover who asks Blake look into a mystery
Jack Trevor Story: "Love Under the Gallows": Sexton Blake vs. the teenage gangs

And also, is Jack Trevor Story's Invitation to Murder about someone killing models?