Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Stacks of crime books found in a trash bin

Been busy as hell. But I found some extra time when a friend of mine alerted me that her father, writer and critic, had to throw out his English-language crime novels. My friend said I might be interested, the books are in the trash bin of their house and easily available. I jumped on my bike and rode over to the other side of the town.

Lo and behold! There were some 200 books, mostly hardcover, in the trash bin, lots of American and British authors, with some very interesting writers included. I climbed in the bin and started unloading the books. There were so many I phoned a friend of mine who's a taxi driver. He said he's close by and can come to pick the books and take them to our house. When I got back home, I started going through the books. I picked up all the hardboiled and noir books, alongside with the thrillers, and let my friend have all the cozy ones. I didn't know all the books or the writers, but here are my stacks. What say you? Any stinkers in there I should get rid of?

There is a story behind the books. The writer (whom I actually also konw) has worked as a reader for a publisher in Finland and these (or at least most of them) were books that the foreign publishers and authors' agents had sent to Finland for a translation. I think almost none of these books ended up in being published, with the exception of Robert B. Parker's Poodle Springs (and that's the first edition). You note there's a small stack of Black Lizards in one of the photos. In one of them was a note from the Finnish publisher: "Could you read these and comment if they make any sense? They feel like pulp paperbacks."

Some of the books are ARCs, but I don't mind. I notice there are some rarities, like a book by Tom Kakonis, and William DeAndrea's The Werewolf Murders. I believe the Black Lizards aren't very common. Haven't checked these particular titles, though. Even the cozies included lots of uncommon titles, for example lots of first editions of British crime novels published in hardcover by Hale.

I hurt my left leg climbing out of the trash bin, so these didn't come free.