Murder-a-Go-Gos gets a cover! We got the beatdown….

 

I’ve been a huge fan of the Go-Go’s since I first saw the video for “Our Lips Are Sealed” on MTV as a twelve year old boy, and I still sing along with their hits in the car, and if enough beer has been applied, at karaoke.
So I was thrilled to be the one who got to write “We Got the Beat.” You can meet the Beat Girls in March 2019. There will be a launch in L.A. and one in April at The Mysterious Bookshop. It’s coming from Down & Out Books and looks wonderful, with a lineup that includes Hilary Davidson, Lori Rader Day, Susanna Calkins, Lisa Brackmann, Nadine Nettmann, Eric Beetner, Patricia Abbott, editor Holly West herself, and an introduction from Go-Go Janet Wiedlin!
Here’s the beautiful cover that puts the Go-Go’s in a fittingly ’80s-style ’50s homage!

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The blurbs are totally awesome:

“I always suspected that twinkle in the Go-gos’ eyes was a coded invitation to a darker world. In the hands of these 25 stellar crime fiction writers, “We Got the Beat” and “Our Lips Are Sealed” become evil little gems. A totally rad read.” —Alan Hunter, Original MTV VJ, SiriusXM Host

“Shock and Awe, that sums up my reaction to MURDER-A-GO-GO’S. Shock to live in times when “The Whole World Lost Its Head” and awe at the response of these gifted writers. Buckle up for a ride that will leave “Skidmarks on Your Heart.” —Sara Paretsky, best-selling author of the V.I. Warshawski crime series

“Who knew those happy songs by one of my all-time favorite bands, the Go-Go’s, could inspire such dark, noir, spine tingling stories?!! It’s a collection of tales of distinctly female rage—the murderous kind and other wise—to keep you up at night!”—Alison Arngrim, TV’s Nellie Oleson and NY Times bestselling author, CONFESSIONS OF A PRAIRIE BITCH

It’s available for pre-order, and I’m sure you’ll go head over heels for it. All proceeds go to benefit Planned Parenthood.

Pre-Order Link: Murder-A-Go-Go’s at Down and Out Books

Skin & Bones Launch at The Mysterious Bookshop

Today the new anthology SKIN AND BONES, edited by Dana C. Kabel, is available from Down & Out Books, and it includes my story of the gastronomic excesses of the upper crust, “The Cronus Club.”

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Skin & Bones features stories by Patricia Abbott, Charles Ardai, Lawrence Block, Joe Clifford, Angel Luis Colón, the late Bill Crider, Glenn Gray, Tim Hall, Rob Hart, Tess Makovesky, Terrence McCauley, Marietta Miles, Richie Narvaez, Stuart Neville, Ryan Sayles, S.A. Solomon, Jason Starr, Liam Sweeny, Dave Zeltserman, and Dana C. Kabel.

And some of us–last I heard, Lawrence Block, Mr. Kabel, Suzanne Solomon, and Charles Ardai–will be attending the launch event on December 3rd at The Mysterious Bookshop. I don’t know if finger sandwiches will be served, but there’s usually beer and wine, so join us for libations at the cathedral to crime fiction. Things usually kick off around 6:30, and it should be a good time.

 

At Home in the Dark and Skin & Bones

Why hello there, Dear Readers!
I hope November is treating you well. I binged on horror movies last month, and a favorite of mine is Night of the Creeps, where the exasperated detective fighting the deadly menace answers the phone with “Thrill me.” What’s thrilled you, lately?

I’m thrilled to have a story in Lawrence Block’s latest anthology, At Home in the Dark, a cross-genre dark fiction collection including stories by LB himself, Joe Hill, Joyce Carol Oates, Hilary Davidson, Richard Chizmar, Duane Swierczynski, Warren Moore, Wallace Stroby, Ed Park, Laura Benedict, Joe R. Lansdale and more. My story is the first in a new series, “The Cucuzza Curse,” following mob fixer Joe Cucuzza as he investigates a deadly pizzeria rivalry, where the mal occhio–the evil eye–has been employed. Inspired by my time working at the docks and a tribute to the late Anthony Bourdain, this story was a joy to write, however dark it may be, and I think you’ll dig it. At Home in the Dark will first be issued in a limited edition of 500 hardcovers from Subterranean Press, and will be available for pre-order soon. For now, you can check out the snazzy cover:

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LB always puts together a fine anthology and I’m honored to be in my third. Getting asked for a story by one of your literary heroes turns up the pressure to write your absolute very best, and the critics agree. “The Big Snip” from Dark City Lights was chosen for The Year’s Best Crime & Mystery Stories 2016, and Library Journal singled out “Truth Comes Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind” in Alive in Shape and Color as “stunning,” in a collection full of gems by literary legends. So I hope you’ll enjoy “The Cucuzza Curse” as much as I enjoyed writing it, because you’ll be seeing more of Joey Cucuzza…

What’s a cucuzza? It’s a large green Italian squash shaped like a baseball bat, that we make into a savory vegetable stew, but thanks to its size and shape, it is also slang for the male member, by those who indulge in wishful thinking:

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Hold onto your cucuzzas! (or the nearest similarly shaped object) there’s one more book to talk about. This one’s been in the works for five years or so, and I’m glad it is finally seeing the light. Skin & Bones, edited by Dana Kabel, will be released this month from Down & Out Books. It includes stories by Lawrence Block, Patti Abbott, Jason Starr, Angel Luis Colon, Stuart Neville, Marietta Miles, Joe Clifford, S.A. Solomon, Rob Hart, Tess Makovesky, Tim Hall, Charles Ardai, Glenn Gray, Liam Sweeny, and the late Bill Crider, among others. My story is “The Cronus Club,” about an exclusive society of extreme epicureans. You can pre-order it from your local bookstore or the usual online suspects like Barnes & Noble, in ebook or paperback. Another snazzy cover, don’t you think?

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That should get you hungry for Thanksgiving, which I’ll be spending in Louisiana, as I put the final edits on Riff Raff, the second Jay Desmarteaux novel. Our two-fisted smart-cracking bruiser wades hip deep into the swamp to bushwhack his way to the heart of darkness in the delta, following the blood trail of his own evil lineage, and kill the tree at the root….

 

Louie the Cat Surgery Sale!

Let me tell you about my cats!

Louie is an 18 pound love beast that we rescued from a chicken wire cage in someone’s garage, where we were told he was “vicious.” He jumped into our arms and mauled us with nuzzles. We learned later that his meanness toward others was due to allergies causing chronic infections that ruptured his eardrums. We’ve tried expensive treatments, but the vet says the best course now is to permanently drain his bad ear.

So it’s time for a book sale! I have copies of Bad Boy Boogie, Life During Wartime, and Blade of Dishonor. $16 each shipped US, or $15 each for 2 or more. All signed or inscribed, plus a free gift from my hoard of books, comics, and silliness! And cat hair.

Contact me via this form if interested.DpolbuJW0AAynoG.jpg_large.jpg

 

A Distinguished Deadbeat

No, not talking about ex-Congressman Joe Walsh, but my short story “Deadbeat”, which first appeared in Down & Out Magazine’s first issue, and is collected with 20 other stories in Life During Wartime.

I was thrilled when I learned that my story of ironworkers in the recklessly paced world of Manhattan construction was chosen as a Distinguished Mystery Story of 2017, in the honorable mentions section of The Best American Mystery Stories 2018, edited by Louise Penny and Otto Penzler. Thank you both for including me, and thanks to editor Rick Ollerman for helping hammer the story into shape! He knows what he’s doing.

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If you want to read the Best stories of last year, pick up the 2018 edition when it is released in October. If you would like to read “Deadbeat,” you’ll have to buy a copy of Life During Wartime at The Mysterious Bookshop or Watchung Booksellers–they both have signed copies–or from your favorite store or retailer. Here are links to most, at my publisher’s site.

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Congratulations to all the other honorees, but especially Reed Farrel Coleman, SJ Rozan,  and Al Tucher, they keep putting out the good stuff. And if you check out Reed’s novel Colorblind, latest in the Robert B. Parker Jesse Stone series, you’ll find someone named Tommy… my thanks for helping him with his laptop in Milwaukee last year. Surprisingly, he didn’t kill me, or make me a drunk demonstrating Krav Maga moves. Thanks, Reed!

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Or you can hear me read from it at Noir at the Bar on 9/28, at Kew & Willow books in Queens, with  whole bunch of great writers. I will also announce here that on March 23rd 2019, I will be moderating a panel of New Jersey crime writers at the Montclair Literary Fest, with Dave White, Jen Conley, and Wallace Stroby. Joyce Carol Oates will also be attending the festival and we may bring our cats on leashes. So please bring cat toys to keep them from running amok. (the cats. for the writers, bring booze).

Bad Boy Boogie Summer Sale

My Anthony-nominated crime thriller Bad Boy Boogie is part of the Down & Out Books summer e-book sale!

Megan Abbott calls it “lean, smart, and irresistibly compelling,” and Mysterious Book Report calls it “one awesomely entertaining summer read.” So, hop on over to the Down & Out Books Summer Promotion page to get any e-book version for only $2.99!

Megan’s newest thriller, Give Me Your Hand, is out this week–and needless to say you should check it out. No one does it like she does. A PhD in noir and a pen like an obsidian sacrificial dagger, that one…

Prefer a paperback? Email me using this Contact Form, I’ll beat the Amazon price of $17.95 AND sign it for you for $15 shipped. Got it already? I also have a few copies of Unloaded edited by Eric Beetner with Joe Lansdale and others, Life During Wartime, and Blade of Dishonor all with their cover price of $17.95 slashed to $15 each, free shipping in the US48.

(And if you’ve bought books directly from me before, you know there will be Super Secret Surprise Gifts.)

If you like e-book bundles, they have cracking good crime by Albert Tucher, Marietta Miles, Jack Getze, Linda Sands, and more:

2018-07-18 10_18_19-SUMMER 2018 PROMOTION! – Down & Out Books

Elements of Crime – Thursday 7/11

Watchung Booksellers is a standout among local indie bookstores. Always a great selection of all genres. I even profiled them for LitHub’s feature My Favorite Bookstore.

They’ve had everyone from Judy Blume to Carol Burnett, and this Thursday at 7:00PM,  they host me, Alex Segura, Hilary Davidson, and Dave White for ELEMENTS OF CRIME. We’ll be discussing our influences, how we write suspense in this increasingly chaotic news cycle, and more.

Watchung Booksellers is located in Watchung Plaza, Montclair, at 54 Fairfield Street. Street parking is available, and it is footsteps away from NJ Transit’s Watchung Station on the Montclair-Boonton Line.

Everybody Watchung to(morrow) night!

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