Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stark House Press

It’s no surprise to the conscious reader that we’re smack in the middle of a crime noir revival. The old stuff is new again, and there is a whole lot of the old stuff that is pretty damn good. Hard Case Crime is a big time New York house that is publishing old titles and new in the hardboiled tradition, and there are also several smaller houses focusing on classic crime fiction.

One of the better—at least that I’m familiar with—is Stark House Press. Stark House has been bringing older titles back into print over the past few years in high quality and handsome trade paperback editions. All of the Stark House editions have at least two novels, and every so often there will be a bonus third novel.

Stark House
has released titles from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. A few of the classic authors are: Malcolm Braly—Shake Him Til He Rattles / It’s Cold Out There; Gil Brewer—Wild to Possess / A Taste for Sin and A Devil for O’Shaugnessy / The Three-Way Split; Day Keene—Framed in Guilt / My Flesh is Sweet; Stephen Marlowe—Violence is My Business / Turn Left for Murder; Peter Rabe—there are five titles here with two novels per. There are also several contemporary authors including early novels by two of my favorite writers: Bill Pronzini and Robert J. Randisi.

The titles are modestly priced; ranging from $14.95 to $19.95 and each is introduced by someone who knows a helluvalot more than I do about the subject. And the fiction. It’s absolutely top-notch—

—this is sounding like a commercial. I don’t mean it to, but I’ve read a few of the Stark House titles and I have been impressed. If you haven’t sought a title or two out, you should. The books are sold on as well as the publisher’s website...

end commercial.

But really, these books are great.

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