Friday, August 14, 2009

Random: Summer / Books / Shamus

1. It’s been a great summer so far. As most of you know we—my wife and I—moved to a small city in Southern Utah. I’m attending graduate school. There are five National Parks within an hour of our front door, including Zion, Bryce, and a beautiful National Monument called Cedar Breaks. It is a beautiful and rich location. The people are friendly, the scenery is vivid, harsh at times, and alive. Below is a photograph of Bryce National Park.

We’ve explored several new bookshops and thrift stores in the area and, wow, what a take. Okay, some bragging follows. I found a terrific little bookshop in St. George—it has a wonderful selection of old paperbacks at reasonable prices. And I have availed myself to a few. Some of the highlights—ACE D-129 The Dangling Carrot by Day Keene with Silenced Witness by Norman C. Rosenthal; ACE F-111 The Girl from Las Vegas by J.M. Flynn with To Have and to Kill by Robert Martin along with several Western titles and even a science fiction title or two.

I also picked up three Robert Colby novels—one an ACE Double—The Quaking Widow—that I reviewed last week—and the other two: Make Mine Vengeance (Avon, 1959) and Run for the Money (Avon, 1960).

Okay, enough bragging.

2. There are a few novels coming out over the next few months that I’m really looking forward to. The bulk are mystery / crime novels, but there is also a Western or two, a horror, and a someothers that I’m pretty sure I will enjoy and I bet you may too.

August 25. Flesh by Richard Laymon. This is a reprint of an older Laymon title—are there any other kind these days?—that has potential. It has been a difficult title to find here the United States and it’s one that I really want to try.

September 1. Baby Shark’s Jugglers at the Border by Robert Fate. I read the last Baby Shark novel—High Plains Redemption—and really enjoyed it.

September 15. You’re Nobody Until Somebody Kills You by Robert J. Randisi. This is Randisi’s fourth novel featuring the Rat Pack and Eddie G. The Rat Pack is a series I have really enjoyed. In fact, it is Randisi’s best work since his brilliant Arch series. It is purported to be the “Marilyn Monroe” book. I can’t wait.

September 29. Gallows by Robert J. Randisi. This is, I believe, an original Western and it features Lancaster, who—again unconfirmed—has been in two earlier Randisi novels.

October 1. Between the Dark and the Daylight and 27 More of the Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year. Whew, now that’s a title. This is the Gorman and Greenberg annual “best of” collection. A collection that look forward to every year. The title story, by Tom Piccirilli, is terrific and I assume the rest are just as good.

November 15. Ticket to Ride by Ed Gorman. This novel features Ed’s Sam McCain character—a part time private eye and lawyer in the small Iowa town of Black River Falls in the 1960s. The McCain novels are near the top of my P.I. and I’m excited that there is another scheduled for release.

Hmmm…the list is getting long. I’ll leave it here for now.

3. I received a nice email from Robert J. Randisi with details about the Shamus Awards ceremony.

“The PWA Shamus Award Banquet will be held Friday, Oct. 16, from 6:30-9:00 at The Slippery Noodle, the most popular blues bar in Indianapolis. Good food, great music, and the Shamus Awards. Tickets are $50 and are available now. Reserve your place asap as seating is limited. Email Bob Randisi at with your home address and an invitation will be sent to you."


Tosser said...

A fellow Laymon fan. I've perused the synopsis of FLESH, and it seems like a good read.

I seldom recommend Laymon to the average reader. He's kind of an acquired taste, if you know what I mean.

Ben Boulden said...

Tosser. Absolutely agree that Laymon is an acquired taste. Although two novels I think most readers, at least readers who enjoy horror, will like are IN THE DARK and THE TRAVELING VAMPIRE SHOW.

Both showcase Laymon's considerable skill at writing dark suspense with likable characters who never seem to do the right thing.

A few of my favorite Laymon titles are: NIGHT IN THE LONESOME OCTOBER, ONE RAINY NIGHT, NIGHT SHOW, and THE STAKE. Now one did fun over-the-top horror like Laymon. It's too bad he died so young. I think he was just getting into his own.