The Corpse Wore Pasties

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Sometimes There’s No Difference Between The Naked And The Dead

WHO BUMPED OFF THE BUMP-AND-GRINDER? Usually, when you call a burlesque act a “show stopper,” you don’t mean it quite so literally. But this time, that’s just what happened: The show stopped dead, and so did the girl. And as I looked at her nearly naked and completely lifeless body and the bottle of poison in her hand with my fingerprints all over it, I thought to myself: Porkpie, you’re in for it this time…

via Hard Case Crime

Quarry In The Middle

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When two rival casino owners covet the same territory, guess who puts himself in the crossfire…

via Hard Case Crime. The history of this cover painting, as well as some preleminary sketches, is on the author’s blog.

Honey In His Mouth

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They Shared The Same Face—But Could They Share The Same Woman?

What would you do if you were a dead ringer for a dictator? If you were small-time grifter Walter Harsh, recovering in a hospital with a broken arm, you’d listen to a proposition that could net you a cool $50,000 for impersonating the South American strongman you resemble. You’d pay attention when the dictator’s sultry mistress started putting the moves on you. And in the dead of night, when no one was watching, you might just hatch a plot to get it all for yourself: the money, the girl, and the stash of stolen loot she’s conspiring to spirit out of the country…

via Hard Case Crime. Painting via Munchkin Press

Losers Live Longer

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Death Prowls The Streets Between C & D


The death of legendary private eye George Rowell looked like an accident—but searching for the truth behind it will put down-and-out East Village detective Payton Sherwood on the corpse-littered trail of a runaway investment scam artist, a drug-addicted reality TV star—and the bewitching beauty whose appearance set it all in motion…

via Hard Case Crime, back cover inset via via

Stop This Man!

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He Carried Death Everywhere He Went

SOME MEN AND SOME MERCHANDISE ARE JUST TOO HOT TO HANDLE All Tony Catell knew when he broke into the university science lab was that they had a gold ingot on the premises for some sort of experiment. So he stole it. What he didn’t know was that the experiment involved nuclear power—and that the gold was dangerously radioactive. Now the cops and the FBI are on Tony’s trail, Tony’s underworld contacts don’t want anything to do with him, and the loot he’s lugging around is leaving a swath of radiation sickness and death in his path. And since he’s just come from his third stint in prison, if they catch him, he’s not going back to jail—he’s going to the electric chair…

via Hard Case Crime

Passport To Peril

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On the run —- behind the Iron Curtain!

From the corridors and compartments of the Orient Express to the shadowy, ruined streets of Budapest—which he saw firsthand as a foreign correspondent during World War II—Parker takes you on a nightmare tour of a land where life is cheap, old hatreds run strong, and a couple of Americans can find themselves in more danger than they ever imagined. With all the immediacy of the wartime dispatches Parker filed from Turkey, Danzig, Warsaw, and Bucharest and all the authority of a man who himself spent three years crossing borders without a passport and narrowly avoiding arrest by the Gestapo, PASSPORT TO PERIL paints a heart-stopping picture of desperate men in a desperate time.

via Hard Case Crime

Fake I.D.

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How Far Would You Go To Get What You Want?

A New York bar bouncer with dreams of being more, Tommy Russo jumps at the chance to join a horse-owning syndicate. But to do so he’ll have to pony up $10,000—and that’s money he hasn’t got. So what’s an ambitious young man to do? Anything he has to…

via Hard Case Crime

Casino Moon

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Where All The Punches Are Below The Belt

THE ONLY THING HARDER THAN GETTING INTO THE MOB… IS GETTING OUT. For Anthony Russo, an Atlantic City mobster’s son, the chances of escaping a life of crime are slim. They hinge on his plan to back a washed-up boxer’s comeback bid, and that, in turn, hinges on winning the help of a sexy round card girl who’s gone toe-to-toe with the current champion—in the bedroom…

via Hard Case Crime

House Dick

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What Goes On Behind Closed Doors At A Washington D.C. Hotel?

HOUSE DICK is one of Hunt’s very best, a classic hardboiled story of a detective in a Washington D.C. hotel (no, not that hotel) investigating a twisty tale of burglary and murder, of skullduggery under cover of darkness, of deception and shifting loyalties—and of the price you pay when you trust the wrong people…

The author was convicted of burglary, conspiracy and wiretapping, eventually serving 33 months in prison as part of the Watergate affair.
via Hard Case Crime

The Cutie

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There are many ways to sell yourself.

SOME PEOPLE WILL DO ANYTHING FOR MONEY Mavis St. Paul had been a rich man’s mistress. Now she was a corpse. And every cop in New York City was hunting for the two-bit punk accused of putting a knife in her. But the punk was innocent. He’d been set up to take the fall by some cutie who was too clever by half. My job? Find that cutie—before the cutie found me.

via Hard Case Crime

Dead Man’s Brother

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It Would Take More Than Luck To Find The Vatican’s Missing Millions—In The Jungles Of Brazil…

Once an art smuggler, now a respectable art dealer, Ovid Wiley awoke to find his former partner stabbed to death on his gallery floor. That was strange enough—but when a CIA agent showed up to spring him from NYPD custody, things got a lot stranger. Now the CIA is offering to clear up the murder charge, but only in return for a favor: They want Ovid to fly to Vatican City and trace the trail of a renegade priest who has gone missing with millions in church funds. What’s the connection? The priest’s lover, a woman Ovid knew in his smuggling days…

via Hard Case Crime

Killing Castro

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Some Lust For Power—Others, For Retribution…

BECAUSE IN 1961, NO ONE WOULD HAVE CALLED FIDEL CASTRO THE RETIRING TYPE There were five of them, each prepared to kill, each with his own reasons for accepting what might well be a suicide mission. The pay? $20,000 apiece. The mission? Find a way into Cuba and kill Castro. This breathtaking thriller, originally published the year before the Cuban Missile Crisis under a pen name Lawrence Block never used before or since, is the rarest of Block’s books

via Hard Case Crime

50-To-One

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When it came to crime, she wrote the book.

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF HARD CASE CRIME! Okay, not really. But what if, instead of having been founded 50 books ago, Hard Case Crime had been founded 50 years ago, by a rascal out to make a quick buck off the popularity of pulp fiction? Such a fellow might make a few enemies—especially after publishing a supposed non-fiction account of a heist at a Mob-run nightclub, actually penned by an 18-year-old showgirl. With both the cops and the crooks after them, our heroes are about to learn that reading and writing pulp novels is a lot more fun than living them…
Told in 50 chapters, each chapter named after one of the first 50 books in the series.

Gloriously meta-pulp via Hard Case Crime

 

Gun Work

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Make Sure You Choose The Right Weapon For The Job

POINT AND SHOOT. Life isn’t always cheap south of the border—some lives are worth a million dollars. That’s what the Mexican kidnapping cartel was demanding for Carl Ledbetter’s wife. So Carl reached out to the one person he knew with a chance in hell of saving her, a deadly man whose own life he’d saved in the sands of Iraq. It was time to call in some favors. Because some situations call for negotiation, but some…call for gun work.

via Hard Case Crime

The First Quarry

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Killing is a young man’s game.

For the first time ever, the best-selling author of ROAD TO PERDITION takes us back to the beginning, revealing the never-before-told story of Quarry’s first job: infiltrating a college town and eliminating a professor whose affair with one of his beautiful, young students is the least of his sins…

via Hard Case Crime, art via