Category Archives: crime fiction

Witness to Myself, by Seymour Shubin

One of the reasons I’ve sought out and read so many Hard Case Crime books is the introduction to quality authors who have, over time, faded into obscurity. The online footprint of Seymour Shubin (1921-2014), for instance, lacks a dedicated … Continue reading

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The Sour Lemon Score, by Donald Westlake (as Richard Stark)

The twelfth entry in Westlake’s Parker series, The Sour Lemon Score (1969) is also the last of the “Score” books to debut as a Gold Medal paperback. The “sour lemon” choice for the title (assuming it was the author’s choice … Continue reading

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The Black Ice Score, by Donald Westlake (as Richard Stark)

The eleventh novel in the famous Parker series, The Black Ice Score (1968) once again features the inventive criminal on a well-planned burglary with a messy and violent aftermath. This time, however, he is hired as a consultant and stays … Continue reading

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Quarry’s Deal, by Max Allan Collins

NOTE: This review is of the third book in the Quarry series, which has been reprinted by Hard Case Crime. It is about a free-living professional hit-man of the 1970s, told in the first person. Although the Quarry titles look … Continue reading

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The Gutter and the Grave, by Ed McBain

Hard Case Crime has published a few early Ed McBain books, which first appeared in the 1950s under other pseudonyms. McBain is most known for his long series of 87th Precinct police procedurals, but these early standalone titles also have … Continue reading

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Quarry’s List, by Max Allan Collins

But I did have a system. Not an alarm system; nothing more than my own built-in alarm, which comes from those rice-paddy warfare years I suffered through, where you learned to sleep light unless you didn’t care about waking up. … Continue reading

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Quarry, by Max Allan Collins

Many of the novels of the Hard Case Crime series take place in the time between 1940 and 1970 (all of those rediscovered titles) or in the last decade (the debut printings of Charles Ardai’s books, among others). These have … Continue reading

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Man on the Run, by Charles Williams

I’ve been coming across several examples of the “man on the run from a murder scene” crime fiction trope lately: John Buchan’s The 39 Steps Ed McBain’s So Nude, So Dead Lawrence Block’s Sinner Man Lawrence Block’s After the First … Continue reading

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Plunder of the Sun, by David Dodge

As I’ve been reading through the titles of the Hard Case Crime series of paperbacks, I’ve found most of them entertaining at minimum, and frequently highly satisfactory. Last October, I was convinced I came across a true classic in Charles … Continue reading

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The Last Stand, by Mickey Spillane

I’ve noticed that many of the recent “rediscovery” publications from Hard Case Crime are older novels packaged with a extra short story or two. Whether I really liked (Robert Silverberg’s Blood on the Mink), disliked (Lawrence Block’s Borderline) or have … Continue reading

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