Thursday, January 27, 2011

Readers Love Julius Katz

Well, readers really like Julius Katz. Archie's the one readers love. And what's not to love about the little guy? And what they really love are these two award-winning Julius Katz and Archie mystery stories. Here's a sampling of what people are saying around the web:

Peter Leonard over at The Man Eating Bookworm reviewed Julius Katz Mysteries, writing in part:

My only exposure to Zeltserman's writing is The Caretaker of Lorne Field: A Novel and Blood Crimes: Book One. Both are intense, somewhat serious reads. Both are also vastly different from one another but are executed wonderfully. One was my favorite novel of 2010 and should be studied in school. The other is just good bloody fun.

But Julius Katz Mysteries is something else entirely. These two stories (a novelette and short story) are indeed lighthearted, charming and very fun. I think they are also the best thing I've read from Zeltserman to this point. I enjoyed these two tales so much that I find it a bloody shame there aren't more for me to hunt down and read.''

Ed Gorman on his blog wrote after the first Julius Katz story: I'm a big fan, along with many other people, of Dave Zeltserman's character Julius Katz.

Naomi Johnson on The Drowning Machine:

Rex Stout fans must be over the moon, at least those who've read Dave Zeltserman's Derringer Award-winning novella, Julius Katz. In style, wit and charm, this story comes closer than anything I've read to capturing Stout's bloodless but entertaining riddles. Considering that Zeltserman is probably best known for his twisted noir and his New Age detective novels, this story ranks as one of the biggest surprises for me this year. This isn't a story you have to worry about your eight-year-old reading. No overt violence, no profanity, no abuse stronger than the occasional raised voice, this one can be read by the whole family.

Julius Katz is the requisite resident genius detective, which takes some doing, because Julius's sidekick, Archie - you can guess where the name derived - is no slouch in the smarts department. But this Archie... Well, let's just say that this Archie's physical characteristics are a shade closer to KITT than to Archie Goodwin.

David Cramner at Education of a Pulp Writer writes: Dave Zeltserman’s Julius Katz mysteries are some of the most fun you will ever have reading detective short fiction. Elements of Nero Wolfe abound but Mr. Zeltserman adds a unique twist in the form of Katz’s assistant, Archie, who is a marvel of high tech wizardry.

Author Joe Barone writes:

If you want to read an amazing story, go to your library or bookstore and pick up a copy of this month's Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Read Dave Zeltserman's "Julius Katz."

Zeltserman evokes Rex Stout, Nero and Archie in the most fascinating way.


Julius Katz Mysteries are available now for $0.99 for Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook Downloads.

For those in LA this weekend...

Bringing my family to this since I co-wrote (and may reluctantly co-read part of) "Fifty Minutes," a short story in the current issue of Slake, the cool new LA magazine.
Just passing the word.
Sunday 30th   
6:00-7:30 pm
“Tongue & Groove”
The Hotel Café
1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, Ca 90028

Say SLAKE to the man at the door.

"It is a two story brick structure painted black and the entrance is at the back of the place.
Good free street parking but if you get tired of looking there is a lot on Selma between
Cahuenga and Cole for five or six bucks. By the way, the kitchen is
closed at the club on Sundays. So if you were planning on having a nosh
with friends during the reading, plan on eating elsewhere."
The club has booked a band to start at 7:30 so the event will end just before that.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Ebook Gold Rush

Lee Goldberg here:

I've got a new guest post up on Joe Konrath's blog charting my Kindle experience...and the complete change in my thinking about ebooks. What changed my thinking? The money, pure and simple.
This January, if sales continue at the current pace, I will sell about 3100 books this month and earn $6600 in royalties.

That’s a 166% increase in sales and a whopping 751% jump in royalties.

In just one year.

On out-of-print books that I wrote years ago that were earning me nothing before June 2009.
If those sales hold for the rest of the year, I will earn $77,615 in Kindle royalties, and that’s not counting the far less substantial royalties coming in from Amazon UK, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and CreateSpace.

Even if my sales plummet tomorrow by fifty percent, I’ll still earn about $38,000 in royalties this year…and I’d be very, very happy with that.

My most profitable title, in terms of hours worked and pages written, is THREE WAYS TO DIE, a collection of three previously published short stories. In print, it’s a mere fifty-six pages long, but it’s selling 24 copies-a-day on the Kindle, earning me about $1500-a-month. That means I could potentially earn $18,000 this year just from those three short stories alone.

That is insane.

But what would be more insane is if I took my next, standalone, non-MONK book to a publisher instead of “publishing” it myself on the Kindle.

That’s right. I’d rather self-publish. This from a guy who for years has been an out-spoken, and much-reviled, critic of self-publishing. But that was before the Kindle came along and changed everything. I was absolutely right then…but I’d be wrong now.
Yes, it's happened. I have become a complete convert to self-publishing and the Kindle. Find out more...and why I think Top Suspense is so reading the whole post on Joe's blog.

Mr. Monk on the Road to Acclaim

MR MONK on the Road (1)
Two rave reviews for MR. MONK ON THE ROAD just came my way, both from long-time fans of the books. Debra Hamel at Bookblog says, in part:
Goldberg's books aren't only about the crimes. More important are the series's wonderful characters. The development of Monk and Natalie's relationship over the series makes for many sweet moments, but in this outing the focus is on Ambrose's interaction with Monk and Natalie and with the world at large. As usual in the series, there is some very funny dialogue. Usually this is centered on Monk's abhorrence of all things unsanitary, but Ambrose's social ineptitude also makes for some funny lines. I really enjoyed this one and the series as a whole, and I'm hoping the books never stop coming. 
Ed Gorman liked it for a lot of the same reasons. He says, in part:
Lee Goldberg has cast the new and extremely enjoyable Monk book as a picaresque adventure.[...]I've given up trying to rank the Monk books. I've read them all and think they each have different pleasures to offer, which is a tribute to Lee's savvy as a writer. But I have to say that putting both the Monks in a RV with Natalie-take-no-crap-Teeger has got to be the funniest premise yet. A truly hilarious read with a surprise shout-out to the movie "Duel" coming out of nowhere. Among many other surprises.
Thank you Ed and Debra for the great reviews and the continued support!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book of the day: Dead Space by Lee Goldberg

Book of the day: Dead Space by Lee Goldberg

Ex-cop Charlie Willis handles "special security" at Pinnacle Pictures. His job: to protect the studio and its stars, to stop scandals before they explode, to keep the peace in the land of make-believe. When Pinnacle revives the cult, 1960s TV series "Beyond the Beyond" as the cornerstone of a fourth network, two powerful forces fight for control of the show—a talent agency that uses blackmail, torture, and murder to keep its clients on the A-list, and a homicidal legion of rabid fans led by an insane actor who thinks he's in outer space.

(This book, the sequel to My Gun Has Bullets, was originally entitled Beyond the Beyond when it was published by St. Martin's Press in 1997)

"Goldberg uses just about everything he can think of to send up the studio system, fandom, Star Trek, Trekkies, agents, actors. . . you name it, he’ll make you laugh about it." —Analog

"An outrageously entertaining take on the loathsome folkways of contemporary showbiz," —Kirkus Reviews

"Mr. Goldberg has an observant eye and a wicked pen!" —Washington Times

"[It] reads like a modern-day Alice in Wonderland set against the venal world of the TV industry. It’s wonderfully revealing and uncannily accurate," —Vancouver Sun (Canada)

"Some of the easily recognizable actors, agents and producers who are mercilessly ribbed may find it hard to crack a smile at the author's gag-strewn prose, likewise those seekers after politically correct entertainment. But the rest of us should have no trouble….the novel's satiric slant is strong enough to have an effigy of Goldberg beamed into outer space at the next Star Trek convention," —Los Angeles Times

"Pinnacle Pictures has decided to revive a 25-year-old cult sci-fi TV show called Beyond the Beyond, but somebody keeps killing off the new cast. Is it the Hollywood agent who eats human flesh? The aging actor who still thinks he's a starship captain? The fans who live only to attend conventions? This sharp roman a clef goes where no Hollywood satire has gone before—altering just enough facts to avoid the libel courts but still smacking of a certain je ne sais Trek. It probably won't make Goldberg, a television writer and producer (Baywatch, Spenser: For Hire, seaQuest), the most popular boy on the Paramount lot, but it's a stingingly funny novel just the same." —Entertainment Weekly

"The hilarious follow-up to Goldberg's witty debut, My Gun Has Bullets...[this book] skewers the entertainment business, which Goldberg knows well," —Oline Codgill, Knight-Ridder Newspapers

"As in his riotous novel My Gun Has Bullets, TV writer/producer Goldberg once again bites the hand that feeds him, laughing all the while. Inspired silliness," —Publishers Weekly

Monday, January 24, 2011

Introducing Award-winning Julius Katz Mysteries

These award-winning Julius Katz mysteries have delighted thousands of mystery fans since first appearing on the pages of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in 2009. ‘Julius Katz’ introduced readers to Boston’s most brilliant, eccentric and possibly laziest detective, Julius Katz, as well as his sidekick, Archie, a tiny piece of whizbang computer technology with the heart and soul of a hard-boiled PI. In Julius and Archie’s second adventure, ‘Archie’s Been Framed’, the little guy is framed for murder and Julius needs to use all his wits to keep his inimitable assistant out of the slammer.

‘Julius Katz’ attracted a devoted following from mystery readers when it first came out, and has since won the Shamus Award for best story from the Private Eye Writers of America, as well as the Derringer Award for best novelette from the Short Mystery Fiction Society. ‘Archie’s Been Framed’ won 1st place in Ellery Queen’s Readers Choice Award, with their readers choosing it as their favorite story published by the magazine in 2010. If you haven’t had a chance to meet Julius and Archie yet, now’s your chance to get caught up in these charming, delightful and very unusual mystery stories.

'Julius Katz Mysteries' are now available for $0.99. Buy now for Amazon Kindle download, Nook download or from other e-book formats from Smashwords!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Book of the day: Cage of Night by Ed Gorman

Book of the day: Cage of Night by Ed Gorman

Twenty-one-year-old Spence returns to his hometown after two years in the Army and falls in love with Cindy Brasher, Homecoming Queen and town goddess to a long line of jealous men.

A string of robberies puts Spence at odds with his obsessive love for Cindy. One by one Spence's rivals are implicated in horrific crimes.

Spence wonders how much Cindy knows and why she wants him, like her past boyfriends, to visit the old well in the woods...

This is one of my favorites of Ed's. Highly recommended! --Dave Zeltserman

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reviews coming in for Blood Crimes

The reviews are starting to come in for my original e-book, Blood Crimes.

Jim Mcleod over at Ginger House of Nuts, says:

"Dave, has managed to meld the two genres of crime and horror into one one hell of a ride, PI's, crime lords, drug gangs, sultry babes and more low life scum than you can count all collide with explosive results in this genre bending master piece. If you like crime buy this book, if you like horror buy this book, if you like well written books, buy this book."

Mindy MacKay over at Protect Your Sensibilities, writes:

"Okay. Let's see if I can explain this. Take today's typical vampire fiction, shove it into Bedlam House and whip it with a cat-o'-ninetails to force it to breed with your grittiest crime thriller. That's what you'll get when you open up this book.
Blood Crimes is fast. It's visceral. It's definitely not your fourteen-year-old sister's dreamy vampire fantasy. This book grabs you by the guttiwuts, wrenches hard, and doesn't let go. But don't get me wrong, this isn't your run-of-the-mill shock literature. Zeltserman weaves a disturbing noir with a passionate craftsman's hand over his characters."

Peter Leonard over at Man Eating Bookworm, writes:

"From here on in Zeltserman's vamp/crime thriller takes off at a breakneck speed. The action that follows is intense and blood drenched. There are also unexpected twists that will take you by surprise and leave you gaping at your Kindle in shock."

Book of the Day: Goodnight Moom by Jack Maclane (Bill Crider)

Book of the Day: Goodnight Moom by Jack Maclane (Bill Crider)

Little Harry wasn't like other children. Harry never cared for reading or writing. He never showed any interest in baseball or TV. Harry lived for other things — like the pleasing sound of living creatures screaming in agony. And the soothing feel of warm blood running through his fingers. But when his grisly experiments progressed beyond stray pets and farm animals to classmates, Harry's dad decided to lock the boy away for good in the family basement. After all, the neighbors might begin to talk...

In the solitude of the dank, musty cellar, Harry waited and grew... and grew... and GREW! And while he waited, he was counseled by his one and only friend — the bright silvery orb in the night sky that he called "Moom." Harry spoke to Moom. And Moom spoke to Harry. Moom told Harry what he should do when he finally broke out of his subterranean prison ...

Moom told Harry to kill...
and Kill...
and KILL...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Question About Monk

Lee Goldberg here. The following is a re-enactment of an actual conversation I had with a fan after I spoke to the American Society of University Women (or something like that) up in Ventura last year.

Book of the day: Road to Purgatory by Max Allan Collins

Book of the day: Road to Purgatory by Max Allan Collins

It's 1942, and—from the Atlantic to the Pacific—the world is torn apart. Ten years earlier Michael O'Sullivan accompanied his gangster father on the road, fleeing from mobsters who killed his mother and young brother. After an idyllic upbringing by loving adoptive parents in a small Midwestern town, Michael is now deep in the jungles of Bataan, carrying a tommy gun like his father's, fighting the Japanese. When brutal combat unearths deep-buried feelings of violence and revenge, Michael returns to the homefront a battle-scarred veteran of twenty-two, ready to pick up his old war against the Chicago Mob.

Suddenly, Michael "Satariano" must become one of the enemy, working his way quickly up to the trusted side of Frank Nitti, Al Capone's heir, putting himself—and his soul—in harm's way. Leaving behind his heartbroken childhood sweetheart, the war hero enters a limbo of crime and corruption—his only allies: Eliot Ness, seeking one last hurrah as a gangbuster, and a lovely nightclub singer playing her own dangerous game. Even as Michael embraces his father's memory to battle the Mob from within—leaving bodies and broken lives in his wake—he finds himself sucked into the very way of life he abhors.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Book of the day: The Dead Man by Joel Goldman

Book of the day: The Dead Man by Joel Goldman

Billionaire Milo Harper wants Jack Davis' help. People in Harper's study of the human brain are starting to die exactly as they have dreamed they would die. Harper hires Jack to find out why their nightmares are coming true and protect his foundation. But when Jack investigates, he crosses paths with a serial killer inside one of the most advanced research facilities in the world. For Jack, the case will shatter illusions, raise ghosts, and take him onto both sides of the law and into the path of a murderer's terrifying rage.

"A masterful blend of rock-solid detective work and escalating dread. The Dead Man is both a top-notch thriller, and a heart-rending story of loss, courage, and second chances. I loved it." —Robert Crais, New York Times Best Selling author

"The Dead Man is one of those rare novels you will be tempted to read twice: the first time to enjoy, and the second to appreciate how Goldman puts the pieces together. The hours spent on both will be more than worth it." —Joe Hartlaub,

"Goldman's realistic setting, fast-paced dialogue and chilling plotting will have you wanting to read more in this gritty suspense series." —Cindy Bauer,

Monday, January 17, 2011

Book of the day: Night Vision by Paul Levine

"Mystery writing at its very, very best. Jake Lassiter is my favorite new character in fiction." - Larry King, USA Today

Book of the day: Night Vision by Paul Levine

Ahead of its time, NIGHT VISION, the highly praised sequel to TO SPEAK FOR THE DEAD, anticipated the danger of homicidal stalkers on the Internet.

Linebacker-turned-lawyer Jake Lassiter is appointed a special prosecutor when women in a sex-charged Internet chat room are targeted by a serial killer. Enlisting a brilliant female psychiatrist and assisted by retired coroner Doc Charlie Riggs, Lassiter wades into a maze of lies and corruption to uncover the murderer. Soon, Lassiter finds himself on the trail of a psychopath from the mean streets of Miami to an insane asylum in London and the very streets where Jack the Ripper once stalked his prey.

"Just the remedy for those who can't get enough Spenser and miss Travis McGee terribly." —St. Petersburg Times

"Jake Lassiter is attractive, funny, savvy, and brave." —Chicago Tribune

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Introducing Joel Goldman

Top Suspense Group is thrilled to introduce our newest member, Joel Goldman.

From Joel:

I started writing thrillers when one of my former law partners complained to me about another partner. I told him we should write a murder mystery, kill the son-of-a-bitch off in the first chapter and spend the rest of the book figuring out who did it. So, I did and I never looked back. That was in 1992.

My latest book, No Way Out (2010), is the third book in my series featuring former FBI Special Agent Jack Davis, following The Dead Man (April 2009), and Shakedown (2008). In Shakedown Jack's world is coming apart and there is nothing he can do about it. One reason is a rare movement disorder that has come out of nowhere, causing him to shake when he should shoot. It's something Jack and I have in common, his story providing me with a way of understanding mine. The Dead Man continues Jack's struggles with the dreams that haunt his past and a serial killer who makes his victims' worst nightmares come true. In No Way Out, Jack's search for two missing children leads him into a deadly web of deceit years in the making.

I became a ten-year overnight success with the publication of my first book, Motion To Kill, in 2002, introducing trial lawyer Lou Mason. Lou made his second appearance in 2003's Edgar® nominated The Last Witness. He managed to keep getting in and out of trouble in Cold Truth (2004) and Deadlocked (2005), which was nominated for a Shamus award and has been optioned for film. Sony Television optioned my short story, Knife Fight, published in the anthology The Prosecution Rests (2009), for development as a series. I retired from my law practice in 2006 and still haven't looked back.

I have learned some valuable lessons since I started writing. First, rewrite, but don't argue, when your mother tells you that your sex scenes are a little dry. Second, be nice to all your relatives. You never know when one of them will make a connection for you leading to a fantastic relationship with an agent. Third, when friends and strangers ask if they can be in your next book, tell them yes, so long as they pick one each from these three categories: hero or villain; living or dead; naked or dressed. I guarantee you that dead, naked villain will be the most popular choice.

For those of you interested in the statistical, my wife and I have three kids, all out in the world happily doing what they want where they want to do it. We also have two cockapoos, Roxy and Ruby, sisters born on Valentine's Day that may never grow up.

I am a fourth generation Kansas Citian and am named after my great grandfather who came to the United States in 1881. Legend has it that he overheard his parents arranging his marriage and decided to take his chances in the New World, leaving under cover of darkness. I don't know whether the story is true but I subscribe to this quote from one of my favorite movies, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: When legend becomes fact, print the legend.

TSG: Tell us about No Way Out.

Joel: While investigating the disappearance of two children, Jack Davis is caught in a shootout. When Roni Chase, a beautiful young woman, saves his life, he's drawn into a deadly web of deceit years in the making and is forced to choose between rescuing the missing children and saving Roni's life and his own.

TSG: What's been happening in Jack's life since The Dead Man?

Joel: Jack has been living his new normal life, adjusting to the movement disorder that forced him to retire from the FBI, trying to redefine himself in ways that make his life matter. Still grieving the deaths of his children, he tries to redeem their lives and his by helping others.

TSG: You and Jack have the same movement disorder. What is it and how does it affect your lives?

Joel: The disorder is called tics and it is similar to Tourette's. It's not life threatening or life shortening, but it is life annoying. It makes us shake and the more we do, the more we shake, spasm and stutter. The cause and cure are unknown. There are medications that help some people but didn't work for Jack or me and caused unacceptable side effects. We manage our symptoms by balancing our lifestyle, doing as much as we can without becoming walking mini-earthquakes. I spend my days writing. I also work out regularly so that my body can more easily tolerate the disorder. Jack isn't so fortunate. He's drawn into cases that threaten his balance and his life.

TSG: Why did you give Jack your movement disorder?

Joel: Tics forced me to quit practicing law after twenty-eight years as a successful trial lawyer. Writing Jack's character gives me an invaluable opportunity to explore that experience. Many of us define and validate ourselves through our work. When that is taken away from us, we are forced to dig deeper and find out whom we really are. Jack and I are doing that together.

TSG: No Way Out is set in Kansas City, as are all of your books. Why?

Joel: I'm a fourth generation Kansas Citian and I love my hometown. It has a fascinating history beginning with its birth as a riverfront trading post some founders wanted to name Old Possum Trot. It evolved into a wide-open town in the nineteen twenties and thirties where mobsters ran speakeasies and jazz joints where Count Basie played piano and Joe Turner translated the blues. It sent Harry Truman to the White House and, in the last half-century, became a major league city, part cow town, part cosmopolitan center. Its people are as diverse, open, warm-hearted and flawed as any people anywhere and I wouldn't trade them or the city for anyone or anyplace else. Most of No Way Out, takes place in Northeast Kansas City, a part of town all its own that captures Kansas City's past and forecasts its future.

TSG: What's next after No Way Out?

Joel: I'm working on a book based on a public defender named Alex Stone with her own brand of justice who I introduced in my short story Knife Fight, published in the anthology titled The Prosecution Rests. The character in the short story is named Elizabeth Rosenthal but as I worked on the book, I decided to change her name, more proof of why it's good to be the author.

TSG: What drives your stories?

Joel: I'm fascinated by what happens when things go wrong; how people respond to the unexpected and what they do when they think no one is looking.

TSG: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?

Joel: Just do it. The hardest thing for some people to do is to start. Writing a poem, a story, a play or a book seems overwhelming. Many people have told me that they want to or plan to write a book but they never do anything about it. If writing really is in your blood, the hard part won't be starting. It will be stopping.

Sample and buy Joel's e-books now from Top Suspense, or visit Joel's website at:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book of the day: My Gun Has Bullets by Lee Goldberg

Book of the day: My Gun Has Bullets by Lee Goldberg

When Beverly Hills Police Officer Charlie Willis pulls over a speeding Rolls Royce hell-bent for Neiman Marcus, he’s surprised to see Esther Radcliffe, the geriatric star of the TV series Miss Agatha, behind the wheel. He’s even more surprised when she guns him down and keeps on driving. A few hours later, he wakes up in the intensive care unit…to find a William Morris agent, a network president, and the head of Pinnacle Studios standing at the foot of his bed. They have a proposal for him: in exchange for conveniently forgetting who shot him, they’ll make him the star of his own series, My Gun Has Bullets. So Charlie trades in his real badge for a fake one…and so begins an uproarious but deadly romp through the wonderful world of TV make-believe…with real bullets.

"It will make you cackle like a sitcom laugh track. Goldberg keeps the gags coming right up to the end." —Entertainment Weekly

"It's Bullets Over Baywatch!" —USA Today

"A very funny novel…a pinch of Carl Hiaasen, a dash of Donald Westlake, and a heaping portion of avarice and inanity Hollywood Style. It’s boffo!" —Thomas Gaughan, Booklist

"My Gun Has Bullets takes aim and hits the bull's eye of all good satire — the truth," —Howard Gordon, Executive Producer, 24

"Lee Goldberg has written a winner!" —Stephen J. Cannell

"A rousing send-up of everything and everyone in the world of show-biz." —Judith Kreiner, The Washington Times

"A funny, crude, outrageous satire about Tinseltown guaranteed to amuse, offend, and fulfill your worst fears about Hollywood," —Linda Litchfield, Los Angeles Daily News

"A hilarious send-up of the TV industry...that offers plenty of fast talk, sleaze, and all the good stuff that the tabloids have so much fun exploiting," —Library Journal

Friday, January 14, 2011

Book of the day: Fast Lane by Dave Zeltserman

Book of the day: Fast Lane by Dave Zeltserman

Before there was Dave Zeltserman’s acclaimed ‘man out of prison’ noir trilogy (Small Crimes, Pariah, Killer) there was his first novel, Fast Lane. Published in 2004 by the small independent publisher, Point Blank Press, this seemingly hardboiled PI novel quickly developed a cult following among noir fans. Now this psychotic noir novel is back with a vengeance.

"For those of us who believed Jim Thompson would never be equaled, great tidings, he's back in the form of Dave Zeltserman. Hilarious in the darkest fashion, violent, bitter, psychotic and unputdownable." — Ken Bruen

"Boston native Zeltserman takes the classic, first-person narrated private eye novel and steers it off in dark new directions." — ThisWeek Newspapers

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book of the day: Dead and Gone by Harry Shannon

Book of the day: Dead and Gone by Harry Shannon

Unemployed actor Jack Wade takes his comatose wife to an isolated spot in the mountains, a place where a man once murdered his entire family. Frankie was a successful movie producer, but now they have run out of money. This dilapidated cabin is all they have left. As the long, lonely nights stretch out before him, Jack's dreams overflow with nightmarish images. The isolation loosens his grip on reality. He believes Frankie is capable of leaving her bed and moving around. And as Jack falls apart inside the cabin, someone or something else begins stalking the woods outside. Is the mountain evil, the cabin haunted? Or is poor Jack just going insane? Dead and Gone is a relentless, non-stop exercise in terror. This novel was made into a movie and released on DVD by Lions Gate in 2008.

I'm reading this one now. It's a good one! Highly recommended--Dave Zeltserman

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Book of the day: Sky Blues by Vicki Hendricks

Book of the day: Sky Blues by Vicki Hendricks

Destiny—Desi for short—is a large animal vet in the sticks of central Florida who's about to give up on the rest of life to concentrate on her career. That is, until Tom Jenks walks in her door. Sexy and charming but clearly living life on the edge—he comes to her with a sickly lion cub he's keeping illegally—he brings with him a drug like none she's had before, and she's taken them all. It's called skydiving, and with one jump she's addicted before she can even think to say no.

Even though her head is telling her no, she quickly begins an affair with Tom and becomes enmeshed in his world of adrenaline and yearning sexuality. But when dangerous things begin to happen around them and the subject of murder rears its ugly head, she'll have to pull out of the dangerous tailspin she's fallen into before she ruins—or loses—her life.

Eliot Ness Back in Print

Speaking Volumes, the audio company that has brought out several of my novels on CD, is branching out into e-books and print editions. I’m pleased to announce that all four “Eliot Ness in Cleveland” novels are now available in what look to be handsome editions (my author’s copies have not arrived yet). This is the first new printing of MURDER BY THE NUMBERS since its original publication in 1993, so that title in particular may be of interest.

Each Ness novel is based on a real investigation by the famous Untouchable during his very exciting tenure as the Public Safety Director of Cleveland – less written about than his Chicago days, the Cleveland years mark Ness’s major contributions to crimebusting. THE DARK CITY has him cleaning up a notoriously corrupt police department (with a guest apperance by Nathan Heller), BUTCHER’S DOZEN (the best known of the novels) is the first book-length look at the famous Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run, BULLET PROOF has Ness taking on corrupt unions, and MURDER BY THE NUMBERS finds Ness making an unlikely alliance with black numbers gangsters to defeat the famous Mayfield Road Mob’s takeover of a “colored” racket. The latter book explores Cleveland as the source of Chester Himes’ imaginary Harlem in his Coffin Ed and Gravedigger Jones crime novels, featuring the real-life black cop who provided the basis for those famous characters.

These novels formed the basis for the second act of my play (and film) ELIOT NESS: AN UNTOUCHABLE LIFE.

For more information:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book of the day: Blood Moon by Ed Gorman

Book of the day: Blood Moon by Ed Gorman

New Hope, Iowa. The kind of small town that restores a hardened FBI agent's faith in America. But when mysteriously seductive Nora Connors gives Robert Payne $25,000 to find the maniac who brutally killed her young daughter, he uncovers this close-knit community's most sordid secrets.

"In Blood Moon, Ed Gorman strikes with a startling crime and a resounding finale." — St. Louis Post-Dispatch


An expertly wrought atmospheric thriller featuring modern psychological crime fighting by a winning detective." — Publisher's Weekly

Monday, January 10, 2011

Questions for Top Suspense??

Do you have questions about our books, publishing, writing? The Top Suspense authors are a friendly group, and if you have any questions, leave them as a comment, and I'll try to get them to the right author to answer.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Caretaker shorted listed again for best of year

Early Dark Scribe Magazine made Caretaker a finalist for best dark genre book of the year, now the American Library Associations announces their choices for best genre books of the year, and for horror they have:

“The Dead Path” by Stephen M. Irwin, Doubleday (9780385533430)
Guilt-ridden Nicholas Close retreats to his family home in Australia after the tragic death of his wife, only to encounter an ancient malevolence lurking in the nearby woods. Childhood nightmares and fairytale motifs combine in this emotionally powerful tale of implacable evil. Arachnophobes beware!

Short List:
“The Caretaker of Lorne Field” by David Zeltserman, Overlook (9781590203033)
“The Frenzy Way” by Gregory Lamberson, Medallion Press (9781605421070)
“Horns” by Joe Hill, William Morrow (9780061147951)
“So Cold the River” by Michael Koryta, Little Brown (9780316053648)

Caretaker blast from the past: Newsday

Zeltserman is the author of increasingly accomplished crime novels, distinguished by spare and crisp prose, believable dialogue, imaginative plot twists and tightly wound characters who don't wear out their welcome.

He may be even more suited to the fantasy/horror genre than to a literary life of crime. Without slowing the action, Zeltserman wryly sprinkles in sub-themes about belief vs. logic, sacrifice vs. selfishness, and one generation against another. Perhaps the most interesting characters in the book are the older people who believe in Durkin and who, knowing how underpaid and unappreciated he is, treat him like a local hero rather than the fool on the hill.

Read the Newsday review of The Caretaker of Lorne Field here.

Book of the day: The Big Bang by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

Book of the day: The Big Bang by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

In midtown Manhattan, Mike Hammer, recovering from a near-fatal mix-up with the Mob, runs into drug dealers assaulting a young hospital messenger. He saves the kid, but the muggers are not so lucky. Hammer considers the rescue a one-off, but someone has different ideas, as indicated by a street-corner knife attack.

With himself for a client, Hammer and his beautiful, deadly partner Velda take on the narcotics racket in New York just as the streets have dried up and rumors run rampant of a massive heroin shipment due any day. In a New York of flashy discotheques, swanky bachelor pads, and the occasional dark alley, Hammer deals with doctors and drug addicts, hippie chicks and hit men, he meets the changing times with his timeless brand of violent vengeance. Originally begun and outlined by Spillane in the mid-sixties, and expertly completed by his longtime collaborator Max Allan Collins, The Big Bang is vintage Mike Hammer on acid . . . literally.

UK blogger interviews Harry Shannon

Jim Mcleod from across the pond interviews one crazy Irishman from Nevada about ebooks, horror novels, Top Suspense Group, mystery and crime et. al.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Book of the day: Mortal Sin by Paul Levine

Book of the day: Mortal Sin by Paul Levine

"Just the remedy for those who can't get enough Spenser and miss Travis McGee terribly." - St. Petersburg Times

Whether he's doing battle in the courtroom of slogging through Florida's steamy swamps, linebacker-turned-lawyer Jake Lassiter is always up to his elbows in alligators. This time he uncovers a ruthless scheme to despoil the Everglades, and his own homicidal client is his worst enemy.

It all starts with a bizarre death. Environmentalist Peter Tupton freezes to death in Nicky Florio's house of the hottest day of a sweltering Miami summer. Lassiter defends the mob-connected Florio in the ensuing civil suit, and that's where the trouble begins. Florio's wife is an ex-girlfriend...and current lover, and Florio is the jealous type. Not only that, Florio is involved in even nastier stuff than the suspicious death of a pushy tree-hugger.

The trail of evidence takes Lassiter deep into the Everglades, where Florio has hatched a scheme that oozes corruption, blood, and money. One false move, and Jake is likely to become gator bait.


"Engaging...lively...colorful. The plot races with mounting tension." —Miami Herald

"'Mortal Sin' may not be better than a trip to Florida, but it's the next best thing." —Detroit Free Press

"Fun...the action is non-stop." —Chicago Tribune

"Wonderfully funny, sexy, and terrifying." —Dave Barry

Friday, January 7, 2011

Book of the day: The Man with the Iron-On Badge by Lee Goldberg

Book of the day: The Man with the Iron-On Badge by Lee Goldberg

One of the most acclaimed private eye novels of the decade, nominated for the Best Novel award by the Private Eye Writers of America, is finally available in a Kindle edition.

Harvey Mapes is a 26-year-old security guard who spends his nights in a guard shack outside a gated community in Southern California, reading detective novels, watching reruns, and waiting for his life to finally start… which happens when Cyril Parkus, one of the wealthy residents, asks Harvey to follow his beautiful wife Lauren.

The lowly security guard jumps at the opportunity to fulfill his private eye fantasies and use everything he’s learned from Spenser, Magnum, and Mannix. But things don’t exactly go according to the books…or the reruns. As Harvey fumbles and stumbles through his first investigation, he discovers that the differences between fiction and reality can be deadly.

With the help of his mortgage broker neighbor and occasional lover Carol, Harvey uncovers a blackmail plot that takes a sudden and unexpectedly tragic turn…plunging him into a world of violence, deception and murder… and forcing him to discover what it really takes to be a private eye.

"As dark and twisted as anything Hammett or Chandler ever dreamed up [...] leaving Travis McGee in the dust." —Kirkus, Starred Review

"Approaching the level of Lawrence Block is no mean feat, but Goldberg succeeds with this engaging PI novel." —Publishers Weekly

"A wonderfully fresh voice in the mystery genre, Goldberg will delight fans of Janet Evanovich and Robert Crais," —Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson & the Olympians

"Lee Goldberg bravely marches into territory already staked out by some fierce competition—Donald Westlake, Lawrence Block, the early Harlan Coben—and comes out virtually unscathed." —The Chicago Tribune

"Goldberg has a knack for combining just the right amount of humor and realism with his obvious love for the PI genre and his own smart ass sensibilities. THE MAN WITH THE IRON-ON BADGE is a terrific read. Goldberg is the real deal and should be on everyone’s must read list." —Crimespree Magazine

"The Man With The Iron-On Badge is a quick, fun read with a satisfying and unexpected ending. Harvey Mapes is a hero I hope we see in a sequel." —Phillip Margolin, author of Gone But Not Forgotten

"If you're a fan of TV private eyes like Mannix and Rockford, and the heroes of the old Gold Medal paperbacks like Travis McGee and Shell Scott, you'll love Harvey Mapes. He's nothing like them, but he loves them, too, and in an attempt to emulate them and get away from his boring security guard job, Harvey goes on the ride of his life. Lee Goldberg has succeeded in producing a clever, witty and intelligent parody of, and homage to, the PI genre." —Robert Randisi, founder of the Private Eye Writers of America.

"Lee Goldberg is a sly and funny writer, with a warm heart and an ease with words. He never disappoints." —SJ Rozan, Edgar-Award winning author.

"The Man with the Iron-On Badge has snappy dialogue, tight plotting, and near perfect pace. Mapes is laugh-out-loud funny in the way of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, and the plot is surprisingly graceful, keeping the reader guessing to the very end. Harvey's growth as a human being is an added bonus. One can only hope this is the first of many novels about this engaging character." —The Oakland Press

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mr. Monk and the Great Reviews

MR MONK on the Road (1)

Lee Goldberg here...
MR. MONK ON THE ROAD has been out for a couple of days and the reviews are starting to come in. The Gumshoe Review liked it a lot and said, among other things:
With each new Monk novel that author Lee Goldberg gives us, plot becomes less and less important, and the characters and their interactions with one another become more important. Mr. Monk on the Road cannot boast of having an actual plot. The book is comprised of a series of vignettes that are loosely tied together through the device of the motor home and the improbable road trip. But this fact will not greatly trouble readers of the previous Monk books. The joy of this narrative is derived from observing Mr. Monk as he effortlessly spots the subtle clues and unravels the baffling complexities of each crime scene. And further pleasure is derived from the continuing evolution of the relationships between Monk, Natalie Teeger, brother Ambrose, and SFPD Captain Stottlemeyer.
Readers of Monk will enjoy Mr. Monk on the Road as much as or more than any of the Monk books that have preceded it. Heartily recommended.
And my friend, and fellow Top Suspense author, Bill Crider also found a lot to like in this one. He said, in part:
The jokes are funny. The human relationships are serious and treated with dignity and respect, and the mystery aspect is . . . solidly there. I can say no more. Okay, that's a lie. I can say that this is another fine entry in a spin-off series that's taken on a life of its own. In fact, this book is the first one that picks up after the end of the TV series. I'm looking forward to keeping up with the adventures of Monk and Natalie for a long time to come. While the TV show is in endless reruns, those two characters will be living out their lives in ways that are bound to be well worth reading about
Thank you both for the great reviews!

Book of the day: Bad Thoughts by Dave Zeltserman

Book of the day: Bad Thoughts by Dave Zeltserman

"A compellingly clever wheels-within-wheels thriller. An ingenious plot, skillfully executed" —Elliott Swanson, Booklist

"This fast-paced, gritty psychological tale balances the fine line between mystery and horror" —Library Journal

"Bad Thoughts is an ambitious genre-bender combining the paranoia and existential dread of the best noir with a liberal dash of The Twilight Zone. Not to be missed." —Poisoned Pen's Booknews

"Dark, brutal, captivating — this is one hell of a book, the kind of book that doesn't let go of you once you start it. Dave Zeltserman is clearly the real deal." —Steve Hamilton

Introducing Blood Crimes

"I've just read the manuscript of Dave Zeltserman's new novel, Blood Crimes. This is one of the few fresh takes on vampirism I've read in years. It's as if Charles Bukowski sat down and said, OK, Bram Stoker, how about this?" -- Ed Gorman, author of Cage of Night and The Poker Club.

Blood Crimes is a genre-bending collision of horror and noir that rides shot-gun with homicidal lovebirds Jim and Carol as they carve a bloody path cross-country. Jim is infected with the vampire virus. Carol isn't. Yet. But they are united in their hunt for degenerate scum for Jim's dinner menu -- so he can quench his bloodlust without harming the innocent.

Coming after them is Jim's ex, Serena, and her posse of heroin-snorting Eurotrash vampires - as campy and hilarious as they are terrifying. Serena has sworn vengeance: Hell hath no fury like a she-vampire scorned!

And then there’s Metcalf, a sociopathic monster unlike any you’ve met before who enslaves fellow vampires in a compound straight out of Hieronymus Bosch - a living hell where he conducts unspeakable experiments to find a cure for vampirism. Not because he's benevolent - but because he's bored with a diet of fresh blood, and wants to eat a grilled steak and down a case of cold beer.

Jim, Serena and Metcalf careen toward their inevitable collision in a climax of pure rock 'n roll violence that leaves other anemic vampire fables out in the twilight.

Part Sin City mayhem, part Stephen King terror, Blood Crimes is a blood soaked rampage you won't soon forget.

Blood Crimes is the first book of a planned 5-book original e-book series, and is now available for $2.99 as Kindle download, Nook download or from Smashwords.

Reading a sample of Blood Crimes (or any TSG Book) is now easier than ever. For Blood Crimes, go to Top Suspense, click on Crime, then on the cover of Blood Crimes, and you can start sampling Blood Crimes right away on the Kindle browser that comes up.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Book of the day: Daemon by Harry Shannon

Book of the day: Daemon by Harry Shannon

Black Ops specialist Jeff Lehane burned out fast and retired young. He still has nightmares about a bloody mission into Iraq, right on the eve of the war. Yet Lehane reluctantly agrees to assist his ex-wife, who is guarding a Latino rap star. She is killed during the concert, and Jeff soon discovers that someone—or something—has broken into the morgue to eat from her corpse. Outraged, Lehane assembles his former team and they begin to hunt down the ghoul that is stalking Las Vegas.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bill Crider Spillanes His Enthusiasm for Morgan The Finger

Bill Crider Here:

Max Allan Collins has announced that he finished the manuscript of his collaboration with Mickey Spillane on the second book about Morgan the Raider. The first book was published about 44 years ago. I was so happy to see the announcement that I pulled down my copy of the 1968 paperback from the shelf to read again. As I flipped it open, what to my wondering eyes should appear but an article that I'd clipped out of the Dallas Morning Newswhen the movie version of The Delta Factor opened in Big D. I probably hadn't opened the book since 1968, and I'd forgotten that the article was there. I thought it would be fun to share it with you, so here it is.

Mickey Spillane's Morgan the Raider #2 -- 44 Years in the Making

Max Allan Collins here...

I have just completed THE CONSUMMATA, the Morgan the Raider novel of Mickey’s that I finished for Hard Case Crime. It just went out via e-mail to editor Charles Ardai a few hours ago. I’m very pleased with it, but it was a tricky one. Mickey had completed 108 double-spaced pages, but this time I had no plot or character notes. Even the evocative title itself (which had been announced by Signet Books many years ago) went unexplained. It required really getting inside the manuscript, and Mickey’s head, to figure out where he was headed…and I think I pulled it off.
So finally, the sequel to THE DELTA FACTOR, the second Morgan the Raider novel (Signet Books announced modern-day pirate Morgan as Mickey’s new series character with great fanfare), will appear…with Mickey’s fans only having to wait 44 years.
My technique I’m sure would dismay purists. I expanded and revised Mickey’s hundred-plus pages, weaving my own scenes and thoughts and style in and around his, so that his material appears deep into the book, nine of its thirteen chapters. (I created no new characters, however, and my plot strictly flows out of things he put in motion.) I get a lot of praise (much appreciated) for the seamlessness of these collaborations, but it’s because I treat them as collaborations – and don’t just “pick up where Mickey left off” that they are able to achieve what they do.
This is going to be an extremely big year for me, at least in terms of how much stuff will be out there. I will do a post on that subject either next week or soon thereafter.
The First Quarry Audiobook
The First Quarry Audiobook 
One thing that is out right now is the audio book of THE FIRST QUARRY. I haven’t heard this yet, but it’s the same reader (Curt Palmer) who did THE LAST QUARRY, and he’s excellent. This company, Speaking Volumes, will be doing more Quarrys – all the Hard Case titles and perhaps the early books, as well. It’s only $19.95, very reasonable for an audio book.
Vince Keenan considers THE BIG BANG one of the best books of the year. Hey, Vince – me, too!
The Sons of Spade website went even farther, calling THE BIG BANG the best P.I. book of the year.
This is very gratifying, and we showed up a few other places, too, but mostly were overlooked. This is the first year in a while that Bookgasm hasn’t listed me on the best books of the year. As I have made clear here before, I despise these lists, and give them absolutely no credence…unless I am on them.
There’s a lovely post about THE GOLIATH BONE, which posits a movie version and presents a dream cast. Very much worth checking out, plus I posted a comment you may find of interest.
There is a very interesting piece about the BATMAN character Two-Face and the similar Haf-and-Haf character in DICK TRACY, discussing my work on the latter and referencing my BATMAN work in general. I provided several comments and you may find the back-and-forth interesting.
Finally, the contest remains open for anyone who can identity my two sections of the Top Suspense Group “Round Robin” short story (see below for details). So for nobody has won. Well, almost nobody…my son Nathan pegged ‘em. Nice going, Nate! Too bad you don’t need any M.A.C. books….

Monday, January 3, 2011

Joe McKinney interviews Harry Shannon...Horrors!

Willie Meikle hosts Joe McKinney interviewing  Top Suspense Group's own Harry Shannon on zombies, writing, thrillers and such. Horrors!

Book of the day: Black River Falls by Ed Gorman

Book of the day: Black River Falls by Ed Gorman

Nineteen-year-old Ben Tyler vows to protect Alison, a beautiful young woman, from threats of murder, until he stumbles upon a dark secret that could destroy everyone and everything he cares about.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Top Suspense Scoop

Last year my novella, Julius Katz won several awards including the Shamus Award. I'm happy to be able to report that my second Julius Katz story, 'Archie's Been Framed', has won first place in Ellery Queen's 2010 Readers Choice Awards.

Book of the day: A Time for Hanging by Bill Crider

Book of the day: A Time for Hanging by Bill Crider

Lizzie Randall, the preacher's daughter, is murdered. The men of the west Texas town are set on lynching Paco Morales, a Mexican teenager who happened to be in the vicinity at the time. No proof, but, after all, he is only a Mexican. Reason and/or conscience work on most of the would-be lynchers, so that, in the end justice is served. The list of suspects grows to include almost everyone in the story, thus providing an agreeable tangle of clues.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Book of the Day: A Killing in Comics by Max Allan Collins

Book of the Day: A Killing in Comics by Max Allan Collins

A new kind of mystery novel—featuring comic art by Terry Beatty, co-creator of the Ms. Tree series and frequent artist for the Batman comic books.

Manhattan, 1948. Wonder Guy, soaring superhero, represents all that is good about postwar America. But underpaid cartoonists Harry Spiegel and Moe Shulman feel bad about publisher Donny Harrison making a killing from their creation. Then, celebrating his birthday dressed in Wonder Guy's signature caped costume, Donny suddenly collapses onto a cake knife—and discovers the super suit does not grant him the hero's invulnerability.

Glamorous Maggie Starr is America's most famous ex-striptease artist. In a way the diva is still "stripping"—running her late husband's newspaper syndicate, distributing the Wonder Guy comic strip. Stepson Jack Starr, her V.P. and chief troubleshooter, doesn't need X-ray vision to see Donny's "accident" is murder. Together they must find a killer among cartoonists, wives, mistresses, and minions of a different sort of "syndicate"—suspects with motives that are anything but superheroic.