Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Heat Is On: Zero Cool

Celebrating the delights of summer. Click here for the full set.


Zero Cool, by Michael Crichton, writing as John Lange (Hard Case Crime, 2013). Illustration by Gregory Manchess.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Heat Is On: Borrowed Lover

Celebrating the delights of summer. Click here for the full set.


Borrowed Lover, by Dorene Clark (Bedside Books, 1959). Illustrator unknown. Original painting here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Heat Is On: Virgin’s Summer

Celebrating the delights of summer. Click here for the full set.


Virgin’s Summer, by Alan Marshall, aka Donald E. Westlake (Midwood, 1960). Illustration by Paul Rader.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Heat Is On: The Beach Girls

Celebrating the delights of summer. Click here for the full set.


The Beach Girls, by John D. MacDonald (Fawcett Gold Medal, 1963). Illustration by Charles Binger.

I’m posting this today in recognition of what would be author MacDonald’s 98th birthday, were he still alive (he died in 1986). A subsequent edition of the same novel can be seen here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Heat Is On: You’re Lonely When You’re Dead

Celebrating the delights of summer. Click here for the full set.


You’re Lonely When You’re Dead, by James Hadley Chase
(Popular Library, 1951). Illustration by Willard Downes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Heat Is On: Illicit Desires

Celebrating the delights of summer. Click here for the full set.


Illicit Desires, by H.M. Appel (Quarter Books, 1949).
Illustration by George Gross.

Down Under Stand-out

Jenny Grigg’s design for The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton’s historical mystery novel from last year, is among the shortlisted contenders for the 2014 Australian Book Design Awards. Learn more here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Heat Is On: Case of the Brazen Beauty

Celebrating the delights of summer. Click here for the full set.


Case of the Brazen Beauty, by Jonathan Craig, aka Frank E. Smith (Flamingo Books, 1973). Illustration by Ron Lesser.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Heat Is On: Two Hot to Handle

Celebrating the delights of summer. Click here for the full set.



Two Hot to Handle, by Ed Lacy (Paperback Library, 1963)--contains two novellas, “The Coin of Adventure” and “Murder in Paradise.” Illustration by Charles Copeland.

Further Adventures of Jim Rockford



In honor of Oklahoma-born actor James Garner, who passed away last night at the tender age of 86, I am posting the covers from The Green Bottle (1996) and Devil on My Doorstep (1998), two novels by Stuart M. Kaminsky that were based on Garner’s popular 1974-1980 NBC-TV private-eye series, The Rockford Files. (These came out, by the way, during the same period when Garner was appearing in a short series of Rockford reunion movies on television.)

During an interview I did with Kaminsky in 2002, I brought up the subject of these two books:
JKP: [L]let me ask how you came to write to write your two Rockford novels, The Green Bottle and Devil on My Doorstep. Was this your idea?

SMK: I was and am a big
Rockford Files fan. Tor Books and the series' producers came to me to ask if I might be interested in writing original Rockford novels. They knew of my love for the series. We negotiated, I eagerly agreed and that was it.

JKP: What did you hope to do with Jim Rockford that hadn't already been done in the course of the original series or the spin-off movies that followed it?

SMK: I wanted simply to be true to the
Rockford characters and work within the same vein, so that readers would welcome them back. The one contribution I made--besides, I hope, my creativity and originality--was to depict an older, more resigned Jim Rockford in keeping with James Garner's age.

JKP: You told me not long ago that you don't think you'll be doing any more Rockford novels. Why is that? Did the books not sell well enough?

SMK: The books sold well. I'm not sure why they didn't want me to do more. I would have been happy to do so.
Garner’s sad demise makes me want to go back and re-read both of these novels. Maybe I’ll do that after I have finished marathon-watching episodes of The Rockford Files, to remind myself of just what a fine and magnetic performer Garner could be.

The cover illustrations for the Forge paperback editions of The Green Bottle and Devil on My Doorstep displayed above are credited to versatile artist Steve Chorney.

“Feast Your Eyes”

Last month, Thriller Books Journal honored my main blog, The Rap Sheet, with a mention on its list of “crime fiction blogs worth investigating.” Today it adds Killer Covers to that growing roster. Giuseppe Pastore writes:
Yay! I could spend all day on this wonderful site, which brings together all the shlockiest and yet coolest retro thriller covers you’ve ever seen. Even their site banner (by Rob Kelly) oozes cool. Feast your eyes, shweethearts.
Thank you very much, Giuseppe, for your support.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Heat Is On: Summer Widow

Celebrating the delights of summer. Click here for the full set.



Summer Widow, by Florence Stonebraker (Beacon, 1961).
Illustration by Al Rossi.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Heat Is On: Murder Is Where You Find It

Celebrating the delights of summer. Click here for the full set.


Murder Is Where You Find It, by Robert P. Hansen (Permabooks, 1957). Illustration by James Meese.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Heat Is On: Summer Heat

Celebrating the delights of summer. Click here for the full set.


Summer Heat, by Morgana Garson (Softcover Library, 1965).
Illustrator unknown.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Heat Is On: The Dreamers

Celebrating the delights of summer. Click here for the full set.



The Dreamers, by J. Bigelow Clark (Permabooks, 1955).
Illustration by Stanley Borack.