Hey Kids, Free Books!

February 15th, 2011 by Max Allan Collins

Some really terrific reviews have come in, and some generally cool coverage of M.A.C. stuff past and present. I’ll share all that with you below, but first, I want to let the reviewers among you know that I have some copies available for you, if you want to review one of the new books on your blog or at Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble.

I have half a dozen advance reading copies of KISS HER GOODBYE, the new Mike Hammer novel. We have four hardcover copies of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF available, and eight copies of NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

Just e-mail me at macphilms@hotmail.com, provide your snail mail address, and I’ll send these out till I run out.

Also, here’s a fun bonus for followers of this weekly blog – a site has posted my BATMAN comic strip story from 1989. I was hired to develop and write a BATMAN syndicated strip, teamed with the great Marshal Rogers, and then was forced by the Tribune Company Syndicate to quit or else be fired from DICK TRACY (which they soon did anyway) or be sued. The story appeared without my byline, but I wrote it, and here it is. It’s a Catwoman tale.

Okay, back to the reviews. Romantic Times has given ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF a flat-out rave. Their reviews include some plot summary, which I’ve omitted:

ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF ****1/2 (highest rating any mysteries get this month in RT)

If you like laugh-out-loud funny mysteries, this next Trash ‘n’ Treasures installment will make your day. Place your bets on this screwball comedy cozy where the clues are thick and the mother-daughter dynamics are off the charts.

The Kingdom Books site has a lovely review of KNOCK-OFF, too.

Craig Clarke, at his fine site Somebody Dies, has reviewed NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU. Craig is a big supporter of my work, but he did not like the first Collins/Clemens novel, YOU CAN’T STOP ME, and made no bones about it – he didn’t even bother finishing it. He made some apt criticisms of the first novel, and Matt and I took them to heart, so it’s gratifying indeed that the first major review of the novel comes from Craig…and it’s a rave.

The ubiquitous Harriet Klausner also likes NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU, and her reviews are carried all over the web. Some don’t like Harriet because she reviews so much, and often gives favorable reviews – neither of these seem like bad things to Matt and me!

Bookreporter.com has a lengthy excerpt from NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU here, and their own offering of reading copies.

Bookreporter.com also has posted an informational piece on NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

Though it’s very early for a book not coming out till next May, rave reviews are already coming in for the Spillane/Collins KISS HER GOODBYE. Check out this incredible review from the talented comics writer Ron Fortier.

And I would rate Bill Crider’s review of KISS HER GOODBYE, at his incredible Pop Culture Magazine site, among the most gratifying I’ve ever received. Few know pulp mysteries better, and Bill is one of the most solid mystery writers of his generation. Unfortunately, he is also one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, so I find it impossible to resent him. Anyway, check this out!

Yet another article labels ROAD TO PERDITION one of the 10 Best Comic Book movies. A fun, smart list also worth checking out.

That terrific all-around-pro James Reasoner has said some very nice and (I think) smart things about the new Perfect Crime reprint of QUARRY (aka THE BROKER), the first Quarry novel. I have to admit it’s weird and even disconcerting to read a review of a novel you wrote going on 40 years ago, but a good review is a good review. And I’ll be damned if Reasoner doesn’t “get it,” which is important. His description of what I’m up to in QUARRY is exactly what I’m up to in the novels about the character written in the last few years. So either I’m consistent, or I haven’t grown a whit.

The always interesting site Noirboiled Notes has posted a second patch of Five Quick Questions with me, this time strictly about me and Mickey Spillane.

Paul Bishop is a real cop, great guy and first-rate writer, plus he has a terrific site called Bish’s Beat. He talks about both KISS HER GOODBYE and the QUARRY reprints from Perfect Crime here.

I am heartsick at the news about Borders, crossing my fingers that the stores in Davenport and Des Moines aren’t among those closing. These are choppy, dangerous waters in the book biz, but as long as there are readers, guys like me should manage. Nate and I are still discussing doing some e-book publishing, and keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a Top Suspense Group e-book anthology.


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4 Responses to “Hey Kids, Free Books!”

  1. mike doran says:

    I see by your Upcoming Releases box that you will have seven new books coming out in 2011.

    Seven in Eleven. There’s gotta be an ad campaign in there somewhere …

    Just a few weeks ago, Borders closed their big Michigan Avenue store here in Chicago. The State Street store is still open, but for how much longer?
    Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble lost their store at Clark and Diversey, and the one in Evanston had to relocate.
    It seems every time I turn around, another store I like has closed with little or no advance notice.
    And after they went to all the trouble and expense of driving the small ones out of business …
    I mean, where’s the justice?
    (Just had a flashback to the collapse of Kroch’s & Brentano’s not that many years ago. Could that happen again?)

    If bookselling goes entirely online, as so many are threatening, I’m stuck. I’ve only got this office computer (none at home as yet), and while I’ve had some luck with Amazon and Alibris, remembering those oedipusrexing passwords is a major pain for someone of my rapidly advancing years. (I just had to reset yours twice.)

    Anyhoo, here’s hoping you get Centuries & Sleuths – or anywhere – sometime this year.

    *I miss you guys *

  2. I am very worried about Borders’ overall fate, and particularly my favorite stores (Davenport, Des Moines, Schaumburg IL and Oak Brook IL).

    I have set it up yet, but our intention is to do a Centuries & Sleuths signing this year, probably late summer or early fall, to support BYE BYE, BABY. We you, too, Mike, and our other friends out on the circuit.

    But the whole book signing experience seems not to work so well, and with the time and energy and money required to mount even a midwestern tour, we’re being picky about what we do in that regard.

  3. mike doran says:

    Reading your reply is bringing back way too many memories of bookstores big and small that aren’t there anymore.

    I just remember a day off from work, many years back, when I managed (with the help of local mass transit) to hit four (or was it five?) different Borders branches in one day. They were pretty well spread out, and I had to start early in the morning to get to them all. Thinking back, I might even have snuck in an odd Barnes & Noble here or there.

    Just thinking about when Borders and B&N were building their big boxes within stone-throwing distance of each other –
    I believe the Borders in Oakbrook is still there, although the B&N that was just down the road may be closed (I haven’t been to either in a while *sigh*). I haven’t been to Schaumburg in a while either, so I don’t know if their Borders is still there either (or the B&N that was nearby). As best as I know, the Borders – B&N “gas war” in Orland Park ( the two stores are just across LaGrange Road from each other, with a Half-Price Books just down the road) may be the last such pairing in the Chicagoland area.

    Given the rate of store closures, I always thought Barnes&Noble would be the one to go under first. Now it looks like a dead heat (forgive the morbid metaphor).

    About book signings:
    These are becoming few and far between, even at the big stores.
    The Best-seller guys can still draw a good crowd, but the poor schlep who devoted his life to writing BREEDING WOMBATS FOR FUN AND PROFIT or EL BRENDEL – THE MAN AND THE MYTH is still sitting there with his ball-point at the ready, while the customers try not to notice him.
    Just to depress myself further, I think I’ll go to YouTube and watch Parnell Hall’s classic lament “Signing In The Waldenbooks (and nobody’s there)”.

    Here’s hoping you avoid such a fate (and at Augie’s you’ll have home-field advantage).
    Looking forward to it. I still miss you (even missed ‘miss’).

  4. JSweet says:

    For what it’s worth, guys, both the Oak Brook and Schaumburg locations have thus far been spared — they’re not on the initial list of closing posted on the Borders site — I checked right away when I heard the news. (Also a Chicago resident and agree those are two good ones)

    Oh, and B&N did close their little store in Oak Brook and opened a big new one at the mall two (?) years ago.

    And I’d love to see you make it to Chicago for a signing!
    How many books do we all have to promise to buy to make it worthwhile? :)