100 Reasons to Love Mickey Spillane

June 27th, 2017 by Max Allan Collins
Spillane 100

How about an advance look at what’s planned for Mickey Spillane’s 100th birthday next year?

Two books will share centerstage – The Last Stand and Killing Town. Both are really special. The Last Stand will feature two novels – a short one circa early ‘50s, A Bullet for Satisfaction, which I co-authored from an unedited rough draft; and a full-length one, entitled (appropriately enough) The Last Stand.

The latter novel is the last book Mickey completed. My contribution has been to give it an edit, based upon comments Mickey made to me when he and I discussed the book shortly after I read it. This was probably around two weeks before he passed. Mickey was working on The Last Stand and two other novels simultaneously, The Goliath Bone and Dead Street (both of which I completed for him).

With his wife Jane Spillane’s permission, I held back The Last Stand until now for several reasons. First, it’s not a typical Spillane novel – it’s more of an adventure novel along the lines of Something’s Down There, the last book published during his lifetime. While we discussed having it published as the first book after his death, ultimately we decided to set it aside, probably for the centenary. I felt it was better to make the Mike Hammer novels a priority – to get them finished and out there. I’ve obviously been doing that, as well as completing (for publication by Hard Case Crime) Dead Street and The Consummata, both crime novels in keeping with a typical Spillane approach.

The Last Stand is a fun novel, a modern-day western and a disguised rumination on the tough guy entering old age, and readers will be very entertained. But I thought for those who might be confused by a lack of certain expected Spillane elements, including the more typical A Bullet for Satisfaction would make for a nicely balanced volume. Satisfaction is a rogue cop revenge tale with lots of sex and violence (the hero’s name is Rod Dexter).

Hard Case Crime will be doing the book in both hardcover and paperback, something they only do occasionally. Publisher Charles Ardai also brought a loving hand in the edit.

So we have the final Spillane novel.

And we have the first Mike Hammer novel.

Wait, what…?

Killing Town is another manuscript I salted away with the centenary in mind. It’s a substantial manuscript, longer than those I’ve been dealing with of late, and it represents Mickey’s first go at doing Mike Hammer, probably circa 1945…predating I, the Jury. I will tell more of the story behind it later, but it’s a novel that takes place in an industrial town in upstate New York with Mike Hammer running a dangerous errand for an army buddy. It could not be more typically vintage Spillane in tone and approach. Titan is publishing in hardcover.

I have not begun my work yet, but it’s the next big project.

We will also in 2018 have the mass market edition of The Will to Kill, the paperback of the Caleb York novel The Bloody Spur, various new audios, and more.

Those of you with blogs might want to think about doing a Spillane piece for 2018. (His birthday is March 9.) I will be writing something for Mystery Scene, and hope to complete a non-Hammer short story for The Strand.

* * *

Here’s a nice piece on Hard Case Crime with an emphasis on comics.

Publisher’s Weekly includes Quarry’s Climax in upcoming books they’re showcasing.

Here’s an audiobook review of The Titanic Murders.

And finally here’s a NSFW link that shows a reader enjoying an advance look at Quarry’s Climax.


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7 Responses to “100 Reasons to Love Mickey Spillane”

  1. Paul.Griffith says:

    Wow!! This is incredible and exciting news Max! I will be on pins and needles for the next year in anticipation of these books. Since Mickey’s passing you have released an awesome variety of Spillane stories! From Westerns to Hammer and everything in between (including a Tiger Mann). You have collected awards along the way as well. Thank you Max for all you do and I hope to see a new Nathan Heller novel in the near future. With new Quarry, Hammer and unpublished Spillane stories the reading future looks to be a time of wonder and enchantment. Wow, I can hardly wait…

  2. Bill Crider says:

    This is great news.

  3. Bruce Harris says:

    Fantastic news! Really looking forward to these new releases.

  4. Todd Gray says:

    Any chance of seeing the full run of Ms. Tree or Mickey Spillane’s Mike Danger comics reprinted in some form?

  5. Max Allan Collins says:

    Actually, I haven’t done a Tiger Mann (you must be thinking of Morgan the Raider) but there is one partial manuscript I may get around to.

    We are in serious discussions about the run of MS. TREE being collected, and MIKE DANGER too may be on the horizon.

  6. Paul.Griffith says:

    Oops! I stand corrected, you are right it was Morgan the Raider. That’s why you are the writer and I am the reader. You have the facts straight! Thanks again Max.

  7. Zev Buffman says:

    Adding to the Mickey Spillane excitement and the celebration, The Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater Florida, will be presenting a live stage production of ” Mike Hammer – Encore for Murder” starring Gary Sandy (of WKRP Cincinnati) and a cast of 14. The play is scheduled to open in mid January 2018 for a 3 week run. It will be produced by Broadway’s Zev Buffman (29 Tony Nomination for 41 Broadway shows).
    Max Allan Collins co authored the play with Mickey and will be involved with this production that will kick off the Mickey Spillane 100 year with Hammers Colt 45 bang!!!