Posts Tagged ‘Antiques Bizarre’


Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

I’ve got the word on a couple e-book sales this month, with two very different (though both excellent) novels.

First up is ANTIQUES BIZARRE by Barbara Allan (that’s the husband and wife duo of Max and Barbara), for $1.99 on the Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader (check on other retailers for possible price matches). This sale runs until August 20th. Don’t miss this fan favorite cozy! If you need a push from someone who’s not related to the authors, here you go:

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (on Antiques Bizarre): “The Trash ‘n’ Treasures books have to be the funniest mystery series going.”

Mystery Scene: “You’ll laugh out loud.”

Crimespree: “Antiques Bizarre is fun reading and the mystery is terrific.”

Amazon’s Kindle storefront is featuring ANGEL IN BLACK as a deal of the month. ANGEL IN BLACK, a Shamus nominee and rated 4.3 out of 5 stars by Amazon readers, has Heller solving the famous 1947 Black Dahlia case. Also, buying ANGEL IN BLACK on the Kindle will drop the price on the Audible download of Dan John Miller’s fantastic audiobook reading to another $1.99, which is a steal.

Continue below for your regularly scheduled update…

Antiques Disposal On Shelves Now, Antiques Bizarre Free On Kindle

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
Antiques Disposal

Antiques Disposal comes out today, so be sure to check your local bookseller or purchase a copy online:

Antiques Disposal is the latest Barbara Allan collaboration and the sixth in the Trash ‘n’ Treasures cozy series, with Brandy and her mother Vivian entering the competitive—and deadly—world of storage auctions. But if you’re a fan of M.A.C.’s more hardboiled work, don’t let the word cozy fool you—this series is both tough and funny. Here’s what Ron Fortier of Pulp Fiction Reviews had to say:

“As a fan of hardboiled detective fiction … [cozies are] not my particular brand of tea…[But deciding I’d take a chance with Antiques Disposal] is probably one of the smartest things I’ve done in a while. Why? Well simply because the book is so damn funny, I honestly couldn’t put it down. And the characters! … There is a charm and decency to these characters that immediately grabbed me and had me caring for them from page one….if all of the Trash ‘n’ Treasures Mysteries are as wonderful as Antiques Disposal, then sign me up for the long haul.”

And Publisher’s Weekly liked it too, wrting: “A classic gathering of suspects, under the guise of auctioning off the cornet, leads to an unexpected denouement.”

Plus, if you’re still on the fence, or would just like to catch up on the series, Amazon’s running a sale on the e-book of Antiques Bizarre. And it’s a heck of a sale at 100% off. I’m assuming this is very time limited, so act quickly. Here’s the link:

Even More Free Books!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
Antiques Bizarre

We were able to lay hands on a few more copies – ten each – of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF by Barbara Allan and NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU by M.A.C. and Matthew Clemens. We also have ten copies of the just published paperback of ANTIQUES BIZARRE by Barbara Allan.

First come, first serve, to anyone pledging to review the book on a blog and/or on Amazon (and/or Barnes & Noble). Ask for one or both or even all three, depending on your interest and taste.

When these ten (of each) are gone, the days of a free lunch – or anyway, a book to read while you’re eating the lunch you paid for – are over.

E-mail me at and include your snail mail address. We can’t honor requests from overseas. We only do business with good law-biding Americans! Or maybe it’s because it’s so damn expensive mailing books internationally….

Bill Crider, that terrific writer and the host of my favorite mystery website, has written a wonderful review of NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

Matt Clemens and I did a joint interview you may find of interest at

And Matt was interviewed by Sean Leary a while back, but it’s only turning up now on the net. Check it out.

Our local paper, the Muscatine Journal, gave Barb and me a nice write-up about the Trash ‘n’ Treasures ANTIQUES series, among other things, including info about a book signing coming up on Saturday, March 19, at the Davenport Barnes & Noble. This is the first signing in support of ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF and NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

I hear from fans all the time, bemoaning the fact that we don’t do as many signings as we used to, but signings just aren’t what they used to be. We are limiting ourselves to our home area, and a few places we get to now and then, anyway – like Chicago and St. Louis. But we are attending the St. Louis Bouchercon, and it’s looking likely that Crusin’ will be playing, probably with some guest stars from the mystery community.

Speaking of Crusin’, we appeared Saturday night (March 5) at the Thirsty Camel, a bar/restaurant outside tiny Conesville, Iowa. The Camel is a big tin building, beautifully appointed in rustic style, that you approach by driving down a dirt road with cornfield on either side. It’s way back from the road – though a very modern lektrical sign points the way – by a rodeo set-up. This is as down-home as I get, by the way.

The Camel has burned down twice, and this new version is sparkling new. The original Camel was one of the Crusin’ regular stops of our golden era – 1975–1980. For about two years of that period, I was a professional musician – the band very successful, and showcasing Bruce Peters (the greatest guitarist and showman ever to come out of Iowa), and my buddy Paul Thomas on bass – both gone, now. Powerhouse Ric Steed drummed. Everybody sang, but Bruce was the best singer the band ever had.

The current version of Crusin’ features a guitar player who challenges Bruce’s mastery of the instrument – Jim Van Winkle – and also has original Daybreakers member Chuck Bunn as part of the line-up, with rock-steady drummer Steve Kundel a longtime veteran of the group (first coming in around 1989). Even with this strong a line-up, going in to play in a part of the world where our most popular line-up is frankly legendary was slightly intimidating…but I am pleased to report that we had a large, enthusiastic crowd, and quite a few people stopped me to say that we sounded just as good as we had “back in the day.” And it looks to be a once-a-month venue for us again.


The Year Nate Was Born (Both Of Him)

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

My old pal Alan Light (publishing guru who created THE COMICS BUYER’S GUIDE) has sent along some photos from 1982, the year that both Nathan Allan Collins (my son) and Nathan Heller (my literary offspring) were born. These are from a Consumer Electronics Show (at Chicago’s McCormick Place) attended by Alan, his friend Rick Best (who now is the honcho at WQPT PBS in the Quad Cities) and my frequent collaborator, Terry Beatty (looking astonishingly young in these photos).

Here is McCormick Place, with a jillion satellite dishes on its rooftop:

CES 1982

Here I am talking to two unidentified booth keepers about a DICK TRACY Crimestopper license for something having to do with auto security (I guess). I have no memory of this, beyond seeing Tracy’s image and stopping by to introduce myself as the guy who writes (wrote) DICK TRACY.

CES 1982

Here is a typically elaborate exhibit at the trade show, memorializing the now-defunct home video format that I dumped so much of my son’s potential inheritance into. I still own hundreds of laser discs, and watch two or three a year.

CES 1982

Left to right: Collins, Beatty, Best, lugging our bags of freebies from the show (outside McCormick Place).

CES 1982

Here is the real reason I am posting these: the late great Russ Meyer (the auteur behind VIXEN, BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS and so many wonderful wacky others) with yours truly.

CES 1982

Terry, me, Rick Best, taking a break from getting porn star autographs and free junk.

CES 1982

Does this really require a description? We yam what we yam.

CES 1982

A sign of the times. And it’s no different with the Internet, is it?

CES 1982

Left to right, Beatty, Collins and Alan Light (thanks for these, Alan!)

CES 1982

Driver's Ed MutinySpeaking of my son Nate, a while back he worked on an indie film in a number of capacities. That film, DRIVER’S ED MUTINY, is starting to hit the film festival circuit, and won Best Feature on Saturday at the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival. It was written and directed by Nate’s pal Brad Hansen, and it’s a terrific little comedy/drama – a road trip movie with memorable characters and some very crafty low-budget filmmaking (you actually see many landmarks on the classic Route 66). Watch for it.

Watch also for the current issue of VIDEOSCOPE (Spring 2010 #74), which has a great review of THE LAST LULLABY plus a lengthy article by me on the history of the Quarry novel series and the film that grew out of it. Required reading.

Craig Clarke, an excellent reviewer who has long been a booster of mine, has reviewed YOU CAN’T STOP ME. He doesn’t love it but you should check out what he has to say, anyway.

On the other hand, Jon Jordan loves the book – here’s an advance look at his review from the next issue (#36) of CRIMESPREE:

YOU CAN’T STOP ME is not only the title of this but also a mantra I said to myself whenever something threatened to interrupt my reading, and I’m talking the need to eat, wanting more coffee, or even smoking. I did not move from my chair till I was done.

YOU CAN’T STOP ME opens with a bang, JC Harrow is a smalltown cop just doing his job, but just doing it in spectacular fashion as he saves the President during a visit to the state fair in his county. Arriving home that night his world is turned upside down when he discovers his family murdered.

We jump ahead in time and see Harrow working on a reality show that hunts criminals. A case in Florida catches his attention and it appears to be the same killer who took his family away from him. The killer very quickly makes it known that he wants to be in the spotlight, and Harrow just wants him stopped.

History has shown that Collins can write unforgettable stories and he is a great writer. This book proves he is also a master of lightening fast books that make most thrillers seem pedestrian by comparison. And even though I finished reading, it clung to my brain like glue and it was while before I could start another book. I look forward to more stories with JC Harrow.

Here is Jon, from the current issue (#35) of CRIMESPREE:

Barbara Allan

My reading tastes are all over the board. While I do tend to read more hard-boiled or cross over mysteries, there are a number of great cozy or traditional mystery writers I love. The books by Barbara Allan are among them. Barbara Allan is actually the husband/wife team of Max Allan Collins and Barbara Collins, and just as they are great as a couple, they are also a superb writing duo.

Brandy Borne is once again caught up in the whirlwind her mother Vivian creates and this time it’s a charity auction to help flood victims. Vivian has convinced a local woman to donate a Faberge egg for the auction, the last one made.

Almost as soon as the egg is sold, the winner is found dead as was the woman who donated it. Brandy steps in to find out what’s going on, but she does this pregnant, as a surrogate for a friend. She also just found out who her biological father is and it’s all she can do to keep it together.

Great characters are what drive this series, and the research about the antiques really adds to the story. Its fun reading and the mystery is terrific. I’ll keep reading this series as long as Kensington keeps publishing them.

That’s all for this update. There are a couple of new trade paperbacks I’ll tell you about next week.