RICHARD ALEAS (Little Girl Lost, Songs of Innocence)
"Richard Aleas" is the pseudonym of an Edgar and Shamus Award-winning mystery writer and editor whose work has appeared in dozens of publications including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine as well as anthologies such as Best Mystery Stories of the Year and The Year’s Best Horror Stories.
CHARLES ARDAI (Fifty-to-One)
"Charles Ardai" is a pseudonym of award-winning mystery writer Richard Aleas. Or is it the other way around?
RUSSELL ATWOOD (Losers Live Longer)
A former managing editor of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Russell Atwood published his first Payton Sherwood mystery, "East of A," in EQMM in 1996 after leaving the magazine. Encouraged by a letter from a publisher, he wrote a longer work involving the East Village private eye, The Land of Plenty of Nothing, published by Ballantine as East of A in 1999, which was nominated for a Shamus award (but didn’t win). Now a decade later, Payton Sherwood returns in Losers Live Longer, another ‘round-the-clock noir nightmare of murder and betrayal set against the shadowy backdrop of a modern crumbling Lower East Side of Manhattan. Author will work for food.
GEORGE AXELROD (Blackmailer)
The son of silent movie actress Betty Carpenter, George Axelrod was the author of "The Seven Year Itch," which became the classic Billy Wilder film starring Marilyn Monroe, and the screenwriter of "The Manchurian Candidate" and "Breakfast At Tiffany’s," for which he received an Academy Award nomination in 1961. He also wrote the popular Broadway play "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" and numerous other stage plays, radio plays, films, and TV series episodes, as well as the novels Where Am I Now—When I Need Me? and Beggar’s Choice.
MADISON SMARTT BELL (Straight Cut)
Madison Smartt Bell is the author of more than a dozen works of fiction including the acclaimed trilogy about the Haitian Revolution All Souls’ Rising, Master of the Crossroads, and The Stone the Builder Refused. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Prize, an instructor for the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and an essayist for publications ranging from Harper’s and Ploughshares to The New York Times. He lives in Maryland with his wife, the poet Elizabeth Spiers.
PETER BLAUNER (Casino Moon)
Peter Blauner began his career as an assistant to legendary New York journalist and future Hard Case Crime author Pete Hamill and went on to acclaim as a reporter (about crime, among other topics, for New York magazine, among other publications) and then proceeded to hit a home run his first time at bat as an author of fiction, winning the Edgar Award for Best First Novel for Slow Motion Riot. His subsequent books include the New York Times bestseller The Intruder and Slipping Into Darkness, which earned raves from Time, The New Yorker, USA Today, and Stephen King, who called it "one of the best books I’ve read in a long, long time."
ROBERT BLOCH (Shooting Star/Spiderweb)
Robert Bloch gained worldwide fame as the author of Psycho, the novel that introduced the world to serial killer Norman Bates and inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film. He also wrote numerous other horror and crime novels as well as hundreds of short stories, including "That Hell-Bound Train," for which he won the Hugo Award in 1959. Bloch also received the Bram Stoker Award and the World Fantasy Award for his writing and served a term as president of the Mystery Writers of America. Bloch’s work was regularly adapted for film and television, including three episodes of the original Star Trek and more than a dozen of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In his youth, his exploits included a brief stint working in vaudeville and a longer stint writing for pulp magazines such as Weird Tales, during which time he befriended the legendary H.P. Lovecraft and extracted Lovecraft’s permission to kill him off in a story set in Lovecraft’s universe (Lovecraft having already taken the liberty of killing Bloch off in a story of his own).
LAWRENCE BLOCK (Grifter's Game, The Girl With the Long Green Heart, Lucky At Cards, A Diet of Treacle, Killing Castro, 69 Barrow Street/Strange Embrace, Catch and Release, Getting Off, Borderline, A Walk Among the Tombstones, The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes)
Lawrence Block has won more awards than almost any other living mystery writer: four Edgar Awards, four Shamus Awards, two Maltese Falcon Awards, the Nero Wolfe Award, the Cartier Diamond Dagger, and more. He was named a Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization’s highest honor. (Previous recipients include James M. Cain, Agatha Christie, and Ross Macdonald.) His work ranges from the searing noir investigations of alcoholic detective Matt Scudder to the witty adventures of master burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr and includes many stunning stand-alone thrillers such as Hard Case Crime’s debut title, Grifter’s Game.
DANIEL BOYD (Easy Death)
"Daniel Boyd" is the pseudonym of a veteran police officer who served for nearly thirty years in a department in central Ohio, including four years as Chief of Police. EASY DEATH is his first crime novel. His only previous novel, ‘NADA, was nominated for the Spur Award by the Western Writers of America.
GIL BREWER (The Vengeful Virgin)
Gil Brewer was the author of some of the best-selling paperback original crime novels of the 1950s. After serving on the European front in World War II, he returned to the U.S. and honed his craft as a writer while holding down jobs as (among other things) a gas-station attendant, warehouseman, and cannery worker. He broke into print with the legendary Gold Medal imprint in 1950, and over the next decade produced a series of hits that included 13 French Street, The Red Scarf, A Killer Is Loose, and So Rich, So Dead. A number of movies have been based on Brewer’s work, including 3-Way, starring Gina Gershon.
KEN BRUEN (Bust, Slide, The Max)
The Galway, Ireland-born author of more than a dozen extremely dark crime novels, Ken Bruen was nominated for nearly every major award in the mystery field (and won the Shamus Award) for his book The Guards, the first in his series about Jack Taylor and his first book to be published in the United States. In addition to his work as a novelist, Bruen has a Ph.D. in metaphysics and spent 25 years as a teacher in Africa, Japan, Southeast Asia, and South America.
JAMES M. CAIN (The Cocktail Waitress)
A one-time editor at The New Yorker and a lifelong journalist, James Mallahan Cain achieved worldwide overnight fame when he published his first novel, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, in 1934. The classics DOUBLE INDEMNITY and MILDRED PIERCE followed in 1936 and 1941, reinforcing Cain’s reputation as the great chronicler of crimes of passion, typically set against a working-class backdrop during the Great Depression. His books have inspired a number of classic movies, including Billy Wilder’s Academy Award-nominated adaptation of DOUBLE INDEMNITY, which was chosen by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 greatest movies of all time.
JACK CLARK (Nobody's Angel)
Jack Clark was nominated for the Shamus Award for his first novel starring private eye Nick Acropolis, Westerfield’s Chain. Fans of that book will be excited to know that more Acropolis novels are in the works. Nobody’s Angel, the author's first novel, was originally self-published in an edition of only 500 copies that the author sold for five dollars apiece to passengers in the Chicago taxi he drove for a living. Hard Case Crime is proud to give the book its first professional publication.
MAX ALLAN COLLINS (Two For the Money, The Last Quarry, Deadly Beloved, The First Quarry, Quarry In The Middle, Quarry's Ex, The Consummata, Seduction of the Innocent, The Wrong Quarry, Quarry's Choice, Quarry, Quarry's List, Quarry's Deal, Quarry's Cut, Quarry's Vote)
Author of Road to Perdition, the acclaimed graphic novel that inspired the movie starring Paul Newman and Tom Hanks, and of the multiple-award-winning Nathan Heller series of historical hardboiled mysteries, Max Allan Collins is one of most prolific and popular authors working in the hardboiled field today. He is also a filmmaker whose work includes "Shades of Noir," "Real Time," and the documentary "Mike Hammer’s Mickey Spillane."
LESTER DENT (Honey In His Mouth)
Lester Dent created the pulp hero "Doc Savage" in 1933 and wrote more than 180 novels starring the famous Man of Bronze and his team of adventurous sidekicks. Dent also wrote for the seminal pulp Black Mask, which also published Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, as well as authoring the hardboiled "Chance Malloy" crime novels for Doubleday and penning scripts for the Scotland Yard radio drama. A world traveler and adventurer in real life, Dent was inducted into the Explorers Club for his exploits, and he appeared as a character in Paul Malmont’s best-selling 2006 novel, The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril.
DAVID DODGE (Plunder of the Sun, The Last Match)
Best known as the author of To Catch a Thief, which became the classic Alfred Hitchcock film starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, David Dodge also wrote numerous other best-selling thrillers, adventure novels, and non-fiction accounts of his world travels, including The Long Escape, How Lost Was My Weekend, and the highly collectible It Ain’t Hay.
A. C. DOYLE (The Valley of Fear)
Called "one of the most famous and genuinely interesting men in the world" by the New York Times, A.C. Doyle won worldwide renown for his stories and novels in the mystery, adventure, and historical fiction genres. His characters are known worldwide (thanks in part to the many movies, television series, comic book adaptations, and computer games that have been based on them), and in particular his series of detective novels narrated by a veteran of the war in Afghanistan (describing his partnership with a cocaine-addicted private investigator) are widely considered to be some of the most influential in the field. The latest film based on A.C. Doyle's work, starring Robert Downey, Jr. ("Iron Man") and Jude Law ("Road to Perdition") and directed by Guy Ritchie ("The Hard Case") opens in theaters in December 2009.
HARLAN ELLISON (Web of the City)
Harlan Ellison is a pop culture legend now fully entered in the Encyclopedia Britannica. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1934. He has written over 1,700 stories, essays, and newspaper columns, more than 70 books, and 100 films and TV episodes, and has won countless awards, including the Edgar Allan Poe Award twice for his crime fiction, 10 Hugo Awards, 5 Nebulas (including the lifetime Grand Master Award), 6 Bram Stoker Awards (including their lifetime Grand Master Award), 4 Writers Guild of America Awards, 2 World Fantasy Awards, and multiple other lifetime achievement awards. He has also been a finalist for the Emmy and twice for the Grammy. He has written stories in bookshop windows, toured with the Rolling Stones, and worked as a voiceover artist. He now lives with his wife in Los Angeles.
JOHN FARRIS (Baby Moll)
John Farris is the best-selling author of novels such as The Fury and Harrison High. Since publishing his first novel the year he graduated from high school, Farris has sold more than 17 million copies of his books and seen several turn into films, including Brian DePalma’s adaptation of The Fury in 1978. Farris is also a painter, a poet, and a screenwriter, talents he combined when he wrote and directed the seminal 1970s horror film "Dear Dead Delilah," featuring the great Agnes Moorehead’s final screen appearance.
CHRISTA FAUST (Money Shot, Choke Hold)
Christa Faust is the author of numerous crime and horror novels including Hoodtown, Triads, and Control Freak, as well as the Scribe Award-winning novelization of the movie "Snakes on a Plane." She has also worked as a filmmaker, a model, and a Times Square peep show girl, and was the first female author ever to be published by Hard Case Crime. Film director Quentin Tarantino once said, "Christa Faust is a Veronica in a world of Betties."
STEVE FISHER (No House Limit)
Steve Fisher received an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay for Destination Tokyo and was responsible for numerous other screenplays and teleplays, including those for Raymond Chandler’s Lady In the Lake, Humphrey Bogart’s Dead Reckoning and Tokyo Joe, and the atypically dark final film in the Thin Man series. In addition, Fisher wrote hundreds of short stories and novels, including the pulp classic, I Wake Up Screaming.
SAMUEL FULLER (Brainquake)
A legendary filmmaker (THE NAKED KISS, SHOCK CORRIDOR, THE BIG RED ONE) whose work inspired Spielberg, Tarantino, Scorsese and more, Samuel Fuller was also a novelist, a newspaper reporter (at 17 one of the youngest ever to work a New York City crime beat), and a veteran of the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach in World War II (immortalized unforgettably in the harrowing opening scene of Spielberg’s SAVING PRIVATE RYAN). In the final days of WWII, Fuller was also part of the division that liberated the Falkenau death camp in Czechoslovakia. He returned to the U.S. a war hero and became one of the most idiosyncratic and powerful voices in Hollywood, dramatizing violence and brutality in ways never before seen on American movie screens. Following a dispute with Paramount Pictures over racial content in his film WHITE DOG, Fuller went into self-imposed exile in France, where he wrote BRAINQUAKE. At the end of his life, Fuller briefly returned to Hollywood. He died in 1997 at the age of 85.
ERLE STANLEY GARDNER (Top of the Heap)
One of the best-selling authors of all time, Erle Stanley Gardner’s greatest creations include crusading attorney Perry Mason (star of more than eighty novels, not to mention the long-running TV series and TV movies) and the hardboiled detective team of Bertha Cool and Donald Lam, who appeared in more than two dozen adventures of their own. An attorney himself, Gardner also founded the Court of Last Resort, a group that investigated criminal cases they believed had ended in an erroneous conviction. The group’s real-world detective work resulted in a number of convictions being reversed and prevented the execution of at least one man who was later proved innocent.
DAVID GOODIS (The Wounded and the Slain)
David Goodis is one of the most enigmatic and acclaimed authors to come out of the world of pulp crime fiction. Reputed to have written more than five million words for pulp magazines at the start of his career, Goodis first rose to national attention with the novel Dark Passage, which was adapted as the classic film noir starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in 1947. A stint writing for the movies in Hollywood followed, but Goodis ended his career where it began, living in his parents’ house in Philadelphia. Other notable film adapatations of Goodis’ work include "Shoot The Piano Player" by Francois Truffaut and "Descent Into Hell," the 1986 movie version of The Wounded and The Slain. The first annual "GoodisCon," celebrating the life and work of David Goodis, was held in Philadelphia in 2007, the 90th anniversary of Goodis' birth and the 40th of his death.
ALLAN GUTHRIE (Kiss Her Goodbye)
Allan Guthrie’s first novel, Two-Way Split, was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger Award and his short stories have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies. He is also the creator of the Noir Originals Web site and commissioning editor for both Point Blank Press and the Pulp Originals line of e-books. Guthrie lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, on whose mean streets his books are set.
BRETT HALLIDAY (Murder Is My Business)
Brett Halliday (real name: Davis Dresser) was one of the most prolific and popular hard-boiled crime writers of all time, penning fifty novels about redheaded shamus Michael Shayne, who also appeared in a dozen movies, on television, in radio dramas, in comic books, and for thirty years as titular figurehead of Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine. Shane Black’s 2005 movie Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer, was partly inspired by a pair of Mike Shayne novels. Halliday was a founding member of the Mystery Writers of America and received an Edgar Allan Poe Award from the organization in 1954.
PETE HAMILL (The Guns of Heaven)
A journalist of legendary stature, Pete Hamill has served as editor-in-chief of both The New York Daily News and The New York Post, and has written for countless publications ranging from The New York Times and The New Yorker to Playboy, Vanity Fair, and Esquire. He has reported on wars in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Lebanon and Northern Ireland and from his base in New York he has covered murders, crime, the police, and the great domestic disturbances of the 1960s. At the same time, Hamill has pursued a career as a fiction writer, winning high praise for novels such as Snow In August, Flesh and Blood, and Forever. In 2005, Hamill was nominated for the Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America for his story "The Book Signing" in Brooklyn Noir.
DONALD HAMILTON (Night Walker)
Donald Hamilton is the creator of secret agent Matt Helm, star of 27 novels that have sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, four blockbuster films featuring Dean Martin in the lead role, and a classic television series. A new Matt Helm movie is currently in pre-production at Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks studio. In addition to the Matt Helm novels, Hamilton wrote a number of outstanding stand-alone thrillers and westerns, including The Big Country, which became a major motion picture starring Charlton Heston and Gregory Peck. Hamilton was nominated twice for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Paperback Original by the Mystery Writers of America.
RUSSELL HILL (Robbie's Wife)
Russell Hill is the author of more than a dozen books, including the critically acclaimed novels Lucy Boomer and The Edge of the Earth, the short story collection The Heeler, and the poetry collection Letters From the Mines, for which he received an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. He was also the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, which enabled him to spend a year in England, the setting of his Hard Case Crime novel, Robbie’s Wife.
E. HOWARD HUNT (House Dick)
Before he became one of the most controversial figures in modern American history, before he went to prison for his involvement in the Watergate conspiracy, E. Howard Hunt was an award-winning novelist, recipient of a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship (beating out Truman Capote and Gore Vidal for the honor) and the author of numerous popular political thrillers and crime stories. He also worked as an agent for the CIA, served in the Navy and the Army Air Force, reported on Guadalcanal for Life magazine, and did a stint as a member of the OSS in China.
DAY KEENE (Home Is the Sailor)
One of the leading paperback mystery writers of the 1950s, Day Keene also wrote for radio, television, movies, and pulp magazines. In addition to creating some of the most memorable noir nightmares ever published, Keene (real name: Gunnar Hjerstedt) also wrote widely praised mainstream novels such as Chautauqua, which was the basis for the Elvis Presley movie "The Trouble With Girls."
STEPHEN KING (The Colorado Kid, Joyland)
Stephen King is one of the world’s most popular authors. Since publishing his first novel, Carrie, in 1974, King has written dozens of beloved and bestselling books including The Shining, The Stand, The Dead Zone, It, The Green Mile, Hearts In Atlantis, and the epic, seven-volume Dark Tower series. Movie adaptations of his work include "Misery," "The Shawshank Redemption," and "Stand By Me," among many others. His short fiction has appeared in magazines ranging from The New Yorker and Playboy to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and Twilight Zone. In 2003, King received the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and in 2007 he was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, an honor he shares with Graham Greene, Alfred Hitchcock and Agatha Christie.
JOSEPH KOENIG (False Negative)
Nominated for the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel for FLOATER in 1986, Joseph Koenig followed this debut with three more novels in close succession, culminating with the New York Times Notable Book BRIDES OF BLOOD in 1993. He didn't publish another novel after that for twenty years. FALSE NEGATIVE marks the author’s triumphant return to publishing with his most personal novel yet, a tale of the last days of the pulp era told as only a veteran of that era could tell it.
MICHAEL CRICHTON WRITING AS JOHN LANGE (Odds On, Scratch One, Easy Go, Zero Cool, The Venom Business, Drug of Choice, Grave Descend, Binary)
Long before he wrote JURASSIC PARK, before he scripted blockbuster movies like Twister, before he created the groundbreaking TV series ER, Michael Crichton was an honors student at Harvard Medical School—and writing paperback suspense novels on the side, under the top-secret pen name "John Lange." Lange wrote eight books between 1966 and 1972, including Binary, Zero Cool, Odds On, Scratch One, Easy Go, Drug of Choice, The Venom Business and Grave Descend, which was nominated for the Edgar Award. Then Lange vanished—until, 40 years after John Lange was born, Michael Crichton chose Hard Case Crime to bring him back, personally re-editing two Lange books, even writing new chapters for one of them. Now Hard Case Crime is proud to bring all of John Lange's work back into print for the first time in decades—and the first time ever under Michael Crichton's real name.
ED MCBAIN (The Gutter and the Grave, So Nude, So Dead, Cut Me In)
Ed McBain, aka Evan Hunter, wrote more than eighty novels, including the influential and beloved "87th Precinct" series, the longest-running series of crime novels in history. His books have sold more than 100 million copies. He also wrote many screenplays, including the script for Alfred Hitchcock’s film "The Birds." In 1986, he was named a Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization’s highest honor, and in 1998 he became the first American ever to receive the British Crime Writers’ Association’s highest award, the Cartier Diamond Dagger.
WADE MILLER (Branded Woman)
The writing team of Robert Wade and William Miller collaborated under a number of pseudonyms, including "Whit Masterson" (under which name they wrote the novel that inspired Orson Welles' noir classic, "Touch of Evil"), "Dale Wilmer," and "Will Daemer." But it was as "Wade Miller" that they wrote many of their best books, including the Max Thursday series of private eye novels (starting with 1947’s Guilty Bystander) and the memorable Kitten With a Whip, which became a movie starring Ann-Margaret in the title role. The authors were honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America.
ROBERT B. PARKER (Passport to Peril)
A lifelong newspaper man, Robert B. Parker (1905-1955) reported from behind enemy lines during World War II, bringing home news from Germany, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and Japan. He was also an agent for the OSS—the precursor to the CIA—and had a hand in freeing Jewish prisoners in Europe and carrying out communications activities for the U.S. Back home after the war, Parker worked as United Nations bureau chief for the New York Daily News. He wrote three books decades before his namesake (no relation) began writing the best-selling Spenser novels.
PETER PAVIA (Dutch Uncle)
Peter Pavia is a writer whose work has appeared in many publications, including GQ, The New York Sun, The New York Post and The New York Times, among others. In addition to Dutch Uncle, he is the author of The Cuba Project—Deception, Dirty Doings, and Double Dealing in Post-Castro Miami and co-author, with Legs McNeil and Jennifer Osborne, of The Other Hollywood: An Oral History of the Adult Film Industry. He has been a faculty member of The New School’s Writing Program since 2001. A Rochester, New York native, Mr. Pavia moved to Manhattan in 1984, where he currently resides with his wife and daughter.
MAX PHILLIPS (Fade to Blonde)
Max Phillips’s novels, which have included Snakebite Sonnet (Little, Brown) and The Artist’s Wife (Henry Holt), have won rave reviews in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Esquire, and other major publications. His short fiction and poetry have appeared in publications such as The Atlantic Monthly and Story. Under the name Forrest DeVoe Jr., Phillips is also the author of the Mallory & Morse spy novels Into the Volcano and Eye of the Archangel (HarperCollins). Mr. Phillips has received an Academy of American Poets Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2005 received the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America for Fade to Blonde.
JONNY PORKPIE (The Corpse Wore Pasties)
Known to many as the burlesque mayor of New York City, Jonny Porkpie is the co-creator and host of New York’s celebrated Pinchbottom burlesque troupe (www.pinchbottom.com), as well as an accomplished cartoonist, puppeteer, and author. Mr. Porkpie is often credited as a key figure in the widely reported burlesque revival and was one of the first ever recipients of the "Most Innovative" title from the Burlesque Hall of Fame. Since creating Pinchbottom, he has scripted more than two dozen stage shows. A show inspired by THE CORPSE WORE PASTIES is in the works, with its premiere scheduled to coincide with the book's publication.
RICHARD POWELL (Say It With Bullets)
After graduating from Princeton and leading a successful career at one of America’s largest advertising agencies (as well as stints with the U.S. War Department and as a police reporter), Richard Powell won readers over during World War II as the author of a popular series of comic mystery novels starring the crime-solving couple Andy and Arabella Blake. Powell was also the author of The Philadelphian, which became the Oscar-nominated film "The Young Philadelphians" starring Paul Newman and Robert Vaughan, as well as Don Quixote, USA, which was the basis for Woody Allen’s film "Bananas."
RICHARD S. PRATHER (The Peddler)
Richard S. Prather (1921-2007) was the bestselling creator of detective Shell Scott, star of three dozen books over the last half century. More than 40 million copies of Prather’s books have been sold in the United States alone; in Publishers Weekly’s book 70 Years of Best-Sellers, 16 of the 150 books listed were by Prather. Prather received the Life Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America in 1986.
PETER RABE (Stop This Man!)
A Ph.D. psychologist born "Peter Rabinowitsch" in Germany in 1921, Peter Rabe fled to the U.S. in 1938. During the post-war paperback era he wrote many penetrating and insightful suspense novels, including The Box, Anatomy of a Killer, and Murder Me For Nickels. Among other authors, Donald E. Westlake has cited Rabe’s work as an influence, and the landmark Black Lizard series chose six of his novels to reprint in the 1980s.
SHEPARD RIFKIN (The Murderer Vine)
In addition to The Murderer Vine, Shepard Rifkin authored such other novels as Desire Island, King Fisher’s Road, Ladyfingers, and The Snow Rattlers, and edited the collection The Savage Years. Born in 1918, Rifkin also served aboard the famous S. S. Ben Hecht, the ship that in 1947 attempted to run the British blockade of Palestine carrying hundreds of survivors of the Holocaust. Along with the rest of the crew, Rifkin was imprisoned by the British in Acre Prison, a fortress on the northern coast of Israel; shortly following Rifkin's release, the Irgun used a camera the Americans had smuggled into the prison to produce fake identification papers, facilitating what has been called "one of the most spectacular prison breaks in history."
DAVID J. SCHOW (Gun Work)
David J. Schow is the award-winning author of five novels, seven short story collections, and numerous films and TV shows, including installments in popular film series such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Crow and episodes of The Outer Limits and Masters of Horror. He has also published non-fiction extensively and is credited with coining the term "splatterpunk" to describe the groundbreaking movement in horror fiction in the mid-1980s.
SEYMOUR SHUBIN (Witness To Myself)
In 1953, Seymour Shubin published his first novel, Anyone’s My Name. It quickly became a New York Times bestseller and went on to be recognized as a classic of the field, published in numerous international editions and taught in college courses on both literature and criminology. Subsequently, Shubin wrote more than a dozen other novels, including one, The Captain, that was a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award and selected for the mystery reference work 100 Great Detectives.
ROBERT SILVERBERG (Blood On the Mink)
A five-time winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards and Grandmaster of the Science Fiction Writers of America, Robert Silverberg is one of the most acclaimed modern authors of fantasy and science fiction. Before publishing his best-known science fiction, however, Silverberg wrote more than one million words in other genres under a variety of fake names, including numerous paperback crime novels and stories for pulp magazines such as Trapped, Guilty, and Double-Action Detective.
MICKEY SPILLANE (Dead Street, The Consummata)
Frank Morrison "Mickey" Spillane is the legendary crime writer credited with igniting the explosion of paperback publishing after World War II as a result of the unprecedented success of his Mike Hammer novels, starting with I, The Jury in 1947. Spillane's novels sold tens of millions of copies—I, The Jury went through more than 60 paperback printings in 1947 alone—and a dozen other paperback publishers quickly sprang up to cash in on the reading public's appetite for sexy, violent, straight-talking crime stories in the Spillane vein. In addition to the 13 Mike Hammer novels Spillane published during his lifetime, Spillane wrote standalone suspense novels, comic book stories, and even award-winning children’s books. He also dabbled in film and television, starring as Mike Hammer in The Girl Hunters and appearing as himself in a long-running series of TV commercials for Miller Lite beer. In 1995, he was named a Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization’s highest honor. Mickey Spillane died at the age of 88 in 2006.
DOMENIC STANSBERRY (The Confession)
Domenic Stansberry has been nominated three times for the Edgar Allan Poe Award and received the Edgar for his Hard Case Crime novel The Confession. He received his earlier nominations for The Spoiler and The Last Days of Il Duce (which was also nominated for the Hammett Prize). His other novels include Manifesto For the Dead, an evocative look at the latter days of pulp writer Jim Thompson. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, the poet Gillian Conoley, and their daughter Gillis.
RICHARD STARK (Lemons Never Lie)
"Richard Stark" is the best-known pseudonym of multiple Edgar Award winner and MWA Grandmaster Donald E. Westlake. As Stark, Westlake wrote more than 20 books about the ruthless professional thief Parker, starting with The Hunter, which was the basis for both the movie "Point Blank" starring Lee Marvin and, 32 years later, the movie "Payback" starring Mel Gibson. He also wrote four books about Parker’s sometime partner in crime, Allan Grofield, of which Lemons Never Lie is by far the darkest.
JASON STARR (Bust, Slide, The Max, Fake I.D.)
The author of the first original novel ever published in the prestigious Vintage/Black Lizard line (Hard Feelings), Jason Starr has won raves for his work from publications ranging from The New York Times to Entertainment Weekly, which compared him to Jim Thompson and James M. Cain. In 2004, he received the Barry Award for his novel Tough Luck, and in 2005 he won the Anthony Award for Twisted City. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Starr now makes his home in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.
ROBERT TERRALL (Kill Now, Pay Later)
Under his own name and the pseudonyms "Robert Kyle" and "Jose Gonzalez," Robert Terrall wrote many popular and well-reviewed crime novels, including the prescient 1948 classic A Killer Is Loose Among Us, about a biological weapons lab developing weaponized anthrax for use in a terrorist attack. He is best known, however, for his comic work, including the Ben Gates series that began with Blackmail, Inc. in 1958 and included Kill Now, Pay Later. After the creator of detective Mike Shayne, Davis Dresser, stopped writing novels as "Brett Halliday," Terrall also took over these duties, turning out more than two dozen Mike Shayne novels under the Halliday name.
GORE VIDAL (Thieves Fall Out)
Gore Vidal was one of America’s greatest and most controversial writers. The author of twenty-three novels, five plays, three memoirs, numerous screenplays and short stories, and well over two hundred essays, he received the National Book Award in 1993.
ELISSA WALD (The Secret Lives of Married Women)
Elissa Wald is the author of MEETING THE MASTER (Grove Press) and HOLDING FIRE (Context Books). Her work has also been published in multiple journals and anthologies, including Beacon Best of 2001, Creative Nonfiction, The Barcelona Review, The Mammoth Book of Erotica, Nerve: Literate Smut, The Ex-Files: New Stories about Old Flames, and Brain, Child Magazine. She has also worked as a stripper, run away to join the circus, and lived on a Native American reservation. She is a graduate of Columbia University.
DONALD E. WESTLAKE (361, Somebody Owes Me Money, The Cutie, Memory, The Comedy Is Finished)
Donald E. Westlake is widely regarded as one of the great crime writers of the 20th Century, and by some enlightened souls (including those at Newsweek) as one of the great writers of the century, period. He won three Edgar Awards and was named a Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America. Many of his books have been made into movies; Westlake also wrote the screenplay for "The Grifters," for which he received an Academy Award nomination.
CHARLES WILLIAMS (A Touch of Death)
Charles Williams was the prolific author of numerous seminal novels published under the Gold Medal imprint, including Dead Calm, which became the movie starring Nicole Kidman (and was the basis of Orson Welles’ legendary unfinished movie, "The Deep"); Hell Hath No Fury, which was filmed as "The Hot Spot," directed by Dennis Hopper and starring Jennifer Connelly, Virginia Madsen, and Don Johnson; and The Long Saturday Night, which was the basis for Francois Truffaut’s last film, "Confidentially Yours." Williams also wrote screenplays, including ones for "The Pink Jungle" starring James Garner and "Don’t Just Stand There!" starring Mary Tyler Moore.
ARIEL S. WINTER (The Twenty-Year Death)
A long-time bookseller at The Corner Bookstore in New York City and Borders in Baltimore, Ariel S. Winter is also the author of the children’s picture book ONE OF A KIND (Aladdin) and of the blog We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie, devoted to the rediscovery of long-forgotten children’s books written by literary icons such as John Updike, Langston Hughes, and Gertrude Stein. His writing has appeared in The Urbanite and on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and in 2008 he won the Free Press “Who Can Save Us Now?” short story contest. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
CORNELL WOOLRICH (Fright)
Cornell Woolrich is widely regarded as the twentieth century’s finest writer of pure suspense fiction. The author of numerous classic novels and short stories (many of which were turned into classic films) such as Rear Window, The Bride Wore Black, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Waltz Into Darkness, and I Married a Dead Man, Woolrich began his career in the 1920s writing mainstream novels that won him comparisons to F. Scott Fitzgerald. The bulk of his best-known work, however, was written in the field of crime fiction, often appearing serialized in pulp magazines or as paperback novels. Because he was prolific, he found it necessary to publish under multiple pseudonyms, including "William Irish" and "George Hopley"; it was under the latter name that he originally published Fright, and until Hard Case Crime’s edition it has never appeared under his real name. Woolrich lived a life as dark and emotionally tortured as any of his unfortunate characters and died, alone, in a seedy Manhattan hotel room following the amputation of a gangrenous leg. Upon his death, he left a bequest of one million dollars to Columbia University, to fund a scholarship for young writers.
ROGER ZELAZNY (The Dead Man's Brother)
One of the most celebrated authors in the field of fantasy and science fiction, Roger Zelazny was nominated a remarkable 14 times for each of the field’s two most prestigious awards, the Hugo and the Nebula, and won 6 and 3 of each, respectively. He wrote such classic fantasy novels as Lord of Light, My Name Is Legion, and Damnation Alley, as well as the best-selling "Amber" series that begins with Nine Princes In Amber. His work has been adapted to film, television, and the computer game medium. When he died in 1995, he left behind, unpublished, the manuscript of the only straight (non-science fictional) thriller he ever wrote, The Dead Man’s Brother.