Re: RARA-AVIS: Serpents Tail and other suggested publishers.

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 15 Apr 2003

> As for defunct
> publishers, I've had a lot of fun with Blue Murder (not related to the
> equally defunct website). I'd love to see a complete listing, if
anybody has
> such a thing.
> Al
Al, I think this is a complete list for both series of Blue Murder but I can't be completely sure:

Simon & Schuster: No Good from a Corpse - Leigh Brackett The Tiger Among Us - Leigh Brackett 13 French Street / The Red Scarf - Gil Brewer The Burglar - David Goodis The Night of the Hunter - Davis Grubb Build My Gallows High - Geoffrey Homes The Big Heat - William P. McGivern The Red Right Hand - Joel Townsley Rogers Cutter and Bone - Newton Thornburg The Diamond Bikini - Charles Williams Rear Window and Other Stories - Cornell Woolrich Sleep With Strangers - Dolores Hitchens Sleep With Strangers - Dolores Hitchens

Xanadu: The Big Clock - Kenneth Fearing Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? - Henry Farrell Straw Dogs - Gordon M. Williams Somebody's Done For - David Goodis Solomon's Vineyard - Jonathan Latimer Texas By the Tail - Jim Thompson Scarface - Armitage Trail Scorpion Reef - Charles Williams Shock Corridor - Michael Avallone The Big Enchilada - L. A. Morse Manhattan Love Song - Cornell Woolrich*

(* I'm not sure that this one was published - it was listed on inside covers as on of several forthcoming titles but I've never seen it around, or any mention of it.)

Let me add a few other defunct publisher suggestions. Maxim Jakubowski, Blue Murder editor, first entered noir publishing with the Black Box thrillers for Zomba (whoever they were). This series was responsible for alerting a whole generation of nascent noiristas
(including me) to life beyond Hammett, Chandler & Cain. Each omnibus volume would reprint 3-4 novels by authors such as Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Cornell Woolrich, Horace McCoy & W. R. Burnett. I think these volumes are quite pricey on the net but you can still come across them in 2nd hand bookshops in Australia so I'd think the UK would be even better a place to look. Although not defunct, UK publishers Allison & Busby published the excellent American Crime series in the 80's with large runs of books by authors such as Chester Himes, Richard Stark & Ross Macdonald. Not part of the American crime series but contemporary to it and packaged similarly are the great Brit hardboiled novels of Ted Lewis such as Get Carter. And thinking of Black Lizard, you can't go too wrong by going back to the source of much of their material - Fawcett Gold Medal novels of the 50's & 60's. Some of the hipper authors are a bit pricey but you would still be able to get reasonably priced reading copies, especially if you didn't mind buying alternative cheaper editions as much of this stuff has been reprinted. In a less defunct vein, Prion are publishing a whole series of books that have been the basis of famous films and there seems to be a heavy noir/hardboiled theme predominating (Thieves Like Us, The Asphalt Jungle). Hopefully some useful info.


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