Re: RARA-AVIS: New hardboiled paperback mystery series

Date: 17 Aug 2003


Re your request for reprint suggestions:

> 1) REPRINTS: While I already have a list of a few
> dozen of my favorite
> long-out-of-print titles to pursue (and only ~6
> reprint slots to fill,
> at least initially), if any of you have suggestions
> of obscure items I
> ought to look into . . . I'd
> be grateful to get
> them.

Somebody's already mentioned our own James Reasoner's TEXAS WIND. That's one I'd love to see in some affordable edition. Here're a few more suggestions.

Stephen Marlowe's CHET DRUM series. They've been out-of-print since the late '60s and are long over-due for a reprinting. Drum was your basic Marlowe clone
(and Milton Lesser's choice of a pen name may have been an acknowledgement of that fact), with the added ingredient of world travel. The Marlowe/Prather collaboration DOUBLE IN TROUBLE is one of my favorite PI novels.

Bart Spicer's CARNEY WILDE series. One of the best, and least-known, PI series of the '50s. With a Philadelphia setting that was unique at the time.

After doing two novels and one short story collection based on DRAGNET, Richard Deming took all his cop research and did a well-regarded two-book police procedural PBO series series about a narc in a fictional Southern California metropolis, VICE COP and DEATH OF A PUSHER. They're both about due for republication.

Ben Benson was an unsung pioneer of the procedural genre. He had two separate series going about the Massachusetts State Police, one featuring rookie Trooper RALPH LINDSEY the other featuring Chief of Detectives WADE PARIS. The author died young, in the late '50s or early '60s, and the books have never been seen again.

Dolores Hitchens wrote two books about a LA-area PI named JIM SADER, which Bill Pronzini called the best PI novels written by a woman, setting them even higher than Leigh Brackett's NO GOOD FROM A CORPSE. I've never been able to find them at affordable prices. You maight be able to make them available. With her husband, Bert Hitchens, a detective in the Southern Pacific Railroad Police, she also did a hell of a good five-book series procedural series about railroad cops in Los Angeles.

As for originals, maybe you could make Donald Hamilton's final, so-far-unpublished Matt Helm novel avialable. If you're emulating the Gold Medal line, what could be more appropriate?

I understand that the late E. Richard Johnson may have left behind an unpublished MS about his regular series character, Midwestern homicide cop Tony Lonto, that should probably also see the light of publication.

Best of luck in this venture. I'd love to see it succeed.




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