It’s a good thing that Bill Crider reads this blog. If you saw his comment on my post about trying to remember where I’d seen a photo of mystery writer Dan J. Marlowe recently, you already know that even though he is somewhat older than I am, his mind is at least twice as sharp.

   You’ll find a photo on the back of the upcoming collection from Stark House Press in which one of his books is going to be reprinted, Bill said. And so it is.


   And where is my copy of the ARC for this book? On the top of the pile of TBR books on the living room coffee table. I think I need a shorter leash, no doubt about it!

   While I was on the hunt, Greg Shepard and Mark Shepard, a couple of the head guys at Stark House, sent me photos of the cover of their upcoming book, from which I’ve uploaded the images that you see here.

   Contained in the book, coming out in April, 2007, are three novels published by Gold Medal back in the era when Gold Medal was THE publisher of tough, noirish, hard-boiled fiction, bar none:

      THE VENGEANCE MAN, Dan J. Marlowe (Gold Medal d1645, 1966)

      PARK AVENUE TRAMP, Fletcher Flora (Gold Medal 781, 1958)

      THE PRETTIEST GIRL I EVER KILLED, Charles Runyon (Gold Medal k1507, 1965)


   Well, maybe these are a little past Gold Medal’s prime in the era, but they’re still gritter and tougher than anything else published at the time, and if this is the kind of mystery and crime fiction that you prefer to read, take my word for it, you aren’t going to go wrong reading any of the three.

   Quite coincidentally, in today’s mail came my contributor’s copy of a two-in-one combo of stories by A. S. “Sid” Fleischman, Look Behind You Lady [+] The Venetian Blonde, also from Stark House Press.

   I wrote the introduction to the first book, based on a review I did of the book, and unbeknownst to me at the time, Mr. Fleischman, now in his late 80s, wrote an overall one for both. Luckily the two introductory essays seem to mesh together very well.


   I’ll post the review as a separate blog entry, coming up soon, and in the meantime, I’ll check in with Greg Shepard and see if I can’t have him say something about what’s in store from Stark House for the rest of the year.

   As for Dan J. Marlowe, to get back to the original inquiry, why not check out Josef Hoffman’s piece about him, “Playing with Fire,” quoted on the back cover next to the photo at the top of this page. You’ll find the article reprinted online at the old M*F website, along with a short essay on Marlowe’s Gold Medal fiction by Bill Crider, along with a bibliography of all of his book-length fiction. Recommended!