Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hard Case Crime - Old Style Pulp Crime Novels

Crime fiction readers have so much to choose from, everything from traditional cozy mysteries (e.g.Agatha Christie (M) or M.C. Beaton (M)) to far more edgy and disturbing modern crime novels (e.g. Stieg Larsson (M) or John Connolly (M)).

Somewhere in between sits the specialized sub-genre of pulp crime fiction (M). A neat combination of writing style, plot elements and a retro aesthetic. The appeal for most readers centres on the fast paced, plot driven stories, with a focus on the seedier and steamier side of life, typically set in the US of the 1930's - 70's. Contains a classic good vs evil battle, with many characters who aren't quite what they first seem. A puzzle is also usually there to be solved, with many unexpected twists and turns along the way.

Hard Case Crime is a US publisher who specializes in this style. Here is how they describe themselves:

"From World War II through the 1960s, paperback crime novels were one of the fastest-selling categories in book publishing. Millions of readers snapped up hundreds of millions of books by well-known authors like Erle Stanley Gardner and Mickey Spillane, as well as by promising young newcomers like Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake. These inexpensive, pocket-sized novels captured the public's imagination with jaw-dropping cover paintings and bare-knuckled prose that grabbed you by the collar with the first sentence and held you until the last page.

Hard Case Crime brings you the best in hardboiled crime fiction, ranging from lost noir masterpieces to new novels by today’s most powerful writers, featuring stunning original cover art in the grand pulp style.

Authors include award-winning modern masters like Stephen King, Lawrence Block, Max Allan Collins, and Donald E. Westlake, Golden-Age pulp stars like Erle Stanley Gardner, David Goodis, and Cornell Woolrich — and newcomers we predict will be the next generation of hardboiled bestsellers."

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