The Hard Case Crime line of paperback crime novels was another victim of the Dorchester Publishing disaster in 2010 – but, much like the current king of zombies, Brian Keene, it’s rising from the ashes with what looks to be an incredibly strong comeback in 2011.
This year marks the first in HCC’s relationship with Titan Books, a UK-based publisher known primarily for big, oversized books on art and film. While it sounds like a strange fit when you consider the classic HCC packaging of a mass market paperback, all indications so far are that the distinctive look (painted covers, the yellow HCC ribbon) and format will be kept intact. Well, with a few exceptions – a story in Publishers Weekly has brought up the possibility that some HCC releases will be in the larger trade paperback format, and the first book in the relaunch, Lawrence Block’s Getting Off, will be the brand’s first hardcover release.
But, tweaks aside, Hard Case Crime is coming back strong with a quartet of releases beginning in September with the Block book and a second title, Mickey Spillane’s The Consummata. These initial releases will be followed in October by Quarry’s Ex, the latest in the popular Quarry series by Max Alan Collins, and Choke Hold, Christa Faust’s sequel to her Edgar-nominated HCC entry Money Shot. Covers and sample chapters from the new books, and from many of the previous books in the HCC line, can be found at their website.
The HCC line, with its mix of original titles and reprints, has long been one of my favorites, and I can’t wait to welcome it back to bookstore shelves later this year. Expect more here on the HCC front as we get closer to the publication dates.