I am honored to participate in Dutton’s re-launch of Guilt Edged Mysteries. Penguin, through this Dutton line, is celebrating the 65th anniversary of the imprint that had among its original writers — Mickey Spillane, Frederic Brown and Gore Vidal (writing as Edgar Box) — by publishing new works that reflect the tough, fast reads of the early books, but with a decidedly fresh, contemporary sensibility.
The launch of the e-book line includes the novella by NPR editor Krishnadev Calamur, Murder in Mumbai as well as “Skin,” a Mike Hammer short story begun by Spillane and completed by the legendary author’s respected collaborator and award-winning mystery novelist Max Allan Collins. These two are available now. I’m pleased to announce that my own novella, Death in the Haight, is next in the series of new books released by Dutton as part of this revival and will be available August 21. Dutton Guilt Edged Mysteries plans to release many more short stories and novellas in the months to come.
My contribution is a new work that features private eye Noah Lang from the Paladino/Lang San Francisco mysteries. When Michael Vanderveer goes missing in San Francisco Lang assumes it’s just another runaway escaping to the Haight, San Francisco’s home to the displaced… until the homicide cops pay him a visit. Fifteen-year-old Michael has been implicated in the murder of a prostitute, and the police don’t want Lang mucking up their investigation — especially Inspector Stern, who has strong opinions about Lang’s questionable past. But Lang becomes inextricably involved when Michael’s parents hire him: Michael is being ransomed, and they want Lang to ensure the exchange goes smoothly. As everyone waits for the kidnappers to make their next move, Lang struggles with the Vanderveers, who are far from their Michigan home; confused by the twisted details of the case; and wrestling with the moral implications of rescuing Michael, only to have to turn him in for murder. All the while, Lang must deal with Stern, whose increasingly volatile behavior may just put Lang’s life in as grave danger as Michael’s.
Death in the Haight will be available August 21 from the usual e-Book sources.