Small-Press Lineup: Hard Case Crime

2015_mystery-month-buttonSome of the biggest crime fiction is perpetrated by some of the smallest players. We’re determined to shine the spotlight on them before they break out and wreak havoc across the whole country. Read them—before they publish again!



Mugshot-charlesardaiLegal Name and Alias:

Charles Ardai (aka “Richard Aleas”)


Max Phillips, co-founder and art director

The good folks at Titan Books, publishers/distributors

Criminal Record:

Back in the winter of 2001, Max Phillips and I were drinking at the Blue Bar of the Algonquin Hotel and lamenting that no one back then was publishing the sort of paperback crime novels we used to read when we were growing up—short, cheap, with gorgeous cover paintings and suspenseful storytelling that grabbed you by the throat on page one and dragged you bodily through the story until it left you panting and breathless on the last page. With a few drinks in us, we came up with the idea of launching a new line of books like this ourselves. Miraculously, the idea hadn’t evaporated the next morning when all the alcohol had. It took us three years to put the pieces together, but then at last in 2004 Hard Case Crime was born.

We publish books that recall the glory days of pulp fiction and the post-war paperback explosion that brought us writers like Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake, Ross Macdonald, John D. Macdonald, Ed McBain, and Mickey Spillane. Our books are tight, hard gems of storytelling, unapologetically entertaining and addictive: you can’t read just one. We dare you to try. From heist stories and con-man capers to melancholy detective novels and dark-as-dark-gets noir tales of violence and despair, Hard Case Crime brings readers the gamut of hardboiled crime fiction, all with brand-new cover paintings that will make your pulse race.

In addition to Block, Westlake, McBain and Spillane, our authors have included Stephen King and Michael Crichton, James M. Cain and Gore Vidal, and award-winning rising stars like Christa Faust and Ariel S. Winter.

Our books are found in stores worldwide, distributed through Random House in the U.S. and Canada, and can be ordered through all major distributors.

Previous Offenses:

winter-twentyyeardeathGrifter’s Game, by Lawrence Block (2004)

Songs of Innocenceby Richard Aleas (2007)

Money Shot, by Christa Faust (2008)

The Twenty-Year Deathby Ariel S. Winter (2012)

mcbain-SoNudeSoDeadThe Cocktail Waitressby James M. Cain (2012)

Joyland, by Stephen King (2013)

Currently Plotting:

So Nude, So Deadby Ed McBain (July 2015)

The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes, by Lawrence Block (September 2015)

Pimp, by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr (March 2016)




About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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