The Best Pulp Noir Fiction Volume Five: Four Hard-Boiled Novels

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Four complete novels of raw, hard-boiled, pulp noir greatness by four masters of the genre, back-in-print for the first time in sixty years.

The Long Night By Ovid Demaris * The Cheaters by Ledru Baker Jr. * Johnny Come Deadly by Philip Race * Die on Easy Street by James Howard

THE LONG NIGHT
Vince Slader is an ex-cop-turned-PI who is hired by a casino to hunt down a gambler with a $28,000 tab in return for a percentage of the debt. It seems like a straight-forward job until Slader winds up framed for murder. As if that isn’t bad enough, he becomes a target of hard-charging politicians and the West Coast mafia.

“Demaris saturates the prose with gunplay, fast cars and sexy women. The criminals are edgy, but the hero is a valid, uncompromising tough guy who serves as the perfect crime combatant.” The Paperback Warrior

THE CHEATERS
A crime lord strong-arms Jack Griffith, a struggling musician, into spying on his wife Mardi, who he suspects is cheating on him…but things go very wrong when Jack falls for her himself.

This book was adapted into the 1990 Canadian TV movie Frame Up Blues aka Le Danse du Scorpion

JOHNNY COME DEADLY
Johnny was a crap game hustler, but when he blew into town they pegged him wrong. The cops said, ‘Killer,’ and slugged him simple. ‘Lover,’ the rich gal said, and got him even worse mixed up. Next came the ex-striptease queen with the heart of gold or pewter, and the Happiness Boys from the Syndicate. All Johnny had going for him was a fast pair of legs, a faster set of wits, and just maybe, the one female around who could be counted on to win it or lose it for keeps. A fickle broad named Lady Luck.

DIE ON EASY STREET
The ocean tide washed the body up on the beach. It was a woman’s nude body, without a face or a left hand. And when Steve Ashe discovered the remains of the once-beautiful redhead, he vowed to find her killer and hound him to the gallows. But to do it, Ashe has to tangle with a crooked private eye, an insanely jealous photographer, and a kill-crazy police chief…

“Steve Ashe is a badass!” The Paperback Warrior

The Best Pulp Noir Fiction Volume Four: Four Hard-Boiled Novels

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Four complete novels of raw, hard-boiled, pulp noir greatness by four masters of the genre, back-in-print for the first time in sixty years.

I Like It Tough by James Howard * Killer Take All by Philip Race * Be My Victimby Robert Dietrich * And Be My Love by Ledru Baker Jr.

I LIKE IT TOUGH
It’s 1955 in Neon City, USA. The vice syndicate’s slimy tentacles stretched everywhere through the corrupt city and only reporter Steve Ashe knows the dark story behind the multi-million dollar traffic in dope and white slavery. And because he knows…he’s a walking dead man.

KILLER TAKE ALL
They call him Johnny Berlin and he has an instinct for cards… for trouble…and for women. He’d dealt at all the biggest tables in Reno and Vegas. He’d told the head of the gambling syn­dicate to go to hell–and repeated the message to his hired killers. He’d had women throwing themselves at him at every turn… and he loved it. That was Johnny Berlin. Who would have thought he’d find the dice loaded against him in a peanut-sized town off a back road in northern California? Who would have thought he’d fall for a nice girl? And who would have thought he’d risk his life for her? Nobody…least of all Johnny Berlin himself.

BE MY VICTIM
Coral City, Slade County, Florida in 1956. By day, the tourist robbery is genteel… practiced by scrubbed and bowing clerks, merchants, and restauranteurs who wait all year to gouge and swindle out-of-town customers. But it’s at night that the real money is made… at tourist cabins, at cockfights, and at plush, private clubs where the only winner is the house and nobody seems to care. Nobody except Pop Seegar, who owns everything that makse money and ruins lives in Slade County. But now Bruce Kendall, a stubborn, ex-Navy man & local building contractor, is unwilling to play Seegar’s lucrative, rigged game of graft and corruption… and that is unacceptable to the mob boss. When an attempt murder Kendall goes explosively wrong, and Kendall goes on a rampage of retribution, Seegar finds a woman to lure Kendall to his doom and restore the natural order of vice and corruption once and for all…

AND BE MY LOVE
The blockbuster, million copy bestseller of 1951, a beloved Gold Medal classic, is finally back-in-print to enthral a new generation with it’s raw, powerful description of a passionate love affair that had no limits. She belonged to one man…a violent gangster…but she wanted another, a womanizing writer. So she seduces the writer and tricks him into a quickie Las Vegas wedding that puts them both in mortal danger.

The Best Pulp Noir Fiction Volume Two: Four Hard-Boiled Novels

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Four complete novels of raw, hard-boiled, pulp noir greatness by four masters of the genre, back-in-print for the first time in sixty years

One For The Road by Robert Dietrich * The Captive by Norman Daniels * Self-Made Widow by Philip Race * The Chinese Keyhole by Richard Himmel

ONE FOR THE ROAD
It’s 1954. The man’s name is Larry Roberts. His home is the highway, working the rich widow racket from Miami to L.A. Now he gets into bed with a lusty young socialite who is plotting her own deadly twist on double indemnity…and the sucker this time might just be him.

THE CAPTIVE
World War II veteran Jeff Castle is living a quiet life as a big game hunter in Africa…until he’s called to the bedside of his dying, estranged grandfather in New York, where he learns he’s the sole heir to the man’s business: sixty hotels throughout the state. Castle barely has a chance to absorb the news when he’s seduced by a woman… who is murdered shortly after he leaves her bed. Now, instead of tracking game, he’s hunting for the woman’s killer in the concrete jungle. But the hunter is also the hunted, being stalked by vicous prey — the NY mob, who want to take the empire that he’s inherited, which isn’t what it seems.

SELF-MADE WIDOW
Johnny Babcock was the name on the life insurance policy for $100,000. Johnny Babcock was the name on all the identification found on the crumpled, burnt body found at the body of a ravine. Johnny Babcock’s grieving widwow gratefully accepted the cashier’s check from the insurance company. And all the while, Johnny Babcock lived on Skid Row, doubled-crossed by the wife he loved…and facing murder charges if he ever revealed his true identify. Is there a way out for Johnny that doesn’t put him in the grave…or behind bars?

THE CHINESE KEYHOLE
Ex-spy-turned-lawyer Johnny Maguire hadn’t visited Chinatown in a long time, and now he wasn’t there for the tourist attactions. Not that the Chinese Keyhole didn’t have plenty to offer–if you liked that sort of thin. Behind its pseudo-Oriental facade, the strip-club provided unusual entertainment for its off-beat clientele…and the performers were weirder than those who paid to watch them. Somewhere amongst the lust, sadism, and brutality there was the key to a Communist spy ring. And Johnny had to find it…through a mess of murder, mayhem, lust, and sadism he smashed his way to the Chinese Keyhole, where hell was set to music.

KILLER TAKE ALL by Philip Race (aka E.M. Parsons)

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They call him Johnny Berlin and he has an instinct for cards… for trouble…and for women.

KILLER TAKE ALL

He’d dealt at all the biggest tables in Reno and Vegas. He’d told the head of the gambling syn­dicate to go to hell–and repeated the message to his hired killers. He’d had women throwing themselves at him at every turn… and he loved it. That was Johnny Berlin. Who would have thought he’d find the dice loaded against him in a peanut-sized town off a back road in northern California? Who would have thought he’d fall for a nice girl? And who would have thought he’d risk his life for her? Nobody…least of all Johnny Berlin himself.

On his way from San Francisco, Johnny gets lost in the fog while driving the costal route to Portland, Oregon. Stopping to get directions from a stranger turns out to be deadly, when the man —a dangerous racketeer—turns up dead and Johnny is pegged as the killer. Now it’ll take all his smarts and toughness to save himself and the woman he loves.

JOHNNY COME DEADLY by Philip Race (aka E.M. Parsons)

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They call him Johnny Berlin and he has an instinct for cards… for trouble…and for women.

Johnny was a crap game hustler, but when he blew into town they pegged him wrong. The cops said, ‘Killer,’ and slugged him simple. ‘Lover,’ the rich gal said, and got him even worse mixed up. Next came the ex-striptease queen with the heart of gold or pewter, and the Happiness Boys from the Syndicate…

All Johnny had going for him was a fast pair of legs, a faster set of wits, and just maybe, the one female around who could be counted on to win it or lose it for keeps. A fickle broad named Lady Luck.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elmer Merle Parsons was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1926. In 1949, when he was 23 years old, he was convicted of burglary and grand theft for stealing a car from a Phoenix used car lot and leading police on a wild chase that ended in a crash. He served three years in Chino State Prison…but didn’t stay free for long. In 1955, he was arrested in Pasadena, CA for passing 22 stolen checks, which he told the court he needed to “tide him over” while awaiting money for a script he claimed he’d sold and because he couldn’t get a job due to his prison record. He was sentenced to five years in prison, which he served at San Quentin, where he became editor of the prison newspaper and sold his first novel, “Self Made Widow,” to Fawcett for $3500 advance under the pen-name “Philip Race.” He wrote wrote & published two more novels, “Killer Take All” and “Johnny Come Deadly,” under his pen name. After his release in 1960, he wrote one novel (“Dark of Summer”) and several westerns under his own name and also contributed scripts for many TV series, including Sea Hunt, Cheyenne, Ripcord, Bonanza, The Dakotas, The Virginian and Flipper.

SELF-MADE WIDOW by Philip Race (E.M. Parsons)

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“Until Death Do Us Part,” She Promised — With Murder in her Heart and Larceny on Her Mind

Johnny Babcock was the name on the life insurance policy for $100,000. Johnny Babcock was the name on all the identification found on the crumpled, burnt body found at the body of a ravine. Johnny Babcock’s grieving widwow gratefully accepted the cashier’s check from the insurance company. And all the while, Johnny Babcock lived on Skid Row, doubled-crossed by the wife he loved…and facing murder charges if he ever revealed his true identify. Is there a way out for Johnny that doesn’t put him in the grave…or behind bars?

“Packs plenty of punch…you will thrill to this master of mystery.”Brooklyn Record

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elmer Merle Parsons was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1926. In 1949, when he was 23 years old, he was convicted of burglary and grand theft for stealing a car from a Phoenix used car lot and leading police on a wild chase that ended in a crash. He served three years in Chino State Prison…but didn’t stay free for long. In 1955, he was arrested in Pasadena, CA for passing 22 stolen checks, which he told the court he needed to “tide him over” while awaiting money for a script he claimed he’d sold and because he couldn’t get a job due to his prison record. He was sentenced to five years in prison, which he served at San Quentin, where he became editor of the prison newspaper and sold his first novel, “Self Made Widow,” to Fawcett for $3500 advance under the pen-name “Philip Race.” He wrote wrote & published two more novels, “Killer Take All” and “Johnny Come Deadly,” under his pen name. After his release in 1960, he wrote one novel (“Dark of Summer”) and several westerns under his own name and also contributed scripts for many TV series, including Sea Hunt, Cheyenne, Ripcord, Bonanza, The Dakotas, The Virginian and Flipper.

KILLER TAKE ALL & JOHNNY COME DEADLY by Philip Race (E.M. Parsons)

Amazon

They call him Johnny Berlin and he had an instinct for cards… for trouble…and for women.

KILLER TAKE ALL

Johnny had dealt cards at all the biggest tables in Reno and Vegas. He’d told the head of the gambling syn­dicate to go to hell–and repeated the message to his hired killers. He’d had women throwing themselves at him at every turn… and he loved it. That was Johnny Berlin. Who would have thought he’d find the dice loaded against him in a peanut-sized town off a back road in northern California? Who would have thought he’d fall for a nice girl? And who would have thought he’d risk his life for her? Nobody–least of all Johnny Berlin himself.

On his way from San Francisco, Johnny gets lost in the fog while driving the costal route to Portland, Oregon. Stopping to get directions from a stranger turns out to be deadly, when that stranger—a dangerous racketeer—turns up dead… and Johnny is pegged as the killer. Now it’ll take all his smarts and toughness to save himself and the woman he loves.

JOHNNY COME DEADLY

Johnny was a crap game hustler, but when he blew into town they pegged him wrong. The cops said, ‘Killer,’ and slugged him simple. ‘Lover,’ the rich gal said, and got him even worse mixed up. Next came the ex-striptease queen with the heart of gold or pewter, and the Happiness Boys from the Syndicate…

All Johnny had going for him was a fast pair of legs, a faster set of wits, and just maybe, the one female around who could be counted on to win it or lose it for keeps. A fickle broad named Lady Luck.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elmer Merle Parsons was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1926. In 1949, when he was 23 years old, he was convicted of burglary and grand theft for stealing a car from a Phoenix used car lot and leading police on a wild chase that ended in a crash. He served three years in Chino State Prison…but didn’t stay free for long. In 1955, he was arrested in Pasadena, CA for passing 22 stolen checks, which he told the court he needed to “tide him over” while awaiting money for a script he claimed he’d sold and because he couldn’t get a job due to his prison record. He was sentenced to five years in prison, which he served at San Quentin, where he became editor of the prison newspaper and sold his first novel, “Self Made Widow,” to Fawcett for $3500 advance under the pen-name “Philip Race.” He wrote wrote & published two more novels, “Killer Take All” and “Johnny Come Deadly,” under his pen name. After his release in 1960, he wrote one novel (“Dark of Summer”) and several westerns under his own name and also contributed scripts for many TV series, including Sea Hunt, Cheyenne, Ripcord, Bonanza, The Dakotas, The Virginian and Flipper.