BRANDED by A.C. Abbott

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“Grade A” New York Times

Rock Kendall is a wanted man, framed for killing a woman, and is intent on clearing his name while being pursued for the big bounty on his head. He has to find Ash Carlton, who committed the murder and has sent killers of his own after Rock to make sure the truth never comes out. Along the way, Rock helps a young, female rancher battling rustlers…which not only complicates his pursuit of vengeance but puts his life in even more danger.

“BRANDED is really hardboiled. Rock Kendall gets shot, stabbed, punched, kicked, and knocked out more than once in the course of this book, but he absorbs all that punishment and keeps coming back stubbornly for more as he tries to clear his name and avenge himself on the man who betrayed him. An excellent writer.” James Reasoner, Rough Edges Blog

“A.C. Abbott welded together drama, suspense and romance and came up with a different touch of cowboy stories that will captivate the reader to its entirety. The climax is the greatest of all western epics.” Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

“Seethes with strife and killing, BRANDED is a lively western, culls the villain in pages of swift-moving plot that involves woman-killing, cattle-rustling, and romance.” The Cedar Rapids Gazette

“If you like your books filled with roaring six-guns and continuous action, BRANDED will fill the bill.” Lansing State Journal

“A dramatically satisfying novel of western in cattle-land. Abbott’s prose has a sprightly quality that will satisfy the most discriminating reader. An interesting story, thrill-packed to the final page.” The Dispatch (Moline, Illinois)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A.C. Abbott was the pseudonym of Helen Abbott Meinzer, who wrote 70 stories for western pulps in the 1930s and 40s, and died in 1963 in her mid-forties. She only wrote two novels, WILD BLOOD and BRANDED, both of which have been reissued by Cutting Edge.

NAVARRO by Carse Boyd (aka David Stacton)

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“The characters are boldly drawn and interesting, and Boyd writes with real style. One of the best westerns of the year. ” Daily Oklahoman

In the mid-1800s, banditos swarmed into Arizona and Texas from Mexico, driven by the poverty and despair of a divided country, and terrorized homesteaders, ranchers and Indians, looting, burning, raping and killing. Navarro and his band were the worst of the banditos. No ranch, gringo or Indian was safe from his savage cruelty. But that changes when Navarro brutalizes and kills Sis Henshaw. Now her furious brothers are chasing after him, hell-bent on violent and total retribution….and Navarro is discovering what real terror feels like.

“For those who like them fast-moving and brutal. It’s excellent!” San Angelo Times

“Carse Boyd” was a pseudonym for David Derek Stacton (1923-1968), an acclaimed American poet and author, under various names, of literary fiction, historical novels, and soft-core gay porn. He was a two-time recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and also received a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His work ranged from lurid tales like D is for Delinquent to a non-fiction book about the fall of Constantinople. His books under his own name include The Bonapartes, The Judges of the Secret Order, A Signal Victory and People of the Book: A Novel of the Thirty Years War. He died in Denmark in 1968.

PRAISE FOR DAVID STACTON (aka CARSE BOYD):

“A stylistic virtuoso, matching on the typewriter the lightning flashes of such musical masters as Paganini on the violin,” The Chicago Tribune

“John Banville comes to mind as an author who so easily switches gears from fustian to fetid…it is fascinating to watch Stacton working out in the noirs the kind of novelist he would become. From the beginning, Stacton is drawn to a certain kind of person, the kind who is the ‘victim of the propulsive force of his own character.'” Los Angeles Review of Books

“The prose of David Stacton is like that of no other writer. It suggests a corridor in a dark Gothic tower, ill-lit by tapers, at one end of which a gong sounds incessantly.”Time Magazaine

“The most unjustly neglected American novelist of the post-war years, David Stacton’s ambitious high style and melodrama have seen him banished. It’s time for a return to favour. Few writers have managed more fully than Stacton to bear out Gore Vidal’s maxim that writers shouldn’t ‘write what they know’ but, rather, what they imagine or suspect.’… and yet, Stacton himself can be seen to hide in plain sight behind everything he wrote.” The Guardian (London)

“His prose reveals great cultural depth and breadth. He uses language lovingly. Almost every sentence contains a striking metaphor or simile. Aphorisms sparkle from paragraph to paragraph.” Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“David Stacton is a major writer who has the approval of critics but so far lacks the consent of readers at large. In short, it’s the story of literary virtue unrewarded…his novels are enjoyable as well as admirable.” Oakland Tribune

THE BAD GIRLS by Bud Clifton (aka David Stacton)

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A brutal, startling novel that vividly captures all the yearnings, drama and tragedy of two girls gone bad…innocent teenagers who defy society’s rules for a thrill…and end up on the main line to the gutter.

Teens Allie and Janey leave their small town home for the glamor and excitement of the big city…and find the energy, the bustle, and the hard, neon glare of downtown irresistable. They end up at the Jickey Club, drawn by the hot-jazz-filled atmosphere and the hint of danger. They should have taken the hint…because they soon fall into the dark underworld of drugs and prostitution…and may not get out alive.

“Bud Clifton” was a pseudonym for David Derek Stacton (1923-1968), an acclaimed American poet and author, under various names, of literary fiction, historical novels, and soft-core gay porn. He was a two-time recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and also received a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His work ranged from lurid tales like D is for Delinquent to a non-fiction book about the fall of Constantinople. His books under his own name include The Bonapartes, The Judges of the Secret Order, A Signal Victory and People of the Book: A Novel of the Thirty Years War. He died in Denmark in 1968.

PRAISE FOR DAVID STACTON (aka BUD CLIFTON):

“A stylistic virtuoso, matching on the typewriter the lightning flashes of such musical masters as Paganini on the violin,” The Chicago Tribune

“John Banville comes to mind as an author who so easily switches gears from fustian to fetid…it is fascinating to watch Stacton working out in the noirs the kind of novelist he would become. From the beginning, Stacton is drawn to a certain kind of person, the kind who is the ‘victim of the propulsive force of his own character.'” Los Angeles Review of Books

“The prose of David Stacton is like that of no other writer. It suggests a corridor in a dark Gothic tower, ill-lit by tapers, at one end of which a gong sounds incessantly.”Time Magazine

“The most unjustly neglected American novelist of the post-war years, David Stacton’s ambitious high style and melodrama have seen him banished. It’s time for a return to favour. Few writers have managed more fully than Stacton to bear out Gore Vidal’s maxim that writers shouldn’t ‘write what they know’ but, rather, what they imagine or suspect.’… and yet, Stacton himself can be seen to hide in plain sight behind everything he wrote.” The Guardian (London)

“His prose reveals great cultural depth and breadth. He uses language lovingly. Almost every sentence contains a striking metaphor or simile. Aphorisms sparkle from paragraph to paragraph.” Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“David Stacton is a major writer who has the approval of critics but so far lacks the consent of readers at large. In short, it’s the story of literary virtue unrewarded…his novels are enjoyable as well as admirable.” Oakland Tribune

CARNIVAL GIRL by Max Gareth aka Stuart James

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A sensational story of sex and struggle set against the flaming background of a traveling carnival, where kind hearts clash with ruthless passions, and savage lust takes the place of love..

A pretty face, a love hungry body of nurturing beauty…Norma is young and green. Norma has fought to keep her virginiity since the age of twelve from the hands of her drunken, lustful stepfather. She flees from home and keeps going for three crazy days, heading west without money or clothes. She joins a traveling carnival and becomes their star performer, the sexy sensation of the show, the sensual woman every man wanted to possess and every woman wanted to be. But she’s swept up in a sweet, aching glorious storm of passion and pleasure that threatens to consume her…body and soul.

“Max Gareth” was the pseudonym of Stuart James, author of Bucks County Report and Frisco Flat, among other novels.

“A fast-moving, compelling tale that has a literate, well-written style and lots of interesting carnival background. A very readable, entertaining yarn. Clearly, Stuart James was a natural storyteller.” James Reasoner, author of more than 350 novels under various pseudonyms.

THE LEDRU BAKER JR. READER: Four Full Novels

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Three unforgettable novels by noir master Ledru Baker Jr. in one volume

AND BE MY LOVE
The blockbuster, million copy bestseller in 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…but she wanted another. They tried all the pleasures and they knew all the pain.

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.

BRUTE MADNESS
Mark Mitchell is a playboy atomic rocket scientist who marries the wrong woman…and is betrayed in the worst possible way. He is quickly arrested, convicted of treason, and sentenced to life in prison. But that’s only the beginning of his nightmare in this lightning-fast, insanely unpredictable, brutal Cold War noir thriller.

THE COMPLETE RICHARD HIMMEL – All 12 Novels

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ALL 12 NOVELS by Richard Himmel, one of the greatest hard-boiled crime writers of the “Gold Medal” era, in one volume.

Throughout the 1950s, Richard worked by day as an interior designer and at night as a successful writer of paperback original crime novels. His first book, I’ll Find You was a massive, multi-million copy bestseller that almost single-handedly put Fawcett Crest’s famed “Gold Medal Paperbacks” on the literary map. He followed that book with four sequels in the “Johnny Maguire” series and four stand-alone novels.

I’ll Find You (Johnny Maguire #1) 1950
The Shame aka Soul of Passion & Strange Desires ) 1950
The Chinese Keyhole (Johnny Maguire #2) 1951
I Have Gloria Kirby (Johnny Maguire #3) 1951
The Sharp Edge 1952
Beyond Desire 1952
Two Deaths Must Die (Johnny Maguire #4) 1954
Cry of the Flesh 1955
The Rich and the Damned (Johnny Maguire #5) 1958

At this point, his career as an interior designer was exploding, making him a national (and soon international sensation), so he took almost 20 years away from the typewriter, before returning to print with a trio of big, sexy, global spy thrillers in 1977.

The 23rd Web 1977
Lions at Night 1979
Echo Chambers 1982

THE BEST PULP NOIR FICTION VOLUME SIX: 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 HOODS TAKE OVER by Ovid Demaris * BEYOND DESIRE by Richard Himmel * FRISCO FLAT by Stuart James * BRUTE MADNESS by Ledru Baker, Jr.

THE HOODS TAKE OVER
The East Coast mob has moved to Los Angeles and nobody seems willing to stand up to their campaign of terror. But that changes when a young teacher out shopping for groceries witnesses a brutal mob murder, identifies the killers for the police, and is immediately targeted for death. It’s one ordinary man with integrity up against mobsters without a soul. He doesn’t stand a chance… or does he? This book was adapted into the 1958 movie Gang War starring Charles Bronson.

“This is the kind of novel the term ‘Noir’ was coined for..” NB Magazine UK

BEYOND DESIRE
Clarissa…in her arms, Peter achieved manhood. She taught him that to love too many women was to love none at all. He was obsessed with her, drugged by her warmth and willingness. By now, he was ready to kill himself and her if she refused him…

“Decidedly off-beat but nonetheless absorbing. Himmel makes a most unusual story convincing. He should rake’em in.” Pensacola News-Journal

FRISCO FLAT
When his father is beaten-to-death, Korean War vet and ex-prize fighter Frankie Cargo returns to his home in the small, northern California waterfront town of Frisco Flat. Cargo has inherited his father’s fishing boat business and trouble from Sam Barlow, the vicious local cannery owner who rules the town with fear…and with the iron fist of the psychopathic and corrupt Sheriff. If that wasn’t bad enough, Barlow gets involved with the Sheriff’s lover, the voluptuous Tosca Sorrento, who wants more than any man can give. But Barlow won’t be pushed…and never backs down from a fight.

“Pretty darned good. Frisco Flat moves along well. The book is a little better written, a little more literary in places, than many of the hard-boiled novels from that era,” James Reasoner, author of Texas Wind

BRUTE MADNESS
A wild, hard-boiled, pulp novel that will leave you breathless. Once the action starts, it doesn’t let up. Mark Mitchell is a playboy atomic rocket scientist who marries the wrong woman…and is betrayed in the worst possible way. He is quickly arrested, convicted of treason, and sentenced to life in prison. But that’s only the beginning of his nightmare in this lightning-fast, insanely unpredictable, brutal Cold War noir thriller. 

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

BRUTE MADNESS by Ledru Baker Jr.

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A wild, hard-boiled, pulp novel that will leave you breathless. Once the action starts, it doesn’t let up…

Mark Mitchell is a playboy atomic rocket scientist who marries the wrong woman…and is betrayed in the worst possible way. He is quickly arrested, convicted of treason, and sentenced to life in prison. But that’s only the beginning of his nightmare in this lightning-fast, insanely unpredictable, brutal Cold War noir thriller.