THE CHEATERS by Ledru Baker Jr.

Amazon

She opened the door to love… and death walked in.

He looked at the woman, slim and beautiful, the woman he’d been hired to ruin. Then he saw her haunted eyes and fell in love. After that, it was the two of them together in a merry-go-round of hate and fear… and murder.

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

BEYOND DESIRE by Richard Himmel

Amazon

Would he ever have the strength to resist her? To call his life his own once more?

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

THE SCARLET VENUS by Chalmers Green

Amazon
A wickedly subversive, unpredictable and powerful hard-boiled masterpiece…lost for generations, now rediscovered.

Soldier McQuade is a prizefighter in New York who goes back to his rural home when his widowed sister-in-law dies, leaving behind two kids. He’s accompanied by Tennessee Bell, his other sister-in-law, who is on the run from a violent lover. But that simple, seemingly conventional starting point doesn’t begin to do this story justice… and to say more would spoil the stunning plot twists that veer shockingly away from every cliche. 

 “A must-read for noir fans! More than sixty years after it was published, this book remains an exhilarating, wildly creative take on all the tropes and cliches of noir that, at the time, weren’t tropes or cliches yet. It’s hard to believe Chalmers Green didn’t write another book or become famous. Or did he under another name? It’s an intriguing mystery.” — Lee Goldberg, #1 New York Times bestselling author.

“There’s a kind of crazy brilliance to it. The writing style is hypnotic, assiduous about imagery, rich with lively internalization, all of which are artfully considered and delivered with an increasingly gripping pace. Chalmers Green, whoever he is or was, serves up some serious juice.” — David Spencer, from his Introduction

MISTRESS TO MURDER By Robert Dietrich (E. Howard Hunt)

Amazon
The fourth adventure in the Steve Bentley series. The Baron was dead and there were plenty of suspects, including his wife. A titled Lady with most unladylike tastes, she taught Steve Bentley that mixing in high society could be downright deadly.

“Steve Bentley [is] series fiction’s toughest tax accountant.” Bill Pronzini & Marcia Muller, 1001 Midnights, The Afficionado’s Guide to Detective Fiction

In life, he’d been every inch The Baron…master of an old Victorian mansion in Georgetown and all he could survey. But now Baron Alejandro Esquivel was just so much fodder for the worms…and it was up to Steve Bentley, ex-Spy-turned-CPA, to find out why. Bentley knews Esquivel’s wife Anita very well…and he knew her half-sister just well enough to know that he wanted to know her better

“As ‘Robert Dietrich,’ E. Howard Hunt wrote ten novels starring Steve Bentley, a Washington D.C. accountant who solves murders in private-eye style. The first thing to know about Bentley is that he isn’t just a paper-pushing CPA. He’s a Korean War veteran who was employed at one time by the U.S. Treasury Department. If you love vintage crime-fiction you should enjoy this tale.” The Paperback Warrior

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robert Dietrich was a pseudonym for E. Howard Hunt, better known for his role in the Watergate scandal rather than for his great crime novels. Gore Vidal wrote this about “Robert Dietrich” in The New York Times: “In 1957, H.H. gave birth to ‘Robert Dietrich.’ who specialized in thrillers, featuring Steve Bentley, formerly of the CID and now a tax consultant. H.H. plainly enjoys composing plausible (and implausible) biographies for his characters—not to mention for himself. In Contemporary Authors, H.H. composed a bio for his pseudonym Robert Dietrich, taking ten years off his age, putting himself in the infantry during Korea, awarding himself a Bronze Star and a degree from Georgetown.”

THE CAPTIVE by Norman Daniels

Amazon

“An engaging, thoroughly enjoyable literary work. Daniels pulls no punches – this is a violent crime yarn from cover-to-cover.” The Paperback Warrior

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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

American author Norman Daniels (real name Norman Danberg, 1905-1995) is best known for re-introducing pulp hero Black Bat in 1939. Daniels authored a number of short stories featuring the character for Black Book Detective. Arguably, Black Bat was the catalyst for DC Comics’ iconic Batman. Along with Black Bat, Daniels contributed stories for dozens of pulp magazines like Shadow, Gangster Stories, Thrilling Publications and All Detective. The author’s post-pulp career was immensely successful as Daniels utilized a number of pseudonyms to write crime-noir and adventure paperbacks for a variety of publishers. He also contributed scripts to the TV series Zane Grey Theater, General Electric Theater, Colt. 45, Sugarfoot and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. (Biography courtesy of The Paperback Warrior site)

THE CHINESE KEYHOLE by Richard Himmel

Amazon

Was the big blonde a willing victim to the sadist with the whip, or did she hold the key to the Communist spyring? Johnny had to know.

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. There was the statuesque blonde dancer for instance. She left nothing to the imagination of her audience, and she was beautiful: but she just wasn’t Johnny’s type. And he wasn’t crazy about her partner, either-the muscular but mincing ballet dancer who carried a vicious-looking whip and didn’t hesitate to use it.

But it was all in a day’s work . Somewhere amongst the lust, sadism, and brutality there was the key to a Communist spy ring. And Johnny had to find it…mayhem regardless of the risk. Through a mess of murder, mayhem, lust, and sadism he smashed his way to the Chinese Keyhole, where hell was set to music.

DARK OF SUMMER by E.M. Parsons

Amazon

A Summer Woman, a Child of The Devil, With a Hunger for Men… and Violence

An uncensored wanton was Marie, an unadulterated adultress who lived in a world of men — and enemies. There was a raging furnace fueled by greed and desire. Her passion was to inflame men and then consume them, leaving behind her the ashes of dead loves. In the summer resort where she reigned, man after man felt the touch of her fire, woman after woman shriveled up in her fierce glow…and the human debris mounted. Then the stranger came among them, a man with a past too heavy to carry, with a granite heart and hands to tear the world apart… or snuff out a life. And so they met, fire beat against unmelting rock, and the air of summer was charged with the stifling heat that comes before the storm.

“While still possessing the crime-noir elements, Dark of Summer is a textured romance novel about a man on the run settling into a quiet lakefront community in Pennsylvania. He’s faced with a number of seductive women including Marie, a corrupt businesswoman who’s feuding with owners in a bidding war for coveted real estate. If you enjoy seduction, romance and power struggles, Dark of Summer should fulfill your desires.” The Paperback Warrior

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 and one western, “Texas Heller,” under his own name. After his release in 1960, he wrote one novel (“Dark of Summer”) and several westerns (“Fargo,” “The Easy Gun”) under his own name and also contributed scripts for many TV series, including Sea Hunt, Cheyenne, Ripcord, Bonanza, The Dakotas, The Virginian and Flipper.

MURDER ON HER MIND by Robert Dietrich (E. Howard Hunt)

Amazon
The Fifth Steve Bentley Adventure

“Steve Bentley [is] series fiction’s toughest tax accountant.” Bill Pronzini & Marcia Muller, 1001 Midnights, The Afficionado’s Guide to Detective Fiction

She was a lush-bodied, Latin Chanteuse with a song on her lips, passion in her heart, and murder on her mind…

“My name is Steve Bentley, and I’d seen Chula Marques on TV before, but seeing Chula perform in person was something entirely different. The TV tube had always shot her from the waist up. Now I knew why.

Her voice was throaty and true, the way Latin voices are supposed to be, but nothing sensational. What made the customers edge forward was what she did with her hips and legs while she was singing. The message was a little too basic for the home audience.

Oh, she was quite a little girl all right, a girl of many faces. Daughter of a penny ante revolutionist, protegee of the biggest racketeer since Al Capone, estranged wife of a too-handsome Princetonian type who was drowning his misery the slow painful way.

My client, Chula Marques, singer of songs. My love, carrier of murder…”

“As ‘Robert Dietrich,’ E. Howard Hunt wrote ten novels starring Steve Bentley, a Washington D.C. accountant who solves murders in private-eye style. The first thing to know about Bentley is that he isn’t just a paper-pushing CPA. He’s a Korean War veteran who was employed at one time by the U.S. Treasury Department. If you love vintage crime-fiction you should enjoy this tale.” The Paperback Warrior

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robert Dietrich was a pseudonym for E. Howard Hunt, better known for his role in the Watergate scandal rather than for his great crime novels. Gore Vidal wrote this about “Robert Dietrich” in The New York Times: “In 1957, H.H. gave birth to ‘Robert Dietrich.’ who specialized in thrillers, featuring Steve Bentley, formerly of the CID and now a tax consultant. H.H. plainly enjoys composing plausible (and implausible) biographies for his characters—not to mention for himself. In Contemporary Authors, H.H. composed a bio for his pseudonym Robert Dietrich, taking ten years off his age, putting himself in the infantry during Korea, awarding himself a Bronze Star and a degree from Georgetown.”

THE HOODS TAKE OVER by Ovid Demaris

Kobo

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.

“Published in 1957, this crime story still has the power to shock. Even now this kind of nakedly nihilistic thriller isn’t common, this is the kind of novel the term ‘Noir’ was coined for. Brutal and doom laden, this vision of the world as it really is makes your heart race while your mind rages at the unfairness of life. It’s clear from this novel that Demaris is a writer of real talent, this polished thriller is as good as pulp fiction gets.” NB Magazine UK

THE LONG NIGHT by Ovid Demaris

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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.

“An enjoyable 1950s crime-fiction novel that retains most of the flavor of the genre’s mid-century pioneers. If you are a fan of authors like Frank Kane and Mickey Spillane, The Long Night is sure to please. 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