Monday, September 07, 2009

They aren't on your Best of list? Means you haven't read 'em then

The University of Chicago Press is re-issuing the Richard Stark novels. If you write crime fiction, you can't call yourself well-read in the field unless you know these books. In fact, I think I may give prospective clients a written test to make sure they know what jugger, handle, and heeled all mean to Parker.


DeadlyAccurate said...

Wow, those sound awesome.

Jm Diaz said...

They have been added to my amazon list! I was looking for these today at the Decatur (GA) book festival... We had Lee Child pay us a visit. ;)

Sophie Playle said...

Ooh, I love the cover designs!

Lydia Sharp said...

I don't write crime fiction, but, based on the blurbs, I'm going to add these to my waiting-2-B-read pile. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Now you're talking. Westlake's recent death was a tragedy for readers everywhere, whether they know it or not.

'She reached out for the cigarettes on the night table. She was nude and, when she leaned to reach for the cigarettes, her breasts hung heavy for a moment. As she sat back again, they became firm again. She was a good animal.'

Travener said...

Great covers. I love the consistency in the use of different circular objects.

Diana said...

We have some of Stark's books at our library. I'd been wondering about them, and now I know I need to give them a try!

David Edgerley Gates said...

There's also a book that's not a Parker, but written as Stark, that features one of the guys in Parker's crew---is it Allen?---that falls halfway between a caper a la Dortmunder and a hard-boiled a la Parker. On the vocabulary front, when Allen tells somebody he's a thief, the guy asks him, you mean like a burglar? and Allen says, "No, I'm in the heavy."

Literary Cowgirl said...

jugger: where you keep the brew.
Get me a jugger of that corn mash.

handle: the training you put on a horse
I've got a good handle on that one.
or, the thing you grab on a bareback riggin
I need more rosin on this handle.

heeled: bringing up the rear of the beeves
Joe headed the herd and I heeled them.

Ok, I tried.

David Griffin said...

Hallo Janet, I discovered your blog a week or so ago: interesting posts, thank you!

I also really like the covers of the Richard Stark novels. And although I don't write crime fiction (or read it, for that matter) the designs would be enough for me to pick them up at a bookshop.

One can't underestimate the importance of a good book cover design, as you know.

Anonymous said...


Yeah, there are three or four Grofield books. Lemons Never Lie and, erm, I dunno. A few others.

Anonymous said...

Good call, bingol. As a fan of the Parker series, I respectfully submit that the books with Grofield as protag aren't nearly as good as the pure Parker books.

JS said...

The Alan Grofield books are Lemons Never Lie, The Damsel, The Dame, and The Blackbird.

And the coolest thing is that The Blackbird is Grofield's take on the same events that center on Parker in Slayground. If I ever got to teach a course in 20th-century noir, I'd assign the two books together.

David Edgerley Gates said...


Thanks for the head's up. The book I'm thinking of, Grofield is laying low in Mexico after a big score, and some rich ex-pat hires him for a job, which of course turns out to be a set-up.

One of the best Parker books is SLAYGROUND.


Lisa said...

Am new to your site. Just found you last night actually. Am loving the book suggestions as well as the info you've got for writers.

David Byck said...

Janet, a month or so ago I tried to buy these books on Amazon but found they were not available. A couple of weeks ago I flew to New York and visited Partners and Crime bookshop where I purchased all the back issues they had. I’m glad to hear they will be reprinted as I’m still missing at least half of them.

By the way, Roger Smith is a friend of mine and he turned me onto your website. I’m doing an edit on a manuscript that I hope to send to you Jan. 2010.

Until then,
David Byck