Synopses & Reviews
Miranda Sugarman was supposed to be in the Midwest, working as an eye doctor. So how did she wind up shot to death on the roof of New York's seediest strip club? It's up to detective John Blake to uncover his ex-girlfriend's secret life as a strip tease queen. But the deeper he digs, the darker the secrets he uncovers, until a shattering face-off in an East Village tenement changes his life forever...
"Aleas's debut barrels forth at the speed of one of the Manhattan taxis its protagonist frequently catches and contains some whiplash-inducing plot twists. John Blake, an NYU dropout turned PI, is stunned to learn that his high school girlfriend, Miranda, who he thought went to medical school and then on to lead a tame life in the Midwest, actually became a stripper. Even more shocking she's been murdered. Angry and confused, Blake looks into Miranda's past, beginning at a 10th-rate strip joint owned by some unsavory characters. A dancer there helps him at her peril, and he endures some beatings himself as he nears the surprise conclusion. Still, despite the seedy settings, Aleas's writing is more tinged with insight than blood; Blake reflects that 'there is such a thing as... a sense of duty to the things of your past, even if they're not quite as beautiful as you remember.' Gritty New York streets and scummy apartments flash by briskly, but Aleas has a detective's eye for detail, which allows him to create some atmospheric scenes (when Blake walks through a busy section of Queens, he notes everything from the kosher certification sign in a bakery's window to a drugstore's 'out-of-season Coppertone displays'). Tightly written from start to finish, this crime novel is as satisfyingly edgy as the pulp classics that inspired it." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Excellent....[A] machine gun-paced debut....Aleas has done a fine job of capturing both the style and the spirit of the classic detective novel." Chicago Sun-Times
"Combine[s] the noir sensibility with emotional depth and superior writing." Baltimore Sun
"[A] slice of pulp heaven." January Magazine
In a stunning debut novel by a Shamus Award nominee, the former girlfriend of P.I. John Blake is found dead on the roof of New York's seediest strip club. Now he must uncover her secret life as a striptease queen.
About the Author
"Richard Aleas" is the pseudonym of an Edgar Award- and Shamus Award-nominated mystery writer and editor whose work has appeared in dozens of publications including Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, as well as anthologies such as Best Mystery Stories of the Year and The Year's Best Horror Stories. Little Girl Lost is his first novel.
From World War II through the 1960s, paperback crime novels were one of the fastest-selling categories in book publishing. Millions of readers snapped up hundreds of millions of books by well-known authors like Erle Stanley Gardner
and Mickey Spillane
, as well as by promising young writers like Lawrence Block
, Elmore Leonard
, and Ed McBain
. Today, Block, Leonard, and McBain still make the bestseller lists with each new hardcover but the pulp novels that first captured the public's imagination weren't hardcovers. They were paperbacks you could fit in your back pocket, with jaw-dropping cover paintings
and bare-knuckled prose that grabbed you by the collar with the first sentence and held you until the last page. No one's published books like that in years.
Hard Case Crime is dedicated to reviving the vigor and excitement, the suspense and thrills the sheer entertainment of the golden age of paperback crime novels, both by bringing back into print the best work of the pulp era and by introducing readers to new work by some of today's most powerful writers and artists. Determined detectives and dangerous women...fortune hunters and vengeance seekers...ingenious criminals and men on the run for their lives...Hard Case Crime novels offer everything you want from a great story, all in handsome and affordable mass-market editions.