Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Big Four: Round One

As regular readers undoubtedly know, The Rap Sheet is in the midst of a weeklong book and CD giveaway competition, tied to the blog’s fourth anniversary celebration this coming Saturday. Being offered are four free copies of the new Mike Hammer detective novel, The Big Bang, written by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, plus four free copies of the latest original Hammer radio novel on CD, “The Little Death.”

Entry to this competition is earned by submitting a list of your four favorite private-eye novels. Full details can be found here. The deadline for entering is midnight on this coming Friday, May 21.

Want a sampling of the books already suggested? Below you will find 12 lists, submitted by Rap Sheet readers from all across North America and as far away as Australia. Some of their fiction choices are familiar; others are somewhat more obscure.

Joseph McCusker of Williamsville, New York:

The Lady in the Lake, by Raymond Chandler
The Eighth Circle, by Stanley Ellin
Interface, by Joe Gores
When the Sacred Ginmill Closes, by Lawrence Block

Shannon Chenoweth of Kissimmee, Florida:

The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler
The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett
I, the Jury, by Mickey Spillane
Cop Hater, by Ed McBain

Grant McKenzie of Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada:

Fletch, by Gregory Mcdonald
One Lonely Night, by Mickey Spillane
L.A. Requiem, by Robert Crais
The Magdalen Martyrs, by Ken Bruen

David Phillips of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania:

“A” Is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton (“maybe the most consistent
P.I. writer out there)
Dark Dream, by Robert Martin (“aside from Thomas Dewey’s P.I., [Martin’s Jim Bennett was] the most realistic P.I. in the’50s and greatly underappreciated”)
The Dead Are Discreet, by Arthur Lyons (“first P.I. book I read,
lead me to collect all those [P.I. Jacob Asch] titles”)
Falling Angel, by William Hjortsberg (“best surprise in a P.I. novel”)

Robert J. Randisi of Clarksville, Missouri:

The Doomsters, by Ross Macdonald
Act of Fear, by Michael Collins
Murder on the Wild Side, by Jeff Jacks
The Sins of the Father, by Lawrence Block

Frank Loose of Lawrenceville, Georgia:

The Zebra-Striped Hearse, by Ross Macdonald (“really, this is representing the entire [Lew Archer] series”)
The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett
Skakedown, by Roney Scott
Solomon’s Vineyard, by Jonathan Latimer

Scott Ford of Houston, Texas:

Darkness, Take My Hand, by Dennis LeHane
L.A. Requiem, by Robert Crais
A Tax in Blood, by Benjamin M. Schutz
No Good from a Corpse, by Leigh Brackett

David Foster of Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia:

The Other Side of Sorrow, by Peter Corris (“although I find it hard to pick just one Cliff Hardy title”)
Winter Kill, by Jon Cleary (“similarly, I find it hard to pick just one Scobie Malone title”)
The Kinky Friedman Crime Club, by Kinky Friedman (“I know this is a cheat; an omnibus. Stories include: ‘A Case of Lone Star,’ ‘Greenwich Killing Time,’ and ‘When the Cat’s Away’”)
The Girl Hunters, by Mickey Spillane (“and I thought it appropriate to include at least one Hammer tale”)

Jerry House of Lusby, Maryland:

The Killing Floor, by Arthur Lyons
Shackled, by Bill Pronzini
Ride the Lightning, by John Lutz
The Staked Goat, by Jeremiah Healy

David Stengele of Allentown, Pennsylvania:

Lay Her Among the Lilies, by James Hadley Chase
Sleeping Beauty, by Ross Macdonald
The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett
The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper, by John D. MacDonald

Patrick Foster of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada:

Early Autumn, by Robert B. Parker
Stolen Away, by Max Allan Collins
The Lonely Silver Rain, by John D. MacDonald
The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett

Sean O’Kane of Jersey City, New Jersey:

The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett
The Green Ripper, by John D. MacDonald
A Quiet Flame, by Philip Kerr
A Fine and Private Place, by Ellery Queen

Do you think you can put together a better list? Then enter our competition yourself. We’re always interested in more reading suggestions. And we love to give away free stuff!

1 comment:

bish8 said...

What a great list. Nice to see the late Arthur Lyons getting several mentions. He was excellent.