May 10, 2024
Hard Case Crime

Hard Case Crime

Celebrating its 20th anniversary

As Hard Case Crime marks its 20th anniversary, it’s a moment to reflect on a publishing journey that has both preserved and revitalized the allure of mid-century crime novels. This indie powerhouse has carved a distinctive niche by reviving the aesthetic and narrative zest of vintage pulp fiction—complete with tantalizing covers and twist-laden tales. As we explore their 2024 lineup, each title exemplifies their commitment to quality storytelling and the genre’s enduring appeal.

Nobody's Angel

February: Nobody’s Angel by Jack Clark

Jack Clark’s Nobody’s Angel offers a gritty portrayal of a Chicago cab driver navigating a city plagued by serial killers. Initially self-published and sold to passengers, this novel caught Quentin Tarantino’s eye, winning his accolade as the year’s best read. For its anniversary, Hard Case Crime is reissuing it, allowing new readers to experience its raw, compelling narrative.

March: Death Comes Too Late by Charles Ardai

Charles Ardai, co-founder of Hard Case Crime, showcases his storytelling prowess in Death Comes Too Late. This collection of 20 short stories spans heart-wrenching tales of war, love, and crime, including award-winning pieces recognized by Edgar and Shamus Awards. Ardai’s work not only captures the essence of the genre but also secures his reputation as a master craftsman of the short story.

Into The Night

May: Into the Night by Cornell Woolrich and Lawrence Block

Cornell Woolrich’s unfinished work, Into the Night, completed by Lawrence Block, is a gripping tale of accidental murder and subsequent quest for redemption. Re-edited with a new ending for this edition, this novel promises a fresh take on Woolrich’s noir legacy, ensuring that both authors’ contributions resonate with today’s readers.

June: How Like a God by Rex Stout

Before creating the iconic Nero Wolfe, Rex Stout penned How Like a God, an audacious narrative about a man on the brink of committing murder. Unavailable for over half a century, this reissue introduces a new generation to Stout’s earlier, experimental prose that had once garnered critical acclaim.


September: Too Many Bullets by Max Allan Collins

First published as a hardcover just before the anniversary year, Max Allan Collins’s Too Many Bullets revisits the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. This paperback edition continues exploring historical intricacies and conspiracy theories surrounding the tragic event, exemplifying Collins’s knack for weaving compelling historical mysteries.

October: Lemons Never Lie by Donald E. Westlake (writing as Richard Stark)

This rare entry in the Richard Stark canon, Lemons Never Lie, features a professional criminal ensnared in a vengeful plot after a botched heist plan. Westlake’s sharp, economical prose captures the essence of the hard-boiled genre, offering readers a robust tale of intrigue and retaliation.


November: Quarry’s Return by Max Allan Collins

In Quarry’s Return, Collins revives his longest-running series with a tense, engaging plot involving the kidnapping of Quarry’s daughter, a true-crime writer. This novel not only extends the gritty legacy of the professional killer but also reflects on the impacts of crime on family dynamics.

TBD: The Actor by Donald E. Westlake

Inspiring a major film adaptation, The Actor tells the haunting story of Paul Cole, an actor struggling with amnesia after a brutal assault. This poignant narrative delves deep into identity and memory, themes that resonate profoundly within the psychological corners of crime fiction.

Coming Soon

Through these releases, Hard Case Crime continues to champion the golden age of crime fiction while propelling it into contemporary relevance. As they celebrate two decades of unyielding passion for noir and hard-boiled wonders, their 2024 lineup is a testament to their enduring legacy and a treasure trove for aficionados of the genre.