Dave Zeltserman's Blog

February 10, 2015

The latest Julius Katz story is available in the current issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and you can read an excerpt from it online. 

Those who'd like to catch up on the earlier stories (plus read the original novella, Julius Katz and the Case of a Sliced Ham), The Julius Katz Collection is available as both a paperback and as a kindle ebook.

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Published on February 10, 2015 09:36 • 6 views

January 21, 2015

My collection featuring 7 Julius Katz stories, which have so far won 4 awards, is on sale now for $0.99. This will be the only time this year this collection will be on sale.

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Published on January 21, 2015 10:50 • 9 views

January 17, 2015

http://www.deutschlandradiokultur.de/mafia-roman-killer-schoen-deprimierend.1270.de.html?dram%3Aarticle_id=308855Killer was recently reviewed on German radio by one of the Germany's top crime fiction reviewers, Thomas Wortche. A good friend of mine who's fluent in a half-dozen different languages translated the review for me:

As of a few years ago one can observe a small renaissance of this romantic, yet often tasteless pathetic subgenre of criminal literature. The American author David Zeltserman and his novel "Killer" clearly belong to this tradition.

The story is, quite properly, nicely depressing. The main character is a contract killer for the mafia, who eliminated 28 people for his boss, but who at the end, for other reasons, blows up and gets an advantageous deal from the District Attorney. He rats out his boss and for that is freed again from a comfortable prison after just a laughable 14 years confinement.

A killer who kills well and gladly
Now he is an old, tired man who for a few dollars works as a cleaner [janitor] and must live in a dreadful, shabby apartment. All people hate him, all people despise him, his own kids are disgusted and traumatized by him. As he hinders a robbery, his person lands in the media, and we know that now the hunt for him is opened. And of course there is a pretty woman, who serves as coauthor of his autobiography, which, in light of [both] his misdeeds and his heroism will bring in a lot of money.

All will end, of that one is perfectly sure while reading, very horribly. But then Zeltserman spins the standard constellation of the Noir [genre] around, and fate is not inevitably tragic, there is worse than being unloved, joy can also be bought. Above all, when one reflects upon the virtue that one really has: the Killer can well and gladly kill.
Zeltserman makes out of a typical Noir loser, without greatly altering the environment, something a bit different: A species of neo-liberal version of the genre, in which he brings out that man whose actions will not be influenced by sentimentality. Only one thing is left over from the Classical concept: that beautiful women are not to be trusted.
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Published on January 17, 2015 14:22 • 4 views

January 2, 2015

WBUR Artery has its say

As does author Paul Tremblay

And a Regular Guy Reading Noir

Kingdom Books too.

Readers have also been finding Demons compulsively readable and a lot of fun. Here's what one reader from LibraryThing has to say:

"This was really fun. I haven't read a book that felt so compulsively readable for quite some time (and, like most LibraryThing members, I read a lot). The title pretty much tells you what to expect content-wise. Stylistically, the writing seemed excellent. Fans of Stephen King will very likely enjoy this one, although the tone felt a little lighter. Recommended for horror fans looking for something fun to devour in a couple of days."

And here are two recent reviews from Goodreads:

"Really good. I think this might be young adult but it's easily adult too. I was skeptical when I read the reviews but it was fast and funny and hard to put down."

"Very PG-13 for a high school classroom book, but I loved it. The protagonist has a great voice! I plan to check out the other books by this author"

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Published on January 02, 2015 06:39 • 14 views

December 27, 2014

In 2014, I released 3 very different books, one through a traditional publisher, one through a kickstarter effort, and one that was a compilation of previously published Julius Katz mysteries (with a new novella added for good measure).

The Interloper was my kickstarter project. Earlier I had written two ultra-hardboiled novellas, The Hunted and The Dame, that were a mix of government conspiracy and Richard Stark-like crime heists. and readers, especially Richard Stark fans, seemed to like them, so I decided to write a third one, The Interloper (with this one more the size of a Gold Medal-type novel) and then tie all them together as a single novel.

The Boy Who Killed Demons is my 4th novel published by Overlook Press, and this one is somewhere between horror and fantasy. Written as a journal by a 15 year-old kid who decides he needs to save the world from demons, this book is lighter and with more sarcastic humor than my other books. It's also written for both new adult readers (16 and up) and adults.

I previously had my Julius Katz stories divided up among different ebooks, but with two more stories published earlier in 2014 by Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, I decided to clean this up and put all 6 of them in one collection, while also writing a brand new Julius Katz novella for it. These are charming, lighthearted mysteries, although with a hardboiled edge, featuring my brilliant and very eccentric Boston detective, Julius Katz, and his erstwhile sidekick, Archie. So far these stories have won a Shamus, Derringer, and 2 Ellery Queen Readers Choice awards, and more stories will be coming soon in Ellery Queen.

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Published on December 27, 2014 10:22 • 18 views

December 24, 2014

I'd like to thank the Wolfe Pack for their endorsement of The Julius Katz Collection!

"A brilliant, eccentric detective who loves food with an assistant named Archie. Sound familiar? It should, and it's obviously intentional. There are other similarities to Rex Stout's Nero Wolf series in these stories, including a masterful writing style...."
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Published on December 24, 2014 12:57 • 13 views

December 22, 2014

With PulpMaster releasing Killer in Germany, I thought I'd bring back Ed Siegel's review of Killer which ran in the Boston Globe:

Dave Zeltserman is at it again writing about ex-con antiheroes with the kind of panache that would make Jim Thompson, king of the psycho killer novels, proud. In fact, there's more than a passing resemblance to Thompson's classic, "The Killer Inside Me."

Even Thompson might be taken aback, though, by the matter-of-factness with which Zeltserman gets inside the head of Leonard March, just released from jail 14 years after cutting a deal to turn state's evidence on a Mafia boss who assigned him a couple dozen hits. It isn't until after the DA grants him immunity, though, that the full scope of the March madness comes out.

As the story picks up, in Waltham of all places, March is trying to go straight. He's working a menial janitorial job, trying unsuccessfully to forge a relationship with his children while grieving about his wife's death, and making a virtue of his working-class lifestyle. He's even more sympathetic than the protagonists of Zeltserman's previous ex-con books, "Small Crimes" and "Pariah." He can't even bring himself to kill the mouse that's scurrying around his apartment.

The problem is that nobody else intends to let him get away with mass murder. Not the hoods. Not the media. Not the public. And certainly not the beautiful woman who wants to write the 62-year-old's biography.

And what about you, dear reader? Are you going to let March get away with it or fall prey to Zeltserman's seductive story? It isn't so much that the Needham writer elicits sympathy, though he certainly does. March prevents the robbery of a liquor store and a possible homicide or two. He stands up to a macho abuser. We don't forgive him for past sins, but he seems to loathe himself more than we do. The affect is similar to Mickey Rourke's in "The Wrestler" a world-weariness that still holds the possibility of redemption.

This is only part of what's going on, though. The point isn't to elicit sympathy, but to get inside the mind of a murderer, to see the world as he sees it. A life of crime seemed to be the logical career move for a half-Jewish kid in a Catholic neighborhood who was better with his fists than his schoolwork. Add an unhealthy dose of amorality, a sprinkle of psychopathology, and voila.

Even that doesn't really address what makes "Killer" seem so, sorry, dead-on. More than in his previous books, Zeltserman makes a virtue out of the spareness of his writing. Other noir writers try to emulate the purpleness of Raymond Chandler's prose or the toughness of any number of crime writers. Zeltserman is content to let the narrative flow uninterrupted. As the story shifts from present to past, the precision of March's observations, even when he's fooling himself, drives the action on a steady path without a hint of cliche or sentimentality.

Zeltserman could be even more precise. When March reads a book or goes to a movie, why not tell us what they are? Maybe Zeltserman's saying that it doesn't matter; they're only ways for March to kill time. Still, I sometimes wish his characters would stop and smell the cordite.

That's a minor cavil, though. It might be considered something of a guilty pleasure to walk on the wild side with Zeltserman's killers. But there's no need to think of the pleasure as guilty anymore than the characters think of themselves as guilty. Their days at the office are bloodier than ours, but sometimes that's the only difference. That we neither celebrate nor condemn March is the unsolved mystery of the book and what gives "Killer" its special kick.
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Published on December 22, 2014 08:08 • 4 views

December 21, 2014

Thanks to PulpMaster, Leonard March and KILLER are now rampaging through Germany.

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Published on December 21, 2014 06:59 • 3 views

December 11, 2014

10 reasons why you should want to get this 7-story, 350 page collection of Julius Katz detective stories:

1) Shamus and Derringer award-winning 'Julius Katz'

2) Ellery Queen's Readers Choice Award-winner 'Archie's Been Framed'

3) Ellery Queen's Readers Choice Award-winner 'Archie Solves the Case'

4) Never before published novella 'Julius Katz and the Case of a Sliced Ham'

5) From Publisher's Weekly review of the best mystery stories of the year anthology, 'The Interrogator and Other Criminally Good Fiction": Unsurprisingly, there’s not a dud in the bunch; surprisingly, the best entry may be a comic riff on Rex Stout—Dave Zeltserman’s “Archie’s Been Framed.”

6) "I love these stories" Timothy Hallinan, the author of The Queen of Patpong

7)  "Julius Katz mysteries are some of the most fun you will ever have reading detective short fiction" David Cramner

8)  "It's a nifty change-of-pace for the usually hard-boiled Dave Zeltserman. Clever, sophisticated and witty." Paul Levine, author of Flesh & Bones

9)  "I'm a big fan, along with many other people, of Dave Zeltserman's character Julius Katz." Ed Gorman

10)  "I think that Zeltserman’s done something really clever here. He’s taken a well-trodden path and then gone on a major and rather original detour." Nigel Bird
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Published on December 11, 2014 07:11 • 5 views

December 4, 2014

.goodreadsGiveawayWidget { color: #555; font-family: georgia, serif; font-weight: normal; text-align: left; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; background: white; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidget img { padding: 0 !important; margin: 0 !important; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidget a { padding: 0 !important; margin: 0; color: #660; text-decoration: none; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidget a:visted { color: #660; text-decoration: none; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidget a:hover { color: #660; text-decoration: underline !important; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidget p { margin: 0 0 .5em !important; padding: 0; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidgetEnterLink { display: block; width: 150px; margin: 10px auto 0 !important; padding: 0px 5px !important; text-align: center; line-height: 1.8em; color: #222; font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; border: 1px solid #6A6454; border-radius: 5px; font-family:arial,verdana,helvetica,sans-serif; background-image:url(https://www.goodreads.com/images/layo...); background-repeat: repeat-x; background-color:#BBB596; outline: 0; white-space: nowrap; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidgetEnterLink:hover { background-image:url(https://www.goodreads.com/images/layo...); color: black; text-decoration: none; cursor: pointer; } Goodreads Book Giveaway The Julius Katz Collection by Dave Zeltserman The Julius Katz Collection by Dave Zeltserman

Giveaway ends December 10, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win
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Published on December 04, 2014 07:24 • 7 views