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Best Hard Case Crime books

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message 1: by Charles (new)

Charles Ardai | 39 comments In a separate post about the Crichton/Lange books, I made the assertion (possibly controversial) that SOHO SINS by Richard Vine is one of the dozen best books we've ever published. It dawned on me that I've never asked anyone else for their ranking. For those of you who have read a large selection of our books, I'm curious which ones you'd call out as the very best, I have my own opinions, of course, and it's all a matter of taste -- some people love private eyes, some hate them but love revenge stories, etc. -- but I'd still be curious to know, if you had to tell a friend who'd never read any of our books to start with one, which one would you pick as the very best (or the top 5, or whatever)? I'll be glad to share my own list later, but I'll hold it back for now, so as not to influence anyone else.


message 2: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 8 comments I haven't read everything (in fact, very few when I look back), but for me Kill Now, Pay Later was a standout, and I would like to read more by that author.

I also liked Bust and Slide

And probably going furthest back:

The Girl with the Long Green Heart was pretty good.


message 3: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 8 comments P.S.- thanks for the tip about A Touch of Death, btw.

I will keep my eye out for that one.


message 4: by Charles (new)

Charles Ardai | 39 comments Thanks, Philip. Appreciate the kind words. I doubt I'll ever write another book as good as SONGS.


message 5: by Charles (new)

Charles Ardai | 39 comments At the risk of offending any authors I've left out, here's a personal baker's dozen of favorites (in publication order)

* GRIFTER’S GAME (Block)
* THE CONFESSION (Stansberry)
* HOME IS THE SAILOR (Keene)
* THE GIRL WITH THE LONG GREEN HEART (Block)
* THE GUTTER AND THE GRAVE (McBain)
* A TOUCH OF DEATH (Williams)
* SONGS OF INNOCENCE (Aleas)
* THE MURDERER VINE (Rifkin)
* NOBODY’S ANGEL (Clark)
* THE TWENTY-YEAR DEATH (Winter)
* JOYLAND (King)
* QUARRY’S VOTE (Collins)
* SOHO SINS (Vine)


message 6: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 1 comments I've not read anywhere near everything that HHC has published, I guess I have read about 25 of them. I really enjoyed Grifter's Game and A Touch of Death, but my personal favorites have probably been Top of the Heap and The Knife Slipped by Erle Stanley Gardner. Both those books are in the Cool and Lam series, and I am happy that HCC is publishing a few more of those yet, as most are out of print.


message 7: by Quiggy (new)

Quiggy | 1 comments I've got nearly every HCC book published thus far. (A couple are noticeably absent due to their rarity and the exorbitant price people want for them online.) I'm still a LONG way of catching up with my purchases, but at least my collection is almost complete. Following is a list of my favorites of what I've read thus far:

Shooting Star/Spiderweb: This is the one that got me started on my never ending quest. Shooting Star was fantastic. Spiderweb was pretty good too.

The Murderer Vine: Reminded me a lot of the movie "Mississippi Burning"

Top of the Heap, Turn on the Heat and The Knife Slipped: Have to admit I anticipate every Cool and Lam book when I hear they are going to be published.

Passport to Peril: Great Cold war story.

House Dick: The main character is like me in some ways.

Easy Death: What a great twist ending.


message 8: by Still (new)

Still (mantan) My Favorites (by author):
BUST
SLIDE
THE MAX
THE PIMP
(by Jason Starr and Ken Bruen)

LEMONS NEVER LIE (by Richard Stark)
361
SOMEBODY OWES ME MONEY
MEMORY
(by Donald E. Westlake)

On my TBR pile are:
GRIFTER'S GAME (Block)
FOREVER AND A DEATH
and
THE COMEDY IS FINISHED
(by Donald E. Westlake)

Westlake's "SOMEBODY OWES ME MONEY" was my first HCC.
The rest I just started acquiring.
Haven't read a third of what I have.
Pity.


message 9: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 8 comments Nobody doesn't like SOMEBODY OWRS ME MONEY.

It is TBR for me, actually more like wish list.

THE CUTIE showed a lot of talent.

I want to read MURDERER VINE and VENGEFUL VIRGIN.

Maybe best covers is a whole other topic.


message 10: by Still (new)

Still (mantan) Christopher wrote: "Nobody doesn't like SOMEBODY OWRS ME MONEY.

It is TBR for me, actually more like wish list.

THE CUTIE showed a lot of talent.

I want to read MURDERER VINE and VENGEFUL VIRGIN.

Maybe best covers..."

VENGEFUL VIRGIN!!!
I neglected to include that one! Damn me for a fool!
One of Gil Brewer's best.


message 11: by Terrance (new)

Terrance Layhew | 1 comments I adore nearly every book HCC publishes, but I have to say two highlights recently have been Soho Sins by Richard Vine and Five Decembers by James Kestrel.


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