The Hard Case Crime series of mystery novels, which was published by Dorchester between 2004 and earlier this year when the series went on hiatus, will resume publication in September 2011 with a new novel by acclaimed mystery writer Lawrence Block, whose new book Getting Off: A Novel of Sex and Violence will be the first hardcover original to be published by Hard Case. The series will also begin a relationship with a new foreign house, the UK-based Titan Publishing, which is distributed by Random House in the US.
According to series editor Charles Ardai, the relaunched Hard Case Crime will maintain the old branding “in terms of the look and feel of the books--the yellow hard case crime ribbon in the upper left corner of the front cover, the red-white-and-black spines with the ribbon at the top, the old-fashioned artwork in the grand pulp style.” But Atdai anticipates that, unlike the old series, not all the books will be mass market size--some are likely to be trade paper, and Ardai said he’d do another hardcover if the right book came along.
Getting Off will be credited to “Lawrence Block writing as Jill Emerson,” a pseudonym Block last used decades ago. The story follows a female serial killer bent on murdering all the men she has slept with in her life. In its previous incarnation, Hard Case Crime published five novels by Block, all of which were reprints of previously published titles. This is his first new book for the series.
Other titles in the relaunched series’ first season include Quarry’s Ex by Allan Collins and Choke Hold by Crista Faust. Among other notable titles published in the Hard Case series is Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid, which came out in 2005. Ardai said he anticipates the relaunched series will publish four titles a year, not the previous 12 per year. “On the editorial side, Hard Case Crime is a one-man operation,” he said, “and that one man is me...and if I returned to putting out a book every month, I wouldn't have time to work on any of my other projects, such as Haven, the SyFy TV series on which I am a writer and producer.”