The Story Behind Brash Books

In the beginning

We were founded in 2014 by international men of mystery Lee Goldberg and Joel Goldman, both Edgar-Award nominated, bestselling authors. Lee is the writer/producer of many successful TV series (including Diagnosis Murder and Monk) and is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 40 novels, including the Malibu Burning, Lost Hills and the first five Fox & O’Hare books with Janet Evanovich. Joel traded his career as a practicing trial attorney to write the hugely successful and award-winning Lou Mason, Jack Davis, and Alex Stone thriller series. Together, these two golden boys share a passion for great crime novels – which led them to start their own publishing company. As of 2024, between Brash Books and their Cutting Edge imprint, they have published over 500 titles, a mix of previously out-of-print novels and never-before-published work.

Why We Are Here

We publish the books that we love – the widely-acclaimed, award-winning novels that have inspired, entertained, and wowed countless readers as well as today’s bestselling authors of thrillers and mysteries. We also publish innovative whodunits, espionage adventures and novels of suspense from well-established authors and exciting, new voices in crime fiction.

How To Submit Your Book to Us

We publish the best crime novels in existence — thrillers, whodunits, cozies, psychological suspense, espionage, and police procedurals.

We do NOT publish true crime, biographies, science fiction, military fiction, horror, fantasy/paranormal/supernatural, romance, novellas, or short story collections.

Please send a ONE PAGE (at most) summary of the book and THE FIRST TWENTY FIVE PAGES as a Microsoft Word document to The summary can be in the body of your email, but not your opening chapters.

If we like the sample, we’ll request the entire manuscript. Do not send us the entire manuscript unless we ask for it.

Do not send us your self-published books. We are not interested in repackaging and republishing books that are already in print.

Do not begin your cover letter with “I am seeking representation for my book…” If you are too lazy, and don’t care enough about making a good impression, to tweak your “I’m-hunting-for-an-agent” form letter to submit your book to us, then we are definitely too busy to read your submission. We are a publishing company, not a literary agency. 

We’re totally burned out on serial killer stories — so unless you’ve found an incredibly fresh and original new take on the tropes of the genre, like Dexter was years ago, don’t bother submitting your novel to us (and yes, we really mean it. If your novel is yet another story about a serial killer stalking prostitutes, or nuns, or priests, or sorority girls, etc. it’s an instant rejection). Serial killers have been done to death in books, movies, and especially TV shows. There have been 314+ episodes of Criminal Minds alone, so odds are your serial killer has been done on that show, if not on the countless other  serial killer shows and books out there.  

We’re tired of private eye novels. We already have several great, award-winning private eye series on our list, so yours would have to break the mold and create a new one for us to be interested in it (if your book is about a burned-out, bordering-on-alcoholic, haunted-by-the-past PI, usually an ex-cop or ex-soldier, working out of a shabby office when a beautiful woman walks in the door with a new case, not only will we reject the book, we might even kill ourselves).

We’ve lost patience with the burned out, bordering on alcoholic, homicide detective, who is usually divorced or widowed, often haunted by either the death of his partner or a serial killer case that extracted a huge emotional toll on him, who takes on a murder case while bucking his disapproving, unappreciative superiors. We’ve read and loved all of the Harry Bosch and John Rebus books just like you have — so unless you’ve got a fresh approach that Michael Connelly and Ian Rankin haven’t tried, you’re wasting your time sending your police procedural to us.

We are not interested in any Sherlock Holmes novels, pastisches or spin-offs. There are already a thousand of them out there, and dozens that have been submitted to us, and we doubt there isn’t a relative, friend, neighbor, spouse,  merchant, ghost, cat, dog, mouse, or insect, even in the most distant orbit of Holmes, Dr. Watson, or their home who hasn’t already become a detective.  

Do not send us a book filled with cliche phrases. We recently received a submission that included this sentence on page one: “He was wet behind the ears and trying to earn brownie points with me.” Two cliches in one sentence. It could have been computer-generated. It’s pure creative laziness. If your manuscript has cliches like “needle in a haystack,” “cool as a cucumber,” “up shit creek without a paddle,” “like a broken record,” “that is the $64,000 question,”  “avoided like the plague,” and the like throughout, expect an instant rejection. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Do not send us a book that opens with a description of the weather and the protagonist looking at his or her reflecton in the mirror, storefront window, or any other reflective surface so you can tell us what he or she looks like. We’ve read a thousand submissions that have opened this way — no really, literally a thousand — and we can’t take it anymore.

Do not send us a book that opens with the graphic, brutal rape, torture, dismemberment  or murder, or all of the above, of a woman or child. We’ve actually received hundreds of manuscripts that opened that way. It’s not entertaing and it’s not a hook (though big-ass hooks and axes and saws often figure prominently in them). Here’s the thing: the majority of mystery readers are women…and an opening like that is going to repulse them even more than it does us. 

Do not send us your new book in a series that is published by another house. It makes no business sense for us to publish the second or third or fifth book in a series that another company has published because we won’t benefit from the sales of the backlist. All the money we spend on advertising and promoting your new book will benefit the other publisher as much, or more, than us. And it would be insane for us to publish a new book in a series that has performed so badly for another publisher that they dropped it. You wouldn’t believe how many authors and agents have sent us pitches that begin with a variation of “my series hasn’t sold well with the current publisher so I am looking for a new publishing partner who will see the enormous potential and help me make it a hit.” We’ll pass, thanks.

Finally, do not resubmit manuscripts to us that we’ve already rejected. We know that seems obvious, but it’s not. We’re stunned by how many writers and agents continue to do this. News flash: we keep a record of every submission, so all you’re doing is wasting your time and ours…and irritating us. 

So what are we looking for? We publish new, never-before-published novels that range in length from 60,000-80,000 words. On rare occasions, we’ll publish something longer, but never anything shorter. If your book clocks in at over 100,000 words,  it’s very unlikely to find a home with us without substantial editing. We are drawn to novels that open fast, not with a big exposition dump, and are written with a distinct and compelling narrative voice. It’s important now, more than ever, to grab readers from the get-go.

Our publishing company is called Brash, and that attitude is reflected in our books. We are looking for material that doesn’t feel tired and familiar, that doesn’t just repeat cliches and old tropes but instead finds a new spin on them. If you’re sending us a cozy, we aren’t looking for another single, town librarian, caterer, decorator, maid or florist who solves crimes with the help of her adorable cat, wacky best friend, and colorful grandmother…and falls in love with the local cop. For example, we published Milicent LeSueur, a cozy about a homeless, schizophrenic woman who solves a murder in a small town. While it’s definitely a cozy, its not one likely to be adapted into a Hallmark Movie any time soon (and trust us, we know, we’ve written some successful Hallmark movies).
We want novels that take an innovative, fresh, startling, unusual, brash approach to the crime novel. Good examples of that on our list, among the titles old (reprints) and new (never-before-published), are True Grift, The Lemon Man, The Sorcerer & the Assassin, The Blow-Up, Bonita Faye, Desert Getaway,  Atlanta Deathwatch, Blanche on the Lam and Double Wide.