Brash Blog

Big Ideas and Big Names in suspense from Brash Books

Get the big ideas from the biggest names in suspense on the Brash Books blog. Here, you'll find posts by some of your favorite mystery authors sharing their views on crime fiction - along with inside stories about everything from how they wrote their bestselling thrillers to what inspires them.

You'll also hear from experts in the mystery and suspense genre, along with fans, publishing insiders, and of course, Brash Books. Posts will range from informative to controversial - but you can bet every one will be a compelling read. This is your destination to explore great crime fiction writing - past, present and future - from the authors, readers, and publishers who keep it alive.

We've just published Ralph Dennis' crime novel DUST IN THE HEART , a haunting police procedural set in a small, North Carolina town  It was the final, typewritten manuscript that Ralph wrote before his death and was discovered by Brash co-founder Lee Goldberg, who took on the task of editing the novel for publication. Lee talked about the editing process this week with The Rap Sheet, one of our favorite blogs and sources of information on the crime fiction scene. Here is an excerpt: I struggled over whether to publish Dust in the Heart or to keep it in a drawer. The original manuscript was nearly 100,000 words and it was a mess … and yet, there was still something... more

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We have big news! Brash author Barbara Neely has been named this year's Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization's highest honor. Here is their announcement: "Mystery Writers of America is thrilled that Barbara Neely is MWA's 2020 Grand Master," MWA board president Meg Gardiner said. "Neely is a groundbreaking author, and MWA is delighted to recognize her work, in which she tackles tough social issues with an unflinching eye and a wry sense of humor." MWA's Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and... more

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BIG NEWS! We've found a long-lost, never-before-published Jimmy Sangster novel! It's called Fireball...and here is the incredible story behind the major, literary discovery.   Jimmy Sangster, who died in 2011, was an acclaimed screenwriter (Curse of Frankenstein, Deadlier Than the Male, The Legacy,etc), director (Lust for a Vampire, Banacek, etc), TV writer (Wonder Woman, Cannon, Movin’ On, BJ and The Bear, The Magician, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, etc) and novelist (Touchfeather, Touchfeather Too, The Spy Killer and Foreign Exchange).   He was also the author of three James Reed crime novels... more

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Here are some of my favorite lines from Richard S. Prather's immensely entertaining Shell Scott novels, the bestselling detective series from the 1960s... which are all but forgotten today, even though, at one point, there were over 10 million copies in print.   “He lay there with his face on the cement, in his own blood and wastes. Lesson for would be killers: Either don’t miss with your first shot, or else eat light, go to the john, take an enema, and be ready to die neat.” Kill Him Twice   “She had short mouse-brown hair, rather nice full lips and gray eyes. But they weren’t pretty eyes. Not dawn gray, slate gray or even muddy gray. They were sort of... more

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We're declaring this the Summer of Sangster as we proudly release all of the incredible crime novels and espionage thrillers by Jimmy Sangster, one of the most beloved and versatile writers in the genre... and the truly legendary writer/producer/director of scores of classic Hammer Horror films in the UK. SPY VS SPY Critics are going wild over THE SPY KILLER, one of the best espionage novels ever written. "An exquisite series launch. Spy fiction fans will revel in this dark, witty story." Publishers Weekly Ex-British spy John Smith is nearly broke, has bad teeth, is lousy in bed, and drinks too much. But he's no fool. He's a man who knows his own limitations and works within them.... more

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Here's Robert Randisi's full, 1987 review of Jimmy Sangster's hardboiled classic BLACKBALL, which Brash Books has just re-released in new ebook & trade paperback editions. Randisi is the founder of the Private Eye Writers of America.   Jimmy Sangster first made a name for himself in film and television. He wrote horror films for Hammer in England and then did a lot of episodic television in the United States, including scripts for S.W.A.T., Ironside, The Six Million Dollar Man, McCloud and Wonder Woman. His first novel, Private I (aka The Spy Killer), was published in 1967, and both it and its sequel, Foreign Exchange, were produced for TV with Robert Horton in the role of... more

Read More of BLACKBALL is Back!