Jan 272013
 
Some writers stop after a few PI novels, writing thrillers and standalones. Others stick by their main man and stick with the genre. Wayne Dundee is one of those authors and for that alone you need to buy this book. In this cool collection Wayne offers us Joe Hannibal stories spanning 30 (!) years.
Showing not only how his PI Joe Hannibal has changed over the years it also shows how the genre itself has evolved. The first two stories in this collection are very much Mike Hammer like stories, but the later ones show how Hannibal becomes a character of his own, as does Wayne's writing style.
Take a look why the short story form is a fantastic vehicle for hardboiled detective stories and take a look why Wayne has been thrilling reader for decades.
Jun 062012
 
Aren't ebooks great? Here's a reprint of a Joe Hannibal novel that first came out in 2001. Joe is hired to prove an unpopular ladiesman wasn't responsible for killing a beloved member of a Wisconsin summer resort center. Along the way he falls for a female reporter and is hindered in his investigation by several persons not happy with his investigation.
It starts out as a standard PI investigation but turns into a pulpy action fest involving throwing stars, half-naked babes with machine guns and white slavery. It may sounds a bit seventies but as always Wayne manages to write a solid hardboiled novel that is never ashamed to be a good piece of entertaining hardboiled pulp without feeling dated.
Good reading if you dig like Mike Hammer or Matt Helm.
Apr 162012
 

You reading anything good right now? I ask because, if you’re not, you might want to check out some of these recent reads that I thoroughly enjoyed:

THE BITCH, by Les Edgerton.
Before you get all snooty and annoyingly PC, I should point out that the title THE BITCH doesn’t refer to an unpleasant female (we’ll leave that sort of thing to Jackie Collins) but instead is a reference to “habitual offender”—ha-BITCH-ual, get it? This one starts off with a fairly standard premise, as ex-con Jake, trying to get his new life together, is drawn against his will into another criminal scheme. Read that before, right? Well, hold on. Because about half-way through this one, Edgerton starts ratcheting it up, expertly tightening the screws as one disaster after another makes our man Jake’s situation worse and worse. By the time THE BITCH reaches its shattering conclusion, your nerves will be frayed. An absolute gem of pure, unadulterated noir, this one.


THE SISTERS BROTHERS, by Patrick DeWitt.
An unusual, darkly funny Western. Charlie and Eli Sisters are hired killers working for The Commodore, on a mission to find and kill a man who supposedly wronged their shady boss. But on their long, sometimes surreal journey, Eli begins questioning the morality of his job. Eli is a troubled, strangely sympathetic narrator, and seeing through his eyes the dark world he and his brother inhabit comes off like a strange cross between, say Charles Portis’ TRUE GRIT and Tom Frankin’s SMONK. But not quite. I really loved this one.


THE HUNTED, by Dave Zeltserman.
This is the first novella-length entry in an exciting new series from noir master Zeltserman. Dave Willis, recruited into a shadowy organization called The Factory, seeks out and exterminates anyone whom his superiors deem “threats to national security”. But he’s soon riddled with doubts about the job and begins to suspect The Factory is not what it claims to be, forcing him to make a moral choice that could put his name next on the hit list. There’s maybe a bit too much exposition in this first outing as Zeltserman lays out the premise, but the action soon kicks into high gear and the reader is swept along in the high-octane thrills. Looking forward to seeing where this one goes.


MANHUNTER’S MOUNTAIN, by Wayne D. Dundee.
The first full-length novel (although maybe it’s more a novella) featuring Edward Grainger’s “outlaw marshall” Cash Laramie. Dundee nails it with this one. Our man Laramie comes to a small mining town in pursuit of a fugitive, but finds himself involved in something much bigger when a pair of prostitutes need his help in getting out of town. Laramie faces off against not only his fugitive, but an angry posse of townsmen who want the soiled doves back, a ruthless bounty hunter who will stop at nothing, and most challengingly, a bitter winter storm that threatens to close off escape from the mountain. This is a flat-out exciting story, full of great, quickly-sketched characters and swaggering action set-pieces.
Mar 082012
 



I've enjoyed all the previous FIGHT CARD books very much, and the just-released fourth volume, COUNTERPUNCH, is by my old friend Wayne Dundee writing under the house-name Jack Tunney. So I expected to enjoy it, too, and as always, Dundee doesn't disappoint.

COUNTERPUNCH is the story of Danny "Duke" Dugronski, an aging fighter in Milwaukee who's at the tail end of his career. After his long-time manager dies suddenly of a heart attack, he discovers that the man may have been involved in a shady deal with a mobster who's trying to move into the fight game. Dugronski doesn't really believe that for a second, but he has to find out the truth and his investigation leads him into trouble and more trouble.

At the same time, Dugronski is moving into a tentative romance with the daughter of his late manager, who's recently divorced from her cop ex-husband. It's open to debate whether the guy is going to be a help to the Duke's efforts or a hindrance, and there's also the worry about whether his new enemies may strike at him through those he cares about.

There's a strong thread of decency and humanity that runs through all of Dundee's work, and it's certainly present here. Danny Dugronski is a fine hero, a strong man who won't let obstacles get in the way of him doing what he thinks is right. There's also plenty of action, as COUNTERPUNCH opens and closes with a pair of epic battles in the ring. If you haven't sampled the FIGHT CARD series yet, this one is an excellent place to start, and if you've read and enjoyed the others, don't hesitate to grab this one, too. I had a great time reading it.
Mar 072012
 

Here's another cool novella inspired by the old boxing pulps with Jack Tunney mentioned as an author. Each entry in this series is written by a different writer under the Tunney-name, however. They alreday has some great talent doing these (like Paul Bishop) and now they even got Wayne Dundee, one of my favorite writers (of the Joe Hannibal novels fame) doing one.

The story is set in Milwaukee, 1954, and features Danny "The Duke" Dugronski, an ex-Marine who's earned a respectable reputation as a solid regional heavyweight --- until the Mob tries to muscle in and force him into some rigged fights. Before it's over, they find out that Danny is a fighter who's willing to stand his ground and slug it out with any opponent, no matter who it is.

Check out Counterpunch here.
Feb 022012
 

A new full-length Joe Hannibal... I was already thrilled before I started to read it... And wasn't disappointed.
Hannibal, a former PI, spends his time running a security firm in Nebraska. When he's asked to track down the missing ex-wife of an old friend he's going to need the help of his Native American friend, William Thunderbringer to make it out of the case alive, going up against a crazy Mexican crimelord.
There's a lot to like in this one. Hannibal is a cool, old-fashioned hero. His witty conversations with Thunderbringer echo the best of Spenser-Hawk and there's a lot of action.
Often PI novels are compared to Westerns where the stranger rides into town to take care of business. This is absolutely one where that comparison is valid. Lone Ranger Hannibal and Tonto Thunderbringer are great archetypal heroes and the setting is very Western-like. Not a huge surprise, since Wayne Dundee writes some mean Westerns as well.
Read this one if you like PI stories OR Westerns...
Jan 252012
 
There's two ebooks available I had to let you know of, even though they're not standard PI books...

First up is Wayne Dundee's Manhunter's Mountain. This is a full length novel in the Cash Laramie / Gideon Miles series. Writing about Edward A. Grainger (aka David Barber)'s characters featured only in short stories before Wayne manages to get to the essence of those wonderful noir westerns, adding his own special style, showing Western (just like the PI genre) isn't dead yet!

Second, is the excellent novella The Pain Eaters by William Tooker. It features tough guy and athlete Jack Fugazi (named after the punk band?) and his role as Earth's protector against the dark evils that cross over from the world of shadows to hours. There's lots of cool concepts, like the Invisible College, the Dark Suits and the superpowers Jack has. In a fantastic mix of horror and two-fisted action William Tooker has served up an entertaining piece of urban fantasy that should appeal to fans of superheroes, horror, fantasy and tough guy heroes like Jack Reacher.
Dec 142011
 

Good news! There's a new Joe Hannibal novel coming out. If you like my blog you need to read this series, going strong for a long time now. A great traditional PI, Joe Hannibal's adventures are always a delight to read.

Following the life-altering events of THE DAY AFTER YESTERDAY, Joe Hannibal is back in action! Operating now out of the Lake McConaughy region in west central Nebraska, Joe still carries a PI ticket but doesn't solicit investigative cases like in the old days. This doesn't mean, however, that trouble doesn't still have a way of finding him, even when he doesn't go looking for it.
As a favor to a new friend from the lakeside community, Joe agrees to do some discreet checking on the pal's ex wife who seems to have gone missing from her digs in nearby Cheyenne, Wyoming. In no time at all, Joe finds himself at odds with a shady local businessman, on the radar of a bloodthirsty Mexican crime boss, and in the crosshairs of a rogue bandito who won't hesitate to take down not only his primary target but also anybody/everybody else who tries to get in his way.
Before he can find the answers he set out after, Joe must endure the fight of his life and in the process learns that the dusty back roads and wide open spaces of the high plains can be every bit as dangerous as the meanest streets from the cities of his past.

Read about it here and buy it here.

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