LB’s Long Hot Summer NewsletterLet’s clarify that. It’s the summer that’s long and hot. This newsletter is neither.

But I do have a thing or two to mention.

First up is a freebie for the Kindlers among you. It’s a Matthew Scudder story, “A Moment of Wrong Thinking,” and its initial appearance was in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in 2002. Scudder recalls an incident from his early days in the NYPD, when he was partnered with Vince Mahaffey in Brooklyn’s Park Slope. I’ve just recently made it available as a Kindle exclusive, priced at $2.99, but for the next four days it’s yours free.

(The free offer begins at 3:00am Eastern time on Wednesday, July 18. If you go there before that hour, you’ll see the story priced at $2.99. “Damn that LB!” you’ll cry. “I thought he said it was free. What kind of bait-and-switch operation is the swine running?” But you’ve read this parenthetical remark, and now you know better.)

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can of course get a free Kindle app for almost any electronic device. Failing that, you can still read the story, along with ten other Scudder short stories, two of them available nowhere else, in The Night and the Music. The $4.99 eBook is available not only for Kindle but also for Nook, Apple, Kobo, Sony Reader, and Smashwords. And if you don’t care for eBooks at all, and want to turn actual paper pages, you can buy the book in a handsome trade paperback edition from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. (Want a signed copy? There’s one waiting for you at LB’s eBay Bookstore.)

Back in the day—indeed, so long ago that the phrase “back in the day” had not yet entered our living language—I wrote a slew of books as John Warren Wells. A week ago I wrote a blog post about good old JWW and his works; I won’t repeat it here, but if you missed it you might like to have a look. The Wells books are sexological non-fiction in the form of case histories, and but for the twin spurs of ego and avarice I might be content to let them languish in obscurity.

But who can say no to ego and avarice? I’m thus planning the ePublication of JWW’s body of work, with a batch of books coming in a week or two. (A batch, if you’re keeping track, is approximately two-fifth of a slew.)

I’ll probably give one of them away for a few days, as a way of chumming the waters. And I’ll make sure you know about it when I do.

Matando-a-Castro-Draft-3Y Ahora en Español…Many years ago (51 of them, to be precise) I wrote a book called Fidel Castro Asassinated, published in 1961 by Monarch Books. I used a pen name on it—Lee Duncan, a name I never used before or since—and the book remained a secret until four years ago, when Hard Case Crime brought it out with my name on it and the much better title of Killing Castro. It got a very heartening reception, and has sold well both as a Hard Case Crime paperback and as an Open Road eBook.

Recently mi amiga Claudita at Telemachus Press suggested I might want to publish books in Spanish for the burgeoning Latino market. I thought it over, and I looked at my backlist, and I figured if I couldn’t interest Hispanic readers in a thriller about a group of 5 norteamericanos recruited to assassinate a young Fidel Castro, I’d be well advised to forget the whole thing.

My agent hooked me up with a skilled translator, Telemachus put the book into production, and perhaps as soon as next week you’ll be able to read Matando a Castro on your eReader of choice. (It’ll take a little longer, but there’ll be a trade paperback edition as well, soon to be available from B&N and Amazon.)

As it’s not yet for sale, I can’t supply a link, or even say for sure what the price will be. That’s still to come, but in the meanwhile I can ask a favor. My task is to get the news out to people who might welcome the chance to read the book in Spanish—and I don’t know how to reach them. If you do, I’d be grateful if you can help spread the word by blogging or tweeting, by forwarding this newsletter where it might be welcome, and by doing anything else that might come to your mind (but evidently hasn’t come to mine).

¡Mil gracias de antemano!

If this works, well, I’ve got a whole armada of books that would love to be read in Spanish. Books featuring Bernardo Rhodenbarr, Juan Pablo Keller, Viruta Harrison, Matteo Scudder…

Meanwhile, back in LB’s eBay Bookstore, this week’s changes consist largely of disappearances. Most of our Large Print titles were one-copy-only, and more than half of them have left the building. Several of the audiobooks, both cassette and CD, have sold out as well.

No new specials, I’m afraid, but we’ve still got hardcover firsts of The Specialists at $4.99 and Jerrold Mundis’s Break Writer’s Block Now at $5.99. Note, though, that prices don’t always go down; sometimes they go up, as has just happened with Hellcats & Honeygirls, Subterranean’s triple volume of collaborative novels with Donald E. Westlake. Ten copies sold, leaving us with only five—so we pushed up the price to $69.99. Greedy? High-handed? Oh, probably, but here’s the thing: The beatings will continue until morale improves.

And so, I fear, will the heat of the summer. I’m off in mid-August for the South China International Literary Festival in Guangzhou, and that’s no place to beat the heat. But neither is New York. Here’s my suggestion: Find a cool spot, get comfortable, and get lost in a good book. Preferably one of mine.


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PS: As always, please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might find it of passing interest, esp. anyone who might want to know about Matando a Castro. And, if you’ve received the newsletter in that fashion from a friend and would like your own subscription, that’s easily arranged; a blank email to with NL-Newsletter in the subject line will get the job done.