From Randy Johnson’s five-star review on Amazon:
“I just finished this collection of stories about Matthew Scudder. It works as both as a companion to the novels and as an introduction to those unfamiliar with them. For me, it was the latter. I’d never read any of the novels and was delighted enough as I read them to stop and order the first two books.”
Read the full review at Amazon
From Dan Schwent’s five-star review at Goodreads:
“The final story in the collection threatened to yank silent tears from my manly ducts…If Lawrence Block never writes another Matthew Scudder book, One Last Night at Grogan’s would be a beautiful way to end the series.
“I can’t recommend the Matthew Scudder series enough and The Night and The Music is no exception!”
Read the full review at Goodreads
From David Belbin’s five-star Amazon review:
“This collection includes every short story that Lawrence Block has written about Matthew Scudder, so provides a kind of alternative chronology or companion to the Scudder novels. Block famously says he never knows whether a series is over, but the final story here, ‘One Last Night At Grogan’s’ has an air of finality about it…It’s a satisfying ending to a collection that will prove essential to Scudder devotees and an ideal introduction to those new to one of crime fiction’s most memorable, best written investigators.”
Read the full review at Amazon
For a preview of the Afterword for THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC, see the top post right next door at LB’s Afterthoughts.
But first let me thank you all for the reception you’ve been giving GETTING OFF. The buzz in the social media continues to build, the coverage in blogs and traditional media is remarkable, the reviews have been more than generous—and y’all have been buying it, enjoying it, and telling your friends about it.
I love it when that happens.
I could fill this newsletter with reviews, but I won’t; I’ve posted plenty of excerpts on Jill Emerson’s blog page. But right now I have a new book to tell you about.
The title is THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC, and it’s a complete collection of Matthew Scudder short fiction, from a pair of novelettes written in the mid-1970’s to a brand-new story that’s less than two months old.
There are eleven stories in all. (My late friend Don Westlake would call it a thief’s dozen.) Nine of them have been published in magazines and/or collected in various anthologies. One piece, “Mick Ballou Looks at the Blank Screen,” has appeared only as the text of a 100-copy limited broadside. And the final story, the elegiac “One Last Night at Grogan’s,” was written this summer and is published here for the first time.
There’s also a moving appreciation of the Scudder series by screenwriter/director Brian Koppelman, who tells what the books have meant to him since he discovered them as a teenager. And I’ve added an afterword that puts the stories in context and recounts some of the circumstances of their composition. There were times over the years when it looked as though Scudder and I were through with each other, and it was through short fiction that the series kept going.
And who’s the publisher?
Uh, well, I am.
Not, I assure you, out of dissatisfaction with my regular publishers. Mulholland Books did a spectacular job with A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF, and I’m delighted that they’ll be publishing my new novel next year. And the Open Roadies as well have served me superbly, bringing out 40+ backlist titles this year, along with three sparkling new eRiginals, THE LIAR’S BIBLE, THE LIAR’S COMPANION, and my memoir, AFTERTHOUGHTS. It’s been my good fortune to work with wonderful people at both of these firms. (And with Charles Ardai, who’s doing an amazing job at Hard Case Crime with GETTING OFF.)
Still, I wanted to take a shot at this one on my own. I’ve been publishing short stories for Nook and Kindle for a while now, but I wanted a more professional package for this book, so I enlisted the services of Telemachus Press. Their experts got the formatting just right and shepherded the book through ePublishing’s many circuitous paths, and now we’re good to go.
Prefer a hard copy? Online retailers can supply THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC as a Print-on-Demand trade paperback, with the gorgeous cover you see here. Or you can order a copy from your local bookstore. The price for this P–O–D version is $16.99.
Want it autographed? A dozen of America’s top mystery booksellers can supply signed copies. Here’s a list:
348 South Tustin Street
Orange, CA 92866-2502
M is for Mystery
86 East 3rd Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94401
Murder by the Book
2342 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77098
Murder by the Book
3210 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard
Portland, OR 97214
Murder on the Beach
273 Northeast 2nd Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33444-3705
2810 Artesia Blvd.
Redondo Beach CA 90278
58 Warren Street
New York, NY 10007
Mystery Lovers Bookshop
514 Allegheny River Boulevard
Oakmont, PA 15139
Mystery on Main Street
119 Main Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Partners & Crime
44 Greenwich Ave # A
New York, NY 10011-8347
The Poisoned Pen
4014 N Goldwater Blvd #101
Scottsdale AZ 85251
Seattle Mystery Bookshop
117 Cherry St
Seattle, WA 98104-2205
Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Bookstore
2864 Chicago Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55407-1320
PO Box 3111
Tualatin OR 97062
Or you can order signed copies from LB’s Bookstore for $16.99 plus $5 shipping. (Please note that we can fill U.S. orders only; most of the dealers listed above are able to process overseas orders, but we’re not.)
Otto Penzler heard about the book, loved the idea, and has arranged to publish a signed and numbered first edition, bound in leather and strictly limited to 100 copies @ $150. Otto’s limited editions are apt to sell out, so if your collection won’t be complete without one of these, you’ll want to pick up the phone: (800) 352-2840.
Self-publishing, I have to say, is labor-intensive. One of my tasks—one of the more enjoyable ones—was to read the book from start to finish. I’d never read the stories that way before, and what I discovered is that the book has the affect of a novel. Each story is complete in itself, to be sure, but they were written over a 35-year stretch and cover a greater span than that, with Scudder reporting NYPD years as a patrolman in Brooklyn and a detective in Greenwich Village. THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC, the eighteenth book in the series, provides an overview of Scudder’s whole life, and wraps up in timely fashion with “One Last Night at Grogan’s.”
And is this the end of the series?
Oh, come on. You know I don’t know the answer to that one. Time will tell.