…and free is what we’re all about today. Not for the first time, I’ve somehow managed to convince myself that it’s good business to give away an ebook a day for the next 5 days. Whether it is or not, one thing’s clear—opportunity’s knocking, and you can open the door with a simple click of your mouse.
So what’s up for grabs?
After the First Death‘s leading off, and that seems appropriate; it’s #1 in the new Classic Crime Library, and its theme makes it a clear forerunner of the Matthew Scudder series. I’ve just made it exclusive to Kindle, so you can’t get it anywhere else (boo!), but I’m now able to run special deals for it, and even give it away (yay!). It’s regularly $2.99, but Saturday morning, as of 12:01 am Pacific time (aka Amazon Standard Time), it becomes free on all Amazon platforms world wide for 24 hours. That’s amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.de—and all the others.
The minute it ends its run, John Warren Wells gets a turn—with The Sex Therapists: What They Can Do and How They Do It. Interviews and case histories, which you can read for entertainment or information—though who’s to say the two need be mutually exclusive? Not I, and certainly not JWW. It’s free for 24 hours from 12:01 am Amazon time Sunday.
Early Monday morning, it’s Keller’s turn on the free list with Keller in Dallas. This short story, first published as an ebook, became a few years later the opening episode in the fifth Keller novel, Hit Me. But all along it’s been eVailable by itself, and it now cocks a snook at the conventional wisdom that indie offerings online are doomed without great cover art. Look at this cover, will you? A generic background that has nothing to do with the story or character, and type that’s too small and looks as though it was chosen and laid out by the writer himself. (I wonder why.) And yet the creature has gone on selling year in and year out. Well, now it’s free—for 24 hours, commencing a minute after midnight on Monday, February 15.
What can possibly follow Keller?
I know, I know. I can only hope another Classic Crime Library title, Not Comin’Home to You, is up to the challenge. It’s a fictional examination of the Charles Starkweather-Caryl Fugate murder spree in 1950s Nebraska, re-imagined in the early 1970s. It appeared originally under the Paul Kavanagh pen name I’d used on two other novels, Such Men Are Dangerous and The Triumph of Evil. They’re both in the Classic Crime Library as well, but only Not Comin Home to You is free—for 24 hours, starting on Tuesday, one minute after midnight.
And finally, let’s round things out with another forerunner, A Bad Night for Burglars. This short story was my first sale to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, just 40 years ago this year. Fred Dannay, who never met a title he didn’t want to change, published it as “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” which had already won renown as Laura Z. Hobson’s fine novel and the movie based on it. Never mind. It’s got its own title back now, and you may see its hapless protagonist as Bernie Rhodenbarr in the making; in fact, it wasn’t long after I wrote this story that I began work on Burglars Can’t Be Choosers. It takes its place on the free list on Wednesday, February 17, one minute after midnight in Seattle.
That’s a lot to remember, LB.
You could take notes. Or, if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can jump the line and download all these titles—and more—at your leisure.
And that’s it for today. Short and sweet, 5 days, 5 free books. Nothing to it.
…Oh, before I forget. David urges me to announce that LB’s eBay Bookstore will be closed for all of March and the first part of April. I’ll be holing up somewhere, in the earnest hope of Getting Something Written, and I don’t know what he’ll be doing, but I can guarantee you it won’t be packing books for shipment. There’s nothing new in the store and there won’t be until we get our scanner repaired, but there are still a lot of choice items on the shelves, and you’ve got a little over two weeks to pick them clean.
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