Monday, August 31, 2009

My Take On...

Beauty and the Bounty by Robert J. Randisi.

Plot Decker the bounty hunter is on the trail of a beautiful con artist/robber who's left behind a long line of empty bank vaults. His search is sidetracked when he gets involved with a woman looking for her sister.

Why Get It Randisi's kinetic storytelling.

Excerpt If the man alone did not attract attention, there was the hangman's noose, which quickly identified him to one and all, and the weapon he wore on his hip. It was a shotgun that had been sawed off at both the barrels and the stock, and then slipped into a specially made holster. The whole rig had been designed for him by a gunsmith friend when Decker discovered that he was almost hopeless with a handgun. With the shotgun he rarely had to aim to hit what he was shooting at, and with a rifle he was... adequate.

Bottom line If you like straightforward action-packed westerns (like I do) then BEAUTY is a must read.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

BTAP #39: Midnight Showdown by Sandra Seamans

Jagged lightning speared through the black clouds that were stampeding their way across the face of the moon, flickering torches that kept the darkness at bay. Sheriff Tom Gage stumbled as he stepped out of the Silver Lady Saloon to make his evening rounds. Righting himself, he looked around to see if anyone had noticed. He'd worked too hard to gain a position of trust in this town to lose it because of a few drinks.
Sandra Seamans makes her second appearance on BEAT to a PULP with a brisk tale from the western variety. Don't miss the "Midnight Showdown."

Next week: Hilary Davidson's "Insatiable"

Under The Tonto Rim

Hulu has added Under The Tonto Rim (1947) starring Tim Holt, a B western that throws in every enjoyable cliché an aficionado can look forward to. But being a RKO flick, it's a cut above B movies from other studios of the time. This pithy story, based on the Zane Grey book, clocks in at an hour and twelve seconds. Richard Martin and Nan Leslie also star, with Jason Robards appearing in an early supporting role. A complete synopsis can be found at AllMovie.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


In this old west town, a gunfight ensues pitting good versus evil in a duel to the death.

CASH LARAMIE and the MASKED DEVIL by Edward A. Grainger, coming soon.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I’ve received the good news that a short story of mine will appear in the follow-up anthology to WHERE LEGENDS RIDE coming out later this year from Express Westerns. I’m very humbled to be a part of the project that will contain tales from many Black Horse Western writers. Special thanks goes to Ray Foster for forwarding a question of mine along to Nik Morton, which got the ball rolling, and also to Nik and Charlie Whipple for their fine editing and helping me tighten the storyline.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

BTAP #38: Hit Women by Clair Dickson

I jammed the car into reverse. Changing gears got a short squawk out of the tires. Of course, I didn't have the address. I stopped at the police department, figuring I could kill two birds with one stone.

Wendy was at the front desk. When we're getting along, we leave bite marks on each other. I strolled right past her, which makes her chatter like an angry squirrel. She's even got the big tail.

I’m pleased to say Clair Dickson's hard-hitting PI, Bo Fexler, is the Weekly Punch at BEAT to a PULP. Get your Fexler fix with "Hit Women."

Next: Sandra Seamans brings us "Midnight Showdown"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bat Masterson

I've been watching this old entertaining tv western and can't get the theme song outta my head. Not the best quality here but I recommend clicking over to HULU and checking out a few episodes.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Zeltserman's "Julius Katz"

I’ve read the first two pages of Dave Zeltserman’s “Julius Katz” in the Sept/Oct issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and have set the story aside because I’m annoyed. Why didn’t I think of this? Brilliant. Unique. Refreshing. What am I referring to? Well, I’m not going to spoil it so let's just say that PI Katz has a very interesting sidekick. For years, I’ve been tired of the same old detective stories with retreads of Marlowe, Spade, and Archer. Not now. Mr. Z has created a character--no make that two, Katz himself is interesting all by his lonesome--that will have even the most jaded of readers recharged by this new take.

I must be going, my chariot awaits. But thankfully I have the rest of Zeltserman’s short to finish reading on the ride. Then I will stew some more... why didn’t I think of this?!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

BTAP #37: Diseases from Loving by Alec Cizak

She pulled it out of her purse. Slowly, cautiously, always looking around, making sure I was the only one who could see it. She said it was a .32. I believed her. Just as quickly as she showed it to me, she shoved it back in between a plastic bundle of tissues and what appeared to be a thin red wallet.

"That's why I'm drinking like this, mister." She chased her words with a shot of whiskey. Her fifth, by my count.

You know you can't stop there. Finish Cizak's masterful noir here.

Next: Clair Dickson's "Hit Women," featuring fiction's boldest and baddest detective, Bo Fexler.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How One Thing Leads To Another

A.J. Raffles? Thomas Carnacki ? As I began reading The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1910 I was scratching my noggin. I had missed the previous installment and well known characters like The Invisible Man were gone. I checked Bookgasm’s review and Rod Lott suggesting “research those characters on Wikipedia beforehand.” So I clicked over to the Wiki bio on the fictional Raffles:

Arthur J. Raffles is a character created in the 1890s by E. W. Hornung, a brother-in-law to Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Raffles is, in many ways, a deliberate inversion of Holmes — he is a "gentleman thief," living in The Albany, a prestigious address in London, playing cricket for the Gentlemen of England and supporting himself by carrying out ingenious burglaries.

Further down:

The model for Raffles was George Ives, a Cambridge-educated criminologist and talented cricketer according to Lycett. Ives was a discreet gay, and although Hornung "may not have understood this sexual side of Ives' character", Raffles "enjoys a remarkably intimate relationship with his sidekick Bunny Manders."

So being a history buff I kept investigating. And if you're interested, the Ives bio is here. Cheers!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

BTAP #36: I Celebrate Myself by Nik Morton

Nik Morton writing as Ross Morton has just seen the release of his latest Black Horse Western novel The $300 Man. He is also a very in-demand editor, busy at work on the follow-up to Where Legends Ride. And he still found time to submit a second story to BEAT to a PULP. It’s poetic, heartfelt, and brutally honest. Put simply: an extraordinary piece of writing. Here's "I Celebrate Myself."

Up next: Alec Cizak gives us “Diseases From Loving”

Coming soon: Sandra Seamans returns with a very different kind of western, “Midnight Showdown”

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I see A Twist Of Noir has video! And the latest Thuglit is out. I disagree with Mr. Richards and enjoyed HUNDRED DOLLAR BABY quite a bit. Oh, and I recomend buying this book straight away. Damn fine writing and BTAP will feature a story of his this weekend.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

BTAP #35: Esther Meaney by Patricia Abbott

Patti Abbott helped put BEAT to a PULP on the radar with “The Instrument of Their Desire,” which has been picked by Ed Gorman for an upcoming anthology. This week she returns to our pages with another equally riveting story. Make way for “Esther Meaney.”

Next week: Best-selling author, Nik Morton, with “I Celebrate Myself”

Coming soon: David Fleming has “Another Carrot” to share