Dark and, at times, amusing fiction from award-winning author Dave Zeltserman

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Three new stories out now


Julius Katz might be retired, but Archie and Julia continue the adventure in 'Archie Smith International Spy'

In my latest Morris Brick crime story, 'Fay & Wray', Parker has been dognapped!

'Buxton' is a quiet and very unusual story that I think fans of 'The Caretaker of Lorne Field' will like quite a bit. I hope folks check this one out!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

HUSK on sale for $1.99


My publisher has HUSK on sale for $1.99. You can get the Kindle version here and the Nook version here.

"The story is at once tender, brutal, fantastic, and vibrantly real. A unique and splendid novel" ― Booklist Starred Review

“Dave Zeltserman’s Husk is a compelling, quirky, twisty, smart, page-turner mix of horror, satire, and even a little romance with (yeah, I’ll say it) bite. A brutal love story perfect for our dark times.” ― Paul Tremblay, author of Cabin at the End of the World

"HUSK may be Zeltserman’s best book to date.... Many of the twists and turns are saved for the final third of the novel, but they come hard, fast and heavy, right up to the last sentence, which is one of the best I have read this year."

"I loved this book" Becky Spratford, RA for All: Horror

Sunday, January 2, 2022

"A unique and splendid novel"


Charlie Husk is a cannibal, a member of a clan of flesh-eaters who live hidden away from the world. His job is to travel into civilization, abduct people (college students are favored prey), and bring them back to the clan. He's quite good at it; he's stealthy, ruthless, and smart, easily able to adapt to unexpected changes in circumstances. When he falls in love with a human girl, Charlie's whole life changes instantly, like a switch has been thrown. And, so, Charlie abandons his clan and his heritage, and determines to live among the people who used to be his prey. The author takes on a tricky challenge making a monster a sympathetic character and he's completely successful. Zeltserman keeps the story grounded in reality, giving Charlie practical problems to overcome (like finding a way to deal with the craving for human flesh, or learning new words, like social security number), and the story is at once tender, brutal, fantastic, and vibrantly real. A unique and splendid novel.--Booklist's starred review.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

A Killer's Essence -- on sale for $1.99!


The kindle version of A Killer's Essence is now on sale for $1.99! What some reviewers said about this mix of crime, noir, paranormal, and baseball:

“Zeltserman’s lean but muscular style, so evident in A Killer’s Essence and The Caretaker of Lorne Field, is just as sharply honed here . . . Riveting.” —The Boston Globe

“This eerie thriller deftly blurs the lines between madness and the perception of reality.” —The Star-Ledger

“[A] chilling page-turner attuned to the most discerning of avid crime lovers. Well written and well paced. Recommended.” —New York Journal of Books

“Zeltserman’s signature creepiness is available here and there, but what really drives this novel is the engaging portrait of an honest, hardworking cop who, on the job and off, gives the best he’s got, knowing how rarely it will be enough.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Zeltserman's new work retains the honed-razor psychological insight of his award-winning The Caretaker of Lorne Field (2010). A scary, keep-you-guessing thriller not to be missed" — Booklist

A KILLER’S ESSENCE is complete in itself, but Zeltserman leaves just enough plot threads dangling at the end that a sequel, while not necessary, would be appropriate. And Green? I was screaming at the guy halfway through the book, but by the conclusion, I wanted to buy him a beer. And a ticket to a baseball game. Sequel or not, you need to meet Green and read A KILLER’S ESSENCE." —Bookreporter

"Dave Zeltserman’s Monster was the first book I read by the author and I was blown away. So, when I got my hands on A Killer’s Essence I was ready for a great story, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Zeltserman is the author of more than 10 novels and when it comes to his crime stories, this one is a great place to start." — Crime Fiction Lover

"And that is the kind of writing which shines, especially in a genre that can be filled with books that seem to feature super cops or, worse, know-it-alls who figure out the mystery faster than a speeding bullet. ESSENCE is hard to classify since it’s as much a crime story as one in which fantastical elements play a central role. This is a terrific introduction to a writer on the rise whose style only grows each time." — Bookgasm

"In riveting narrative, Zeltserman illustrates what happens to a wounded man whose psychic powers outstrip his ability to cope. Think you'd like the power to see inside the dark hearts of others? Think again. How would it feel if, on the way to the office, we saw demons on the sidewalk, harpies on the subway? This is strong stuff, and the author is expert at sharing Zach's horror, as well Green's empathic reaction to it. In the end discovering the killer's identity isn't half as compelling as the inner torment of two men who are "gifted" with psychic abilities." MysteryScene Magazine

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Two Very Different Short Story Collections

Unlucky Seven is noir crime fiction, while More Julius Katz and Archie is made up of fun + amusing mysteries featuring a brilliant private detective and his erstwhile assistant. One thing they both have in common (other than I wrote them!) is that they received starred reviews in PublishersWeekly this year, with PW saying of Unlucky Seven: "The seven short stories in this impressive collection from Zeltserman combine sharp-edged prose with grim twists.", and of More Julius Katz and Archie: "The puzzles are clever, and Zeltserman plays fair with readers. Stout devotees will be delighted with this loving homage." So anyone looking for short mystery or crime fiction, I've got you covered!


Thursday, October 14, 2021

PW starred review for More Julius Katz and Archie


From Publishers Weekly starred review of my short story collection More Julius Katz and Archie: The puzzles are clever, and Zeltserman plays fair with readers. Stout devotees will be delighted with this loving homage. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Starred Review for Unlucky Seven


The seven short stories in this impressive collection from Zeltserman (
21 Tales) combine sharp-edged prose with grim twists -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

You can read the entire review here. Click here to purchase the book.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Hard-boiled or Noir?


Hard-boiled or noir, or both? 

Given this definition of hard-boiled from Encyclopedia Britannica: Hard-boiled fiction, a tough, unsentimental style of American crime writing that brought a new tone of earthy realism or naturalism to the field of detective fiction. Hard-boiled fiction used graphic sex and violence, vivid but often sordid urban backgrounds, and fast-paced, slangy dialogue.

And this definition of noir fiction from Wikipedia: Noir fiction (or roman noir) is a subgenre of crime fiction. In this subgenre, right and wrong are not clearly defined, while the protagonists are seriously and often tragically flawed.

I'd say it fits squarely in both. But I'll let the reader decide.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Looking for reviewers


I've some review copies to give out for my hardboiled noirish crime novella: formats Kindle, PDF, or EPUB. It's 16,000 words (an hour and a half reading time), and if you ask for it by sending me a message through this blog with your email and format I'm going to expect a short review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. If I don't get one, I'll be sending Lance after you! Trust me, you don't want Lance coming after you, which you'll know all about once you read the novella!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

A new hardboiled novella


Trey Barker, a good guy and a good writer, helped me out a lot when I was running my Hardluck Stories webzine, so when Trey asked if I'd write a novella for the Guns + Tacos series he edits with Michael Bracken, I wasn't going to turn him down. The inspiration for my entry was Paul Cain's Fast One, and it's ultra-hardboiled, action-packed, and fast-paced. I hope folks check it out.