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

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another Killer review

Writer Heath Lowrance reviews Killer over at his blog, Psycho-Noir:

"This is Dave Zeltserman’s final book in the so-called “Man Out of Prison” trilogy, and fans of Pariah and Small Crimes might be surprised by the strangely contemplative nature of the story. On the surface, Killer is about regret, loneliness, and that old inevitable mortality thing. But scratch a little deeper and even darker themes emerge… it all leads to a truly shocking climax that could be Zeltserman’s darkest yet-- and this is a writer who has made a fine art out of dark and shocking climaxes."

You can read the whole review here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another Killer Review

Howard County Times suggest that Killer is a cool thriller to beat the heat with:

"...In his latest novel about a man just out of prison, following "Small Crimes" and "Pariah," Dave Zeltserman displays a genius for capturing the brute facts of survival "on the outside." Leonard is disarmingly sympathetic, which makes the novel's surprise conclusion even more disturbing."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

'Man Out of Prison' noir sampler

Small Crimes, Pariah and Killer all start twith a dangerous man being released from prison and then follows his journey. Small Crimes and Pariah were both picked by the Washington Post as best books of the year, with Small Crimes also picked by NPR as one of the five best crime and mystery novels of 2008. Publishers Weekly said of Killer (May 2010): "Spare prose and assured pacing place this above most other contemporary noirs."

To read sample chapters from each of these three books and a short essay explaining the origin of this trilogy click on the below link to download a free PDF:


Monday, July 19, 2010

Do you want to be a murder suspect? Maybe even a murderer?

...at least in fiction.

I'm finishing up my first Julius Katz novel, tentatively titled 'Julius Katz & Archie', and I'm going to run a contest to have one of the book's murder suspects (or possibly even the murderer) named after the winner. The cost to enter is free. All you have to do is read my award-winning novella, 'Julius Katz' and enter a comment (or scribble) up on scribd.com. If 100 or more comments are left by Aug. 12th, one of these will be picked at random, and the winner (if they choose to be) will have one of my murder suspects named after him or her.

About Scribd.com--it's free and easy to join. It took me all of one minute to sign up so I could put 'Julius Katz' up there as a free PDF. And why Aug. 12th? As a bizarre fluke, I've got two books being released that day--'The Caretaker of Lorne Field' is being published by Overlook Press in the US, and Outsourced by Serpent's Tail in the UK, so I figured that's as good a day as any.

So how do you read 'Julius Katz'? Simple, click on the below link to read online. And if you join Scribd, you can then download the PDF, and later after reading you can go back and leave a comment, or scribble as they call it.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Get award-winning 'Julius Katz' free

I've made my award-winning novella, Julius Katz, available for the time being as a free PDF over at scribd.


Monday, July 12, 2010

The razor line between horror and crime

My short article up at Barnes & Noble.

As one of the posters pointed out, Poe is a great example of this. Which other contemporary writers other than the ones I mentioned move effortlessly between the two genres?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Killer in Ireland's Sunday Tribune

"Written in a spare, terse style, and with chapters alternating between past and present, we slowly learn more about March. But even then the closing chapters present a devastating twist and shocking conclusion."

It was a very nice surprise to see Killer included in the Sunday Tribune's Thriller Round-up.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I have a new horror story, King, over at the fine pulp web-zine, BEAT to a PULP. I hope folks enjoy it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My five-part chat with Archie

My 5-part chat with Archie, probably most unusual detective to a grace a mystery story, is now complete and has Archie giving the lowdown on another famous Boston PI:

About Archie

Shooting the breeze with Archie
Chewing the fat with Archie
Flapping the gums with Archie
Chillin' with Archie
Shmoozing with Archie

About 'Julius Katz'. The novella was originally published in the Oct. 09 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, won a Reader's Choice Award from Ellery Queen's readers, a 2010 Derringer Award for best novelette, is available now for Kindle download for $0.99, and will be reprinted in later this year in 'By Hook or by Crook and 30 More of the Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year' edited by Ed Gorman and Martin Greenberg. The sequel to 'Julius Katz', 'Archie's Been Framed!' will appear later this year in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and more stories and novels featuring Julius and Archie are planned! In fact, I just finished the first novel in the series which I've so far given the hyper-original title: Julius Katz & Archie

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

chillin' with Archie

Over at Julius Katz & Archie, I'm chillin' with Archie during the 4th part of our interview, where among other things we talk about another famous Boston PI.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Clean Sweep

The Library Journal on Caretaker:

"Crime writer Zeltserman (Killer; Pariah) has produced a nail-biter. Caretaker Jack Durkin is obsessively faithful to an ancient book and a contract that requires him daily to weed a huge expanse from dawn to dusk, else "Aukowies," fiends nine feet tall with multiple fangs, will appear out of the ground to destroy the world. Jack knows he's an authentic superhero, but he is gradually betrayed by family and friends, unbelievers in the reality of his contract. Townsfolk sneer, and Jack suffers a variety of agonies, despite which he continues his exhausting labors, until finally he has no defender left. The narrative is straightforward and gritty, reminiscent of works of Dashiell Hammett. Place and time seem to float, and this tends to dislocate the reader, who may also come to doubt Jack's sanity. Verdict Not literary or even stylish but gripping and actually "horrifying," this title is recommended for horror fans and readers who may relish unpleasant surprises.-Jonathan Pearce, California State Univ. at Stanislaus, Stockton"

This gives me a clean sweep with the prepub reviews, with PW in a starred review calling Caretaker superb, Booklist also calling it superb, Kirkus liking it ("Harrowing. Zeltserman colors it black with the best of them."), and Locus Magazine writing it a terrific review. The consensus for Caretaker: gripping, harrowing, page-turner, nail-biter.

In the past I've been compared favorably in reviews to James M. Cain, James Ellroy, Jim Thompson, and now Dasheill Hammett, all writers I greatly admire, but no more so than Hammett. Hell, I'll take it.

A tip of the cap to fellow writer, Rob Kitchin, for his kind words yesterday for Killer. And thanks, Naomi, for pointing this out.