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

Friday, October 21, 2011

Blood Crimes -- Monster Librarian

The Monster Librarian recently reviewed a number of horror themed adventure books, and summed up their review of Blood Crimes with:

Strong language, gore, violence, and sexual situations give the first book in Dave Zeltserman’s series a high-octane feel. The fight scenes are graphic and leave you feeling as breathless as the characters. Highly recommended.

To read the full review of see the other horror books reviewed, click here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

10 quick reasons to read The Caretaker of Lorne Field

Now that Caretaker is out in paperback, I thought I'd put together 10 quick reasons why you should read this book.

1) Short listed by the American Library Association for best horror novel of 2010

2) Dark Quill nominee for best dark genre book of 2010

3) "Delicious horror-ish novel...Zeltserman is fully in control." -- Newsday

4) "Superb mix of humor and horror...Zeltserman orchestrates events perfectly...Readers will keep turning pages to see how the ambiguous plot resolves." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

5) "Harrowing. Zeltserman colors it black with the best of them." -- Kirkus Reviews

6) "Crime writer Zeltserman has produced a nail-biter...The narrative is straightforward and gritty, reminiscent of works of Dashiell Hammett...gripping and actually 'horrifying,' this title is recommended for horror fans and readers who may relish unpleasant surprises." -- Library Journal

7) "This superbly crafted horror story explores the dichotomy between belief and rationality." -- Booklist

8) "The black comedy of errors that ensues invites comparison to storiesby Kafka, David Prill, James Hynes, William Browning Spencer, and other authors who have mused on the dark side of daily breadwinning... Though Zeltserman's approach is clearly tongue-in- cheek, he deftly balances the competing interests of the characters to keep the truth of the narrative events ambiguous. A few deaths at conveniently inopportune moments and several coincidental fades to black only add to the dramatic tension of the narrative. Stories of this kind are hard to pull off and often collapse under the weight of their outrageous premises long before they end. It's to Zeltserman's credit that his novel holds together up to and through the final paragraph, and that it compels the reader to stay with it for that long." -- LOCUS Magazine

9) "The Caretaker of Lorne Field succeeds as a horror novel, a psychological thriller and a haunting parable, even in some ways that Zeltserman may not have intended. There are dark levels to this work, some of which are immediately evident and others of which reveal themselves only upon later reflection. I don't know if the book will come to be regarded as a classic, either now or at some point in the future, but it deserves to be." --Bookreporter

10) "Throughout, the reader is not sure if this is all some sort of mental breakdown, building to a fever pitch of an ending. As a writer, Zeltserman is not just limited to doing gritty crime, but has the talent to give some horror authors a run. This might be one of the best books of the year, yet might slip through the cracks. The one thing most who read this novel will agree upon is the true sense of creepiness that Zeltserman layers on as each page is turned." Bookgasm

And now for a bonus reason--Aukwowies have never been cheaper or more plentiful, and really, is there a better gift to give for Halloween than a book full of Aukowies??

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hitting stores today + reviews

The paperback version of The Caretaker of Lorne Field is hitting stores today. Aukowies have never been this cheap, nor this plentiful, and really, is there a better gift for Halloween than a book full of Aukowies? Find out for yourself why the American Library Association short listed Caretaker for best horror novel of 2010, and why it was a Black Quill nominee for best dark genre book of the year.

A couple of recent new reviews have shown up for Caretaker. I'd like to thank John over at Pretty Sinister Books for his thoughtful review, which opens with:

I may get flack for what I am about to do, but here goes nothing. Dave Zeltserman’s exceptional novel The Caretaker of Lorne Field is a genre blending true original combining elements of the horror novel, the crime novel and...the fairy tale. And now that I’ve got you either scratching your head or rolling your eyes let me explain.

I'd also like to thank James Simpson from Australia, who also gave Caretaker a thoughtful analysis.

I must say I don’t read a great deal of horror novels these days, but as a kid I certainly did. However I stumble upon one or two every now and then and a few months ago I came across one of the best. You’ll have to go to the end of the fiction shelves to find this one (I know must customers never venture there but they should), it’s by an author who’s not normally a horror writer and is known more for his bad arse gets out of jail gets even with those who won’t leave him alone books, however The Caretaker of Lorne Field is simply a masterpiece.

You can read James' entire review here.

Over at Ransom Notes, Jedidiah Ayres came up with an interesting list of recommended creepy mysteries for this time of year, and gave A Killer's Essence a nice nod:

Playing another riff on the theme of sight and perception, but from the other side of the effect this time, Zeltserman has his NYPD homicide detective trying to solve a series of killings in the midst of a multi-dimensional maelstrom of personal crisis saddled with a lone witness to the killings with an annoying extra-sensory perception issue. Last year saw Zeltserman's first long-form foray into horror Caretaker of Lorne Field and this one takes his new tools and ingredients to successfully blend mystery and horror to great satisfaction.

Finally, if you'd like a signed copy of A Killer's Essence, contact The Mysterious Bookshop--they have a lot of them ((or at least I signed a couple of boxes of books for them).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Julius Katz Mysteries now Free!

To celebrate Julius and Archie both being safe and sound, Julius Katz Mysteries is being made free over at Smashwords. This ebook contains last year's Shamus award-winning story, Julius Katz, and this year's Ellery Queen's Readers Choice Award winner, Archie's Been Framed.

So go over to Smashwords now and grab Julius Katz Mysteries for absolutely nothing!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Son of a gun -- Julius is alive!

Anyone reading today's Boston papers already knows this, but Julius Katz is alive and well, and has identified to the police Anton Dupierre's murderer, and this culprit is the very same person who blew up Julius's townhouse, and surprisingly it wasn't Desmond Grushnier. Even more surprisingly, I was able to talk briefly with Archie this morning and he let it slip that Grushnier actually saved Julius's life. The call was brief given everything that was happening, and he apologized for ignoring my earlier calls, but he was under orders from Julius as the two of them went deep undercover to catch the person responsible for Dupierre's murder and all the rest of it. From what I've been able to piece together, after the explosion Julius called in a favor from the Boston Police Commissioner to report his death to the media, and that this was done equally to protect Lily as it was so he could continue his investigation in secret. I've also talked briefly with Julius, who is in surprisingly good spirits given the damage to his townhouse and the loss of his wine collection, and we're going to sit down together after his townhouse is rebuilt, and he'll be giving me the full story to write up.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mystery Scene on A Killer's Essence

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.

You can read the entire review here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Now on Twitter

My buddy Roger Smith has been trying to convince me for over a year to get on Twitter, and I finally made the leap. You can follow me now at @DaveZeltserman

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Killer's Essence & Caretaker

The NJ Star Ledger gave A Killer's Essence a nice review in their most recent Killer Thriller roundup, summing up their review with "This eerie thriller deftly blurs the lines between madness and the perception of reality."

Today the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library writes about A Killer's Essence, saying in part: "A Killer’s Essence by Dave Zeltserman is an absorbing novel that skillfully integrates the various characters’ stories and the murder investigation seamlessly into a fascinating story. Edged with darkness, this is crime fiction that goes beyond the case and into the life of the detective."

I'd like to thank Dave Kanell at Kingdom Books for all the support he's given A Killer's Essence, and writing such nice things about it. Dave + Beth + Kingdom Books have been great supporters of mine (as well as Dave + Beth being good friends). There are few people out there as passionate about crime fiction as Dave Kanell, and they run one of the best mystery + crime fiction stores out there with probably more signed books than anyone. Anyone looking for signed books (mine included) or recommendations should be contacting Dave at Kingdom Books.

This is a good article from the Readers Advisor Desk on recommending horror novel to library patrons, but what I particularly liked was the three sure bets:

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Ruins by Scott Smith
The Caretaker of Lorne Field

And finally, the trade paperback version of The Caretaker of Lorne Field now has a street release date of Nov 1st, which means it will start showing up in the next week or so in bookstores. Is there really a better Halloween present to give someone than the gift of Aukowies? With 100s of thousands of Aukowies in every book, the price of an Aukowie has always been a fraction of a cent, but now with the paperback release, it's never been cheaper!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Is Julius Katz still alive?

I've read the newspaper reports like everyone else, and I was at his funeral two weeks ago, but I'm starting to have these doubts whether Julius is really dead. There's no arguing that Julius's townhouse was destroyed by four pounds of C-4, with the blast originating in his wine cellar. All that happened. But ever since the funeral a thought has been nagging at me that maybe things aren't what they appear to be, and I realize now what it was--a look that I caught from Julius's childhood friend, Phil Weinstein. And then there's the call I received last night from Julius's sister, Julie. She's pretty much convinced that Desmond Grushnier is behind the bombing (I wrote about Grushnier when I chronicled the Kingston case, which Julius had me publish as an ebook with the title 'Julius Katz and Archie'), and she wanted to know if I had any additional information about Grushnier that I hadn't given her yet. There was something about her tone that made me think she's beginning to doubt whether her brother is truly dead. And then there's Archie. With discussions I've had with scientists at MIT, his titanium shell would've protected him from the explosion. It's possible he was turned off prior to it, but it's also possible there's an entirely different reason why he hasn't been answering his calls.

My gut is now telling me Julius might still be alive, and that all the NY publishers declaring that there's no place anymore for a brilliant, eccentric PI like Julius, or charming traditional mysteries, might all be wrong. Hell, it wouldn't be the first time. So maybe, just maybe, Julius might turn out to be alive after all, and there just might be a place for him with today's mystery readers.