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

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.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Now 25 Tales!


The cover hasn't changed, and neither has the title, but I've updated the kindle version of 21 Tales, adding 4 recently written and previously unpublished stories. 20 of the 21 stories in the original publication were crime stories, these new stories are either sci-fi or speculative fiction and are in the Weird section. 

The new stories:

Baseball during the Hundred-Year Pandemic: introduces a solution for playing baseball games in empty ballparks during a longstanding pandemic.

Killing Time until the Next Eon: a vision of what might exist after the world ends.

The Nightly Show at the Zan Chinese Theatre: would you spend $25 grand on a ticket for an extraordinary, life-altering theatre experience? What if you knew one theatregoer dies during each show?

An Examination and Analysis of the Brain Sapper Problem: This story is a matter-of-fact examination of the brain sapper problem, until it becomes something entirely different.

To celebrate this edition, I've put 21 Tales on sale for $0.99 for the next two days, which makes the cost each story less than $0.04! What a bargain!!

Friday, April 30, 2021

A new collection of Julius Katz stories!

More Julius Katz and Archie continues with eight additional stories!

Julius Katz and the Case of Exploding Wine
Julius Katz and the Giftwrapped Murder
Archie on Loan
Cramer in Trouble
Julius Katz and the Terminated Agent
Archie for Hire
Julius Katz and the Belvedere Club
Like a Lightning Bolt

Paperback and kindle editions are available now!