Hard Case Crime to publish lost novels of Ed McBain

Hard Case Crime has announced they will be publishing two long lost novels by mystery legend Ed  McBain. The two books, which were both published in the 50s, were written under pen names and have been out of print for over fifty years.

SO NUDE, SO DEAD was McBain’s first crime novel and tells the story of a piano prodigy turned heroin addict who wakes up in a seedy hotel room to find his companion of the night before – a beautiful singer and fellow addict – murdered in bed beside him. On the run from the police and growing desperate for a fix, he has to find the real killer or face a date with the electric chair.

CUT ME IN is the story of a New York literary agent who is forced to play private detective when his widely loathed, philandering partner is shot to death in his office. Was the killer one of the women the dead man was sleeping with? Or was the motive for his murder tied up with the contract for a lucrative television deal that’s missing from the office safe…? The book offers a dark and sexy crime story mixed with a pull-no-punches satire of the Manhattan business world in the pre-MAD MEN era, informed by McBain’s own personal experiences working in an ethically dubious literary agency early in his career.

MWA Grandmaster Ed McBain

Hard Case Crime will publish SO NUDE, SO DEAD July 14, 2015, with a brand new cover painting in the classic pulp style by award-winning illustrator Gregory Manchess. The same month, Hard Case Crime will also re-issue its one previous McBain title, THE GUTTER AND THE GRAVE, for the first time ever in trade paperback format. CUT ME IN is scheduled for a January 12, 2016 publication and will feature a new cover by legendary painter Robert McGinnis.

As a special bonus, each of the three books will also include a long-lost private-eye novelette by McBain starring Matt Cordell, the detective from THE GUTTER AND THE GRAVE. These three novelettes were originally published in pulp magazines of the 1950s and haven’t been seen in more than half a century.

“We were fortunate to get to work with Ed McBain at the very end of his life on THE GUTTER AND THE GRAVE, and we’ve been looking for a way to bring readers more of his work ever since,” said Charles Ardai. “We were thrilled to discover these terrific early works, which essentially no one alive today has ever read. It’s like having two new McBain novels – a huge treat for his millions of fans.”