Throwback Thursday for January 15 2015 looks back on MONKEY’S RAINCOAT.
In 1987 Bantam published THE MONKEY’S RAINCOAT by Robert Crais, it introduced Private Detective Elvis Cole. The following year at Bouchercon in San Diego the book won the Anthony award for Best Paperback Original, beating Lilian Jackson Braun, THE CAT WHO PLAYED BRAHMS; Carolyn G. Hart, DEATH ON DEMAND; Conrad Haynes, BISHOP’S GAMBIT, Declined; Lia Matera, WHERE LAWYERS FEAR TO TREAD and Sharyn McCrumb, BIMBOS OF THE DEATH SUN (One of my all time favorite book titles). It also won 1988 Mystery Readers International Macavity Award for Best First Novel; 1988 Edgar Award nominee for Best Paperback Original
1988 AND Shamus Award nominee for Best Original P.I. Paperback. A nice sweep of most of the big awards. Crais has won over 25 major awards so far.
In the original outline there is a rumor that Crais was going to kill off side kick Joe Pike, I for one am glad that didn’t happen as I love Pike as much as I do Elvis. The story is a missing person case in which one Ellen Lang hires Cole to find her missing husband and son. It’s a great introduction to a wonderful character and series which have both evolved over the years. This year with THE PROMISE will mark 16 books which have featured Elvis Cole. I discovered this series when book three came out, LULLABYTOWN. I saw it and bought that and the first two and read all three in two days. I was hooked.
I got to meet Mr. Crais when he was on tour for FREEFALL and I’ve seen him on every tour since then. It was my first book signing. I’m such a fan that we made him a guest of honor when we did Bouchercon in St. Louis. I also love the author photo on the first book, if you’ve met Bob Crais you know how perfect it is.
For you collectors out there, the TRUE first edition is a PAPERBACK, and ONLY the first printing has the cursive script writing on the cover (shown in this post). The hardcover edition was released a few years later and prices on that are usually inflated as people think it is the true first.