Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, June 27, 2023


This week, I pulled about twenty-five books that I really wanted to read from storage; among them were three original paperback anthologies edited by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins.  As you know, I'm a big fan of both Spillane and Collins; why I had not read these previously is a big mystery to me -- I will, however be reading them over the next few weeks.  The books were designed to continue the flavor of two classic hard-boiled magazines:  Black Mask and Manhunt.  The contributing authors were some of the best established genre writers of the 1990s, along with a few writers new to the field.  The vast majority of the stories were original to each book and some tales have become familiar over the years.  Each book is themed and promises to hold some great reading.

Murder Is My Business (1994) contains seventeen stories about killers for hire:

  • "The Bishop and the Hit Man" by Andrew Greeley
  • "The Man Who Shot Trinity Valance" by Paul Bishop
  • "With Anchovies" by Johyn Lutz
  • "Guest Services" by Max Allan Collins
  • "The Matchstick and the Rubber Band" by Lynn F. Meyers, Jr.
  • "Hitback" by Wayne D. Dundee
  • "Undercover" by Caroluyn Wheat
  • "Angel Face" by Daniel Helpingstone
  • "Improvident Excess" by Barry N. Malzberg
  • "The King of Horror" by Stephen Mertz
  • "A Nice Save" by Edward Wellen
  • "Without a Trace" by Warren Murphy
  • "Runner and the Deathbringer" by Teri White
  • "The Operation" by Henry Slasar
  • "Surrogate" by Ed Gorman
  • "Keller on Horseback" by Lawrence Block
  • "Everybody's Watching Me" by Mickey Spillane (a short novel originally written for Collier's, but that nagazine folded before th story could be printed; it ended up as a four-part serial in the initial issues of Manhunt, January-April 1953)
That's a line-up designed to make my mouth water.  Published by Dutton in hardcover and by Signet in paperback the following year.

Vengeance Is Hers (1997) has sixteen tales of vengeance by women writers, as well as a piece by Spillane in which a prostitute relates her won story.
  • "Sex Is My Vengeance" by Mickey Spillane
  • "Pounds of Flesh" by Valerie Frankel
  • "One Good Turn" by J. A. Jance
  • "Belated Revenge" by Christine Matthews
  • "Couldja Die" by Annette Meyers
  • "Pictures in the Stars" by L. J. Washburn
  • "No, I'm Not Jane Marple, But Since You Ask..." by Margaret Maron
  • "The Other Woman" by Wendi Lee
  • "Where Is She?  Where Did She Go To?" by Dorothy B. Hughes
  • "Family Tradition" by Susan Rogers Cooper
  • "A Front-Row Seat" by Jan Grape
  • "Reunion Queen" by Barbara Collins
  • "Subway" by S. J. Rozan
  • "Hot Prowl" by Mary Wings
  • "The Maggody Files:  Time Will Tell" by Joan Hess
  • "Dust Devil" by Nancy Pickard (first appeared in The Armchair Detective, Winter 1991)
  • "Among My Souvenirs" by Sharyn McCrumb
A first-class list of contributors.  Published in paperback by Signet; I'm not sure if there was a hardcover edition.

Private Eyes (1998) with sixteen stories bout...well, you know.
  •  "The Night I Died:  A Mike Hammer Story" by Mickey Spillane (originally written in 1953 as an unproduced radio script; as a short story for the first time; later adapted by Collins as a 2018 Hard Case Crime graphic novel)
  • "Home Is the Place Where:  A 'Nameless Detective' Story" by Bill Pronzini
  • "Snow Birds" by Stuart M. Kaminsky
  • "Diver" by James L. Traylor
  • "An Eye for Scandal" by Edward D. Hoch
  • "See No Evil" by Barb D'Amato
  • "Killed in Good Company" by William L. DeAndrea
  • "Nicole:  A Matthew Gregory Story" by Ted Fitzgerald
  • "Sideways" by Rex Miller
  • "Can Shoot" by Michael Collins
  • "Easy as Pie" by Arthur Winfield Knioght
  • "Family Values" by Matthew Clemens
  • "The Girl, the Bodu, and the Kitchen Sink" by Martin Meyers
  • "Lessons" by jeremiah Healy
  • "A Favor for Sam:  A Nick Delvecchio Story" by Robert J. Randisi
  • "Kaddish for the Kid:  A Nathan Heller Story" by Max Allan Collins
Some of my favorite authors with some of my favorite characters.  Published in paperback by Signet; I'm not sure if there was  a hardcover edition.

You can't go wrong with any of these books.


  1. Once again you've sent me scurrying into my basement to dig out books you've reviewed. I have these books--and found one of the right away--but I'll have to search for the other two. Great choices!

  2. All of those sound good. And getting books out of storage sounds really fun. I have some boxes in my garage that would take me ages to get to.

  3. A nice assortment...I definitely like most of the other contributors' better than I like Spillane's fiction, but I would certainly take a look at these.