Stark House Press

January N e w s l e t t e r,  v o l u m e  2,   i s s u e  8 2013

Now back in print....

 Oppenheimer Secrets & Sovereigns

SECRETS & SOVEREIGNS: The Uncollected Stories of E. Phillips Oppenheim 

 He came into their midst unexpectedly, apparently unconscious of the sudden silence which seemed designed to act as a barrier between him and them. He only smiled--a little malevolently, it is true, but still with some sense of humour. He dragged a chair across the lawn and seated himself in a cool place within a yard or so of his hostess.
   "How very enterprising of you, Mr. Lyndham!" she murmured, lifting her parasol a little on one side, and inwardly rebelling against her husband's express instructions to be always civil to this man. "Have you walked all the way from Broom Hill in this sun?"
 --opening paragraphs of The Man Whom Nobody Liked from SECRETS & SOVEREIGNS by E. Phillips Oppenheim

Called "The Prince of Storytellers," E. Phillips Oppenheim was the Harry Whittington of his time, publishing over 150 books and his lifetime as well as dozens of short stories. Oppenheim has long been a favorite of both readers and collectors not only for his novels but his books of linked short stories as well.

Oppenheim bridged the gap between Victorian mysteries and hardboiled pulp fiction, writing elegantly of crime and criminals, spies and espionage, and blackmail and mistaken identites. but often with an edge, sometimes wresting positive endings for his characters, sometimes not.

SECRETS & SOVEREIGNS was the first new Oppenheim collection to appear in over 60 years and is now back in print after a short break. Oppenheim is considered one of the founders of the thriller genre and this book is a good place to start. If you'd rather go with a sampling of his longer works...

Oppenheim The Amazing Judgment/Mr. Laxworthy's Adventures

One of the rarest of all Oppenheim works, The Amazing Judgment was uncovered by Oppenheim scholar Daniel Morrison. As he points out in his introduction, 48  Gutenberg Bibles are known to exist, 288 copies of Shakespeare's First Folio have been recognized, but out of all the books in all the world, the total number of copies of The Amazing Judgment that exist?

3. Just a low single digit. Until Stark House's release of this amazing book, one which has stumped scholars and collectors for decades. The mystery of exactly why this is so remains, as Morrison explains in his intriguing introduction. And paired with Mr. Laxworthy's Adventures, a "novel" of interconnected short stories featuring the independent and brilliant Mr. Laxworthy, who, similar to Sax Rohmer's Crime Magnet character, seems to know how to stumble into nefarious dealings that somehow spring up around him.

Also back in print:

The Stark House editions of classic fantasist Algernon Blackwood are back in print at long last. These were some of the first books Stark House ever published and are very big books filled with hundreds of thousands of words of Blackwood's stories. They are a great place to get acquainted with Blackwood's work, and the beautiful covers look great on any shelf.

Jimbo/The Education of Uncle PaulJulius Levallon/The Bright Messenger
The Lost Valley/The Wolves of GodPan's Garden/Incredible Adventures
By Algernon Blackwood:
Jimbo / The Education of Uncle Paul
Julius LeVallon / The Bright Messenger
The Lost Valley / The Wolves of God
Pan’s Garden / Incredible Adventures

Featured back list title:

by Margaret Millar

1-933586-09-5    $19.95

An Air That Kills/Do Evil in Return

Classic novels back in print and ready to ship now!

For a limited time, the Featured back list title is available for 15% off the cover price.  Just send us an e-mail with your ordering information and mention this newsletter.  Enjoy!

Upcoming Books  Click to see more!

Hello, Everyone—

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope everyone is keeping their personal libraries at the proper temperature and humidity, as well as stocked full of wonderful mystery, noir and hardboiled writing. And if you need a few more titles, it just so happens....

January sees the release of our fifth collection of the works of the woman Raymond Chandler once called the "top suspense writer of them all," Elisabeth Sanxay Holding. That's got to be like Hammett saying someone pours a mean Scotch. Or even rye. 

Known for her ingenius plots and unforgettably flawed characters, Holding is at her most absorbing in The Unfinished Crime and The Girl Who Had to Die.

Unfinished Crime/Girl Who Had to Die

The Unfinished Crime is the remarkable story of Mr. Branscombe and his unlikely pursuit of Hilda Patrell, unlikely because Branscombe always considered himself a bachelor, so consumed with himself that he never had the time for a distraction. His live-in sister took care of his housekeeping needs and that had always been enough for him and his narcissistic needs. Until now. First he must scare off his sister's suitor by any means necessary, and, as it turns out, he must get around the inconvenient fact of Hilda's estranged husband, a man he didn't know existed..

This being a novel of crime, and more, being a novel by Holding, things don't go as expected or even well for any of the main characters. Holding holds them all hostage to the twists and turns of her complex plot, building up to the suspense and contortions of her unexpected climax.

“Ever since I was fourteen,” she said, “I’ve known I was going to be murdered—”

In The Girl Who Had to Die Holding gives us the story of young Jocelyn, one of her most fey characters, who is not only convinced she will die, she believes her killer to be her assumed fiancee. Setting up another complex character study amidst psychological trauma, sudden murder and blackmail, Holding keeps us riveted to the last, when we may or may not know exactly what happened to the poor, dooomed Jocelyn.

A lot of discussion in the blog world seems to point to something of a Holding rediscovery taking place among crime and mystery readers. If you've put off discovering her till now, this is a fine place to start. The introduction is by Holding's own granddaughter, Rose Ardron.

You can read (and participate) in endless and unreslovable discussions about the definition of "noir," and I came up with my own answer:  Who cares, we're all just going to die anyway.

Too subtle? Kind of answers the question and defines it at the same time. And it sounds like a joke.

Anyway, speaking of noir....

March is Dan J. Marlowe month with the release of the classic hardboiled novel The Name of the Game is Death paired with its sequel, One Endless Hour.

Then Name of the Game is Death/One Endless Hour

Name of the Game has been hailed as one of the best Gold Medal books of the era. This is the original version, not the revised one that sets the stage for hardcore badass to become a <not gonna spoil it> in a later series. Here he's still the hardcore thief and killer, on the run and looking for not only his partner but the loot from their last job.

One Endless Hour is the sequel that begins immediately after the events in Name of the Game. What's better than a hardboiled tale of a hardened criminal trying to get away with a heist? How about what happens when it all goes wrong and it becomes a strong and dark tale of corruption and vengeance. Some crook is going to end up with that money from the heist and it may as well be Earl Drake. Or whatever it is he's calling himself now.

It's good to talk to everyone again. If you have any questions or comments, as always please be sure to drop us a line. And if you wish to get our latest releases still warm from the printer's presses, you can always sign up for our Crime Book Club and take advantage of discounts and deals on back list titles for new members.

And if you wish to subscribe or even unsubscribe to this newsletter, drop us an e-mail and we’ll make it happen.


Rick Ollerman
Associate Editor,
Stark House Press

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