Let the Spillane Revival Begin

A few days ago, Hard Case Crime officially announced its impending publication of DEAD STREET, a previously unpublished novel by The Mick. As the Rap Sheet found out a few months ago, the book was nearly finished when Spillane died, but Max Allan Collins – who was appointed executor of the author’s literary estate – stepped in to edit and prepare the book for public consumption.

But that’s not all, which should not come as a surprise for those who read J. Kingston Pierce’s piece back in November, as Collins revealed more details about other posthumous works:

_In the last four or five years of his life, Mickey was

working on multiple novel projects. He seemed to have one going in each

of his offices (downstairs, upstairs, and outside his home in a small

shack on stilts). The last published novel_, Something’s Down There _[2003], he finished a few years ago but had been working on it, on and off, for over a decade.

He had two Mike Hammer novels going–King of the Weeds and The Goliath Bone_–and

both of these had substantial work done on them at the time of his

passing. The former is about two-thirds finished, plus the ending and

notes. The latter is in similar shape, although it’s made more

interesting by the existence of variant versions of the opening four or

five chapters–Mickey mislaid the novel in progress, started over, then

later the missing chapters turned up. I will probably do a synthesis of

this material. And in_ Goliath Bone_, a case is getting in the

way of Mike and Velda’s impending marriage–whether they marry or not,

well, like Velda, you’ll just have to wait. …

[When he died, Spillane] had just finished a novel called The Last Stand, which is not a crime novel, more an adventure novel in the Something’s Down There _vein.

It’s a good book but not typical Spillane in content (although

typically Spillane in theme), and we–Jane and I–did not want this to

be the first book to appear after Mickey’s passing. So_ Dead Street, which is about a tough cop in retirement, seemed perfect.

And now, those novels – which will be completed and edited by Collins – have found a home with Harcourt, specifically Otto Penzler’s imprint. Publishers Weekly reports that Penzler acquired world rights to THE GOLIATH BONE, KING OF WEEDS as well as a third Hammer novel, THE BIG BANG from Dominick Abel. Look for BONE to be out in Spring 2008, with the others to follow thereafter.