The Rap Sheet’s Spring Deluge.


April showers bring May flowers, but it’s still March here, Spring’s another week away, and we’re supposed to get some snow this afternoon. Only a dusting, they say, with the real stuff downstate (hereabouts, ‘downstate’ being anything south of I-80).

But if you visit J. Kingston Pierce’s excellent The Rap Sheet blog, the ‘April Showers’ are more like a deluge, at least in the March 9th post “A Spring Shower Of Reading Choices” (link below). After spending the end of the year catching up on a backlog of TBR books for obligatory annual lists, Pierce explains that he turns to some older works in the opening months of the new year. But with Spring on the way, it was time to list a few forthcoming new releases we’ll see between now and June 1.

Did I say a few? I meant to say 350.

The Rap Sheet

Social distancing couldn’t disrupt business and daily routines any more than The Rap Sheet’s hefty list for genre fans, who’ll be plowing through it for days, heating up touchpads and melting mouses while we toggle back and forth through links for more info on some or even all of the titles. I know I’ve been doing precisely that, and I’m not even halfway through. What’s your pleasure? Take your pick from a drool-worthy list of US and UK releases for March, April and May, mostly novels but some intriguing non-fiction books included as well.

Apparently, it’ll be a Max Allan Collins bonanza over the next few months, which is good news for a committed Collins fan like me. I already have the just-in second Krista Larson novel Girl Can’t Help It and the long-awaited new Nate Heller novel, Do No Harm. But I didn’t know I could look forward to Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins’ Mike Hammer novel Masquerade For Murder, and definitely didn’t know about Max Allan Collins, Terry Beatty and Pete Morisi’s Johnny Dynamite: Explosive Pre-Code Crime Comics.


And while I knew it was coming, one of the highlights of The Rap Sheet’s Spring list is Loren D. Estleman’s new Valentino Mystery, Indigo, though I’ll have to be patient till late May for that one. I’m a rabid fan of Estleman’s long-running traditional hard-boiled Amos Walker series. Hardly hard-boiled but certainly not cozies, the Valentino novels deal with a UCLA film preservationist who’s also restoring the legendary Oracle movie theater, while becoming embroiled in one puzzling (and dangerous) classic cinema mystery after another. Along with a terrific cast of secondary characters, Valentino has investigated a series of murders based on Golden Age Hollywood blonde bombshells’ deaths, scandalous love letters between Great Garbo and her mistress, horror fans’ Holy Grail missing film footage of Bela Lugosi’s screen tests in Golem-like Frankenstein monster makeup, vintage western mysteries with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans clones and Erich von Stroheim’s Greed. There’s even a Valentino story collection, the small press edition still available along with a more current eBook version. Call me a fan, and with the upcoming Indigo dealing with a long-lost controversial film noir…well, I’ll be in Valentino heaven.


Nursing a cold (just a cold, nothing pandemic), stuck with some take-home assignments for the day job due Monday AM, I’m also unable to put off routine weekend chores. But I know once this post is scheduled, I’ll probably work through some more of The Rap Sheet’s 350 book Spring reading list. Sure, I can tell myself that I’ll only spend a few minutes there before returning to the gotta-be-done tasks. Just like I’ll tell myself that my credit card statements won’t be so bad after I make my picks from The Rap Sheet’s list.


Oh, just follow the link below to The Rap Sheet’s list and start planning your own Spring reading…

Story Collection

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