Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I'm pleased to announce that, for the first time in four years, a brand new Joe Hannibal novel is now available. 
It is entitled GOSHEN HOLE and can be purchased as an eBook original via Amazon Kindle. (Other eBook formats will be available soon, but there are currently no plans for a print version.)
The Amazon link provides a lengthy Product Detail introduction as well as an opening chapter sample. But a more concise blurb might be as follows:

Following the life-altering events of THE DAY AFTER YESTERDAY, Joe Hannibal is back in action! Operating now out of the Lake McConaughy region in west central Nebraska, Joe still carries a PI ticket but doesn't solicit investigative cases like in the old days. This doesn't mean, however, that trouble doesn't still have a way of finding him, even when he doesn't go looking for it.
As a favor to a new friend from the lakeside community, Joe agrees to do some discreet checking on the pal's ex wife who seems to have gone missing from her digs in nearby Cheyenne, Wyoming. In no time at all, Joe finds himself at odds with a shady local businessman, on the radar of a bloodthirsty Mexican crime boss, and in the crosshairs of a rogue bandito who won't hesitate to take down not only his primary target but also anybody/everybody else who tries to get in his way.
Before he can find the answers he set out after, Joe must endure the fight of his life and in the process learns that the dusty back roads and wide open spaces of the high plains can be every bit as dangerous as the meanest streets from the cities of his past.

I've already used this new setting for several Hannibal short stories that have appeared over the past couple of years and have found it to be exciting and re-vitalizing to me as the author—I am in hopes that readers will like it as well.
GOSHEN HOLE is the seventh novel in the series (along with twenty-one short stories) and I recently completed the eighth, BLADE OF THE TIGER, which we'll be bringing out some time next year. 2012 will mark thirty years since Joe first appeared in the now-defunct Spiderweb Magazine—making the series one of the longest-running, still-active ones on the scene.
Nevertheless, if you give GOSHEN HOLE a try (for the bargain price of $2.99!) I think you'll soon find out that Hannibal still has enough gas sloshing around in his battered old tank to keep things interesting.


In conjunction with the release of Hannibal #7, my third Hannibal novel, THE BRUTAL BALLET, is also being re-issued in eBook format. Originally published as a Dell paperback in 1992, this is one of the few mystery novels (or novels of any kind, to my knowledge) to take an in-depth look at the world of professional wrestling as part of its back story. Which brings me to the admission that I have long been—and continue to be—a big fan of pro wrestling. (You might say it's in the blood … one of my grandfather's boyhood friends growing up in Nekoosa, WI, went on to become the famed 1920s era grappler Ed "Strangler" Lewis, and my sweet, shy maternal grandmother would attend live matches and turn into one of those raging "Hatpin Mary" types who would sit at ringside and cuss a blue streak at whatever "bad guy" was breaking the rules.)
Anyway, I was eager to use the wrestling scene (this was in the days before the term "sports entertainment" was in wide use and most organizations were still going through the pretense of pretending everything was "real") as the backdrop to a story and I think it turned out pretty well. Unfortunately, distribution was lousy and the book went on and off the shelves in about a week so very few readers ever saw or heard of THE BRUTAL BALLET. I am in hopes that, through the magic of eBooks, this can be corrected.
The blurb for this one goes:

While trying to prove or disprove his client's suspicions of a cheating spouse, Hannibal is drawn into the violent and bizarre world of professional wrestling. Almost immediately, however, he finds himself grappling with issues far more serious than infidelity when his investigation slams him up against a vicious murder. And where there is one murder there is always the seed for more.
Double-dealings, illicit sex, blackmail, and kidnapping are all on the card as Joe battles to uncover the truth. He will taste hot sweet kisses and bitter rage and his own blood before he is through. But innocent lives are being threatened with death … and the kind of unbelievable degradation that can be even worse. Hannibal won't stop until the predators and killers are revealed and made to pay.

"Noir" seems to be the popular catch phrase used for a lot of stuff coming out these days, but what the Hannibal books and stories are is plain old-fashioned "hardboiled" … a tag I think I am qualified to attach. In the preface to an interview I did a couple months back, the interviewer used the term "red meat mysteries" for my work … I kinda like that, too.
So if you're looking to add a little red meat to your holiday pastries and cookies and candy canes, why not give the Hannibal books a try? I think you'll be glad you did—and so will Joe and I.

Persevere — WD

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