Word has arrived via camel caravan that the complete collection of Howard Browne’s stories featuring hardboiled detective Paul Pine are going to be in print, soonish, from Haffner Press.
I actually pre-ordered this collection several years back, because Browne’s writing is sublime. He sounds a heckuva lot like Chandler, and as a bonus his novel plots don’t wander as much as Chandler’s do. The fourth and final Paul Pine novel, The Taste of Ashes, is a masterpiece that stacks up well against Chandler’s finest.
In other words, I’m really looking forward to the volume, especially because it contains one of the novels I’ve never been able to find, as well as some fragments.
The art chosen for the cover is certainly evocative and professional, but it looks a little more like it’s from a lighthearted ’80s TV series than the rather somber adventures Paul Pine experiences. Perhaps that cover will help attract new readers, though, and they’ll stay for the prose.