Monday, March 29, 2010


We've just received our copies of A. E. Maxwell's 4th Fiddler & Fiora crime novel, Just Enough Light to Kill (978-1-935415-02-2; paperback; $14), and it's pretty darn good-looking! One of the best in the series, this was also named one of Time magazine's best suspense novels of the year when it was first released back in 1988. Copies of Just Enough Light to Kill will start shipping out to stores at the end of this week, but if you can't wait, you can always order it (& the first three in the series) through Busted Flush Press (starting tomorrow or Wednesday)!

"Plan on reading this one all the way through. You won't be able to stop." -- United Press International (UPI)

Tomorrow, I'll post an excerpt from Just Enough Light to Kill, so please check back...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

TOWER nominated for FOREWORD Book of the Year Award!

Tower (by Ken Bruen & Reed Farrel Coleman; trade paperback original; $15) has been nominated for the Foreword Book of The Year Award in the Mystery category!

Foreword Reviews' Book of the Year Awards were established to bring increased attention to librarians and booksellers of the literary and graphic achievements of independent publishers and their authors. Foreword is the only review trade journal devoted exlusively to books from independent houses.

Winners will be announced at BookExpo in New York City in May.

Update (03/20/10): Speaking of Reed Farrel Coleman... Tyrus Books has just released the cover of the 6th Moe Prager novel, Innocent Monster, due out in October. Ain't it gorgeous?? Tyrus & Busted Flush Press will work together not only on the release of Innocent Monster, but the new reprints of Soul Patch (September) and Empty Ever After (October), with promotions, contests, giveaways, and more. Stay tuned to both of our blogs!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The story behind THE EXTERMINATORS

By Bill Fitzhugh

The long and winding road to the publication of The Exterminators. And oh, what a long, strange trip it’s been…

David asked me for some blog content to commemorate our deal to publish the long awaited sequel to Pest Control. I decided to take a look back at the history of the little bug book that could…

It all started in May of 1991. A screenplay brainstorming session with a former writing partner led to the germ of the idea that would lead to a screenplay called Pest Control.

We finished a draft in September of 1991.

It was optioned for $4,000 November 1991, but the project went nowhere.

Worked on other screenplays for the next two years (including the script that would eventually become my third novel, Cross Dressing) before I decided to try writing Pest Control as a comic novel.

I began research in June 1993. I finished a draft in the fall of 1994. After rejections by 124 agents, I got a call from Jimmy Vines who loved it. However, all the major publishing houses passed on it. Jimmy told me not to worry, told me to start writing another book because he was going to sell Pest Control. So I started on The Organ Grinders.

In July 1995, Jimmy Vines gets the Pest manuscript to the New York offices of Spring Creek Productions. They loved it and send it to their L.A. offices on the lot at Warner Brothers.

On August 3, 1995, Spring Creek Productions bought the film rights to Pest Control for $500,000 against $1 million (i.e., half now, the other half if/when they make it).

October 1995, Japanese and UK publishers buy Pest Control.
November 1995, Avon Books buys North American rights.
February 1996, German publisher buys it.
March 1996, Italian publisher buys it.

May 1996, Pest Control is published in the UK. The Times of London calls it “one of the funniest, most off-beat thrillers to hit the bookstalls in years… Fitzhugh does for New York what Carl Hiaasen did for Miami.” And just like that, five years and 125 agents later, I’m an overnight success.

1997, Pest Control is published in the US, Germany, and Japan.

Italians decide to wait for the film. Bastards.

Many screenplay drafts are written and several directors are considered, but none Warner Brothers likes enough to make the movie.

Jimmy Vines begins urging me to write a sequel to Pest. I say I don’t have a good enough story for it. So I write The Organ Grinders, then Cross Dressing (which Universal Studios bought but still hasn’t made. The bastards.)

Jimmy Vines continues to urge me to write a sequel to Pest. I say I still don’t have a good enough story for it. So I write Fender Benders and Heart Seizure.

Jimmy Vines continues to urge me to write a sequel to Pest. I say I don’t have a good enough story for it. So I write Radio Activity and Highway 61 Resurfaced.

February 2005. The late, great, George Taylor Morris reads Radio Activity. George is the program director for the Deep Tracks channel of XM Satellite Radio. We start talking. I have an idea for a radio show. He says send him a sample. So I do.

Early 2005, I finally figure out a story for the sequel to Pest Control and begin writing The Exterminators.

May 2005, “Fitzhugh’s All Hand Mixed Vinyl” debuts on XM Satellite Radio. Five years later, it's on the air five days a week on Sirius-XM.

June 2007, a German Radio Production company buys the rights to make Pest into a radio show.

June 2007, an attorney from New York sends me an email saying he represents a producer who wants to turn Pest Control into a musical. Seriously? Yes, seriously.

July 2007, Canum Entertainment buys the STAGE MUSICAL RIGHTS for Pest. Seriously.

August 2007, the German Radio version of Pest airs for the first time.

November 2007, a Romanian publisher buys the rights for Pest.

April 2008, Pest Control: The Musical hits the stage in Los Angeles to excellent reviews. (It goes on to win awards for Best Costume. Seriously, the best cockroach costumes you’ve ever seen.

June 2008, a Spanish publisher buys rights to Pest.

September 2009, Reed Farrel Coleman is in Los Angeles on tour for Tower. We go out to dinner after his signing at The Mystery Book Store. He says great things about his publisher, Busted Flush Press.

October 2009, I contact David Thompson, who 'craps his pants' [editor's note: Not really.] when asked if he's interested in reading The Exterminators.

February 2010, Busted Flush Press and Fitzhugh have agreed to publishing deal.

April 2011 (twenty years after the original idea for the original screenplay) the sequel to Pest Control is published.

There’s an old saying that “Good things come to those who wait.” It’s true. If you enjoyed Pest Control, you’ll love The Exterminators. But you’ll have to wait…


Bill Fitzhugh is Toastmaster at this weekend's Left Coast Crime in Los Angeles (March 11-14). Visit him online at

Sunday, March 7, 2010

BFP News (March 7)

Ken Bruen

On World Book Day, award-winning crime writer Ken Bruen (London Boulevard; The Devil) read to Galway children from his upcoming kids' book (to be published in 2011).

Bill Fitzhugh

Look for new BFP author Bill Fitzhugh (The Organ Grinders) at this weekend's Left Coast Crime mystery convention in Los Angeles; he's the Toastmaster. He'll share more information on The Exterminators, the upcoming, long-awaited sequel to his 1996 cult hit, Pest Control, that will launch at next year's Left Coast Crime in Santa Fe. Other BFP authors attending LCC 2010 include Steve Brewer (Damn Near Dead), Christa Faust (A Hell of a Woman), Gar Anthony Haywood (Damn Near Dead 2), Naomi Hirahara (A Hell of a Woman), Gary Phillips (Damn Near Dead 2), and Kat Richardson (Damn Near Dead 2).

A. E. Maxwell

The fourth Fiddler & Fiora thriller, Just Enough Light to Kill, is at the printers, and will start shipping to stores the first week of April. This thriller -- in which Fiddler heads to the California-Mexico border to investigate the murder of a Customs Agent friend -- is one the series' best, and Time magazine named it one of the year's best suspense novels back when it first came out! this is a private eye/thriller series not to be missed.

Zoë Sharp

More early praise for Zoë Sharp's Killer Instinct (on sale in May; also available in large print from Isis):

"Charlotte 'Charlie' Fox could give Cotton Malone a run for his money, but I think he'd enjoy every minute of it. Killer Instinct is spicy, smart, and entertaining. Zoë Sharp has a gift for place and character, making it seem as familiar as your own backyard. She draws out every emotion in the reader with some stylish prose. Well done." -- Steve Berry, best-selling author of The Paris Vendetta

"Charlie Fox is tough, compassionate, and kicks ass to protect others -- how could anyone not love her? Zoë Sharp is a master at writing thoughtful action thrillers, and Killer Instinct is no exception. Read it!" -- Meg Gardiner, Edgar Award-winning author of The Liar's Lullaby

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Covers for Daniel Woodrell reprints!

Behold, the covers for Busted Flush Press's upcoming reprints of Daniel Woodrell's two most acclaimed novels, Tomato Red and The Death of Sweet Mister!

Tomato Red
Trade paperback, $15 (Canada $18)
September 2010 / 978-1-935415-06-0
New foreword by Megan Abbott!
(And very special thanks to photographer Katherine White for that chilling cover image!)

"Reading Tomato Red -- the first Daniel Woodrell novel I came upon -- was a transformative experience. It expanded my sense of the possibilities not only of crime fiction, but of fiction itself -- of language, of storytelling. Time and again, his work just dazzles and humbles me. God bless Busted Flush for these glorious reissues. It's a service to readers everywhere, and a great gift." -- Megan Abbott, award-winning author of Bury Me Deep

The Death of Sweet Mister
Trade paperback, $15 (Canada $18)
March 2011 / 978-1-935415-08-4
New foreword by Dennis Lehane!

"I can't remember coming across a more precise evocation of innocence lost since Golding's The Lord of the Flies. With The Death of Sweet Mister, Daniel Woodrell has written his masterpiece — spare, dark, and incandescently beautiful. It broke my heart..." -- Dennis Lehane, best-selling author of The Given Day

And have you registered for NoirCon 2010 yet?? Daniel Woodrell is scheduled to be there!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More Maxwells & Handlers!

David Handler and A. E. Maxwell fans, you'll be happy to know that Busted Flush is reprinting more of their mysteries, beginning spring 2011!

David Handler
After having reprinted the first four Stewart Hoag novels in two omnibus volumes (The Man Who Died Laughing/The Man Who Lived by Night; The Man Who Would Be F. Scott Fitzgerald/The Woman Who Fell from Grace), BFP, at long last, is continuing with more of this witty, erudite series. The Boy Who Never Grew Up (#5) will be published in spring 2011, and The Man Who Canceled Himself (#6) will follow in the fall.

A. E. Maxwell
BFP has released four Fiddler & Fiora private eye novels, with the fourth, Just Enough Light to Kill, due out last month, but running a little behind (it should be back from the printers soon). The Art of Survival (#5) will come out next spring, and Money Burns (#6) in the fall.

Though neither author is currently continuing these series (at the moment), I can't stress enough that if you haven't yet discovered these books, please track down the first ones posthaste. Reprinting Handler's and Maxwell's mysteries are two of the main reasons I created Busted Flush Press, and I'm just sorry it's taken me this long to get back to 'em.