As the calendar year changes, here's a little look back, and ahead, for the Hector Lassiter novels.
The Lassiter series returned courtesy of Betimes Books in spring of 2014 with an aggressive launch sequence resulting in six novels. Four of the novels were never-before-published, and made the scene in trade paperback and eBook format.
Publishers Weekly said some very nice things about the series' return and, particularly, about the first new Hector Lassiter novel in three years, FOREVER'S JUST PRETEND.
The relaunched series particularly found traction in Australia, where, for several days, the entire series of then-five books dominated not just the top five spots in the paid Historical Mystery category, but also held the top five paid spots across the entirety of Amazon.com.au.
The Lassiter series also found its way into another scholarly tome: Ron McFarland examined Ernest Hemingway's use as a fictional character by other authors. Hector Lassiter gets quite a lengthy write-up. Mr. McFarland also deftly points out many of the Hemingway Easter Eggs and literary tricks and references found lurking just under the water level in TOROS & TORSOS, PRINT THE LEGEND and ONE TRUE SENTENCE.
The other big event of the past year was the Iowa City Book Festival, where I interviewed James Ellroy before a live audience, under the bright lights, very much a kick and a privilege. It was also a thrill to see the Lassiter series sharing shelf space in Iowa City with Mr. Ellroy's
So, it's 2015 now and new things await. This year will start with the re-release of two previously published Lassiter novels. The first is the book that launched the whole enterprise, the Edgar- and Anthony awards finalist HEAD GAMES, and also, PRINT THE LEGEND, which examines the FBI's clandestine war on writers and, particularly, its harassment of Ernest Hemingway.
After that, two final, never-before-seen Lassiter novels will appear. First up, will be a novel featuring Hector and James Bond creator Ian Fleming in 1962 Japan, and, a bit later, in Istanbul, witnessing the filming of the classic Bond novel, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. Japanese author Yukio Mishima will also have a part to play in all that.
Closer to year's end, the final Lassiter novel in the original projected arc of the series will at last appear. THREE CHORDS & THE TRUTH (formerly known as GNASHVILLE, if anyone is keeping track), will reveal Hector's ulimate fate.
A collection of Lassiter short stories, WRITE FROM WRONG, will also appear before 2016 dawns.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with a very short teaser for the next new Hector Lassiter novel.