Thursday, January 6, 2011


Library Journal has weighed in with its take on ONE TRUE SENTENCE (Minotaur Books, February 16, 2011):

When crime novelist Hector Lassiter (Head Games; Print the Legend; Toros & Torsos) sees a body fall into the Seine from the Pont Neuf in 1924 Paris, Gertrude Stein rallies the troops, and Lassiter and pal Ernest Hemingway pair up to find out who is killing the city's literary editors. Edgar-nominated author McDonald takes such care to describe the American literary expatriate community in Paris in the years after World War I that readers will feel as if they are walking alongside Hemingway and his buddies as they look for a vicious killer. VERDICT Certain to attract Hemingway afficionados and readers who enjoy hard-boiled historical crime fiction. [Six-city author tour.]

Sunday, January 2, 2011


First up in 2011 is the release of ONE TRUE SENTENCE (Minotaur, February 2010). Given the novel centers on a pivotal romantic relationship in the life of series character Hector Lassiter, that Valentine's-time lay-down date seems particularly appropriate.

The novel also is set in one week in Paris, February 1924, and while in publication sequence the fourth novel in the Lassiter series, in terms of chronology, this one is theoretically the first, and, so, a perfect place for new readers to get on board.

Booklist has just weighed in on the novel:

"This time out, crime writer Hec Lassiter and best friend Ernest Hemingway are young members of the Lost Generation in Paris in 1924. Someone is murdering editors of the city’s many literary reviews, and Gertrude Stein assigns Hec, Hem, and two female mystery writers to track down the murderers, a nihilistic cult called the Nadaists. It’s another juicy setting for McDonald to mix real people, well-known parts of the Hemingway legend, invented characters, and murders most foul. Gertrude Stein, Alice and her brownies, Ford Maddox Ford, William Carlos Williams, Man Ray, and Aleister Crowley all play parts of varying sizes, and McDonald paints a vivid picture of Lost Gen life in Paris. He tweaks Papa by giving credit for several of his best-known lines to Hec and a Paris cop. And he creates Brinke Devlin, a stunning mystery novelist with whom Hec falls in love, even though he suspects her of evil deeds. Sadly, the preface reports that Papa will be retired from the Lassiter novels. But fans will always have Paris." — Thomas Gaughan

In addition to its hardcover release, ONE TRUE SENTENCE will also be available as an eBook, and in unabridged audio from Recorded Books. ONE TRUE SENTENCE is also a Mystery Guild Alternate Selection.

Tour dates are being finalized now; stops will include Austin, Texas; Scottsdale, Arizona; Dayton, Ohio and in-and-around Columbus, Ohio, among others, sometime in late February.

About that same time, PRINT THE LEGEND will be given its French release by Belfond, under the alternate title, ONE ONLY DIES ONCE. As that book makes its way to French bookstores, I'm tentatively scheduled to appear at the 2011 Festival Quai du polar in Lyon, France in late-March.

Steps are also underway to at last release HEAD GAMES as an eBook (TOROS & TORSOS became available in that format late last year). Once that is done, all of the Hector Lassiter novels so far published will finally be available in electronic format.

Stay tuned for more announcements regarding future projects, including the possible release of a standalone novel about a trio of Midwest cops later this year.


PRINT THE LEGEND, the third novel in the Hector Lassiter series, made a humbling number of year's best lists and garnered several honorable mentions, as well.

I'm grateful to each critic and fellow writer who singled out the novel for recognition at year's end. A round up of those lists follows, and, later today, some words about what's to come in 2011.

• Barnes & Noble/Ransom Notes on PRINT THE LEGEND: "Chapter three of a proposed eight installment series featuring the fictional 20th century pulp writer Hector Lassiter. This one focuses on the death of Ernest Hemingway. Notice I didn’t say suicide. McDonald has created a three-dimensional character in Lassiter and an intricately layered mythology of the twentieth century for him to inhabit. Print is the third Hector Lassiter book - catch up with HEAD GAMES and TOROS & TORSOS."

The Rap Sheet/January Magazine: "The Hector Lassiter series took a significant step forward in 2010 when author Craig McDonald released his third book about the renegade hard-boiled writer...Like the previous entries in the Lassiter series, HEAD GAMES (2007) and TOROS & TORSOS (2008), in PRINT THE LEGEND McDonald pulls from the archives of conspiracies and skullduggery to compose a rollicking yarn, taking no prisoners and never letting up on the adrenaline."

• Things I'd Rather Be Doing/John Kenyon on PRINT THE LEGEND (and others): "What set these books apart was not simply having a great story or compelling characters. It was the fact that the authors were daring and adventurous. Every book here is evidence of an author taking chances, and in each case, those experiments and leaps of faith paid off handsomely."

Crime Factory/Keith Rawson on PRINT THE LEGEND: "My favorite ongoing series. Each entry in the Lassiter series keeps getting better and better. I can't wait for ONE TRUE SENTENCE."

The Paperback Dolls (a Day pick for PRINT THE LEGEND for her top 5).

Jen's Book Thoughts/Jen Forbus: "Why I don't hear McDonald's name mentioned more often is one of the great wonders of this world. PRINT THE LEGEND is extraordinary. It's unique, masterfully blending fact with fiction. McDonald refused to be confined by any conventions. He's paving his own road, and I'm gladly traveling along enjoying the fruits of his labors."

Book People/Scott Montgomery: "A unique thriller that has McDonald’s pistol-toting crime writer, Hector Lassiter, a shady government agent, and Ernest Hemingway’s widow circling around some lost manuscripts. Smart, slow burn suspense as well as a deft meditation on literary culture."

Naomi Johnson on PRINT THE LEGEND: "It's no secret how much I love the Hector Lassiter series. I can't even think about this book without wanting to re-read it."

Charlie Stella names PRINT THE LEGEND as a 2010 favorite.

Vince Keenan on PRINT THE LEGEND: "Yes, technically I read it in 2009. But I remembered it."

Lazy Thoughts From A Boomer: A Top 10 list with nice mentions of PRINT THE LEGEND and kudos for narrator/actor Tom Stechschulte.

The Mystery Bookshelf picks PRINT THE LEGEND as a top read.

Also, to make it a baker's dozen, and then some:

Hilary Davidson's best of list includes Thuglit's anthology, BLOOD, GUTS & WHISKEY, including the short story, "These Two Guys..."

The Drowning Machine More kind words for PRINT THE LEGEND, and its linked short story, "Colt."