Monday, June 29, 2015

July Changes to Hard Boiled Flash Fiction Contest

There is 1 day left this month to get entries in for our monthly Hard Boiled Flash Fiction Contest.

We would like to take a moment to share the progress of our Monthly Flash Fiction Contest.  Since H.B. Books introduced the flash fiction contest last month (the initial startup),  we received a fair number of entries.  We were impressed with many of the submissions that were entered and noticed many writers seemed to have difficulty working with the picture given for the writing prompt.  

This month, we thought we were introducing an easier picture for writers to craft a flash piece to, but it would seem for one of the following reason, or maybe all of them, the number of quality entries this month was almost nil. 

Possible Reason for Lack of Quality Submissions
  • 1. Scene Picture 
  • 2. We didn't promote as much as we should have 
  • 3.  The Hard Boiled Crime Genre is too specialized, thus a smaller audience.
  • 4.  People are not interested

As to date so far this month, we have only 1 entry which qualified for placement, with nothing else to compete or compare it against for this month.  The remaining entries received this month, sorry were not of the caliber we were looking for or did not come close to describing the scene in the picture.

After partner discussions, it was decided this would be the last month  a scene picture will be posted to serve as a writing prompt.  We believe giving writers this extra freedom, instead of a challenge should aid in their creativity and freedom to write within the basic guidelines.

In addition, we are going to be expanding the Prizes given away in the contest.  As we are a growing Indie Press, we do believe in supporting other Indie Authors and Publishers, who may not be related to Hard Boiled Books.  We are considering, giving away as additional prizes, books from authors and Indie Publishers, (who may not be related to H.B. Books), but we support their work,  as we build our own backlist of Books (which are given as prizes besides money- Currently the Case Files of Harvey Valentine & Gumshoe Mysteries).

Currently, the 1st Place Winner receives a payment of $5.00 via Paypal or Amazon gift card, with their story included in the publication of Gumshoe Mysteries and here on the website.  In addition, all winners receive a kindle copy of Gumshoe Mysteries and the Latest Harvey Valentine Novel, kindle version.

2nd & 3rd Place Winners, are mentioned here on the website and their stories published to the site. Besides receiving Kindle Copies of Above Mentioned Books.

We thought it would be a great Idea to offer other Indie Authors & Publishers works as prizes as well.  Of course, the works chosen will be either Hard-Boiled, Noir, or Crime/Mystery related.  If you are an Indie author with  a book you would like to offer as a prize to our contest, please contact

Cash Prizes for 1st Place Winners will be increased to $10.00, 2nd Place Winner will receive $5.00 and third place $1.00 (Hey, it's a buck!  You can pretend you just sold  a $.99 cent novel on Amazon and made a .33 cent commission or actually sold 3 novels to make that buck!)   Cash Prizes will be awarded through Paypal or Amazon Gift card.


Excerpt from book 2 of The Case Files of Harvey Valentine Private Dick in The Judge & the Cultist. WIP. Expected release late summer 2015.

      “Jesus Christ,” I said aloud, breaking my silence. I looked around to see if my utterance drew any attention. Nobody paid me any. The minister finally stood up straight.

     “Jesus speaks through me God’s children.” His words boomed through the rafters of the church. “Listen to his words,” he barked in a deep bass voice.

     The pigeon was spooked once again and fluttered about in a chaotic circle over the congregation. It shit as it passed over the minister and the Alter. The pigeon shit sailed like a paratrooper descending on a forty-five, degree angle. The poo hit the side of the Alter and stuck.

    The Lord God gave me a sign. That this sham was nothing but bullshit. The parishioners did not think so. A few gasps arose from the pews, and “awes

Saturday, June 27, 2015

NO HANDS ON THE CLOCK Wise cracking PI Noir

Chester Morris is a wise-cracking private detective in,

Boston Blackie Hired Hand

We discovered a new, old private dick we would like to share with you.

Boston Blackie

is a fictional character created by author Jack Boyle. Blackie, a jewel thief and safecracker in the Boyle's stories, became a detective in adaptations for films, radio and television—an "enemy to those who make him an enemy, friend to those who have no friend."

Enjoy this TV episode of this friend to those who have no friends.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Case Files of Harvey Valentine Private Dick in THE JUDGE AND THE CULTIST - An Excerpt

An excerpt from, The Case Files of Harvey Valentine, Private Dick in-


This is from book 2 in the Harvey Valentine series. We hope to have this available by August or September.

 Like a waitress, the woman who I hoped was not going to be the evenings sacrifice visited each of us in our pews and handed us a cup. I accepted the plastic chalice, a fine buy from the local dollar store. It was empty. I gave her a big smile and tried hard to not let my eyes stare at her bodacious curves. She smiled back. Her eyes did not register any emotion. I got the feeling she was just an empty shell.

 “The Lord God gave us his son. His only son!” the minister yelled. “His only son gave his life for God’s children. He gave his body, blood and spirit so that we may be as he was…DIVINE!” 

The words of the holy man rose like a deep thunder and vibrated through the high ceilings of the church. A pigeon, spooked, cooed and flew to a different ledge. 

“A sign my children!” The man cried and pointed at the rat with wings. “A sign that the spirit of the Lord Jesus is here with us, blessing, this sanctification of his flesh and blood.”

The Private Eyes

It has come to our attention after posting a Youtube link for the movie: THE PRIVATE EYES with Tim Conway & Don Knotts, that the movie has been removed from Youtube.  Our investigative discovery has turned up an alternate streaming video link for this movie.

The link provided here is a streaming video link from Putlocker.  The site is buggy, although we had no problems watching the movie without issue or viral threats.  You will have to close 2 to 3 pop-up windows before the video will actually play, and close pop-ups when  trying to access the video control functions.  But the movie is entirely watchable and very enjoyable if you happen to be fans of Tim Conway and Don Knotts.  Click HERE to watch PRIVATE EYES.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Watch the BIG SLEEP Free

You can watch this hard boiled classic FREE HERE!

The video is streamed through putlocker.  We had no issues playing the video, other than having to close 3 pop windows before the movie will finally start.  No viral issues.

Adventures of a Private Eye Comedy Movie

This is far from Hard Boiled, but an enjoyable British Comedy about a young PI that gets his first case.

Its not Hard Boiled, but its Don Knotts in THE PRIVATE EYES

It's Don Knotts and Tim Conway in this spoof of Sherlock Holmes.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mickey Spillane- I the Jury 1953

Enjoy this Sunday Morning with Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer in, I the Jury.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Nero Wolfe Flash Short Best Seller

ARCHIE SAVES THE DAY in its PRE-RELEASE, obtained the best seller list at #27 on Amazon

We are pleased and disappointed at the same time.  The 1st review to come in was from a very negative review troll on Amazon.  The reviewer never even posted a review before in their life and apparently was not a astute reader when it comes to paying attention to the content.  The review posted the author did not know the name of the butler, or that that Wolfe's brownstone had an elevator.  Seems the critic missed these two simple sentences in the book.  The Elevator is mentioned in the book, "in need of repair,"  And the Butler is mentioned by name.   This is a short, "flash," read and to a reader not familiar with flash fiction, they may have missed the content as the story moves at a fast pace.  Critics might try paying better attention before they post reviews.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Excited about Hard Boiled Fiction!

Hard Boiled Books with R. Archer will be introducing some NEW &  we hope exciting things for readers of Hard Boiled Fiction.

R. Archer a true fan of the Hard Boiled Genre of Crime Fiction has brought us his own hard boiled dick with, The Case Files of Harvey Valentine Private Dick in Gold Digger.  And soon to be released (announcement forth coming), The Case Files of Harvey Valentine Private Dick in The Judge and the Cultist.  Both Novels may be read independently of the other.

Other Exciting things-
Our first Hard Boiled Flash Fiction (monthly) Contest seen some impressive authors.  We greatly enjoyed reading and sharing the authors stories with you here at Hard Boiled Books, and look forward to publishing the 1st place WINNER in our own HARD BOILED ANTHOLOGY:


Which is currently taking submissions.  Gumshoe Mysteries will show case the finest of each month's  Hard Boiled Flash Fiction along side longer Hard Boiled Short Stories (2,000-10,000 words).  We look forward to reading your submissions.


We are proud to introduce a new series of SHORT READ books written in the traditions of the great hard boiled detectives like, Nero Wolfe and Jeff Regan.  We look forward to sharing the talents of R. Archer as he brings these characters to life.  Each SHORT READ will be published as a KINDLE for the price of less than a greasy fast food burger.  $1 dollar, A BUCK! That's it!  Pocket Change!!

The burger you will forget, the story you will not. Starting off the KINDLE SHORT READ series the author brings to life Nero Wolfe in:

A Nero Wolfe  Mystery Short Read
Release Date: 6-9-2015

Written in the tradition of REX STOUT, with Nero Wolfe's right hand man, Archie as the Narrator. 
Following the publication of ARCHIE SAVES THE DAY, Hard Boiled Books will introduce our second Kindle Short Read Series, starring private investigator Jeff Regan.

Jeff Regan was played by Jack Webb.  The old time radio show, Jeff Regan PI was perhaps one of Jack Webb's best played roles.  To complement EYE OF THE LYON,  Hard Boiled Books will be rebroadcasting selective Old Time Radios starring Jack Webb as Jeff Regan PI.  Please visit us to listen to these great old time radio shows, many of them better than modern audio books.

A Jeff Regan Hard Boiled Short
Release Date: 6-11-2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Coming Soon from Hard Boiled Books - NERO WOLFE FLASH MYSTERY SHORT SERIES

Hard Boiled Author & Novelist R. Archer has penned his latest short read book-

The Staff here at HBB enjoyed this short piece so much and the re-telling of Rex Stout's famous Detective, NERO WOLFE, we conspired with the Author to try and make this a regular series.  He agreed to pen additional stories when not writing the further tales of top-notch private dick, Harvey Valentine.  We will look forward to bringing them to you.

ARCHIE SAVES THE DAY by R. Archer will be released in Kindle Format by Amazon no later than 6-9-2-15, if not sooner.  The goon squad at Kindle Direct Publishing is finalizing the publication process as we speak.  The list price:  $1  Dollar!  That's it.  So for pocket change or less than the cost of a cheap burger, you can have something you will remember.  The burger you will forget!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Long Goodbye

Here is an opportunity to watch, THE LONG GOODBYE, for FREE!

Now to view this a is bit tricky.  Close the advert on the screen, you might have to try this several times.  Close the popups it opens, then select the play button.   The advert will still show on the screen, but when you go to full screen, the advert is gone.  I had no other problems, except it was slow loading at first, but played fine.  Pause it and let it buffer if you encounter a problem.

These 3rd party sites, which are not Hulu, Netflicks or some reputable streaming site can be tricky to maneuver and often bug ridden, but we encountered no issues.

Open Call for Artists

Hard Boiled Books has an open call for ARTISTS.  We are looking for emerging artists, who would like do cover art for our books, anthologies or stories.

At this time we can only afford to pay recognition for your work and supply you with a published copy of your work.  You will retain the copyrights to your work, and be credited on the copyright page of the book, here on the website, and listed on Amazon as the artist or illustrator.  We are a small indie press which has recently started up, operating with three partners.

As an Indie press working with INDIE AUTHORS, we are no different than any artist, who inspires to create great artwork (we consider fiction to be art).  We struggle, work and promote to get our name out there and receive recognition and gain fans of our work.  Let us work together to achieve our goals, if you can draw, paint or illustrate cover art for our books, or stories in a pulp or noir style we would love to hear from you and look at your work.

  • We are looking for front book cover art
  • Cover art for our Gum Shoe Anthology
  • Possible interior art for Gum Shoe Anthology
  • Story art for our Flash Fiction contest.  (Have your art be used for our Flash Fiction story prompts, inspire our writers.)
  • Noir type Photography

We are willing to accept great art content that fits the genre of the Gum Shoe Mysteries Anthology for the interior of the book or to be high lighted on the Hard Boiled Website.  We would love to help promote and share your work as well.

Please send inquires to    

Welcome Author, Roger Cowin to Gum Shoe Mysteries

Hard Boiled Books is proud to welcome GUMSHOE AUTHOR,


To the Hard Boiled Books GUMSHOE MYSTERIES ANTHOLOGY, with his accepted short story,


There is still plenty of time to submit your own Hard Boiled Short Story for consideration in the Anthology. It would be our pleasure to read your submissions and consider your piece. Deadline is OCTOBER 1ST 2015. Enter Now

The Danger of Drugs MAY Hard Boiled Books FLASH FICTION 3rd PLACE WINNER

The Danger of Drugs
Michael W. Clark

            Teresa looked over her bare shoulder toward the commotion.  She came into the flower shop to relax with its perfumed coolness and calm, no commotion allowed.
            The commotion violating her relaxing mood was caused by a guy who looked like that old movie actor, Lee Marvin, but with colorful tat-sleeves covering his exposed arms.  He was shaking his head violently.  “No!  Da Bud!  Nope!  Give me da Bud!”  He grabbed his cheeks with both hands as if to stop the shaking manually.
            The darkly tanned girl behind the corner held out red and yellow rose buds.  “These are the buds we have, ah, dude, ah, sir.  Only the two colors.”  She looked a little frightened. 
            “What da fuck?  Flowers?  Bud!  Give me da Bud.”  He fumbled with his vest pockets.  “Got da card here.  Somewheres?  Doctor called it cervixal pain.  Da Bud will stop it.  Medicine is it.” 
            “What?”  The girl was getting more upset as the guys voice got louder and his hair wilder.  “What card?”
            “Had da card!”  The guy dug in his pockets and almost fell over from his search.
            Teresa shook her head.  “The medical Marijuana place is across the street.”  Teresa stated loudly.  “Tell him he should go across the street.”  Teresa pointed out the door.  “He wants the Sunflower Shoppe.”
            The girl was getting more and more frightened.  She saw Teresa pointing at the door, but not understanding completely.  “You need to leave.”  The girl almost cried out.  “Go!”  The girl pointed with the rose buds.  Their tear-drop heads drooping from their odd positioning.
            The motion of the red and yellow cause the obviously stoned guy to flinch and duck.  He then grabbed the roses away from the girl.  His actions caused the girl to scream followed by his own scream as the thorns dug into his palms.  “Damn bitch!  Fuck!”  He threw the rose buds on the floor.  “Legal right to get it.  Can’t refuse!”
            “Hey!”  Teresa called out.  “Leave her alone!  You plastered prick!”  This guy was sounding just like her husband.  It was their two year anniversary today and she was going to buy flowers for herself because she knew her plastered prick of a Filipino husband wouldn’t do it.  Her Vietnamese grandmother had been right about him which made her extra mad.  Teresa stooped over to the counter.  She got close to the guy and yelled.  “It’s across the fucking street!”  She was so short she stood on tip toes to yell in his face, his throat, actually. 
            “What da fuck!”  Teresa surprised him.  He threw his arms out and hit her in the face.  “What da fuck?”  His forearm had bloodied Teresa’s nose and knocked her back.
            Teresa saw the bright flash she had gotten too familiar with.  Two years too familiar with.  She came back at the guy with her fists balled together and struck him in his right eye.
            “What a fuck!”  He screamed out.  The girl behind the counter cried and screamed alternately.  He swung his fist into Teresa’s stomach. 
            His punch made her scream out.  She was five months pregnant and she was tired of all of it.  She hadn’t wanted to get pregnant.  She had wanted a divorce not a baby!  Her Grandmother said she couldn’t get rid of it.  And the baby needed a father.  Tradition was so confusing.  “You monster bastard!”  Teresa gasped as pain rippled through her abdomen.  The accompanying bright flashes blinded her for a moment.  Not being able to see panicked Teresa and she grabbed one of the big glass vases filled with flowers and swung it out blindly.  The vase seemed to explode in her hands. 
            There were then even louder screams from the guy.  He must have kicked out because Teresa got another blinding flash.  She gasped but the pain made her furious.  She grabbed whatever was in her reach and swung it wildly and blindly.  She screamed as she swung.  “Stop!  Stop!  Stop!”  She did that until the groans went away. 
            She dropped down on the wet floor and curled up in a ball.  The stomach contractions kept her from straighten or seeing anything other than the bright flashes of pain.  It was then quiet for awhile.
            The screaming seemed to start again, but Teresa realized it was sirens.  People were rushing around her talking in low voices.  Asking her questions.  They seemed concerned about her excessive bleeding.
            Some voice she understood asked, “Are you pregnant?”
            She heard herself say, “Yes.” 
            Another voice said, “Oh no!”
            Teresa then felt herself flying into the air and moving fast away accompanied by the false screaming again.

            When she finally awoke in the Emergency Ward bed, her Grandmother was there at her bedside.  A female police was there too. 
            “Mrs. Rhys, I need to ask you some questions.”  The officer said.
            “Sure.”  Teresa answered.  Her Grandmother shook her head.  Her Grandmother only spoke Vietnamese, but understood some English.  Her Grandmother wasn’t smiling as she usually did. 
            “Did you know the guy in the flower store?”  The officer tapped on an ePad.
            “No, never seen him before.”  Teresa didn’t feel any pain.  She couldn’t even feel the IV needle.  They had given her something for all the potential pain. 
            “Why the fight?”  The officer shrugged and tapped.
            “He pissed me off with his yelling at the girl.”  Teresa touched her nose.  It was swollen but didn’t hurt.  “He punched me in the face too.  I am really tired of that happening!”  She said louder than she had wanted.
            The officer nodded. 
            Teresa’s Grandmother then said in Vietnamese. “You killed him, but, he killed your baby.  He deserved it.”
            Teresa still didn’t feel anything, but said, “Good.  Now I can get a divorce.”
            Her Grandmother nodded.  “He deserves it.”


Monday, June 1, 2015


By Tom Leins

Cherry is 45, but in the half-light she looks 20. She dresses slowly, putting on a Tartan miniskirt and transparent bra. She has an eclectic wardrobe. Back when she used to work as an escort she specialised in dressing like a schoolgirl. Beauty can get away with almost anything. I don’t like to ask what she does for a living, and she tends not to ask me. Believe me – it’s better that way.
When I arrive at my office there is a girl leaning on the skip outside, smoking a high-tar cigarette. The skip pre-dates me, and I’ve worked here for a while. It has been full for years, but I guess no one wants to pay to have it removed. That’s the problem with this town: the rot has set in, but no one wants to do anything about it.
“Mr Rey?”
I nod, vaguely in the girl’s direction, but more to myself.
She has auburn curls and ruby-red lips. High cheekbones and smooth skin. I jam my key in the battered green front door and leave it open behind me.
She follows me up the rickety staircase.
“Mr Rey, have you heard of a man called Frank Bascombe?”
I don’t turn around.
“The cop?”
I pause at the top of the stairs. 
“He’s dead.”  
“I’m sorry to hear that. He was a good man by all accounts. Please come in.”
I offer her a seat and slide into my own worn-out swivel chair.
“How can I help, Miss …?”
“He was found hanged yesterday. The police told me it was suicide, but I disagree. When I discovered his body he was strung from the rafters, but his jaw was clearly broken. He had been punched repeatedly in the face by someone wearing a pinky ring.”
Now she has my attention. A few dirty cops have been picked off over the last decade, but no one has ever taken out a good guy like Bascombe. In most towns that would be headline news. In Paignton it is the punchline to a sick joke.
“Mr Rey, I would like to hire you to find out who killed Frank.”
I nod. I can’t afford to turn down work, no matter how dirty the job seems.
“Can I ask: what is your interest in Bascombe?”
“I was his mistress.”


The Polsham has been a cop pub since before I was born. The lounge bar is scattered with relics – decrepit old men obsessed with their own bad memories.  
I search for a familiar face, but come up empty.
I consider talking to the barman, Crawford, but it would be a waste of energy. He’s a bloodsucker, who soaks up the tawdriest scraps of information for his own misuse.
Eventually I spot a guy named Jerry Connelly. He retired from the force last year. He’s not a bad guy, he’s just slightly boring. Either way, he has a reputation as a straight-arrow.
I raise my glass in his direction and he threads his way through the predominantly elderly crowd. He was one of the arresting officers in the Plastician case, and I was the man who tracked him down.
We shake hands, and his eyes exude genuine warmth.
“Need I ask, what brings you down to this snakepit on a weekday morning?”
I eye him curiously. His orange satin shirt seems to shimmer under the sickly pub lights.
“Alright, Joe – I’ll come clean with you. Bascombe was my ex-partner. I gave Helen Jones your details.”
I nod, but don’t thank him. I’m entering a world of shit, and he knows it.
“Did you see the body?”
“No, but I’ve seen the photos. I figure that the guy who did it must have been a trained boxer – hit Frank with the bottom three knuckles. Bust his face up pretty good.”
“Can you think of anyone on the force who wears a pinky ring?”
He holds his own fist up for inspection.
“It’s a long list.”
“What about chatter?”
“I’m out of the loop, Joe. No one trusts an ex-cop in this town.”
“When they started to bulldoze the old cop-shop a lot of old skeletons started to tumble out of the closet. I heard that Bascombe saw some cops smuggling garbage bags full of hash out of the evidence locker and into their patrol cars. Punches were thrown and hot blood was spilled.”
“Any names?”
Jerry looks over his shoulder. He looks nervous.
“Listen, Joe – I’ve got to go. But, stay in touch, right?”
“Sure. I owe you a drink, Jerry.”
He shrugs, and offers a weak Bacardi-flavoured burp as he drifts towards the backdoor.
I finish my pint and make another lap of the pub. It’s filling up rapidly as lunchtime approaches. Not that the place sells food – unless you include stale sandwiches and rancid-looking pickled eggs. Beer is the definitely the most nutritious option.
As I head back to the lounge bar I notice a skinny, tubercular-looking man lurking outside the toilets. His cheap suit is littered with cigarette ash, and he has quick, dark eyes.
He makes no effort to get out of my way, and I try to edge past him. He grips my wrist – surprisingly firmly.
“Listen to me, Mr Rey. The department doesn’t want an unstable officer on the street any more than you do.”
His breath feels hot and sour on my cheek. If I wasn’t in a cop bar I would unspool his guts with my switchblade.
“Leave the investigation to the professionals, son. Otherwise somebody might get hurt.”
His dark eyes linger on my face, and a sick feeling washes over me.
I head to the bar for another drink, but when I turn around he has vanished.


Crawford glares at me from behind the bar. He was never a cop, but he has an irrational hatred of private investigators regardless. The guy seems like a loose cannon to me.
I drink quickly, in silence, sorting through the options in my head. Two choices: I do the right thing, or I do the easy thing.
It’s no choice at all.


I head outside, into the afternoon gloom, and after a few paces I start to feel queasy. I grab the pub wall for support, but my legs turn to jelly. Shit. Crawford must have spiked my drink. My veins start to churn with whatever he drugged me with.
I grab my face and it feels rubbery.  I drop to my knees, and my vision goes translucent. I cough up a mouthful of sour bile – barely enough to fill a shot glass – and wipe my mouth with the back of my hand. Then I pass out.


When I come round, I’m propped up on an unmade bed in a grim-looking room that I don’t recognise. I roll over and dry heave, guts trembling.
Jerry Connelly is sat in front of me.  There is blood on his knuckles and booze on his breath. He must have been mixing his drinks, because his breath smells like the slop-bucket at Paignton police station.
“The man who threatened you: his name is Randall Clay. He’s not a cop, but he has serious police connections. No one really knows who he is, or what he does, but he is into shit so deep you could stir it with a stick. He works with a man called Vincent Marsh. An ex-boxer with a mean streak. Marsh is dangerous, possibly mentally defective. He does whatever Clay tells him.”
“And these guys killed Bascombe over a garbage bag full of hash?”
“That was just the tip of the iceberg. Frank knew that and so did they.”
“Where can I find Clay?”
He shrugs.
“Kick over enough rocks and he will crawl out eventually.”


Two days later.
It’s a raw November evening. The sky looks inky black. It seems to sag under the weight of the dark clouds.
Jerry has managed to trace Clay to a high-stakes poker game that takes place in a shitty flat behind the Baptist Church on Winner Street.
The alleyway I’m lurking in is unlit and smells of human waste. Grey smoke bleeds out of the air vent behind me and hangs overhead. I’m so bored I’m seriously considering taking up smoking, when Randall Clay emerges from the fire exit. Next to him is an obscenely fat man with a hangdog expression. His pinky ring glints as he casually lights a cigarillo.
I clear my throat.
“Is this a private party, or can anyone join in?”
Clay smirks and Marsh smiles lazily, eyes twinkling.   
“Mr Rey. In case you didn’t get the message: dead meat is the best that you can aspire to. Walk away, while you still can.”
I have no past to speak of, and a future that generally keeps me awake at night. I drag Jerry’s pump-action shotgun out from under my coat.

“Everyone needs something to look forward to, right Randall?”


Jambo Krumholz: Daze in the Life

By Alex S. Johnson

            And who would be Jambo today? That was the question, indeed the only question, pursued among us.
            Imagine if you will a loose collective unified solely by the desire to impersonate a metaphysical detective, a down-at-the-heels philosophy PhD whose assistance to the police was unwanted, snubbed, abhorred and sometimes beaten off with sticks and Mace bombs. His questions—searching, analytical, troubled—nevertheless prompted by a single, sincere inquiry:
            What is the nature of justice? And why does it keep getting mangled in actual practice?
            Many juries had been convened, come and gone, and maintained in cryogenic suspension when the Jambo Collective came upon the scene. In the words of the JC (propaganda document #17): “The jury is out to lunch and the cannibals are nervous.” The flaking, atrophied corpse of jurisprudence received a heady jolt when Jambo appeared, wearing either a traditional noir costume—trenchcoat, fedora, shades, drooping cigarette—or a shapeless hat, bunged-up tweed jacket and chalk-smeared black trousers. When he opened his mouth and muttered his queries, usually while police were taping off a crime scene, dogs howled from blocks away and a thin haze creased the sun.
            “A corpse, certainly, a dead body,” he would opine, brandishing a copy of Schopenhauer’s essays in the lead detective’s face. “Or is it? How does one demarcate the boundary between the dead and the living?” At which point backup was called. Jambo’s physical appearance was nondescript and his affect calm, reasonable, even boring, to the point that when the squad cars roared in, the philosopher managed somehow to fade into the foreground, or the background, depending on his mood that day. Rarely would he occupy the middle ground, where he was sometimes spotted, leaning back against a lamp post as a long cone of ash built up on his cigarette, iPod blasting the 1812 Overture. He briefly jerked his neck during the cannon parts, then dipped his head back down and started to snore. On special days one or more of the collective crawled simultaneously back and forth behind the yellow tape, their movements as preserved on surveillance video patterned after mushroom trails.
            The Jambos encompassed all schools of thought since the Pre-Socratics, all branches of philosophy and allied disciplines, including history, sociology, psychopharmacology, plate tectonics, clown-whacking and the search for the elusive Master Bear who disappeared in the Gay Panic of 1990. Sectarian divisions did break out sporadically, but the union held firm, cohered by the belief that the more once interrogated the law, the more it wound in upon itself like the fabled worm oroborus. (Slacker Detective Joe Oroborus was not available for comment at the time of this writing.)
            There was in fact an original Jambo, a prototype, and the name of the firm had been taken from his pseudonym as an undergrad during a brief revolutionary period in which he heckled the Dean via the student newspaper with bizarre tirades demanding scholarships for random homeless people who hung out at the student union, cash outlays for student trips to the Amazon (hallucinogenic tourism), instant neurosurgery for minor maladies and full divestment from any and all corporations whose employees had ever used a spatula. He’d subsequently dropped out to manage a garage in upstate New York, a copy of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil stuffed in the back pocket of his overalls, muttering under his breath about the slave versus the master mentality and masturbating in the evil-smelling restroom over pictures of hot symbolic logicians.
            Original Jambo (for the sake of convenience, we shall call him Jambo Sam) woke with a start on a Tuesday morning in a pool of urine, semen and plasma not his own. After years of treating crime as a philosophical conceit, he now faced the possibility that he had been caught in the mire of the concrete fact. He peered through the shutters and noted the maintenance man for his slum apartment eying him suspiciously; an insect that entered through the ripped, curled window screen emitted a loud, dronelike hum. Then the phone rang.
            “Mr. Krumholz, please,” said the robotic voice.
            Jambo Sam fished the wallet from the pants he had slept in and pulled out his ID card, gazing at it, referencing himself in the mirror, before responding.
            “Krumholz here, how may I help you?”
            “You have been charged with sedition, bad hygiene, window dressing, initiating drama on the social media, farcical attempts to interfere with police business, and being an ass hat of the first rank. Anything you have ever said to anybody at any time can and will be used against you in a kangaroo court appointed by us.”
            “And who are you, exactly?”
            “That information is confidential, Mr. Jamhartz. You will shortly be invited to select a number from a menu, I strongly suggest you do not hang up the phone. This conversation is being monitored for quality control purposes.”
            “So, wait, you’re saying that an anonymous, vigilante organization has tried me in absentia for loony-sounding crimes, and to pick a number from the menu? And what is all this about quality control?” After a flutter of anxiety and a double dose of BuSpar, Jambo Sam regained charge of his emotions. “Isn’t that just a meaningless corporate buzz word?”
            The phone went dead. Jambo Sam carefully placed the avocado-shaped receiver back in its cradle, picked up a copy of Nexus magazine lying on his coffee table, and noted the cover story: “Who is Jambo Krumholz and What Does He Know That We Don’t Know He Knows But Are Pretty Damn Certain..” the title went on for a while, the type getting smaller and smaller and finally turning gray. He scratched his head, swabbed his face with a handkerchief and gulped down yesterday’s coffee.
            “It would appear,” he said to himself, “that my imagination has instantiated itself in real life.”
            The next phone call woke him up. He let the machine pick it up.
            “Congratulations, Mr. Krumholz, on successfully passing the first Mindfuck Test. You are now eligible for a chance to win a variety of cool prizes. Please select from the following menu. This conversation is being monitored for grace under pressure.”



We were pleased with the turn out of our 1st Monthly Flash Fiction Contest.

The Winners were-

1st Place

Author:  Alex S. Johnson

This is a nice tight piece at a 1000 words and professionally written.  Mr. Johnson gets his choice of a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card, or $5.00 cash paid through Paypal.  Alex's story will appear in the, GUM SHOE MYSTERIES Anthology in addition Mr. Johnson will receive a Kindle version of The Case Files of Harvey Valentine Private Dick in Gold Digger when it is released on Amazon next week.

2nd Place

Author:  Tom Leins
Story:  Pinky Ring

A fine story by a great author.  Mr. Leins will have his story published here on the website and receive a FREE kindle copy of Gold Digger.

3rd Place

Author:  Dr. Michael W. Clark
Story:  The Danger of Drugs

Another fine story by a great author.  Dr. Clark  will have his story published here on the website and receive a FREE kindle copy of Gold Digger.

Congratulations Gentlemen!

Today is "Valentine's Day"

Today is the day.  THE CASE FILES OF HARVEY VALENTINE PRIVATE DICK IN GOLD DIGGER, will be finally released at 2 pm today Michigan time.

Hard Boiled Books will officially release the Paperback version HERE 1ST on the website before anywhere else on the web.  Amazon and the  Createspace Bookstore will be releasing this paperback novel from best selling author, R. Archer later today, or on June 2nd.  But you can get your hands on an AUTOGRAPHED COPY by the Author HERE today and everyday at a discount, something you will not be able to do through Amazon, or other book selling platforms.   GOLD DIGGER will retail on Amazon at $9.99 for the paperback copy, plus shipping and handling, probably costing you over $15.00 when all said and done.  A cost well spent, but let Hard Boiled Books save you some money with an autographed copy for $12.00 even (includes the cost of shipping and handling).  This price is for USA/CANADIAN customers only.  International readers please email for proper invoicing, include in your email your complete address, so we can invoice you the correct shipping rate for your country.  International readers are responsible for their own duty and custom fees.

The Paperback release event of Gold Digger will be hosted on Facebook, please attend for the chance to win a FREE AUTOGRAPHED COPY and take part in the other activities. To visit the event page click here.


June 1st people.  Time for another HARD BOILED FLASH FICTION CONTEST

This months picture to serve as the back drop for your flash fiction master piece:

This should be an easy one for the creative writer to come up with a 1000-1500 word piece.  There will be 3 winners chosen each month.  For submission details click here.

Submissions must be received by the end of the month JUNE 30, 2015.  Winners announced JULY 1ST.   We look forward to reading your stories.