The Blues Don’t Care has been chosen by the terrific and well-respected crime magazine, Suspense, as The Best of 2020 Historical Fiction Novel. I’m grateful to the fans, staff and contributors of Suspense for this terrific honor, which came totally out of the blue. Here’s a link to the Winter issue of Suspense: https://suspensemagazine.com/blog2/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Suspense-Magazine-Winter-2020.pdf
And not only did Blues win a Best of 2020 Award from Suspense Magazine, but Coast to Coast: Noir, the third volume in our Coast to Coast crime stories series that I co-edit with Andrew McAleer, also won a Best of 2020 Award from Suspense Magazine in the Anthology category. So I’m thrilled about both of these awards.
And: Crime Fiction Lover — DeathBecomesHer rated The Blues Don’t Care in their top 5 books of 2020. I’m overwhelmed and grateful to be chosen for this honor.
The Blues Don’t Care is available now!
“Award-winning author Paul D. Marks hits it out of the park with his latest, ‘The Blues Don’t Care.’ On one level it’s a mystery where a white musician, Bobby Saxon, in an all-black jazz band, works to solve a murder and clear his name under extraordinary racially-tinged circumstances. But this finely-written novel takes place in World War II-era Los Angeles, and Marks brings that long-gone era alive with memorable characters, scents, descriptions, and most of all, jazz. Highly recommended.”
—Brendan DuBois, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author
“What a time for this book coming out. It is situated in WW II but is very topical now. Bobby Saxon is the only white musician in an all-black band. When one of the bandmembers get accused of murdering a racist Bobby is asked to investigate. It turns out Bobby is pretty good at investigating for an amateur. As you might expect this is not just a mystery but also a story about racism in the forties. What you don’t expect is the incredible twist that will surprise you a few chapters in. It is this surprise that adds an extra layer that allows Saxon to give even some more extra social commentary.
I hate saying a book transcends the genre and I honestly usually don’t like books that do. This one however does and might win some awards because of it.”
—Jochem Vandersteen, Sons of Spade
Short Listed for Book of The Month at Discovering Diamonds
“This story was a breath of fresh air, set in a familiar
period, thanks to Sunday afternoon TV movies. Which means the author had to get
his world-building right. The good news is – he did, and did it very well
The action (and there is plenty of it) is well described and as tension mounts, the truth is revealed. This novel is not just a murder mystery, there is a lot of social commentary – and definitely a Discovered Diamond.”
—Richard Dee, Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds
“As much as I loved Paul D. Marks’ mystery, The Blues Don’t Care, it’s going to be a difficult book to review. The summary won’t give away anything that isn’t on the book jacket. However, I’ll never be able to capture and define the voice and the atmosphere Marks creates for this engrossing story.
While The Blues Don’t Care is a complex, sometimes brutal, story, it also has its glimmers of beauty and joy. Those glimpses come from Bobby’s passion for music, and his awe when he sees celebrities such as Clark Gable and Billie Holiday. Wander into Bobby Saxon’s world in Paul D. Marks’ latest book. It’s a world you won’t easily forget.”
“This is a beautifully noirish book, set firmly in the dark days of wartime and offering a sharp insight into the life and times of Los Angeles, 1940s style. Yes, it’s a mystery thriller, but The Blues Don’t Care is so much more than that, with historic detail, chutzpah, a cast of hugely entertaining characters, a really unusual protagonist and, best of all, a cracking soundtrack too.”
—DeathBecomesHer, Crime Fiction Lover
“With World War II era Los Angeles as the backdrop Paul D. Marks paints a gritty picture with a tense story and takes on tough subject matters all while keeping the gas pedal to the floor of the mystery. As a drummer of forty plus years I could hear Max Roach, Gene Krupa and Art Blakey all thundering away as the soundtrack to this face paced book! Simply Superb!”
—Jonathan Brown, author of the Lou Crasher and Doug “Moose” McCrae series
“Paul D. Marks finds new gold in 40’s L.A. noir while
exploring prejudices in race, culture, and sexual identity. There’s sex, drugs,
and jazz and an always surprising hero who navigates the worlds of gambling,
music, war profiteers, Jewish mobsters, and a lonely few trying to do the right
thing. Marks has an eye for the telling detail, and an ear that captures the
music in the dialogue of the times. He is one helluva writer.”
—Michael Sears, award-winning author of Tower of Babel, and
the Jason Stafford series
“Filled with deceit, murder, and lust, ‘The Blues Don’t Care’ is one historical fiction novel that will make you bite your nails until the very end.”
Worth Buying: Yes
Fade-Out on Bunker Hill comes in #2 in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine’s Reader’s Poll
Coming June 1, 2020 The Blues Don’t Care
“This finely-written novel takes place in World War II-era Los Angeles, and Marks brings that long-gone era alive with memorable characters, scents, descriptions, and most of all, jazz. Highly recommended.”
—Brendan DuBois, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author
Bobby Saxon lives in a world that isn’t quite ready for him. He’s the only white musician in an otherwise all-black swing band at the famous Club Alabam in Los Angeles during World War II—and that isn’t the only unique thing about him…. And if that isn’t enough to deal with, in order to get a permanent gig with the band, Bobby must first solve a murder that one of the band members is falsely accused of in that racially prejudiced society.
Go to The Blues Don’t Care landing page
New Story “Past is Prologue” in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
My story Past is Prologue appears in the July/August 2019 issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. I hope you’ll check it out. Available in all the usual places.
New Story “Fade-Out on Bunker Hill” in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
The latest story in my Howard Hamm-Bunker Hill series, “Fade-Out on Bunker Hill” appears in the March/April 2019 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.
New Story “The Box” in Mystery Weekly
My story The Box appears in the May issue of Mystery Weekly and I’m honored that it was chosen for the cover. Available on Amazon in both paper and e-versions and all the usual places.
New Story in Switchblade Magazine
Switchblade mag Issue 9 just came out. Includes my story “House of the Rising Sun,” among other terrific stuff. Hope you’ll check it out.
“WINDWARD” WINS MACAVITY AWARD FOR BEST SHORT STORY
“WINDWARD” CHOSEN FOR THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERIES 2018
My story, “Windward,” from the anthology Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, has been selected to be in The Best American Mysteries of 2018 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by editors Louise Penny and Otto Penzler. Which is really cool, and a huge surprise. Also in the book will be Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Joyce Carol Oates, TC Boyle, Louis Bayard, Andrew Bourelle, Michael Bracken, James Lee Burke, John Floyd, David Edgerley Gates, Charlaine Harris, Rob Hart, David H. Hendrickson, Andrew Klavan, Martin Limon, Alan Orloff, William Dylan Powell, Scott Loving Sanders and Brian Silverman.
You can find more here: www.mysteriousbookshop.com/blogs/news/best-american-mystery-stories-2018
“Windward” is also nominated for a Shamus Award for Best Short Story.
And “Windward” was a finalist for the 2018 Derringer Award for Best Novelette:
And the sequel, Broken Windows, will be published by Down & Out in fall 2018.
And one more thing: I was interviewed by Associated Press writer Hillel Italie for a piece on Alfred Hitchcock. It’s appeared in several places, but here’s one if you want to check it out: Alfred Hitchcock Remains an Influence on Crime Writers
“Ghosts of Bunker Hill” Nominated for the Macavity Award
I’m thrilled to announce that my story “Ghosts of Bunker Hill,” from the December, 2016, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, has been nominated/short listed for a 2017 MACAVITY AWARD and was voted #1 in the ELLERY QUEEN READERS POLL Poll for 2016. The competition for the Macavity is really stiff. The other nominees in the short story category are: Lawrence Block, Craig Faustus Buck, Greg Herren, Joyce Carol Oates and Art Taylor. Wow! You can read “Ghosts of Bunker Hill” and other stories for free on my website at: https://pauldmarks.com/stories/
Coming Soon: “Day of the Dark”
Coming July 21st from Wildside Press, edited by Kaye George. Includes my story “Blood Moon.” Stories that take place during the eclipse and just in time for the real eclipse August 21, 2017. 24 stories in all, I believe.
I’m thrilled to announce that my short story, “Ghosts of Bunker Hill,” was voted #1 in the 2016 Ellery Queen Readers Poll. In fact, I’m blown away. I want to thank everyone who voted for it! And I’m tempted to give Sally Field a run for her money and say, “You like me, you really like me,” or at least my story 😉 . If you’d like to read it (and maybe consider it for other awards) you can read it FREE by clicking here.
Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea
Hardboiled. Softboiled. Noir. East Coast. West Coast. And all points in between.
Whatever you call them, gumshoe, shamus, Pinkerton, detective, private eye, P.I., private dick, shadow, tail, investigator, and wherever you need them, from East to West, North to South. They’re all here.
From the hard pavement of Brooklyn, New York, to the mean, dusty streets of Carson City. Down to sultry New Orleans and the freak show that’s Venice, CA. From the flim-flammers of Waco, Texas to DC; Las Vegas to San Berdoo and L.A. And from Iowa City to San Diego and small town North Carolina—not to mention the low-life drug dealers in a little place called King’s Quarter, Maine. No one is safe in this impressive collection featuring fifteen original private eye stories. Crime fiction connoisseurs will visit one major crime scene after another with some of today’s best-of-the-best crime writers serving as tour guides. Poisoned-pen masters like:
Joe Abramo, Eric Beetner, Michael Bracken, Meredith Cole, Matt Coyle, Tom Donahue, John Floyd, Gay Kinman, Terrill Lee Lankford, Janice Law, Paul D. Marks, Andrew McAleer, O’Neil De Noux, Robert J. Randisi, Art Taylor.
Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea features suspense stories ranging from hardboiled to psychological to thrillers. And while these stories differ in locale, climate, mood and tone, they all resonate with the dark underbelly of crime.
PRAISE FOR COAST TO COAST – PRIVATE EYES FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
“Tough, taut and terrific. This cross-country collection of sleuthing stories—from the best writers in the private eye biz—is wonderfully written, always surprising, and completely entertaining.”
—Hank Phillippi Ryan, Anthony, Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark award winning author of Say No More
“A tantalizing array of stories guaranteed to please fans of PI fiction. High fives all around!”
—MWA Grand Master Bill Pronzini on Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea
My story Deserted Cities of the Heart appears in Akashic’s St. Louis Noir just released August 2, 2016. Hope you’ll check it out. I’m honored to be among such a great group of writers. Edited by Scott Phillips.
“…[I]t’s no surprise that the most notable tales are the work of three genre veterans…” including “…‘Deserted Cities of the Heart,’ by Paul D. Marks (‘White Heat’), [which] charts the fall of loner Daniel Hayden after he meets femme fatale Amber Loy at the Gateway Arch.”
“Among my favorite stories in St. Louis Noir is one called ‘Deserted Cities of the Heart’ (by Paul D. Marks) in which a loner of an IT nerd with a security clearance is convinced to hack into a witness protection data base with disastrous results by the attractive young out-of-towner who suddenly comes into his life. …The bottom line: St. Louis Noir is another worthy addition to what is perhaps already the best series of short story collections to be published in decades.”
—Sam Sattler, Book Chase
“Joining Seattle, Memphis, Phoenix, and other noir outposts, St. Louis gets a turn to show its dark side in Phillips’ collection of 13 dark tales and a poetic interlude…[A] spirited, black-hearted collection.”
Praise for VORTEX:
…a nonstop staccato action noir… Vortex lives up to its name, quickly creating a maelstrom of action and purpose to draw readers into a whirlpool of intrigue and mystery… but be forewarned: once picked up, it’s nearly impossible to put down before the end.
— D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Noir, Thy Name is Paul D. Marks.
Marks is an authority on all things noir and L.A., and he knows how to give this contemporary tale the kick of a double shot of whiskey straight up. Chandler and Cain have found their heir.
—Jon Bloch, Criminologist and author of “Identity Thief” and “Shadow Language”
This fast pace book keeps you on the edge of your seat for the entire ride. There are a lot of twist and turns; you’ll become obsessed with who has “the stash” and if Zach is going to live long enough to find the answer.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good mystery. I look forward to reading the authors other books.
—Cathy Carey, UnderratedReads.com
Paul’s short story Howling at the Moon is nominated for both an Anthony Award and a Macavity Award for Best Short Story. Click here to read a free copy.Open modal