Saturday, January 18, 2014

Able and Willing - Raven's Head Press News

Raven's Head Press has some wonderful news for vintage detective fiction fans. Take a look at the email I received yesterday afternoon.

This is a huge coup for our little operation. We plan to reprint Dance of Death, The Man in the Moonlight and The Deadly Truth all of which I have reviewed here at Pretty Sinister Books.

If the legal issues and money for rights are within our means we may continue with the other books I reviewed on this blog: Do Not Disturb and Mr. Splitfoot. Ideally, I would like to get all of the Basil Willing books back in print and that would entail asking for the rights for another seven books.

I'm especially excited since Helen McCloy's books have languished in the realm of Out-of-Printdom since the 1970s. Currently the only title available in a new paperback edition is Through a Glass, Darkly and that comes from an independent press (also a print on demand outfit like us) who markets only to the UK.

Dance of Death is first on our list. It's the very first Dr. Basil Willing detective novel and I think it was a pioneering book in the genre. Below are the links to Helen McCloy's books reviewed on this blog.

I am one of her greatest fans. And now mystery readers all over will be able to afford new editions of her books without having to scour the planet for a used copy of her early, very hard to find, and often absurdly priced books.

Helen McCloy Books Previously Reviewed
Dance of Death (1938)
The Man in the Moonlight (1940)
The Deadly Truth (1941)
Do Not Disturb (1943)
Mr. Splitfoot (1968)


  1. This is GREAT news!! Congratulations -- and thanks for the work it took to make this happen!!

  2. Congratulations, John! I know how wonderful it feels to have these things fall into place.

  3. Really exciting stuff. I'm so glad there are people dedicated to doing this.

  4. how exciting, John! So tickled for you! Can't wait to read them.

  5. O joyous day! That's great news, and it's a real coup on your part. Here's hoping that the legal and financial issues prove to be manageable. I'll just add a plea that you and your colleagues at Raven's Head give priority to publishing the Willing books. If you haven't read "Cue for Murder," I urge you to put that one next in your McCloy queue. That one is a real gem, and it's especially ripe for republication, I think.

  6. This is great news, John. I look forward to trying some of McCloy's books.

  7. Absolutely a terrific idea to republish the Dr Basil Willing books! I too would like to see 'Cue for Murder' reprinted along with the others you have selected. And perhaps the other one from 1942, 'Who's Calling?'

  8. This is super good news, John, no doubt about it!

  9. I agree. Great news, really well done and a genuine coup.

  10. Hadn't seen this before, John. So I'm adding my belated congratulations!