Monday, August 13, 2007

SSF Profiles: Charles Ardai

Aka: Richard Aleas
Charles Ardai, the original founder and CEO of, is now a publisher and editor with his own noir imprint, Hard Case Crime. HCC has been bringing out great old-time-look pulp noir books (all around $6 or 7) with cool femme fatale covers since September 2004. With a new book coming out EVERY MONTH, you can bet Charles keeps busy. If you'd like to subscribe to the series, you can get a standing order to have every new book sent to your home by calling 1-800-481-9191.

One of the first books Charles published in the Hard Case Crime series was Little Girl Lost, which he wrote under the pen name Richard Aleas (not only does the surname tell you the meaning of the moniker, but the name's a rescramble of the letters in Charles Ardai), an awesome book about a series of murders in the Manhattan sex trade that ultimately involves lead character John Blake's first love. Not only do I think this was a good book, it was nominated for two awards: the Edgar and the Shamus.

Charles' second book under the name Richard Aleas is Songs of Innocence, which was dubbed "an instant classic" by the Washington Post. No shit. So I had to go out and read that one. Not only did I love it, but I'm currently writing a review of it for this month's installment of the Thrilling Detective Website. It brings us back to John Blake and an even nastier tangle of thorns involving Manhattan's Craig's List sex trade women.

I highly recommend both of these books and any of the titles from Hard Case Crime. With so much going on around him in the name of Crime/Noir, it should be plain to see why Charles was an obvious choice for JP2's first Story So Far.

Here's to you, Charles, you Palms Daddy.


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