"Bullets, Booze and Bastards"
Brutal lessons learned over a game of nine-ball; a war veteran who’s been played as a sucker one too many times by his older brother; a salesman who stumbles upon the girl of his dreams only to learn that his dreams have all been nightmares; a con man who gets more than he bargains for when he convinces a wealthy woman to marry him.
From Dave Zeltserman, the contemporary master of noir, comes 21 tales of desperation, treachery, and betrayal, populated by con men, psychopaths, and dangerous women.
“Dave Zeltserman’s stories demonstrate that he’s as masterful with the short story as he is with the novel—the same stunning level of craft and the same lacerating vision. This is an important collection.”
— Ed Gorman, author of Ticket to Ride
“Zeltserman’s twisty-tailed gems drag you deep into pulpland, bitch slap you dizzy, and leave you begging for more.”
— Roger Smith, author of Mixed Blood
“Deadpan and more ruthless than ever, Zeltserman pulls off one clever shocker after another in classic pulp style. Not for the faint-hearted!”
— Vicki Hendricks, author of Cruel Poetry
“Dave Zeltserman is one of the crime genre’s most accomplished, radical, and innovative talents. His command of style and personal dark vision of the world are framed in the short form to reach out and shake the reader by the throat. I only wish that 21 Tales had been 51 Tales or 101 Tales. We need more of his edgy stories to rattle the field.”
— Tom Piccirilli, author of Shadow Season
“In a relatively short period of time Dave Zeltserman has established himself as the most relevant author of dark crime fiction working today. As usual, Dave doesn’t pull any punches, and his 21 Tales is inventive, nasty, pulpy fun.”
— Paul Tremblay, author of The Little Sleep
“Dave Zeltserman’s 21 Tales has enough twists and turns and plot reversals to give O’Henry whiplash. Readers should expect the unexpected. Zeltserman delivers some dark and disturbing fun in these stories.”
— Lynn Kostoff, author of Late Rain