Down & Out Books September 2017 Promotion

“Funny, dark and twisted…chafes against the cookie-cutter mysteries of yesteryear and serves up crime like no other. Not since Philip K. Dick has a writer created a narcotic so insidious as the Big Fry.” —Tom Pitts

WARPATH, a Richard Dean Buckner mystery by Ryan Sayles, now just 99¢ on Kindle, Nook, iTunes, and Kobo or from the Down & Out Bookstore. Price effective through September 30th, 2017.


Down & Out: The Magazine

Edited by Rick Ollerman. For fans of good writing, good literature, and good crime…welcome. Available from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and the Down & Out Bookstore.


Passport to Murder: Bouchercon Anthology 2017

“[A] rich and varied anthology…” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Edited by John McFetridge. Pre-order your copy of the official anthology for pick-up at the Bouchercon 2017 registration desk in Toronto.

ABC Group Documentation

An Imprint of Down & Out Books

Publisher: Jeremy Stabile

All Due Respect

An Imprint of Down & Out Books

Publisher: Chris Rhatigan

Shotgun Honey

An Imprint of Down & Out Books

Publisher: Ron Earl Phillips

In a continuing series of features from our authors, Ross Klavan submits for your reading pleasure, Act Two: A Craft Essay.

Ross Klavan

I’m thinking right now of F. Scott Fitzgerald, killing himself with booze and the movies and trapped in his own roiling psyche as he nods over his typewriter to conjure Gatsby buying it by gunshot in the swimming pool. He died young (Gatsby, too) about three months after he hit 44. In the novel he never finished because his life ended first (“The Last Tycoon” or, revised, “The Love of the Last Tycoon”) there’s a line in the notes that’s often quoted: “There are no second acts in American lives.” Most often, this is taken to mean that here in crazy America, you don’t get second dibs, you’d best grab the golden ring and (as Dylan cautioned) you “keep your eyes wide, the chance won’t come again.” But of course, we know that’s not accurate. Most people quote the line usually just to shoot it down. But I think there’s another reading, I think there might be another idea that Fitzgerald was hovering around…

“Tycoon,” published posthumously in 1941, takes place in Hollywood, in the movie business, which was then holding Fitzgerald afloat and sinking him at the same time. Story is often spoken about in terms of acts in the movies and the “Second Act” is the doozie. In books, too. Lots of people can come up with a beginning and many can cobble together an end, but the middle! That’s the Second Act and that’s where the road is not only rocky it’s full of potholes. The Second Act is where the conflict is so ripe it’s about to bust open, it’s where most of “the story” actually takes place.

Continue reading…