Back in the fall of 2009, my first full-length novel was published by Leisure Books, an imprint of Dorchester Publishing. Titled Hunt at World’s End, it was a standalone novel in the Gabriel Hunt adventure series that was masterminded by Hard Case Crime’s Charles Ardai. Booklist and Publishers Weekly both gave Hunt at World’s End outstanding reviews, and I was pretty damn proud of the book even though my name wasn’t on the cover (though on the title page inside it sported the words ”as told to Nicholas Kaufmann”). But alas, the novel wasn’t out very long before Dorchester imploded, and copies quickly vanished from bookstores.
Recently it was announced that Amazon Publishing would be acquiring roughly 1,000 titles from Dorchester’s list. I don’t know yet if the Gabriel Hunt books will be among them. I suspect not. Likely, the majority of titles Amazon Publishing acquires will be romance novels, which was always Dorchester’s strongest category, and maybe some thrillers by their better-known authors. Also, the Gabriel Hunt books didn’t sell very well. They were released while Dorchester was in its secret death throes, before the shit hit the fan publicly, and so the books were given no PR or marketing support by the company. (Not that Dorchester was ever known for giving PR or marketing support to most of its books or authors, but heck, an ad somewhere letting people know the series existed would have been nice.)
So what is an interested reader to do if he or she is looking for this “lost Kaufmann novel”? Luckily, that’s where the secondhand market comes in. Half.com in particular is very good for this sort of thing, and right now they’ve got a bunch of copies for sale, some for as low as 75¢! Pop on over and take a look. Order a copy for yourself. It’s a good, fun novel, with lots of tombs, treasures, ancient death cults, megalomaniacs intent on destroying the world, weird weapons, scuba diving, swashbuckling, and derring-do. Also, I named the heroine, Joyce Wingard, after Joyce DeWitt of Three’s Company. What more could anyone want from an end-of-summer beach read?