One City, One Book

I got some great news this week. The City of Agoura Hills has selected me and my novel LOST HILLS as their 2021 ONE CITY, ONE BOOK / AUTHOR. That means the local libaries, schools, etc. will be encouraging everyone to read the book and to come to City Hall on Sept 30th to see me in conversation, buy a copy of my book if they haven’t already…and get their copies signed. Past honorees include Michael Connelly and Dick Van Dyke. 

 

Their press release goes into more details:

Each year, the city of Agoura Hills participates in the One City One Book national literacy program
designed to stimulate reading through group book discussions and other related activities. The
community read is sponsored by the City of Agoura Hills, Friends of the Library, the Los Angeles
County Library—Agoura Hills Cultural Arts Council, and the Las Virgenes Unified School District.

“Lost Hills’ is a gripping story with twists and turns that take place on the very streets of our local
community. I especially love the tenacity of the detective and could picture myself riding past so
many familiar places and, typical when I read a book I love, I didn’t want the story to end,” said
Agoura Hills Mayor Denis Weber, who added he is a veracious reader and Goldberg is one of his
favorite authors.

The city is hosting “An Evening with the Author – Lee Goldberg” on Thursday, September 30,
2021, at the Agoura Hills Event and Recreation Center, 29900 Ladyface Court, Agoura Hills, CA
91301. The author will also be available for book signings. Registration will begin starting August
1, 2021 at www.agourahillsrec.org. Admission is free, but registration is required; space is limited.
For updated information on One City One Book 2021 events, call 818-597-7361 or visit the
website. For more information about the One City, One Book literary program, contact Amy Brink, Director of Community Services at (818) 597-7361 or email ajbrink@agourahillscity.org.

Walking the Walk

I’ve got two pieces of big news today. The first is that my novel THE WALK may soon be coming to a movie theater near you. Constantin Films has picked up my screenplay adaptation of book. Here’s an excerpt from the story in Variety. :

“Resident Evil” producer Constantin Film has acquired the rights to Lee Goldberg’s movie script for thriller “The Walk,” which he adapted from his bestselling novel. Goldberg has served as the showrunner of “Diagnosis Murder” and “Martial Law.”

Robert Kulzer of Constantin Film is producing “The Walk” with Monella Kaplan of eMotion Entertainment. Constantin’s Alex Westmore and Colin Scully are the creative executives handling the project.

Nick Hanks, Constantin’s senior exec VP of business and legal affairs and operations, negotiated the deal on Constantin’s behalf.

Kulzer said: “Lee’s adaptation of his own novel is a brilliant exploration of the human condition by using the ‘Big One’ as a backdrop to create unforgettable moments of hair-raising tragicomedy.”

Constantin is best known for the “Resident Evil” franchise, with six movies released that generated over $1.2 billion at the box office. A reboot of the series, “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City,” is set to be released on Nov. 24, 2021. Other credits include “Black Beauty” at Disney Plus and “Monster Hunter,” which is still in theaters around the world.

I am so excited and will keep you updated.

In other news, the cover for my next novel GATED PREY, coming out in October, was also released today. Here it is (click on it to see it full size):

Gated Prey

Lots of Lee Going On

Collectibles

There’s some exciting TV and film news about several of my books that I wish I could tell you (and hope to be able to soon). But while I wait for the greenlight to share that news with you, I can tell you this…

There’s a MYSTERY 101 marathon this weekend….all five movies in the hit series I co-created with my friend Robin Bernheim…and it culimates with the Sunday night (March 21) world premiere of KILLER TIMING, the all-new, sixth movie in the series…with special guest star Erin Cahill, who starred in my 2009 action movie FAST TRACK NO LIMITS. You can find out more about KILLER TIMING, and get a sneak peek, right here.

Lawrence Block’s new anthology COLLECTIBLES is now available for pre-order… and includes a short story by me. The collection scored a rave review from Publishers Weekly:

Standouts include Dennis Lehane’s gilt-edged chiller, “A Bostonian (in Cambridge),” in which a wealthy collector of letters of abandonment falls prey to wily blackmailers, and Joe Lansdale’s “The Skull Collector,” a gangster yarn featuring gun-toting female grave robbers. Other stories, like David Rachel’s “Devil Sent the Rain Blues,” in which greed, paranoia, and excitement hinder a trader’s attempts to acquire an extremely rare 78 rpm record, seem tame by comparison. Overshadowing everything, though, is Lee Goldberg’s “Lost Shows,” a delightful shocker about a fanatical collector of short-lived and unaired TV shows who has turned his Hollywood home into a mausoleum of lost dreams.

To say I’m flattered by the praise is an understatement. I am so fortunate to be in such stellar company.

You can order the “collectible,” limited edition hardcover here. The ebook and paperback editions will be coming later in the year.

Also coming later this year is GATED PREY, the third Eve Ronin novel. It will be out in October but is available now for pre-order and earned some very kind words from Rachel Howzell Hall, author of And Now She’s Gone, a 2020 Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. She says:

I whipped my head back and forth reading GATED PREY. So twisty, so funny and so L.A.–a few of my favorite things. After zooming through these pages, I’ll ride shotgun with Lee any day!

Ditto, Rachel! Here’s the scoop on GATED PREY:

A simple sting operation takes a violent and unexpected turn for Detective Eve Ronin in a gripping thriller by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Goldberg.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective Eve Ronin and her soon-to-retire partner, Duncan Pavone, are running a 24-7 sting in a guard-gated enclave of palatial homes in Calabasas. Their luxury McMansion is a honey trap, set to lure in the violent home invaders terrorizing the community. The trap works, leaving three intruders dead, a body count that nearly includes Eve and Duncan.

Eve’s bosses are eager to declare the case closed, but there are too many unanswered questions for her to let go. Was the trap actually for her, bloody payback for Eve’s very public takedown of a clique of corrupt deputies? Or is there an even deadlier secret lurking behind those opulent gates? Eve’s refusal to back down and her relentless quest for the truth make her both the hunter…and the prey.

I hope to get started writing the fourth “Eve Ronin” adventure very, very soon. But to do it, I will have to start following some of the advice I give in this new Q&A interview with the Advice to Writers site:

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? 

Never. I’ve hit walls plotting, or had questions about what a character should say or do next in a chapter or scene, but that’s not a block. That’s writing.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Put your butt in the chair and write, even if it’s crap. You can’t rewrite a blank page.

I got a nice surprise in the latest issue of Mystery Scene Magazine. Respected mystery critic (and stellar crime novelist himself) Dick Lochte included the audio edition of my novel LOST HILLS, the first “Eve Ronin” adventure, among his five favorite audio books of 2020, calling it “a brisk, character-driven police procedural…good fun, marked by smart plotting and sharp dialogue, winningly narrated by Nicol Zanzarella.” I thought she did a great job, too. And be sure to check out her reading of the sequel, BONE CANYON. Also in the new issue, Kevin Burton Smith (founder and curator of the wonderful Thrilling Detective Site) included Ralph Dennis’ ALL KINDS OF UGLY, his long-lost final HARDMAN novel, among his favorite books of 2020, saying:

“Lee Goldberg and Brash Books get two thumbs up for resurrecting the bits and pieces of a long-lost manuscript and finally giving Ralph Dennis’ much-loved Jim Hardman the send-off he deserves. UGLY is some kind of beauty: a pure distillation of Grade-A Hard-Boiled Pulp that dares to reach for more.”

I really appreciate that review, since resurrecting Ralph Dennis’ books, and publishing his lost novels, has been a passion project for me, one I talked about in this Crime Reads essay.

Okay, that’s it for today. I hope to be back with some news, anecdotes, excerpts from The Mail I Get, reviews, or my random musings, very soon.

The time I met George Clooney

Thinking about Sean Connery got me thinking about the Bahamas… which got me thinking about the time I met George Clooney in Nassau.


My wife Valerie and I had just finished spending a week or so vacationing in Nassau and were the only passengers in a rickety van to the airport that stopped at several hotels along the way. At the last hotel stop, Clooney, Richard Kind and some other guys climbed aboard. Clooney was wearing a big sun hat and was very gregarious. I believe he was on SISTERS at the time. I introduced myself and told him how much I enjoyed his co-starring role in a busted pilot that my friend, and mentor, Michael Gleason wrote and produced (a series I would have worked on if it had been picked up). Clooney said he loved working with Michael and we all got into a nice conversation, first about the pilot, then into other things that had nothing to do with the business, like what we’d seen and done in Nassau, etc.


Suddenly there was a loud bang, the van lurched and veered, and the female driver pulled over to the side of the road. A tire on the van had blown out…it was shredded… and she had no spare… and wasn’t able to, or was having difficulty, reaching her dispatcher. I think we were stuck there for 45 minutes or an hour… I don’t recall. We all knew were all going to miss our flights.


None of us were upset about it, these things happen, but with each passing minute, she got more and more freaked out, eventually breaking into tears of frustration. Which was odd, because none of us was blaming her or expressing any anger. So Clooney gave her a hug, reassured her that everything was fine, nobody was mad at her, and insisted that she take his hat. Which she did, with a great, big smile on her face, and she stopped crying. I was immediately wowed by what a nice guy he was.


A few years later, when Clooney was a big star on E.R., Valerie and I ran into him again at a restaurant in the valley. He was at the next table with Miquel Ferrer. I said hello to Clooney and reminded him that we met in the Bahamas on a van to the airport. He vividly remembered the experience, introduced us to Ferrer, explained to us how they were related to one another, and then proceeded to tell the whole van story to him. We chatted for a little while and then went back to our meals. I was amazed and pleased that fame hadn’t changed him. He was still a nice, easy-going guy. I hope that’s still true.

The Time I Met Sean Connery

I’m a huge James Bond fan. I have all the Bond posters. I’ve interviewed just about everyone who wrote a Bond film between 1962 and 1987, the producers, a few of the directors, and every actor who’d played Bond up to that point…except Sean Connery. But I did encounter him once, in the early 1980s.

I went to the Plitt, a movie theatre that once existed in Century City, to see an early show of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA. I was getting popcorn when I realized the man standing next to me was Sean Connery. I was speechless. The first thing that struck me was, holy shit, that’s Sean Connery. The second thing that struck me was that he looked so, well, ordinary. He was wearing one of those sweat suits with the stripe down the sleeves and pant legs. My grandfather had one like it. And because he appeared so ordinary, I decided not to bother him by saying anything, to treat him as I would anybody else. I gave him a polite smile, he smiled at me in return, and I took my popcorn & Coke and went into the theater.


And, as it turned out, he and his wife sat right behind me. For a while, I was frozen. OH MY GOD. SEAN CONNERY IS SITTING RIGHT BEHIND ME. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do with my head or my body.


The movie started… and his wife wouldn’t stop talking. It really began to get on my nerves. I stopped thinking about SEAN CONNERY. I started thinking about that woman who was ruining the movie for me. I was about to turn around and ask her, Mrs. Sean Freaking Connery, to please lower her voice when Sean Connery turned to her and said:


“Would you please shut up? I can listen to you any time. I came here to listen to Jimmy Woods.”

It was an epiiphany for me. Sean Connery looked like an ordinary guy because he was… he just happened to be one who made his living as an actor rather than, say, a contractor or mechanic. And from that moment on, I was never intimidated or uncomfortable around a celebrity again, which has been a big benefit in my career.

He will always be, at least for me, the one and only true James Bond.

Mission Accomplished: Hardman is Back

I can’t believe this day has finally come — all 12 of Ralph Dennis’ HARDMAN novels are back in print in new ebook and paperback editions (and in audio for the first 4 titles) If I’d known how much time it would take, and how much money it would cost, I’m not sure that I would have embarked on the quest.
 
But I am so glad that I did. Not just because the books are back in print, but for the journey itself. If not for Hardman, I never would have launched Brash Books five years ago with my good friend Joel Goldman (with the invaluable day-to-day guidance of Denise M. Fields), and I never would have experienced the honor & joy of publishiing amazing new novels by Phillip Thompson, Leo W. Banks, Robert E. Dunn Phoef Sutton, Robin Burcell, Mark Rogers, Craig Faustus Buck, Michael Genelin, Warren Ripley, Gerald Duff, Jack Bunker, and Patrick E. McLean…as well as bringing back-into-print 80 other crime novels by some of the most talented and acclaimed authors in the business.
 
It’s a big day for me, but I’m just getting started. There are more of Ralph’s novels coming soon…and a lot more reprints and never-before-published new books representing “the best crime novels in existence.” It a brash claim, and one I hope to keep making for a long time to come.
 
 

LOST HILLS is coming!

I’m so excited about this! Yesterday KILLER THRILLER launched and today my novel LOST HILLS, the first in a new series, is now available for preorder on Amazon.
 
Here are just some of the pre-release blurbs:
 
Lost Hills is what you get when you polish the police procedural to a shine: a gripping premise, a great twist, fresh spins and knowing winks to the genre conventions, and all the smart, snappy ease of an expert at work.” Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of the Edgar, Anthony, Barry and Macavity award-winning Into The Woods and a winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
 
Lost Hills is a tense, pacy read from one of America’s greatest crime and thriller writers. We have a sense of real characters doing real police work, not snatching answers out of the air.” — Garry Disher, the Ned Kelly Award-winning, international bestselling author of the Inspector Challis series
 
“Thrills and chills! Lost Hills is the perfect combination of action and suspense, not to mention Eve Ronin is one of the best new female characters in ages. You will race through the pages!” — Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author
 
Lost Hills is a top-notch procedural that shines like a true gem.” —Craig Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of the Walt Longmire mysteries, the basis of Netflix’s Longmire
 
“A winner. Packed with procedure, forensics, vivid descriptions, and the right amount of humor. Fervent fans of Connelly and Crais, this is your next read.” —Kendra Elliot, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of A Merciful Secret
 
“Brilliant! Eve Ronin rocks! With a baffling and brutal case, tight plotting, and a fascinating look at police procedure, Lost Hills is a stunning start to a new detective series. A must-read for crime fiction fans. –-Melinda Leigh, Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Charts Bestselling author
 
 

Lee Discounted

To celebrate the upcoming release of KILLER THRILLER on 2/12, Amazon Publishing has dramatically slashed the prices on everything I’ve ever written for them. Here’s the rundown…

THE BIG DISCOUNTS:

The ebook edition of TRUE FICTION is only $1.99 and the print editions are 50% off.

“Thriller fiction at its absolute finest—and it could happen for real. But not to me, I hope.” —Lee Child

“This may be the most fun you’ll ever have reading a thriller. It’s a breathtaking rush of suspense, intrigue, and laughter that only Lee Goldberg could pull off. I loved it.” —Janet Evanovich

King City by Lee Goldberg book coverThe ebook edition of KING CITY is only 99 cents…and the print edition is 20% off.

“I could tell you that Lee Goldberg’s King City is one of the best reads of the year or that Lee is one of my favorite writers for so many reasons—plotting, character, or his incredible sense of humor—but that might ruin the surprise of reading King City for yourself. Suffice to say that Goldberg is one infinitely readable master of crime fiction, and King Cityis Lee at his best.” —Craig Johnson

The seven volumes of THE DEAD MAN series, each one containing three action/adventure/horror novellas, are only 99 cents each…and the print editions are 25% off. You can find the entire series here.

“Buckle up! THE DEAD MAN starts at full-speed and never lets up. This is big-ticket horror with characters you care about who are driven to the very edge. Highly recommended!” —Jonathan Maberry

The Dead Man Series

 

The Thrilling Big Thrill Interview

The Big Thrill, the magazine of the International Thriller Writers, has published a detailed interview with me about KILLER THRILLER, how I write, the traits I share with my characters, and how many goats I sacrifice for each book. You can find it here. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt:

Killer Thriller by Lee GoldbergThe character of “Ian Ludlow” is based on your first pen name. If you were writing your own story, would it read like these novels?

Not at all. My life isn’t as exciting as his…

I lead a very normal, domestic home life. I’m your average husband and father…I walk the dog (and pick up poop), I go shopping at Costco, I grill a lot of meat, I buy clothes at the outlet mall, I embarrass my daughter, I exasperate my wife—nothing very glamorous or exciting. And I love every minute of it. The only difference between me and a million other dads out there is that I get paid to make stuff up.

What Ian and I share in common is our physical build, the way we dress, and what we do for a living. And, like him, I’m creeped out by how much of the stuff that I make up to entertain people is coming true.