Joe R. Lansdale is the internationally-bestselling author of over fifty novels, including the popular, long-running Hap and Leonard series. Many of his cult classics have been adapted for television and film, most famously Bubba Ho-Tep, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. Lansdale has written numerous screenplays and teleplays, including for the iconic Batman the Animated Series. He has won an Edgar Award for The Bottoms, ten Stoker Awards, and has been designated a World Horror Grandmaster. Lansdale, like many of his characters, lives in East Texas. New York Times bestselling author Kathleen Kent's fourth book, titled The Dime, is a contemporary crime novel set in Dallas, nominated by both the Edgar Awards and the Nero Awards for Best Novel. The sequel to The Dime, titled The Burn, will be published in February 2020. Ms. Kent is also the author of three bestselling and award-winning historical novels, The Heretic's Daughter, The Traitor's Wife, and The Outcasts.
Book People Top 10 Crime Books of 2020
"Full of humor, gritty drama, and insightful observations, the
five stories in this rewarding collection from Edgar winner
Lansdale (The Elephant of Surprise) concentrate on the
early years of his two mismatched East Texas private eyes: Hap
Collins, a straight, white liberal; and Leonard Pine, a gay, black
conservative. Lansdale packs a punch in the standout 'Sparring
Partner, ' in which the pair, as high schoolers, are hired by a
ruthless boxing manager to train a weakling college kid and a giant
named Man Slayer. Hap and Leonard fend off a murderous racist in
the thrillingly grisly 'The Watering Shed, ' and in the moving
title tale, Hap strives to help a battered woman escape her abusive
husband. A food theme runs from the smells of an adolescent Hap's
grandma's kitchen to a teenage Leonard's insistence on being served
breakfast in a whites-only cafe. 'Good Eats, ' a selection of
recipes with a disclaimer from Hap, rounds out the volume. This
book adds rich background to Lansdale's tough, morally decent
characters, who first appeared in 1990's."
--Publishers Weekly "The dialogue throughout is worth the price of admission, not as stylized as Elmore Leonard's but laden with the same irresistible combination of relaxed badinage and playful threats that sometimes spiral into serious consequences while still remaining playful. The 17 down-home recipes contributed by Lansdale's daughter, Kasey, many of them as chatty as the stories, are a bonus."
--Kirkus "Of Mice and Minestrone is enthralling storytelling that engages readers with dashes of simple wisdom and hard truth. And this particular volume includes a quirky, culinary epilogue from Joe's daughter Kasey."
--Fort Worth Weekly "Amply filled with humor, wisdom, and heart . . . An excellent addition to a great collection."
--Manhattan Book Review "These stories evoke the likes of Elmore Leonard, and manage to feel so reflective that one can almost taste the food."
--Green Man Review "In these character studies of his two most charismatic protagonists, Joe Lansdale takes us to the dark side of Mayberry--authentic tales of small town life in the heart of the twentieth century that also provide an unflinching look at the violence that charged the last gasps of Jim Crow, with all the force of the Sabine River at flood stage."
-- Christopher Brown, Campbell and World Fantasy Award-nominated author of Tropic of Kansas and Rule of Capture "You leave this book hungry, both for food and to start the whole series all over again, live through it one more time, maybe just live there a while."
--Stephen Graham Jones, author of Mongrels and The Only Good Indians "An absolute treasure trove for Hap and Leonard fans. Going back to the beginning only deepens our love and appreciation for these guys. This collection proves once again why Joe Lansdale is one of our very best."
--Ace Atkins, New York Times Bestselling author of The Shameless "Of Mice and Minestrone is classic Lansdale at his legendary best. For his legions of fans, the much-anticipated stories will fill some of the gaps in their collections. For new readers, they will soon come to appreciate why Lansdale is regarded as one of America's finest living writers. Compelling. Hilarious. Poignant. Readers have waited a long time for this collection to finally appear. It was well worth that wait. Roll on the next sequels and prequels."
--NY Journal of Books "I enjoyed every tale in this collection. The best was the title story which was pretty dark and incredibly sad. I really need to read more of Hap and Leonard's adventures if this book is an example of what they get up to."
--Book Lover's Boudoir "Of Mice and Minestrone is the last bit of connective tissue missing from the Hap and Leonard Mythos, which is one of the most entertaining series in modern literature. This book, which deals with abuse, friendship, violence, growing up, race, food, and justice, is full of the wit that's made Lansdale a star."
--Gabino Iglesias, author of Coyote Songs "The humor worked brilliantly well. I found myself chuckling and even outright laughing consistently. And the juxtaposition of this humor against some of the truly horrible things that they have to deal with here made each end of that spectrum all the more poignant."
--Elitist Book Reviews "While Lansdale's work is as varied as the regions of Texas, there is one common link through all of it: his brilliant storytelling. I had only dabbled in the world of Hap and Leonard before this, but it's safe to say that after reading this collection, I'm hooked, and will be reading more of these stories sooner rather than later."
--Grimdark Magazine "Overall, a fantastic collection, for old hands, and new readers of the series alike.
--Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews "I didn't think about the corona virus at all when reading this, and I read it over two days, but could easily have done it in one. I wanted to savor the experience. I think you should too!"
--Char's Horror Corner "Of Mice and Minestrone is a must-read for all Lansdale devotees. If you somehow missed or avoided the previous Hap and Leonard novels or story collections--or are new to the works of this prolific and distinctive author--this anthology of stories from the duo's early years is a wonderful introduction."
--Bookgasm "5/5 Stars. Delightful collection of stories with interesting introduction and bonus collaborative recipes."
--Nonstop Reader "Lansdale gives us a volume that's on par with any other entry in the series, with at least one story that ranks among the best the series has ever been."
--Umney's Alley Praise for Joe R. Lansdale "A folklorist's eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteur's sense of pace."
--New York Times Book Review "An American original."
--Joe Hill, author of Heart-Shaped Box "A terrifically gifted storyteller."
--Washington Post Book Review "Like gold standard writers Elmore Leonard and the late Donald Westlake, Joe R. Lansdale is one of the more versatile writers in America.
--Los Angeles Times "Lansdale's been hailed, at varying points in his career, as the new Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner-gone-madder, and the last surviving splatterpunk . . . sanctified in the blood of the walking Western dead and righteously readable."
--Austin Chronicle "While Lansdale's work is as varied as the regions of Texas, there is one common link through all of it: his brilliant storytelling."