Tuesday, 13 December 2011

BREAKING NEWS! Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm Spy Novels Series Returns to Print in 2013, from Titan Books!


So then, as teased at the end of the previous post (on Adam Hall/Quiller) – and indeed also hinted at last month – I have some very exciting news today. Beginning in 2013, Titan Books will be bringing back into print American author Donald Hamilton's series of espionage novels starring super spy Matt Helm!


For those unfamiliar with the Matt Helm novels, from 1960 to 1993 Donald Hamilton penned twenty-seven adventures – plus one further, unpublished work – starring Helm, a former World War II secret agent who's brought out of retirement in his debut outing, Death of a Citizen. Hailed by spy novelist Jeremy Duns (among many others) as one of the best espionage series ever published, the novels are renowned for their gritty, grounded take on the spy genre. The books were phenomenally successful in their day, shifting twenty million copies worldwide and begetting four movies (starring Dean Martin) and a TV show, but sadly slipped out of print for years. Not for much longer, however: because in 2013, my former employers, Titan Books, will begin reissuing the series, starting with the very first novel!

Commenting on the news, Titan Books' Publisher, Nick Landau, said: "These novels were among the best spy thrillers ever published. We're thrilled to partner with the estate of Donald Hamilton, enabling us to bring them back into print and show readers what they've been missing all these years."

Terrific stuff, and no mistake. Doubtless there'll be further details from Titan – home too, lest we forget, to the Hard Case Crime imprint – on their plans for the Matt Helm series down the line, so keep 'em peeled for updates – and in the meantime perhaps go have a read of my three previous Hamilton/Helm posts, which can be found here, here, and here. And I'll be back before too long with that promised Violent World of Parker cross-post...

13 comments:

Jeremy Duns said...

This is fantastic news: Donald Hamilton was one of the great thriller-writers of the 20th century, and I hope this will introduce his work to a new audience.

(I also smiled at the fact that Titan's publisher is named Nick Landau, as I recently reread le Carre's The Russia House.)

Gordon Harries said...

I have a Donald Hamilton, but I don't think it's a Matt Helm ('The Steel Mirror', I think? it's a pretty heavy wartime thriller) so I look forward to these.

here's hoping the line's a raging success.

Mark Henderson said...

This is excellent news. I hope Titan will also publish his final manuscript. The Helm novels have always been my favorite series, and I think Hamilton was under-appreciated during his lifetime. Although these books were paperback originals, they really stand up well against any noir thrillers you can name.

Louis XIV, 'The Sun King' (Nick Jones) said...

Jeremy, Gordon, Mark, thanks for the comments. Fantastic news indeed! I've known about it for a wee while, and have been busting to reveal all. The story's spreading like wildfire now, so it's great that the news is finally out there.

Mark, the publication finally of the "lost" Matt Helm novel, The Dominators, would be the icing on the cake...

Bill Koenig said...

This is great news. One amusing piece of trivia: a copy of a movie-tie in edition of a Helm novel appears in a second-season episode of Hawaii Five-O (original series).

I have all 27 Helm books. I got introduced to the character when The Silencers movie first appeared on ABC in the early '70s. Around the same time, Fawcett published the 13th novel and reissued the others with a new logo.

Louis XIV, 'The Sun King' (Nick Jones) said...

Ha, I didn't know that about Matt Helm appearing (kind of) in Hawaii Five-0. How very meta. Thanks for the comment, Bill!

Armstrong Sabian said...

When / if I ever have time to revive my blog Mister 8, the "Helm for the Holidays" series is the first thing I'm bringing back. These are solid, solid thrillers.

Matt Keeley said...

Looking forward to these. Your posts made me want to start reading Hamilton, and I may well pick up a few volumes before the reprint, but I do love having everything in a uniform edition. Hopefully the covers will be up to the Hard Case standard.

Matt Keeley said...

Just one thing - the Titan Books press release says Death of a Citizen appeared in 1960 "just two years after publication of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale." Casino Royale came out in 1953 in the UK and 1954 in the US; 1958 was the date of the comic strip adaptation of the first Bond novel. Not too surprising a mistake for Titan to make, as they *do* publish omnibus editions of the strips.

/nitpicking

D.A. Trappert said...

This is great news. While the Helm books are uneven, the best of them are exceptional. Helm is one of the great cold-blooded characters of all time. And would probably be more fun to hang around with than Travis McGee.

Louis XIV, 'The Sun King' (Nick Jones) said...

Armstrong, your blog looks great. Do let me know if you manage to get it moving again. (Although you've seemingly posted up till the start of December, so you're not too far behind!)

Matt, you're quite right: that date for Casino Royale is wrong, which is why I didn't include it in my story. Hopefully Titan will correct that at some point.

D.A., couldn't agree more!

Thanks for the comments, all.

Armstrong Sabian said...

Thanks for the compliment, Nick. I'll not point out the near year's worth of distance between my more recent writings and the last round of posts.

I'm glad you posted in Double-O Section's comments, as now, in your blog, I have a wealth of back entries to read and enjoy!

Louis XIV, 'The Sun King' (Nick Jones) said...

You might come to regret using the word "enjoy", Armstrong, as you make your way through the collection of po-faced, opinionated, self-important, shoddily photographed claptrap I laughingly call my "archive"...