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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Charles Williams's 1954 pulp classic A Touch of Death -- in print for the first time in almost 40 years -- revolves around a scheme to steal $120,000 and the trouble one man finds when he meets the woman of his dreams -- or, more appropriately, his nightmares.
Lee Scarborough is a down-on-his-luck former college football star who meets Diana James, a woman with a seemingly foolproof plan to steal a ton of money. It seems that J. N. Butler, the conniving vice president of a local bank, stole the money and skipped town. But James, a nurse who was caring for an elderly woman in Butler's neighborhood, witnessed a few significant events and knows that the money is still inside the Butler mansion. All Scarborough has to do is break into the house when Butler's alcoholic wife is away and find the stash. But when Scarborough runs into the beautiful Madelon Butler -- arguably one of the most dangerous and ingenious female criminals to ever grace the pages of a mystery -- he becomes entangled in a web of intrigue that will leave him infatuated, manipulated, and, most likely, incarcerated.
A Hard Case Crime release, Williams's resurrected pulp classic is a noir masterpiece that has not only withstood the test of time but actually improved with age. Discerning readers agree: Hard Case Crime -- an imprint that began in 2004 -- is the best thing to happen to the mystery genre in a long, long time. A Touch of Death is a perfect "case" in point. Paul Goat Allen