"There are scenes that stand your hair on end while you fall out of your chair laughing. . . . Be thankful [Lansdale] crafts such wild tall tales."—Chicago Sun-Times"A literary grandson of grizzled '40s writer Jim Thompson (The Grifters) or, say, film director David Lynch in full Blue Velvet mode, the Edgar Award-winning Lansdale writes as if he's just slit his wrists and wants to get the story out before he loses too much blood."—Houston Chronicle“Superb.... Reading Lansdale is like riding the best tilt-a-whirl you’ve ever been on.”—TheWashington Post"Mysteries usually begin with a drop of blood and end up with a barrel full. But Mr. Lansdale, who resides in Nacogdoches, tells this one Texas-style. . . . It's a puzzle, a game, a carnival act of murder and mayhem."—Dallas Morning News"Lansdale has created a landscape of broken dreams, skewed personalities and hope still clinging to the inside of the Pandora's box of problems they all share. . . . He has been called a folklorist, and Leather Maiden makes you want to sit on a porch listening to him spin a yarn that you know doesn't contain a true sentence."—Los Angeles Times"Hilariously alarming. . . . a bruising jolt from an immoral moralist."—Austin Chronicle "[T]he combination of back-porch storytelling and breakneck suspense . . . makes Leather Maiden a must-read for thriller fans."—Texas Monthly"Lansdale writes about the poor, emotionally traumatized, violent and stoically heroic better than almost anyone.”—The Marin Independent Journal"Joe Lansdale has won both domestic and international awards for his past mystery novels, but he's never written one quite like his new volume Leather Maiden. . . . Some of the conversations here are hilarious, even if the language is anything but politically correct. Cason Statler is working in Texas small towns and country communities, where folks don't mince words, and often aren't shy about expressing disdain and wallowing in stereotypes. These ingredients only add more punch and sparkle to a tremendous work that deftly blends farce and dry wit with adventure and crime solving."-—The (Nashville) City Paper"Black humor and bad taste abound in Lansdale's Edgar-winning body of work, and the cult author's newest literary thrillerabout Casey Stanton, a hard-drinking, Pulitzer-winning journalist (and Gulf War vet) who returns to his rural Texas hometown after losing his job in spectacular fashionis no exception. As he investigates a cold-case murder for the local paper and stalks his ex, Stanton emerges as an appealingly ripe hayseed Sam Spade."—Details "With its mysterious disappearances, abandoned houses, midnight trysts, and hidden culverts, Lansdale's latest is a contemporary Hardy Boys story on crank, read to best advantage late at night under the covers, with the aid of a flashlight."—Library Journal“If Mark Twain had written for the Grand Guignol he'd have come up with something like this. Like all Lansdale's books, Leather Maiden walks a delicate line between grotesquerie and moral outrage all the while managing to be funnier than anything I've read all year.”—Scott Phillips, author of Cottonwood“Not since Dexter's The Paperboy has a novel blown me to hell and back. A stunning game of blackmail, murder, manipulation propel Joe into a league that includes one . . . himself. This is the novel of the year, the essence of what mystery aspires to be. It is truly jaw dropping.”—Ken Bruen, author of Priest “Leather Maiden is gripping, ferocious, and very funny. If you have not yet sampled Joe Lansdale’s singular, twisted brand of genius, this is a good place to start.”—George Pelecanos, author of The Turnaround
Lansdale is both as humane and as tasteless as anybody writing crime fiction today. Reading him is like riding the best tilt-a-whirl you've ever been on while still keeping your lunch down…Lansdale is a pleasingly unhinged down-home-style raconteur. He can write a line like this: "I kicked him pretty hard in the throat, and he rolled over holding his throat and making a noise like someone trying to swallow a couple of Ping-Pong balls." He can also endow a character named Jazzy, an abused and neglected 10-year-old girl, with heartbreaking tenderness. Lansdale is a fascinating original.
The Washington Post
Cason Statler, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist with a checkered past, returns to his small hometown of Camp Rapture, Tex., to work as a columnist for the local newspaper in this fine stand-alone from Lansdale (Lost Echoes). On the hunt for spicy material, Statler latches onto the story of a missing college student who disappeared under strange circumstances a year earlier. Almost immediately, Statler connects the case to a recent string of kinky, unsettling crimes throughout east Texas. What's more, his brother, a college history professor, appears to be caught in the swirl of events as a victim or possibly even a suspect. As usual, Lansdale offers salty humor, brisk plotting and appealingly off-key characters who move through a world that's at one moment folksy and the next macabre. This isn't the author's best effort-as a main character, Statler is too much a work-in-progress-but you can never go too far wrong with Lansdale, who's won an Edgar and six Stokers, among many other awards. 4-city author tour.(Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The only reason to go to Camp Rapture, in the heart of Lansdale's (Sunset and Sawdust) well-plowed patch of east Texas, is if you have to, and Cason Statler has to. He is having flashbacks from his service in Iraq still hankering for his ex, drinking too much, and has been fired from his job as a Houston journalist. As a new reporter for the local rag, Cason has to fill up the space between the ads with choice bits about the colorful local yokels and their animals. When he happens on the story of a drop-dead gorgeous coed who, after picking up an order of fast food, seemingly fell off the face of the earth, Cason's on it like a feist on a bone. With its mysterious disappearances, abandoned houses, midnight trysts, and hidden culverts, Lansdale's latest is a contemporary Hardy Boys story on crank, read to best advantage late at night under the covers, with the aid of a flashlight. As a safe bet for any patron who walks through the doors p.o.'d (with the weather, politics, life), this is recommended for all public libraries.
A native has a blood-soaked homecoming. Cason Statler has been down so long he thinks up is a pipe dream. The job he cared for is gone; a lost love has left him empty and embittered; and he's been down in the bottle long enough to be much too comfortable there. But now, back in his hometown, he has a shot at redemption through a position on the local newspaper. The eccentric publisher of the Camp Rapture Report, a sleepy East Texas daily, is intrigued enough by his track record to gamble on an ex-big-time newspaperman who almost won a Pulitzer. Promising to get clean and sober, Cason leaves Mrs. Timpson's office as the paper's newest columnist. It doesn't take him long, however, to open Pandora's box. Six months earlier beautiful Caroline Allison, an exceptionally bright university student without an enemy in the world, had gone missing, her abandoned car found just outside of town. Cason thinks that a series of articles done to a turn might revitalize his once brilliant career. Instead it plunges him into a gory, Gothic netherworld. An underimagined plot and a hero who's hard to like may leave fans of Edgar-winner Lansdale (Lost Echoes, 2007, etc.) yearning for those charismatic rascals Collins and Pine.