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It’s the HANZAI JAPAN giveaway contest!

by nickmamatas

Next week we launch Hanzai Japan, our third anthology, which is already getting some good pre-release buzz. And that means this week we launch our giveaway contest!

Hanzai means crime, which is the slogan of the book. It features fiction running the gamut of crime from vampiric police procedurals to supernatural prisons to good ol’ fashioned murder sprees. Contributors include New York Times best-seller Carrie Vaughn, All You Need Is KILL/Edge of Tomorrow‘s Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Catwoman’s Genevieve Valentine, mystery genre stalwarts S. J. Rozan and Naomi Hirahara, cross-genre author Jeff Somers, and many more.
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The contest this time around is a simple one. In the comments to this post, write a brief essay telling us who your favorite fictional sleuth who is not Sherlock Holmes is. It can be an amateur sleuth, or a supernatural detective; a costumed crime-fighter or a hard-boiled anti-hero. As usual, you can post in English, Spanish, Japanese, German, Chinese, or Greek, and around noon on Friday we’ll pick our four favorite responses four lucky winners will receive a copy of Hanzai Japan! Don’t be shy; we ship worldwide.

Points for cleverness! We’ll look at poems, even Begin!

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29 Responses to “It’s the HANZAI JAPAN giveaway contest!”

  1. Nathan says:

    I would like to pick “Golden” Dawn Seliger because I want to test the theory that naming a character from a Nick Mamatas book will increase my chances of winning. Also, because Love is the Law is a really good book.

  2. nickmamatas says:

    Well, it probably won’t hurt…

  3. Jody Savage says:

    I thoroughly enjoy Dorothy Sayers’ mysteries, and her marvelous characters Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Whimsy. Vane is smart, independent, an original thinker, a woman well ahead of her time. Her husband, Lord Perer Whimsy, is erudite, charming, and an aristocrat who so thoroughly enjoys privilege and is so aware of the unfairness of his advantage that he amuses rather than grates. These novels are wonderful time capsules.

  4. Gus Hinrich says:

    Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy.

  5. Joseph Tomaras says:

    Meyer Landsman of the Sitka District Police in Michael Chabon’s “Yiddish Policemen’s Union”: He’s a mensch in spite of being a cop, he’s obsessed with pork, and he moves readily albeit clumsily between social milieux, whether Tlingit or Hasidic. And as I wrote about the book in which he features, Chabon “achieved the implausible feat of writing a noir thriller that reads as if it were translated from the Yiddish of an alternate timeline literary godson of I.B. Singer…. If only the original could be found in this timestream…”

  6. Olga Zelenova says:

    Nero Wolfe. Because he is clever. Because he’s the reason I have a *favorite* genus of orchid. Because he has an Archie. Because he can say the alphabet backwards….and now I’m gonna abandon my textbook and go read some Stout.

  7. Brandi Weed says:

    Philip Marlowe. Admittedly, in his stories it’s less about solving the main mystery than discovering the systemic corruption leading up to it, but he does it well and with a flair for metaphor and simile that few have ever matched.

  8. Barry Graham says:

    James Sallis’ Lew Griffin–a fantasy wrapped in a naturalistic story (all the novels add up to one story, though you don’t realize it till the last one), and it also works as an engaging, often heartbreaking, yarn.

  9. John Shearer says:

    She can golf with the best of them, speak a little Swahili, and knows ghosts aren’t real. There is no sleuth I admire more than Nancy Drew. She cares for the disenfranchised, she gets angry when people abuse their power, and she’s as staunch a friend as one could want. She really is the best.

  10. Lori S. says:

    I have a weakness for Easy Rawlins because he’s not a cop, an ex-cop or a wannabe cop, and he’s not a full time professional P.I. My runner-up would be Kelly Link’s Girl Detective, who gets to take all the interesting parts of Nancy Drew and leave all the annoying and/or dated bits, and then get all meta with them.

  11. Jeff Peterson says:

    my favorite fictional sleuth is a kitty that’s a wolf.

  12. Ben B. says:

    The unnamed Detective Sergeant in Derek Raymond’s one-of-a-kind “Factory” series. He’s hard-boiled to the point of surreality, yet has the soul of a poet. He works in the Department of Unexplained Deaths and it’s his job to investigate “people who don’t matter and who never did.” His foes are the cold and horrible dregs of England. Predators who abuse, murder and manipulate sad and lonely people who just want to live and love. The Detective Sergeant’s method? A deep empathy for the victims of the crimes he investigates. A sadness and righteous fury that permeates his being. Each one of the five Factory novels is a haunting exploration of loneliness and fallen humanity.

    Also, a shout-out to Peter Milligan’s “Johnny Nemo”. The very same of the arctic eyes and the amphetamine hair. Judge Dredd gone punk-rocker.

  13. Carrie Morita says:

    Mas Arai is my guy
    I’m always waiting waiting for the next
    mystery to come out
    Which includes things familiar here and about.

    Naomi Hirahara brought him life and ability to solve
    Others’ plight
    However, for me it just brings me pure delight.

    When did you say the next Mas Arai mystery is due out?

  14. Thomas Pluck says:

    My favorite is Bernie Rhodenbarr, the titular burglar from Lawrence Block’s Burglar novels. He’s witty, and selectively amoral in how he’ll Rob you blind but feel compelled to solve your murder whether he’s been accused of it or not.

  15. Matthew says:

    I was tempted to say Bill Smith/Lydia Chin but considering SJ Rozan has a story in this, that might be cheating.

    I’m going to say Jim Chee. Not only are the mysteries good, but Tony Hillerman gives us a wonderful view of the Navajo culture and world view through his eyes. I’m choosing Chee over his other Navajo detective, Joe Leaphorn, because of Chee’s struggles to balance ancient tradition with modern life. Then, Hillerman manages to blend the personal, the cultural, and the mystery into a beautiful whole.

  16. Davin Kubota says:

    Inspector Javert as portrayed by Russell Crowe and sung by a Dalek’s monotone robotic voice. After all, who could resist an inflexible sideways hat wearing thug heavy screaming or belching up “Exterminate! Exterminate!” while looking at stars and gnoshing on a croissant?

  17. Linda Mills says:

    This was so difficult because I love so many. Then I reread the contest statement and it asked for a single detective. I realized most of the series I loved involved group efforts, such as Kay Hooper’s Noah Bishop novels, Catherine Coulter’s FBI series, Lisa Scottoline’s amazingly funny lawyers. So when I had to think of a series with really one predominant figure as the “detective”, The Honorable Phryne Fisher came to mind first. The Miss Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood is wonderful. Phryne Fisher is a woman ahead of her time. Independent, smart and very funny. The stories give you a great sense of the roaring 20’s and you feel swept up in her world, the good and bad of it.

  18. n. says:

    well, since it can be an “amateur sleuth” and “hard-boiled anti-hero” and he did unearth many crimes, i’ll go with Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan. I mean, what’s not to like in an insane, foul-mouthed polytoxicomanic asshole in a world where despite anything (despite himself) he is _the_ good guy?

  19. W. Alexander says:

    Mark Genevich from Paul Tremblay’s “The Little Sleep” is a unique character; forced to navigate the labyrinth, not only of a confusing and uncertain crime, but his own narcolepsy, which brings every part of the story into question for both the protagonist and the reader. The character is a modern detective living in a Philip Marlowe fantasy of his own creation, ever uncertain of a quicksilver world that slips through his fingers and transforms from paranoid delusion to stark reality in brutal contrast to his own expectations.

    As a victim of schizophrenia, myself, the flipboard of Genevich’s reality resonates strongly with me, as I try to help him find his way – not around or past the maddness, because there are no such roads – but straight through it into the heart of his mystery.

  20. Milena says:

    Jessica Fletcher is the detective I would like to hang out with in real life, since I’m now old enough to qualify as one of the friends she visits when the murder happens and not the murderer. Also, I could be sure the murder itself wouldn’t be too gruesome, and there would be some nice, probably home-made food involved. That’s more than you can get from most detectives. Yes, I like comfort-blanket murder mysteries, why do you ask?

  21. scott nakamura says:

    I nominate Naomi Hirahara’s, Mas Arai, atom bomb survivor, gardener, and amateur sleuth in Los Angeles. My GrandFather was a gardener in Los Angeles, making Mas a character to whom I could relate.

    A haiku:
    Rising from ashes
    The brave Warrior fights on
    Justice for the dead!

  22. Robert says:

    Velma Dinkley of the Scooby Gang/Mystery Incorporated. While the other members of the gang might had solved or played a crucial role in figuring out the mystery of the day, it was mostly Velma who put all the clues together and revealed the identity of the monster. Fred might be the leader/trap maker, Daphne the chick, Shaggy and Scooby the love-able cowards with hidden hearts of courage, but they would never had gotten as far as they have if it wasn’t for Velma’s intelligence.

  23. Akiko H. says:

    My favorite is Marta Saggy (Maruta Sagii) from マルタ・サギーは探偵ですか (Is Marta Saggy a Private Detective) by 野梨原花南 (Kanan Norihara). He is a high school kid whose new deck of dueling game cards ships him off to another world, where he becomes a private detective because that is the role assigned to him by the cards. The setting is super-fun, Marta is a good kid who eventually falls in love with his newly found life, and while all his cases are solved by his deck of cards, it is his efforts and virtue that earn him a place in a strange land of magic and alchemy.

    And yes I would LOVE to see this series translated and published! I would translate it myself if I could!

  24. BloodyGaikotsu says:

    I think I’ll go with “Bones” from Fox’s Bones…
    I dunno if she fits into the category but…
    Anyways, everyone got a scar with a story to tell, it could be a result if a childish mischief or trying to woo their crushes. Whatever the story you have, it will probably die with you.
    What Bones do helps with retelling these stories which could be forgotten for good. They will always be an evidence of oneself’s existence. After all, nobody can recognize the person when he’s no more anything but mere bones. Let it be lovers or lifelong friends…
    I know it got nothing to do with the mystery part of the series but I just think that I also yearn for someone to tell my own stories…later on

  25. Alex MacFarlane says:

    I don’t know if this detective exists, but it feels like in amid the layers of history and medieval romance and contemporary research that borders on the fictional in its desperation – in amid the accusations of a crime: the murder of Alexander III of Macedon – there ought to exist a detective, stepping from text to text, assessing the facts and finally figuring out the truth. Unfortunately, like much of Alexander’s history, the detective’s name and conclusion are lost.

  26. Trevon Turner says:

    Shoutarou/ Philp
    One is soft boiled at heart
    One is an homage

    One tries hard to be
    A hard boiled detective
    Subversion of tropes

    The other is smart
    Almost obsessively so
    Humor is a must

    Together they make
    The greatest detective team
    And solve many crimes

    Double Detectives
    Two heroic shining souls
    One Kamen Rider

  27. Komavary says:

    Clair DeWitt in the ~ and the Bohemian Highway by Sarah Gran. The first part of the duology was good too, but here DeWitt is much more than a noir new-age detective (which, by itself, is not an easy task to do). No need to be beaten up, noir-style when she tears helself into little pieces, just to build her again as someone who can face the truth. Add Carol Monta’s husky voice (cured in whiskey and nicotine) in the mixture (she did the audiobook), and you are in love.

  28. Tim says:

    Nick Charles, The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. Drunk, diffident, irredeemable, the ultimate outsider faking bemusement in the face of the corruption of the elite and the hypocritical mores of polite society. Nick Charles, who – even after being shot early on – spends most of the novel trying to not get involved in the murderous affairs of the 1%, though is eventually drawn into their game. Charles is the existential anti-hero archetype – fully aware of the absurdity of existence, alienated from modern society, focussed on drinking himself to death, yet who finally comes around and solves the murder for reasons never made clear to the reader.

  29. Gerald Sato says:

    Mas Arai, he’s our man
    He can’t solve it
    Nobody can!

    Marlowe, Maigret, all the rest
    Mas Arai is
    Still the Best

    Sherlock, Dalgliesh
    Samuel Spade?
    Mas Arai has got it made!

    Hiroshima to LA
    Mas Arai is here to stay!


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