September 2011 | Nate Pedersen

Lost Cain Novel To Be Published

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[Correction: Charles Ardai, publisher of Hard Case Crime, spent the last nine years tracking down the lost Cain manuscript. My blog entry incorrectly attributes that effort to Max Alan Collins, who alerted Ardai to the manuscript's existence. See comments section for more detail.]

Noir collectors will soon have a new book to add to their shelves: a lost novel by James M. Cain, author of the classics Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, was recently discovered by Max Alan Collins. Collins, an impressive crime writer in his own right (author of Road to Perdition) has spent the last nine years tracking down the manuscript and arranging for the publication rights.
Cain's lost novel, The Cocktail Waitress, will be published by the deliciously pulpy Hard Case Crime imprint in fall of 2012. Collins alerted the founder and publisher of Hard Case Crime, Charles Ardai, that the manuscript was floating around somewhere in the literary ether. In an odd twist of fate, Ardai's literary agent inherited a set of papers from another literary representative that happened to have The Cocktail Waitress in it. Ardai reported to the New York Times that opening the manuscript was like "a wonderful moment out of a Spielberg movie."

The Cocktail Waitress centers around a young widow named Joan Medford who takes a job as, you guessed it, a cocktail waitress where she becomes involved in a complicated love triangle.

As an added bonus to the enjoyment of reading a new Cain novel, collectors will be able to actually afford to purchase the first edition of The Cocktail Waitress. First editions of Cain's famous novels, of course, are pricey little numbers.