From the Press
As many of you know, our co-founder and co-publisher Martin Shepard passed away at the age of 86 in December of 2020. Last year represented the end of an era for The Permanent Press, but Marty’s legacy and passion for quality fiction are things we will continue to carry with us. His final stroke of publishing genius came in mid-2020 when he saw the potential in what would become our most celebrated book of the year, Unnatural Resources by Mindy Uhrlaub. Mindy spent years working with Human Rights Watch and V-Day, culminating in the authorship of a novel Library Journal referred to as “...a worthy contribution to the growing pool of migrant literature.” She continues to tour around the country speaking on her book and the subject of violence in the Congo, and we at The Permanent Press feel immense pride in publishing a book that generates conversations about such important world issues. As Publishers Weekly said of this novel, “Readers who like their fiction with a conscience will want to take a look.”
2020 also saw the continuation of three of our most acclaimed mystery series. In April we released the third book in the Jack Starkey Mystery series from William Wells, The Now-and-Then Detective, which was hailed by Booklist as “...a brisk caper with a light touch.” The first two books in the Jack Starkey series have been sold to German publisher Heyne Verlag under the title Sun Detective. Retired LAPD Captain Connie Dial continued her well-reviewed series, the Josie Corsino Mysteries, with The Snow Raven, the sixth book in the series and second that takes readers into Corsino’s past before she became an LAPD Captain. Blackstone Audio purchased the book and made it available on CD, and Publishers Weekly said “Dial brings eye-opening, authentic detail to this police procedural.” Finally, it was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but in August we released Belle Isle, the ninth installment of the critically acclaimed series by veteran Richmond reporter Howard Owen, the Willie Black Mysteries. This series has received universal praise, particularly from The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and Associated Press. Belle Isle was a top seller for us despite the pandemic, including subrights sales to Blackstone Audio.
Howard’s Willie Black installments were always the books Marty was the most proud of and looked forward to, and we are overjoyed that in February of 2021 we published the tenth book in that series, Jordan’s Branch. Publishers Weekly said of this gripping novel, “...the bracing narrative is studded with wit and insight, as well as kick-butt action. Readers will agree that it’s a pleasure to spend time in Willie's company.” As if making it to ten Willie Black books wasn’t enough of a milestone, later this year we will be publishing the eleventh in the series, Monument.
Thank you all for your continuing to share our passion for quality fiction. We’re looking forward to carrying on Marty’s legacy of fine publishing in the coming years.
The Permanent Press team