Nominated for a 2018 Shamus Award in Best Original Private Eye (paperback)!
"[In] this tricky and delightfully surprising crime novel...Spinelli deftly segues from one genre to another--from hard-boiled noir to paranoid thriller, puzzle mystery (with each and every riddle logically explained), spy caper, and ultimately to something evocative of Bogart and Bacall. Spinelli is definitely a talent to watch."
"An unofficial San Francisco shamus whose tale is set in 1997 but whose heart is stuck in 1947 hunts for the world's most elusive missing person...'I keep meeting people who wind up dead,' aptly observes the narrator/hero...If you'd like more where that came from, Spinelli is your man."
"Treasure the intriguing mystery and its haunting solution."
"A neat little post-modern mash-up of Chandler and Hammett...[Spinelli's] got wit and style up the wazoo."
"You can believe the man that wrote that read his Chandler and maybe his Macdonald as well."
"A fun romp of an old-school detective novel with a few post-modern tweaks. It's full of fist fights, shoot outs, and wise cracks, taking a few peculiar twists that prove many times to be poignant."
"A classic noir...Spinelli manages to keep us on our toes."
"A fantastic read, plenty of twists and turns...Highly recommended."
--Col's Criminal Library
"It's classic noir with a little technology that turns into an international thriller. Though it's a dangerous leap mixing both genres, author Bradley Spinelli succeedsThe Painted Gun will keep readers hooked at every page."
"One of the best aspects of The Painted Gun is its sense of place. The seedier sides of San Francisco are brought to life with all the expected characters...A wonderful diversion."
--Confessions of a Cyberlibrarian
"An intriguing read."
--Life Within the Pages
"The Painted Gun is hardboiled like they don't make anymore. Whiplash twists, razor-sharp prose, an addictive narrative--I couldn't read it fast enough."
--Rob Hart, author of South Village
It's 1997 at the dawn of the digital age in San Francisco. Ex-journalist and struggling alcoholic David "Itchy" Crane's fledgling "information consultancy" business is getting slowly buried by bad luck, bad decisions, and the growing presence of the Internet. Before he can completely self-destruct, a private investigator offers him fifty grand to find a missing girl named Ashley. Crane takes the job because the money’s right and because the only clue to her disappearance is a dead-on oil portrait of Crane himself--painted by the mysterious missing girl whom he has never met. As Crane's search for Ashley becomes an obsession, he stumbles upon a series of murders for which he begins to fear he's being framed...
With pitch-perfect dialogue, an exquisitely crafted plot, and a stylized, deadpan nod to classic hard-boiled writers like James Ellroy, Elmore Leonard, and Dashiell Hammett, The Painted Gun introduces Bradley Spinelli as a force to be reckoned with in contemporary noir fiction.
"With a plot that winds up like a Swiss watch and then explodes like an RPG, Bradley Spinelli's The Painted Gun pays off in every way a reader of noir fiction wants it to, and provides a lovely bonus--some of the most sure-footed tough guy prose I've seen since Hammett and Chandler walked those mean streets. Spinelli's novel pays homage to the conventions of detective fiction while also spinning an original and terrifying web of violence, menace, and intrigue. A bravura performance by a writer of marvelous gifts."
--Sterling Watson, author of Suitcase City
"The Painted Gun is a fun and wonderfully reckless remix. Bradley Spinelli spins the conventions of noir and whips up a tasty postmodern dish. It's an homage to yesterday, and also an examination of what's thrumming outside our walls right now."
--Joshua Mohr, author of All This Life
"Spinelli gives us noir voices and atmosphere, a thrilling international plot, and--in the lovely, half-mad painter Ashley Fenn--a figure who embodies the seductive dangers of fine art. What more could you ask?"
--Richard Vine, author of SoHo Sins
Praise for Killing Williamsburg by Bradley Spinelli:
"Spinelli offers sharp and stylish prose...Benson's nihilistic views may resonate with readers in their twenties facing an uncertain economic future."
"Spinelli has written the first visionary neo-Romantic novel of the twenty-first century."
- Shamus Award for Best Original Private Eye Paperback