Challenge the Impossible

by Edward D. Hoch, with an introduction by Josh Pachter

Crippen & Landru has been publishing high-quality single-author collections of short crime fiction for more than twenty years, including numerous volumes of the work of my dear old friend, the legendary Ed Hoch.

During the summer of 2018, while Laurie and I were traveling in Holland, outgoing publisher Douglas Greene and incoming publisher Jeffrey Marks emailed me to ask if I'd be interested in contributing an introduction to Challenge the Impossible, their fifth and final collection of Ed's Dr. Sam Hawthorne stories. I was traveling with neither a computer nor a tablet, but I didn't want to pass up an opportunity to reminisce about Ed, his work, and our friendship, so I agreed, and wrote the intro on my iPhone.

In addition to publishing in trade-paperback format, C&L also likes to do limited-edition signed hardcovers, and purchasers of those special editions also receive a free chapbook including one additional story. Doug and Jeff asked me to suggest a Hoch story to accompany Challenge the Impossible, and I proposed "The Spy and the Suicide Club," which Ed and I wrote together for the January 1985 issue of EQMM. They agreed, and the book and chapbook were released in August of 2018. (Since Ed passed away in 2008, Doug and Jeff asked me to sign a hundred and fifty tip-in sheets for the limited-edition hardcover. I did, and when the book was published they sent me Copy #11, which now has a place of pride in my archives.)

You can order either the paperback or the hardcover here.

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