Tuesday, 2 January 2018



This novella continues the story of Keller, after the wistful stamp-collecting hit man retired in New Orleans at the end of Hit & Run. A phone call and an economic downturn is all it takes to put him back in business.

Keller in Dallas, a Kindle bestseller, serves too as the opening episode of Lawrence Block's brand-new bestseller, Hit Me.

A quick and enjoyable re-read of a Keller short which I first encountered a couple of years ago.

Despite reading it less than two years ago, it still felt fresh and new and interesting and exciting. Only in the last couple of pages did I remember what happened regarding Keller's first job out of retirement.

Funny enough it was about a year ago I re-read Hit Man the first full length Keller novel. I still have the four other Keller novels to read, plus the other 9 or so short stories-cum-novellas, which Block has penned over the last few years.

It was interesting to see the changes in Keller's circumstances since the start of the series. He's married with a daughter and has a legitimate job renovating properties. A phone call from Dot, the contact for his hits in his previous life, coincides with a troubling time work-wise. The economy is in a downturn and while cash isn't tight, he could use the money, particularly as there is an interesting stamp auction coming up. Keller is now a fully fledged philatelist.

Block 99% of the time snares me with his writing - I can't think of anyone else who could make stamp collecting seem interesting and exciting. 

An enjoyable re-read.

4.5 from 5

Keller in Dallas thoughts from 2016 here.

Read in January 2018
Published - 2009
Page count - 43
Source - owned copy
Format - Kindle


  1. I agree with your assessment of Lawrence Block's writing, Col. A stamp-collecting hit man? That should be a first, certainly for me, and interesting too.

  2. That's the thing about Block's work, isn't it, Col? It stands up to re-reads, and still feels fresh. Glad this one did it for you.

    1. Margot, I think second time around I noticed things I hadn't on my first go. Not bad for a shortish piece.

  3. Col – I am with you on Block’s talent and ability to grab the reader.

    1. What's also pretty amazing is his longevity as a writer. I don't think he's run out of things to say yet.

    2. In the 90s, I read a book by him about his writing life, and – Yeah – he has been going strong for a very long time.

    3. Seems like he's been around for ever and hopefully he is good for a few more years yet.

  4. Loved Keller Hit Man, so definitely up for this...

    1. There's about 10 long short stories - short novellas available. Shouldn't hurt your pocket or take up too much time to dip in and out of them.