Of Mice and Minestrone – Hap and Leonard: The Early Years

Joe R. Lansdale

Discover this brand-new Hap and Leonard series collection, chock full of Joe R. Lansdale’s inimitable blend of humor, mayhem, and insight, and featuring never-before-seen stories, a selection of the boys’ favorite recipes from Kasey Lansdale, and an introduction from New York Times bestselling crime author Kathleen Kent.


Of Mice and Minestrone – Hap and Leonard: The Early Years

by Joe R. Lansdale

ISBN: Print: 97816169623231 ; Digital: 9781616963248

Published: May 2020

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and Digital Books


A brand-new Hap and Leonard series collection chock full of Joe R. Lansdale’s inimitable blend of humor, mayhem, and insight, Of Mice and Minestrone delivers never-before-seen stories, a selection of the boys’ favorite recipes from Kasey Lansdale, and an introduction from New York Times bestselling crime author Kathleen Kent.

Hap Collins looks just like a good ol’ boy. But from his misspent youth on, his best compatriot is Leonard Pine, who is black, gay, and the ultimate outsider. Inseparable friends, Hap and Leonard climb into the boxing ring, visit each other’s families, get in bar fights, and just go fishing—all the while confronting racists, righting wrongs, and eating a whole lot of delicious food.

So pull up a seat and sit a spell, and let master storyteller Joe R. Lansdale regale you with a new passel of tales about the unlikeliest duo East Texas has to offer.


Previous Hap and Leonard collections from Tachyon
Hap and Leonard
Hap and Leonard: Blood and Lemonade
The Big Book of Hap and Leonard (digital only)

Lansdale’s duo made their screen debuts in the Hap and Leonard television series, with Michael K. Williams (The Wire), James Purefoy (The Following), and Christina Hendricks (Mad Men).


Praise for Of Mice and Minestrone

“There’s a place in East Texas where story shades into memory, where violence and tenderness are just part of the wonder of living, and that’s precisely where Joe Lansdale lives, and writes from, and we’re all the better for it. The eating’s pretty good there, too, as Hap’s recipes more than attest. You leave this book hungry, both for food and to start the whole series all over again, live through it one more time, maybe just live there a while.”
—Stephen Graham Jones, author of Mongrels and The Only Good Indians


Joe R. Lansdale is the internationally-bestselling author of over forty novels, including twelve books featuring the popular Hap and Leonard. Many of his cult classics have been adapted for television and film, most famously Bubba Ho-Tep, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. Lansdale has written numerous screenplays and teleplays, including for the iconic Batman the Animated Series. He has won an Edgar Award for The Bottoms, ten Stoker Awards, and has been designated a World Horror Grandmaster. Lansdale, like many of his characters, lives in East Texas.

Praise for The Big Book of Hap and Leonard

“I recommend it for all Hap and Leonard fans. As you read, you might hate yourself for laughing, you might wish you had not laughed, but you are going to laugh.”
—Looks at Books

Praise for Hap and Leonard: Blood and Lemonade

[STARRED REVIEW] “Showcases some of Lansdale’s most personal and reflective writing to date.”
Publishers Weekly

“If Frank Dobie is the Lone Star State’s Homer, if Larry McMurtry is the Texas equivalent of Henry James, then Joe R. Lansdale has to be the Mark Twain behind the pine curtain. No other writer—in Texas or any other state in the union—can switch between gut-bursting humor and nail-biting suspense with as much heart and grace as Lansdale . . . Blood and Lemonade is a must-have for just about everyone.”
Texas Book in Review

“Joe R. Lansdale’s Blood and Lemonade is a masterpiece of addictive and stylistic storytelling.”

“Everything here is written in Lansdale’s inimitable style of down-home East Texas storytelling, and everything is eminently readable and enjoyable.  There’s humor, there’s sadness, there’s blood, and there’s lemonade.  And some cussing, too.  Great stuff, irresistible reading.”
—Bill Crider, Pop Culture Magazine

“Joe Lansdale is our East Texas Hemingway, and here’s another example of what makes him great. In Hap & Leonard: Blood and Lemonade, he carves out beauty with plain words and direct sentences. Some of the stories in this mosaic novel are horrifying, others gritty, sad, thrilling, and funny, but all of them are beautiful. I ate it up.”
—Daryl Gregory, author of Spoonbenders  and We Are All Completely Fine

“A brilliant ‘mosaic’ novel. An amazingly vivid style that feels like Hemingway. Themes that are especially important for our time. With these early adventures of his compelling Hap and Leonard characters, Joe. R. Lansdale hits a new high.”
—David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of Murder As a Fine Art

Blood and Lemonade is the best of Lansdale and the best of Hap and Leonard. As urgent as it is timeless. As fun as it is thoughtful. It haunts you while it kicks your ass. Joe never lets you down, just shows you over and over why he’s the best.” —Jim Mickle, director of Cold in July “Magnificent storytelling.”
Char’s Horror Corner

Hap and Leonard: Blood and Lemonade is something truly special. You are going to love it”
Horror Drive-In

“The dialogue is pitch perfect . . . thoughtful, rather clever, and with enough bullets and banter to satisfy the most demanding reader.”
Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews

“When you come right down to it, this may be my favorite Hap and Leonard book ever, and that’s saying a lot.” —Chet Williamson, author of Psycho Sanitarium “Exceptional . . . Hap and Leonard: Blood and Lemonade is a wonderful piece of storytelling, and a worthy addition to a great series.”
October Country

Praise for Hap and Leonard

“Seven laid-back adventures, one of them brand new, for “freelance troubleshooter” and good old boy Hap Collins and his gay black Republican partner Leonard Pine. . . . No one currently working the field demonstrates more convincingly and joyously the deep affinity between pulp fiction and the American tall tale.”

[STARRED] “Last seen in the novel Honky Tonk Samurai, Lansdale’s incomparable East Texas crime fighting duo show their chops in this remarkable story collection. Hap Collins, a straight, white liberal, and Leonard Pine, a black, gay conservative, have long challenged genre conventions, and the friendship and camaraderie between these two hard cases as they suit up against injustice and hypocrisy is at the heart of these seven tales. In the novella “Hyenas,” the boys help save a client’s impressionable younger brother from the clutches of a group of psychotic robbers. “Dead Aim” finds the pair taking on the Dixie Mafia after a seemingly straightforward cheating spouse case gets a tad more complicated. “Not Our Kind” is set against the backdrop of the late 1960s, when a teenage Hap first befriends Leonard and faces the racism and intolerance of his peers up close. Readers can also look forward to the debut of the TV show Hap and Leonard on the Sundance Channel in March.
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“An essential Hap and Leonard addition”
The Novel Pursuit

“As Mr. Lansdale might say, “This was more fun than rolling down a hill with a bunch of armadillos.”
Horror Novel Reviews

“. . . it’s great to have all of these wonderful stories together in one nifty volume”
Horror Drive-In

“Highly entertaining”
Sons of Spade

“a perfect introduction”

“East Texas charm, profane wit, and strong characterization, with enough snappy dialogue to keep a smile on your face . . . excellent entertainment, edge-of-your-seat action one minute, gut-busting humor”
Adventures in Genre Fiction

“This collection is crime/pulp fiction at its best and most captivating.”

“short, concentrated bursts of everything that makes the series so good.”
October Country

“If you find yourself on the wrong side of Hap and Leonard, be cautious, because they are quicker than a rattlesnake, and their bite is just as bad. If you find yourself an innocent bystander looking for a great book to read, you’ve come to the right place.”
Killer Nashville

“If you are a fan of the genre and looking for a new character to get into, Hap and Leonard won’t steer you wrong.”

“For those new to either Lansdale or the series, this latest collection is an excellent introduction to the kind of trouble these two often find themselves in; all the while exchanging some of the funniest, lovingly antagonistic, and memorial dialogue of any crime series.”

“If you haven’t read any of the dozen or so Hap and Leonard novels, start here.”
Lone Star Literary

Praise for Joe R. Lansdale

“He can write anything, in any genre, and he has such a unique style that whatever Joe Lansdale you’re reading, it’s always Joe’s singular, unmistakable voice.”
—Hansi Oppenheimer, director of All Hail the Popcorn King documentary of Joe R. Lansdale

“A folklorist’s eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteur’s sense of pace.”
New York Times Book Review

“An American original”
—Joe Hill, author of Heart-Shaped Box

“A terrifically gifted storyteller.”
Washington Post Book Review

“Like gold standard writers Elmore Leonard and the late Donald Westlake, Joe R. Lansdale is one of the more versatile writers in America.
Los Angeles Times

“A zest for storytelling and gimlet eye for detail.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Lansdale is an immense talent.”

“Lansdale is a storyteller in the Texas tradition of outrageousness…but amped up to about 100,000 watts.”
Houston Chronicle

“Lansdale’s been hailed, at varying points in his career, as the new Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner-gone-madder, and the last surviving splatterpunk…sanctified in the blood of the walking Western dead and righteously readable.”
Austin Chronicle

Praise for Cold in July

“…impressive Realism-meets-Road House-circa ’89 fight-scenes, tailings, and gunfights…. You’re sure to finish this book fast, but you’re also sure to think on it slowly.”
Lit Reactor

“One of the benefits of Cold in July being made into an independent movie (adapted by screenwriter/actor Nick Damici and directed by Jim Mickle) is this new, movie tie-in edition from Tachyon, Joe R. Landsdale’s publisher….a finely told crime story.”

“…a crime fiction classic.”
The Novel Pursuit “It’s a major novel, full of darkness, humor, passion, and truth.”
—Lewis Shiner, author of Glimpses and Mozart in Mirroshades (with Bruce Sterling)

“I can’t think of a more remarkable suspense novel in the last few years. Cold in July has it all….”
—Ed Gorman, author of The Poker Club

Visit the Joe R. Lansdale website.


Introduction by Kathleen Kent
Hap and Leonard, The Early Days by Joe R. Lansdale

The Kitchen
Of Mice and Minestrone, part I and part II
The Watering Shed
Sparring Partner
The Sabine Was High

Good Eats: The Recipes of Hap and Leonard by Kasey Lansdale


Other books by this author…