Monday, September 24, 2018

Because I Needed a Sayers Fix ...

Strong Poison, by Dorothy L. Sayers (Avon, 1951). This is the fifth Lord Peter Wimsey whodunit, but the first to also feature mystery writer Harriet Vane. The cover illustrator is not credited.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Go Ahead, Give Her a Spin

Hell on Wheels, by by “W.E. Butterworth,” aka W.E.B. Griffin (Berkley, 1962). Cover illustration by Charles Copeland.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Another Look: “The Big Bite”

Warning: Artistic inspiration drawn from book titles may vary.

Left: The Big Bite, by Charles Williams (Dell, 1956); cover illustration by Art Sussman. Right: The Big Bite, by Charles Williams (Great Pan, 1960); cover illustrator unidentified, though this sure looks like Sam “Peff” Peffer’s work.

Below: Manhunt, July 1956, featuring an excerpt from The Big Bite. This magazine’s cover art is credited to Walter Popp.

READ MORE:The Gold Medal Corner: Charles Williams,”
by Bill Crider (Mystery*File).

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Happy Birthday, Agatha!

The blog Books Tell You Why reminds us that today would have been mystery-fiction writer Agatha Christie’s 128th birthday. (She died back in 1976.) To commemorate the occasion, I’m doing what seems appropriate for this page: posting a couple of fronts from Christie’s extensive oeuvre. Above, you will find the 1949 Pocket Books paperback edition of There Is a Tide …, a Hercule Poirot novel originally published in the States in 1948 (and in Britain that same year, but under a different title: Taken at the Flood). The cover art is credited to Harvey Kidder. Below is the cover from what is said to be the 1972 Pocket edition of Endless Night, a standalone work first released in the UK in 1967. The cover painting was done by Tom Adams, who is famous for having produced the art for many Christie fronts over the years. To learn more about Dame Agatha Christie and her fiction, check out this excellent piece in Nick Fuller’s blog, The Grandest Game in the World.

READ MORE:Agatha Christie: Hardboiled Philosopher” (CrimeReads).

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Bedrooms on Wheels, by Brian O’Bannon (Beacon Signal, 1962).
Cover illustration by Stanley Borack.

(Hat tip to Vintage Paperback & Book Covers.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Another Look: “China Coaster”

Warning: Artistic inspiration drawn from book titles may vary.

Left: China Coaster, by Don Smith (Popular Library, 1953); cover illustrator unknown. Right: China Coaster, by Don Smith (Popular Giant Eagle, 1960); cover illustration by Harry Schaare.

READ MORE:Don Smith’s 1952 China Coaster—Sexy High Jinks
& Spy Shenanigans in a Shanghai Just After the Commies Arrived
,” by Paul French (China Rhyming); “The Kremlin Plot, by Don Smith,” by August West (Vintage Hardboiled Reads).

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Different Eras, Different Arms

This Gun for Hire, by Graham Greene (Bantam, 1968).
Cover illustration by Jim Sharpe.

This Sword for Hire! by “Jefferson Cooper,” one of many pseudonyms used by Gardner Fox (Paperback Library, 1956).
Cover illustration by Shannon Stirnweis.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Seaside Escapism

After posting my recent update of summer-themed book fronts, I thought I was done with the subject. At least for the next year. But just today I happened across two splendid versions of another work drawn from that same line: Girl on the Beach, by George Sumner Albee. The cover displayed below and the on the left comes from the 1953 Dell paperback release of Albee’s yarn, which I believe was the novel’s true first edition. The illustration fronting that book was painted by Carl Bobertz. Meanwhile, the softcover on the right was published by Dell in 1959 and features art by Mitchell Hooks.

Click on either image to open an enlargement.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Lost Your Bearings?

Who knew that roller skating—no longer the popular recreational activity it once was—offered such thrills and titillation?

Women on Wheels, by Jud Parrish (Beacon, 1964).
The cover art is uncredited.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Last Blast of Summer Delights

It seems there’s no end to the number of interesting, provocative, and downright amusing book fronts boasting a summertime or at least a beach theme. In June 2009, I posted in this blog a selection of more than two dozen such covers. Three years ago, I added significantly to that collection, bringing the total number of images up to 91. Today, I have 39 more to present, most of them suggesting that this season of sun is also a ripe season for sin.

Among the artists represented in this adjunct gallery are Robert McGinnis (The Limbo Touch, Dark Fury, and the recently talked-about Deadly Welcome), Robert Bonfils (Mix ’n’ Match Mates, Surfside Sex, Sex Is Like Money), Paul Rader (Blanket Party/Sultry Summer, Island of Sin), Glen Orbik (Scratch One), Fred Fixler (Two Way Beach Girl), Robert Maguire (Love Under Capricorn, Ah King), James Meese (The Dangerous One), Harry Schaare (Jungle Heat), Bill Edwards (Youth Against Obscenity), Robert Heindel (The Beach House), Mitchell Hooks (Hot Winds of Summer), Victor Olson (The Harem, Summer Set/Available), Michael Codd (The Last Night of Summer), and Richard Powers (Summer in Salandar).

Click on any of the covers here to open an enlargement.