Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I spent this last weekend on a mini-vacation to Victoria, British Columbia, a quite beautiful and historic small Canadian city located just a few hours north of Seattle, on Vancouver Island. During my time there, I was introduced to Chronicles of Crime, a mystery-fiction bookstore on Fort Street that’s a treasure trove of used and vintage paperback novels--some with covers that are destined to show up on this page in the future. And of course I made a pilgrimage to Russell Books, a double-level, warehouse-like joint (also on Fort) that’s packed, floor to ceiling, with new and previously owned titles. (Amazingly, I walked out of Russell’s with only one book--and that one non-fiction, not even a crime novel.)
However, I also visited the local Chapters chain outlet and Munro’s Books, on Government Street, one of my favorite independent bookshops. It was at those latter two stores that I came across paperback copies of Penguin UK’s 2008 re-releases of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. These are the editions sporting Michael Gillette’s amazing cover illustrations, all built around curvaceous young women. Although it was never released in the States, I have been collecting this set of 14 books over the last few years in trade paperback format. Yes, I already own another full set of Fleming’s 007 novels, but it doesn’t compare with these eye-catching Gillette editions.
I wrote about Penguin’s Fleming re-releases in The Rap Sheet four years ago. Yet I haven’t ever featured all of Gillette’s covers in one of my blogs. So I am going to do so here, if only to remind myself that I need to pick up the works still missing from my collection.
Click on any of the covers in this post for an enlargement.