Sunday, June 17, 2012

Back to Front

Five years ago, I wrote in The Rap Sheet about a controversy surrounding the 1951 Dell paperback edition of Fools Die on Friday, a Bertha Cool/Donald Lam mystery penned by Erle Stanley Gardner under his best-known pseudonym, A.A. Fair. But the blog Pop Sensation revisited that same book front only last week, posting images to compare of the original cover, painted by Robert Stanley, and the “sanitized” version from 1953, so I have reason to bring that mini-hullabaloo once more to your attention.

It’s hard to imagine Gardner’s regular readers--most of whom, at the time, would have been men--complaining about the semi-risqué nature of Stanley’s original paperback art. I’m guessing the critics were people who never bought the book themselves, and who wouldn’t have read it even had they found it in their possession. Isn’t that how such silly issues usually become notorious?

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