Monday, August 17, 2015

Patting Himself on the Back

Following on my post last week about Strangers When We Meet, a 1958 novel by Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain), I want to draw attention to the cover below, from 1955’s Murder in the Navy.

The author credited with concocting this particular thriller is Richard Marsten, and the promotional blurb highlighted in yellow on its cover (“Superb suspense!”) comes from Hunter. What publisher Gold Medal failed to disclose, and most readers probably wouldn’t have known in the mid-’50s, was that Marsten--like McBain--was one of the several pseudonyms Hunter employed during his writing career. In other words, Hunter was giving a solid thumbs-up to his own book! A “cheeky” development, as the Seattle Mystery Bookshop Hardboiled blog remarked when it posted this same cover last month.

Incidentally, the illustration on this edition of Murder in the Navy was executed by Clark Hulings. Murder in the Navy was subsequently republished as Death of a Nurse, by Ed McBain.


Ed Gorman said...

I don't put up with that kind of hoodwinking. I had James Joyce give me a blurb!

Anonymous said...

The British novelist Anthony Burgess wrote a review of a book he wrote as Joseph Kell. Although - or because - the review wasn't favourable, Burgess lost his job as a reviewer when the paper found out

Anonymous said...

Donald E Westlake once wrote a book (Comfort Station) under the name J Morgan Cunningham that on either the front or back cover had a blurb from Westlake stating "I wish I had written this book". The whole book was a spoof as only Westlake could write.
David P