Monday, October 26, 2015

Bare Wench Project

While writing here a few weeks ago about the colorful “spy-fi smut” novels of Clyde Allison, I dug up some other works by that same author, whose real name was William Henley Knoles. He was quite productive during his time (you’ll find a bibliography here), and while many of the books he turned out were the sort you might think twice about displaying in public--among them his Man from SADISTO thrillers, The Lustful Ones (1960), Sexperiment (1966), and Bang the Doll Slowly (1969, published under another pseudonym, Clyde Ames)--I, for one, would like to get my hands on a copy of his 1962 novel Have Nude, Will Travel (Berkley Medallion).



Allison/Knoles’ plot doesn’t boast many literary merits. Here’s a synopsis from the AbeBooks Web site, which sounds as though it originated on this novel’s back cover:
Jake O’Day, otherwise known as Jake of Arabia (because of an unfortunate experience with an Arabian harem), was a private eye by choice--and he only liked very “choice” women: First there was voluptuous Mrs. Tamerlane, the 14th. In his wildest dreams even Jake couldn’t have imagined anyone as wild as Mrs. T. But then there was Suger, a sumptuous young thing who never wore clothes, never said a word, but who made all her desires quite clear. And still there were the insatiable Chinese Twins, those two action-stacked girls who initiated Jake into the Oriental subtleties of love--only the Twins weren’t subtle.
The greater attraction, of course, is this paperback’s cover. Painted by the brilliant Victor Kalin (more of whose artistry can be enjoyed here), Have Nude, Will Travel shows a beautiful young blonde woman--presumably bare of attire--wrapped bodily around a dark-haired guy dressed in a trenchcoat, with a burning cigarette in his mouth, a suitcase dangling from his left hand and an automatic pistol clutched in his right one (perhaps hinting at the 1957-1963 TV Western series that inspired the novel’s title). It’s hard to tell whether this situation presents the gent (O’Day himself?) with delights or a dilemma, but the cover line--“One private eye and too many girls …”--suggests the latter is true.

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