Thursday, August 24, 2017

Quick Takes

This is a weird French paperback front. According to the Seattle Mystery Bookshop’s Hardboiled blog, it’s from the 1955 Presses de la Cité edition of Marée fraiche (Fresh Tide in English), by J.R. MacDonald—otherwise known as John Ross Macdonald, who eventually became known simply as Ross Macdonald. In the States, this book appeared under the title Dead Low Tide (1953) and was credited not to the creator of the Lew Archer private eye series, but instead to its actual author, John D. MacDonald. Stories have it that John D. MacDonald, who gave the world the Travis McGee series (which did not include Dead Low Tide), was upset when Canada-born California wordsmith Kenneth Millar adopted the nom de plume John Macdonald, later John Ross Macdonald, for his early non-Archer yarns. His attitude toward the competition could hardly have been improved by seeing Dead Low Tide—said to be John D.’s “first great novel”—misidentified in France as another writer’s work.

• Speaking of Travis McGee, Ben Boulden features a handsome gallery of covers from MacDonald’s series in Gravetapping.

• Two more wonderful collections, both from Pulp International: This one focuses on book fronts featuring nuclear explosions; while this other one showcases paperbacks showing men trying to kiss the skin off women’s necks. I wish I’d thought of both themes first!

• The Book Bond brings word that publisher Vintage Classics is preparing yet another fresh array of covers for Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, to debut in Great Britain this coming November. Learn more about those editions on the Fleming Web site.

• Euro Crime highlights a recent design trend likely to spread further than just three book fronts: black and yellow color combos.

• And though its release isn’t due till 2018, you can already enjoy Laurel Blechman’s sexy cover illustration for The Last Stand, described as the final novel Mickey Spillane completed before his death in 2006. (Actually, this Hard Case Crime edition will contain both that standalone story and a previously unpublished novella, A Bullet for Satisfaction.) Click here to read an excerpt from The Last Stand, and for an enlargement of the cover, look here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was Millar/John MacDonald/John Ross MacDonald aware of John D. MacDonald's existence when he chose the pseudonym? It seems too close to be a coincidence, but their books are so different it can't have been an attempt to get a leg-up. When I first started reading crime novels I was confused between them, but as I liked them both I stopped worrying.