Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Finding a Fortune Is Suddenly Easy

Yesterday, as part of a large Rap Sheet post chock-a-block with news having to do with crime fiction, I included the following item:
It has now been just over 12 years since crime-fictionist Dennis Lynds died. I was reminded of this by a note in Mystery*File from his widow, thriller writer Gayle Lynds, who explains that her husband’s best-remembered protagonist, one-armed New York City gumshoe Dan Fortune, has recently been resurrected in print. She writes: “The entire 17-book series of private eye novels”—which Lynds published under his pseudonym Michael Collins—“are available again, for the first time in Kindle and trade paperback. We hope a new generation of readers will discover Dan, and that longtime fans will enjoy re-reading the classic tales.” Click here to find Amazon’s list of these reprinted works, from Act of Fear (1967) to Cassandra in Red (1993).
I confess, I’ve never been a huge Dan Fortune fan. If my memory is correct, I picked up a copy of the initial entry in that series, the Edgar Award-winning Act of Fear, during my 20s, when I was hungrily expanding my familiarity with the detective fiction genre. And I read two or three more Fortune books in quick succession after that, before becoming distracted by other fictional gumshoes that drew my attention more strongly. Nonetheless, I’m impressed by the fact that—as Gayle Lynds explains in her most recent newsletter—she exhausted “three years of work” trying to return all of the Fortune yarns to print. That’s a substantial commitment to the central body of work her prolific husband of some two decades produced. Readers need no longer haunt used bookstores or search online vendors for vintage copies of those novels.

Still, I prize one Fortune tale I stumbled across at a Half Price Books outlet in Seattle, and promptly purchased. It’s a 1970 Bantam paperback edition of Lynds’ second installment in the series, The Brass Rainbow (1969). The new, trade-size paperback edition that Gayle Lynds has helped bring back to market is stylish and appealing (you can see it on the left), but I prefer my copy—shown atop this post—with its lightly provocative cover art by Mitchell Hooks.


TracyK said...

Now you are going to have me searching for older editions of the Dan Fortune books. I will buy some of the new trade paperbacks too, to support the effort that his wife has made to make them more easily available.

Pulp Covers said...

Obviously, I prefer the Hooks cover as well. He clearly put some work into painting a scene from the book.
A quick reverse image search uncovered that the stock stripper on the new Brass Rainbow cover is also sold as a color poster under the very classy title "Bar Sexy Stripper Dancer Erotic Wall Print" and can be found on eBay. https://www.ebay.com/itm/162065931271

Old Folkie said...

Love the sexy painted cover, that new photo cover has me wondering "What the heck is she doing?" which is never bound to encourage me to pick up the book in question...