Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Two-fer Tuesdays: Frozen Assets

A twice-monthly pairing of book covers that just seem to go together. Click on either of these images to open up an enlargement.

Because I live way out here in more temperate Seattle, I’m missing all the snowstorm woes currently being inflicted upon New England. But that doesn’t mean the cold has not been on my mind. In fact, my wife and I spent a good chunk of last night watching “Blizzard 2015” TV coverage, and I woke this morning with the desire to devote this week’s Two-fer Tuesday installment (the first since early December--my apologies) to the chillier side of mystery fiction.

Above and on the left, you’ll find the 1957 Signet New American Library paperback edition of The Flesh Was Cold (a book originally published in 1950 as The Angels Fell). This “medium-boiled detective thriller” was the 11th novel by Bruno Fischer (1908-1992), a Berlin-born sports reporter turned pulp-fictionist, who in the late 1930s ran as a Socialist candidate for the New York state senate. And though The Flesh Was Cold was not technically an entry in Fischer’s post-World War II series about New York City private investigator Ben Helm (who apparently doesn’t make a showing until the novel’s second half), it is often lumped in among those.

Credit for the illustration fronting this edition of The Flesh Is Cold belongs to the renowned Robert Maguire.

Now please direct your attention to the paperback façade opposite Maguire’s. I hadn’t intended to revisit the bulging portfolio of Robert McGinnis, after my month-long celebration of his creativity last October. However, this front from the 1962 Signet paperback issue of Carter Brown’s The Ice-Cold Nude, featuring series P.I. Danny Boyd, provides excellent proof of McGinnis’ many talents as a painter, not to mention his fondness for the female form. The painter later created another, different cover for the 1969 Signet edition of The Ice-Cold Nude, which you can enjoy here.

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