Thursday, October 11, 2007

Paperback 26: Avon Books 245

Paperback 26: Avon Books 245 (1st ptg, 1950)

Title: The Big Four
Author: Agatha Christie
Cover artist: Uncredited

"Steve Manley really, really hated to lose at chess..."

Best things about this cover:

  • The Floating Head of Fu Manchu! - and check out the Asian-y lettering on the title. You can almost hear the gong.
  • Chloroform - you don't see that on paperback covers nearly enough. Usually it's all guns and knives with these guys. Nice to see someone mixing up the violence.
  • Again, I have to ask, who dresses these people? She's decked out for some kind of fiesta, while he appears ready for Jeeves to bring him his pipe.
  • A pinkish robe with quilted cuffs and collar? And a white handkerchief with matching ascot? His far-off gaze suggests he's being controlled by the Floating Head of Fu Manchu. Maybe he's chloroforming the woman because she dared mock the fancy bedtime garb that is sacred to the Head.



Anonymous said...

Well, the yellow top certainly has its pluses...but don't you have to cover the mouth and nose to chloroform someone?

The mystery isn't particularly good - I'd say in Christie's bottom 10%.

Jeeves would neverlet Bertie sleep in clothes like that, let alone go outside and try to chloroform a woman.


Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that it's the same girl in the same clothes on paperback 1 and paperback 26?

Rex Parker said...

Damn, you're right. Good eye!


Anonymous said...

Then again, back in the 1950's it was common place for women to be damsels (weak) and they need protection from strange men who will do experiments on them or will knock them out and take advantage of them. Abortion was illegal then and women who would hide the shame of being assualted for fear they would become old maids or men would view them as damaged goods!

Just look at the cover of all those detective magazines with half naked women!

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