Title: The Man from Scotland Yard
Author: David Frome
Cover artist: uncredited
Yours for: $7
Best things about this cover:
- You can tell this cover was produced before sensationalism (sex and violence) became unstoppable forces of commodification in the paperback industry. This corpse is practically polite. In fact, I think he might just be sleeping after a tough day of pawn-brokering.
- Trench-coated woman! You don't see many of those. I love how incognito she is with her strategically placed umbrella. Is she going to pawn something, or just passing by?
- This book is from 1942, just three years after Pocket Books began. That is, the mass market paperback was exactly three years old when this book came out.
- The painting is subtle, smooth, understated, moody, detailed, elegant. Fantastic and respectable. Makes me sick - where's the action? the blood? the gratuitous partial nudity!?
- Books just held up better in the olden days. This book has been heavily read, but it is square, tight, solid. You could read it a million more times and it wouldn't change its appearance much. Eventually Pocket Books and all paperback producers lowered their quality standards, and books became much more susceptible to decay, fall-apart, and other cheapness-related injuries. I'm telling you, the interior pages on this thing are still Astonishingly white. Red color of the page edges has barely faded. This book may be quaint-looking, but it's tough.
- I love how the author's name is incorporated into the painting itself, made to look like the name of the dead/sleeping guy's pawn shop. That's just beautiful. Too bad that light fixture kind of ruins everything with its potent combination of insectiness and testicularity.
Leighton pressed the bell on his desk. A callow young man came in and took the paper. The firm had dispensed with the services of women in their offices since an attractive young lady typist had become the senior Mrs. Doubs, stepmother of the two younger Messrs. Doubs, each some ten years her senior.