Friday, June 13, 2008

Paperback 113: The Case of the Half-Wakened Wife / Erle Stanley Gardner (Cardinal C-283)

Paperback 113: Cardinal C-283 (3rd ptg, 1958)

Title: The Case of the Half-Wakened Wife
Author: Erle Stanley Gardner
Cover artist: Mitchell Hooks

Yours for: $7

Best things about this cover:

  • Truly incredible design. Most of these Cardinal reprints are dreadfully boring, but this one is gorgeous - subtle, yet eye-grabbing. I swear to you that until this very second, when I scanned the cover (and thus blew it up to an abnormally large size), I did not notice the silhouette of the man in the fedora inside those slashing black lines. Very nice effect.
  • "Half-Wakened Wife" really really wants to be "Half-Naked Wife" every time I look at it.
  • I know that when *I* am half-wakened, I can't help but reach blindly for my revolver. It's just normal human instinct.

Best things about this back cover:

  • "Chiseler" is one of the all-time great words in the crime lexicon.
  • "This is a Genuine Cardinal Edition" - I'm trying to imagine all the bootleg and rip-off versions out there: Oriole? Cardinale? Sorny?
  • Gardner's signature remains certifiably insane.

Page 123~

Ellen Cushing once more raised her voice. "I guess you've got to come out, Mother."


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