Friday, June 12, 2009

Paperback 239: The Lady Kills / Bruno Fischer (Gold Medal 148)

Paperback 239: Gold Medal 148 (PBO, 1951)
Title: The Lady Kills
Author: Bruno Fischer
Cover artist: uncredited

Yours for: $30

Best things about this cover:

  • Sometimes, you just have to stop and recognize awesomeness when you see it. This cover is everything I love about vintage paperbacks in one beautiful package: a paperback original from a very good author, in beautiful condition ... a girl with a gun and a guy with a whip ... a dynamic composition with cool depth of field perspective ... shredded clothing ... a title that is also a complete sentence. My only response when I pulled this off my shelf was "Damn, that's good."
  • That's some serious violence; he seems to have @#$ed her up good with that whip, despite the fact that he's holding it in a way that would not be conducive to hurting someone. He's gotta let go of the tip. It's like threatening someone with a gun that has the safety on. Looks cool, though.
  • She looks a little like that actress ... what's her name ... star of "Medium" ... like a young version of her ... Patricia Arquette? Is that right?

Best things about this back cover:

  • "Old Cleave" = great name for an axe murderer
  • This copy is nuts. Makes almost no sense. Is Old Cleave her father? Her husband? What is the "it" in the penultimate sentence? Did our narrator literally see Beth's husband "learn the truth." How exciting, watching someone learn something.
  • "Understood least of all" — yes, that's clear

Page 123~

My laughter had broken through the crust of her where words couldn't.

I love a girl with a good graham cracker crust.

Now I'm hungry.



justjack said...

I thought she had kind of a Barbara Stanwyck thing going on.

Didja notice how everything is leaning at that same angle? The dame, the guy, even the tree and the clouds. Almost like a Batman TV shot of the bad guy's hideout.

JamiSings said...

Looking at his hand I don't think he's actually holding the whip's tip. If you look carefully you can see that the whip is coiled beyond the grip of his hand as he raises it up to hit her again. It's basically an artsy-fartsy whip in action drawing.

And to me she's more like some dramatic Jean Harlow or Marilyn Monroe type.

Jackie said...

Wow, this is a great cover. And I agree that she looks like a younger Patricia Arquette. Wonder why he's repeatedly whipping her arm? And who IS Old Cleave?

The way his face is totally occluded by his giant, hairy paw is disturbing. I wish we could see him learning.

Frank Loose said...

I've read this book; it is pretty darn good. Not as top drawer as some of Fisher's other work, like House of Flesh, and So Wicked My Love, but worth reading.

Anonymous said...

I'd be killing too if someone was whipping me without my permission! Kill, Lady, kill!

Anonymous said...

I'd be killing too if someone was whipping me without my permission! Kill, Lady, kill!

Anonymous said...

One day I hope to have a wedding night that's exactly like this cover.

Dirt Diggler said...

WOW! is right!

A hot, well-endowed, blond beauty full of self defensive grit and dress code propriety confidently slinging the best end of that shortened shotgun, (at just the right angle for innuendo, too).

The shoulder lacerations, suggestive tatters, defiant visage, and a prominent menacing whip, all convey rawhide sexuality more than life threatening fear.

Brave, brazen, buxom ... I'm all hot and bothered now! The lady kills, alright ... ME!

Also, the author's name sounds like Jewish mafia.

Veronika said...

I like how her hair looks a bit like the clouds - as if her anger translates to the storm and he is about to feel the wrath of it.

On an different note, what does a father do when he learns that his daughter enjoys killing - gets her a job at a butcher shop?

Michael5000 said...

I see why you like this cover, but I find it disturbing that her nipples seem to have ripped bladelike right through her blouse. But maybe that's just what happens when Beth's about to get some killin' on.

Sandy said...

maybe this one for the book bloggers?? not so sure.