Sunday, September 27, 2009

Paperback 293: Give 'Em the Ax / A. A. Fair (Dell 389)

Paperback 293: Dell 389 (1st ptg, ca. 1952)

Title: Give 'Em the Ax
Author: A. A. Fair (Erle Stanley Gardner)
Cover artist: uncredited

Yours for: $22

Just received this book in the mail as a gift from a generous reader, C. Cope of Weatherford, TX. I already own it, but am psyched because now I have a copy to read. I'll get right on it, right after I finish rereading "The Long Goodbye" for the umpteenth time (teaching it this week). The copy offered here is from my original collection.


Best things about this cover:

  • Gams. Heels, hosiery seams ... the works.
  • World's shallowest bathtub.
  • Where is the ax that she gave him? I wish I could see it.
  • What kind of skirt is that? Looks like a pelt of some kind.
  • They killed Big Bird to make that bath mat.
  • I love the horrid realism of that guy's face folds.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Mapback! Always awesome.
  • When I open a gin joint, it will be called "Rimley's Rendezvous." Actually, scratch that. Too many syllables, a little too French. Still, it's colorful.
  • This is like some architect's sketch pad — an architect preparing to enter a "Best Rectangular Shape-Drawing" contest.
  • Love love love the bungalow-style old skool motel. Motels are the bestest of all crime novel settings.

Page 123~

Bertha's jaw was pressed forward like the prow of a battleship. "What's your proposition?" she said ominously.


If you've ever read a Lam & Cool mystery, then you know Bertha Cool is not to be @#$#ed with. She's ... imposing. 165 lbs and "hard as barbed wire." I really like Gardner's Lam/Cool stuff. Perry Mason, not so much, though, to be fair, I haven't read a Mason novel in a long, long time. Maybe it would hold my interest better now.

~RP

11 comments:

Alix said...

The title is just seconds away from running all over the page -- that's a font with *no* self-control.

Damn, that keyhole icon is creepy!

Are we to infer that Bertha's imposing because of her 165 pounds? I take umbrage.

Brian Busby said...

Blood, blackmail, beauty and a plot that takes us to a venetian blind factory! Who could ask for more?

Lisa in Oz said...

That map is made of pure awesome. And now I wish my last name was Cool.

Anonymous said...

The guys pose reminds me of that painting "The Death of Marat"

Eunice said...

I love how her legs seem more annoyed than murderous or horrified (that's right, I read gams). "Dang it, Jason Robards passed out in my tub again! *huff*"

For being axed he looks rather... clean? More like he was punched.

I can't imagine a woman wearing that skirt with those shoes.

At first I thought the Rendezvous was the layout of the Factory. 'A bar and orchestra? That's a pretty swank Venetian Blind Factory.'

Mo said...

Is Bertha's middle name "the", and is she a Miles Davis fan?

Deb said...

Mo is full of WIN today!

Mo said...

Thank you, Deb ;-)

Elaine said...

My first pair of nylons had seams up the backs ...and it's really difficult to get them this straight! However, she would have RUN OUT of nylon with a skirt that short; we'd be seeing the dark tops and garter belt fasteners. In fact, that's probably what killed Frank Sinatra, who appears to have suffered a penetrating wound to the chest. Give 'em the ICEPICK!

Michael5000 said...

Anonymous beat me to it: our cover artist was definitely cribbing from "Death of Marat."

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