Saturday, June 5, 2010

Paperback 321: Wicked Women / ed. Lee Wright (Pocket 1263)

Paperback 321: Pocket 1263 (PBO, 1960)

Title: A Butcher's Dozen of Wicked Women
Editor: Lee Wright
Cover artist: Morgan Kane

Yours for: SOLD!

Best things about this cover:
  • If they'd just get rid of the text and let me see what she's looking at, this cover would be perfect.
  • Great Girl Art, Girl With Gun, Gams Galore, all overlooking a cityscape. I live for covers like this. Subtle, sexy, delicious. Her arm position, her hip cock ... perfect. If I woke up in a hotel room and *this* is what I saw when I looked over at the balcony, I could die a happy man.
  • Problem: the painting gives off an urban, hard-boiled vibe. Those authors ... do not. I mean, they're fine, if you like more traditional mysteries, but the ones I recognize are somewhat cozier than authors I tend to read. There *is* a Kenneth Millar (aka Ross Macdonald) story inside. Not sure why he's not on the cover, as he is pretty well established at the time of this book's release.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Cool '60s design — vaguely rectangular swatches of different bright colors arranged in asymmetrical relationship to one another — continued from front cover.
  • I'm torn between the practical Lucy and the vengeful Daihili.

Page 123~

from "Suspicion," by Dorothy L. Sayers

He sipped it thoughtfully, standing by the kitchen stove. After the first sip, he put the cup down. Was it his fancy, or was there something queer about the taste? He sipped it again, rolling it upon his tongue. It seemed to him to have a faint tang, metallic and unpleasant. In a sudden dread he ran out to the scullery and spat the mouthful into the sink.

I read one novel by Sayers and the mystery (or rather, its solution) was So preposterous that I never read another. I will say, however, that the woman knows her way around a sentence. She translated Dante, after all.


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nigel p bird said...

was lured over by the promise of a see-thru nightgown. glad i came. also reminded that i have a collection with some DLS in it that might creep up a few places in the pile. great cover. you're right about the hard-boiled/author contradiction, most deff.

PB said...

I've read a fair amount of Dorothy Sayers, and I find the novels are pretty hit or miss, with frankly more in the miss category. I love her short stories, though - as you remark, she can write, and she has some great characters (Lord Peter Wimsey and Montague Egg, in particular). There's a complete collection of her short stories in print for a pretty reasonable price.

JRSM said...

I love this cover painting! What a picture. And despite my lack of interest in many of the writers included, those blurbs have got my attention.

Deniz Bevan said...

Which Sayers was it that you read and didn't like?