Thursday, August 12, 2010

Paperback 341: Crooked House / Agatha Christie (Pocket Books 753)

Paperback 341: Pocket Books 753 (1st ptg, 1950)

Title: Crooked House
Author: Agatha Christie
Cover artist: Paul Kresse

Yours for: SOLD! (10/10/10)

PB753.Crooked

Best things about this cover:
  • Extreme Close-Up!
  • The needle—beautifully rendered, with fantastic detail. Has an apparent weightiness and heft, a solidity, that makes it really stand out. The indentation of needle on skin is a wicked little touch. Nice.
  • The talons—nothing accentuates a hypo cover like sexy/sinister blood red nails.
  • I guess "Crooked House" is a more mass-market-friendly title than "Granddad's Heroin Addiction"

PB753bc.Crooked

Best things about this back cover:
  • Well, there's one "Who?" for each of the listed suspects, but somehow piling them up in a line there at the end diminishes their rhetorical effect / makes the imagined narrator sound like a psychotic owl.
  • Someone named her child "Clemency?" "And this is my brother, Parole, and my sister, NoloContendere."
  • Most enigmatic description I've seen in a while: "Death meant something special to weak-looking Laurence." With that kind of set-up, Laurence better be a carrion-devouring zombie or I'm going to be Very disappointed.
Page 123~

"My dear Sophia, do you really think an old gentleman of over eighty is the best judge of a child's welfare?"

Judging by the cover, grampa's got bigger problems than being 80.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

8 comments:

Frank said...

If you've got a needle phobia, this cover will drive you screaming from the shelf! My skin is crawling (to get away from the needle).

BTW, one of Agatha Christie's best books, and one of her personal favorites, despite the lack of a Poirot or Miss Marple. Very daring, especially for the time.

michael said...

Would it be too graphic for the softboiled Christie reader that prefers their murders off stage?

JRSM said...

This site just gets funnier and funnier. Thank you!

Amanda said...

Love the cover. Gives me the heebie jeebies

Anonymous said...

"Weak-looking" = effeminate, gay. For extra villainy!

Tulse said...

Poor Magda -- despite all the scathing reviews, her family couldn't keep her off the stage.

Anonymous said...

This book might just answer the question of (who who who) WHO let the @#$%^&*ing dogs out, though.

BTW, this person did NOT know how to give an injection.

Diesel said...

Poor hippo.