Friday, April 22, 2011

Paperback 406: Dark Power / Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (Black Cat No. 14)

Paperback 406: Black Cat No. 14 (1st ptg, 1945)

Title: Dark Power
Author: Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
Cover artist: "F.W." (any idea? anyone?)

Yours for: $22


Best things about this cover:
  • "I am the eye in the sky / Looking at you-u-u / I can read your mind..."
  • LOVE how the tree is reaching out to pick up the lady.
  • This reminds me of the opening of Henry James's "Turn of the Screw": "Oh boy, a new job, I can't wait! I hope the kids are interesting ... uh ... wait. This can't be right. Hello?"
  • It also reminds me a Very late-career Bette Davis movie called ... hang on ... aha, "Burnt Offerings!" Look, the movie poster even features the creepy old house with the single attic window lit up! Bette Davis! It's good/bad, for sure.
  • To be honest, I think the front cover of Dark Power is kind of beautiful. And that logo—so great they dedicated the whole back page to it.

["This is not the book you seek. Back away, slowly ..."]

Page 123~ (book only 120 pages long, so ... p. 23!)

Pale, unusually serious, she went down the stairs. And there in the lounge she saw a stranger, a tall, fair-haired young man, sitting stretched out in an armchair, and smoking a cigarette. When he caught sight of her, he rose.

Wow, that last sentence ... there's a lot in just those two final words. Sets the stage for one of his next lines: "I thought you were going to be repulsive [...] horn-rimmed spectacles — you know — one of these nice girls."


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Jean said...

I like the cover, but the cat on the back looks like a hunchback-cat...

Jamie Rosen said...

Hunchback cats need love too.

I like the cover -- I'm a sucker for disembodied eyes. And I've seen Burnt Offerings on tv, back when I could afford the movie channels. It wasn't bad, although it had its ups and downs like most horror flicks.

number2 said...

What a value! You get a $2.00 Mystery Thriller for only 25 cents! That's like getting $1.75 worth of Mystery Thriller for free!

Deb said...

Don't have a comment about the cover, but Holding is one of the great forgotten mystery writers of the early 20th century--and a lot of her work is, criminally, still out of print.

I saw "Burnt Offerings" in the theater when I was a wee slip of a girl (alright, when I was in my teens). My only memory of it is the ending, which has something to do with Oliver Reed's and Karen Black's faces appearing as old-timey photographs (a la the ending the "The Shining" which came several years later). I remember nothing else about the movie--including any and all scenes featuring Bette Davis.

Citizen Dain said...

"Burnt Offerings" is a fantastic movie by Dan Curtis ("Trilogy of Terror", "Kolchak: The Night Stalker"). A lot of elements of "The Shining" are borrowed from this movie and its source novel, even though Stephen King denies it. There are some slow parts to the movie, but the dream sequences with the chauffeur are unforgettable.

I love that Black Cat logo. I'm trying to pose my own black cat in that threatening pose but she is not cooperating.

DemetriosX said...

I like the cover, except for the eye. It's like some bizarre UFO getting to beam the woman up. It really throws the whole thing off.

Also, the headline gives the name of the book as Dark House. You might want to fix that.