The P. Morrison Donations #6
Title: Beware the Curves
Author: Erle Stanley Gardner ("writing under his famous pen name A.A. Fair")
Cover artist: Well, hello there ... aren't *you* a tall drink of water ...
Best things about this cover:
- Sometime in the mid-60s, the quality of pb covers started to go downhill—art gave up its real estate to text, usually the author's NAME or a detective's NAME. Cover paintings get smaller and then eventually disappear, leaving only stock photos behind.
- This cover is designed to do one thing: make you wonder "is that her nipple showing through the lacy dress, or just a shadow...?"
- Gardner was exceedingly prolific and, in part because of that prolificness, artistically underrated. He writes a good story, and I prefer these Lam and Cool detective stories (for which he used the pseudonym "A.A. Fair") to anything else he did.
- What design! ... is what I'd say if I were looking at a different book. As I say, the '60s bring about the slow uglification of paperbacks until we're left with ... this.
She pursed her lips. "I can usually size up character," she said. "And if I can't, well, if anyone gives me a double cross, Donald, I'm ruthless, absolutely, utterly ruthless."
"Most women are," I told her, "but few of them admit it."
"Dames," he added with a shrug. "Whaddyagonnado? ... Seriously, what do I do? They keep walking away from me every time I try to talk to them. Ruthless bitches, why won't you talk to me!?"
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]