Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The P. Morrison Donations #7: Steve Bentley's Calypso Caper / Robert Dietrich (Dell First Edition B182)

The P. Morrison Donations #7

Title: Steve Bentley's Calypso Caper
Author: Robert Dietrich (pseud. of E. Howard Hunt)
Cover artist: Tom Miller


Best things about this cover:
  • Quite a nice female figure, but unfortunately crowded and partially obscured by garish text.
  • Her hair is gorgeous, from a painting perspective. I mean, you wouldn't want hair that actually looked like that (the "color" alone is frightening), but that's some nice, fine, confident brushwork.
  • The more I look at that title font, the more it looks like it was created by a toddler with dull scissors. Terrible.
  • Who gets this made up and spangled while also getting practically naked? Seems like a lot of work.
    I should start tagging books that use the hackneyed "—to murder!" / "—of murder!" / "—by murder!" finish.


Best things about this back cover:
  • "They found the naked body of Victor Polo!" Oh sure, tease me with the near-naked body of that woman on the cover and then bait-and-switch me with the naked (and dead) body of some guy named Victor Polo. He's probably not even hot.
  • "And me, Steve Bentley." HA ha. Least meaningful name drop ever.  "And me—Steve Bentley ... [cough] ... [tumbleweed] ... you know. Steve Bentley! ... come on! ... [crickets] ..."

Page 123~
The bartendress uttered a laugh like the caw of a robber crow.
First, some words were not meant to have feminine forms. Second, I wondered for a split-second what a rubber crow was supposed to sound like.


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Tulse said...

It's because of those fishermen's poor resource management that restaurants no longer serve blackened Cha-Cha.

Seriously, what the hech is a "Cha-Cha fisherman"?

Jean said...

Couldn't they say barmaid?

The cover painting would be great (if improbable) if it wasn't so squished by all that text. Also her head kind of scares me.

L. said...

When I first read "cha-cha fisherman" I imagined an old man throwing in the net, cha cha cha, pulling in the net, cha cha cha, taking the body to the bar, cha cha cha. Works better with music.

JamiSings said...

I don't like the color but I'd love to be able to style my hair like that. I'm also crazy about her earrings. She needs to wax those bushy eyebrows though.

Well, she should at least, if she was real and not a drawing....

Deb said...

Oh no--I can't find "Mistah Victor Polo" on i-tunes...I thought it was a standard, seeing as all Charlotte Amalie knew the tune and the words.

/I'm too lazy to google him, but didn't E. Howard Hunt have something to do with the CIA and the Watergate break-in?

sps said...

Apparently Dietrich was just one of Hunt's pseudonyms...
Check out the shady crime writer/ Watergate figure here.

Larry said...

Sometime about 1959 the title lettering started lining up not in a straight line. And the artwork got timeless. By the 70s it went all to hell in time for the photos to take over. This cover is from the prime (IMHO) of paperback art.