Sunday, October 21, 2007

Paperback 33: Signet G2569

Paperback 33: Signet G2569 (5th ptg, 1964)

Title: The Body in the Bed
Author: Bill S. Ballinger
Cover artist: Mitchell Hooks

"I said 'Queen Size comforter,' you fool, not 'King!'"

Best things about this cover:

  • False advertising - Technically she's by the bed, not in it.
  • If the cover features a girl with a gun, I buy the book. Almost without exception. Hence my purchase of a 5th printing (!?).
  • Whoever wrote the cover copy has a very tin ear: "When she was alive she was dangerous ... but when she was dead, she was dynamite!" - that's how a pro would have written it. This version clunks / sucks.
  • "SEASON'S TASTIEST DISH" - Hey, S.F. Chronicle: what season!? Autumn? Easter? Hannukah? Could you not even afford to print the definite article?
"Did you think you could get away from me just by turning the book over?! Silly man..."

Best things about this back cover:

  • In case you didn't get enough sickly aquatic-colored comforter on the front cover: reprise!
  • "... favorite pipe and slippers"?? Somehow this image of domesticity doesn't quite seem to go with the idea of banging your secretary.
  • "Barr Breed!" - Awesome. You couldn't invent a cheesier P.I. name if you tried. Go ahead, I dare you. The only thing better than that name is the use of "private eyes" as a verb!
  • "... a disappearing lucky charm" - I wonder if it was the green clover or the blue diamond...



Anonymous said...

Gee, that body looks *alive* to me. Plus, she's the one with the gun. I'm SO INTRIGUED.

Unknown said...

This series of covers reminded me of the confusion I used to experience as a kid when I saw the words "Complete and Unabridged." It seemed titillating, somehow, at least intriguing. All I knew was that my library books--Misty of Chincoteague, Nancy Drew--never said they were "Complete and Unabridged." Was I missing something?

Rex Parker said...

I can only hope and pray that Barr Breed eventually went on to be featured in a book called "Last of the Breed."


Anonymous said...

1. It took me multiple reads to figure out how your version and the cover version of the "Alive she was dangerous" quote were different, so determined was my brain to read it the more readable way.

2. What about the use of Private Eyes as the title of an awesome song?

Unknown said...

Lance Manion -- great handle for a P.I.

This was Sam Malone's (Cheers) alias when he registered at motels with various strumpets. The name stuck with me, it's so good.