Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Paperback 89: Bloodline for Murder (Emmett McDowell) / In at the Kill (Emmett McDowell) (Ace Double D-445)

Paperback 89: Ace Double D-445 (PBO, 1960 / PBO, 1960)

Titles: Bloodline to Murder / In at the Kill
Authors: Emmett McDowell / Emmett McDowell [who!?]
Cover artists: uncredited / uncredited :(

Yours for: SOLD 5/22/08

Best thing about this cover:

  • I am in love with this woman. Absolutely, stone cold in love. Never mind that I can't see her face - I would run away with this woman. Anyone who can pull off the combination of that dress with those shoes, who has gams like that, wears thigh-highs, and packs heat. Oh ... yeah. I hope she plugs that trench-coated ghoul in the doorway and hits the road with me (note to wife: I'm mostly kidding)
  • This book has been man-handled, but the great thing about vintage paperbacks is that manhandling often adds to the coolness of their look. The diagonal creases on this cover somehow work seamlessly into the whole overall design, which is already pretty angular - directing attention to the west and south west of the cover, where the action is.
  • "An Axe For The Family Tree" - I have got to start collecting tag lines, writing them down, and ranking them according to all-time greatness. This one is good, not great - to be great, she would have to be hiding an axe in her hosiery.
  • I like that she is painted in a completely different, more detailed/naturalistic style than anything else on the cover. Dude in the background looks like he's in an early 80s, Tron-esque video game.
PAGE 123~
Helm put down his bottle of beer. He was no longer smiling and his face was a shade redder.
"Knox, how would you like to get thrown in jail?"
"I hope that's a rhetorical question," said Jonathan.
"Rhetorical, hell! This is murder..."

Best things about this back cover:

  • It's a front cover!
  • I believe that this woman is a. blind (where is she looking?), b. wearing a wig, c. about to break into song, and d. tied up in the most ornate and inefficient way I've ever seen.
  • I love our shooter - paranoid and shooting at imaginary enemies.
  • This cover looks like experimental theater. Really, really bad experimental theater. Possibly about lesbians (No? OK, you tell me what that giant pink/lavender "L" is doing there?).
  • I Love girly colors on my hard-boiled crime novels. God bless the boldness and unconventionality of mid-century cover art designers.
  • Her shoes match the giant "L" and font color
  • "Anyone for Murder?" - HA ha. How in the world does tennis terminology relate here? Furthermore, WTF is this?
PAGE 123~

Sorry, this book ends on page 108 (!?!?!). Well ... OK, here's PAGE 23~

"Could I see your credentials?"
"Of course," said Jonathan, and he took out his wallet and showed him a ten dollar bill.



Anonymous said...

For In At The Kill, I think it would be a much more interesting character/book if that quote from page 23 was not a reference to bribery, but rather, the character actually thought that he was Alexander Hamilton, and this was his photo ID.

(How's that for an overuse of commas?)

libwitch said...

The only way that back cover makes any sense if they did a printing error and that is actually a front cover for another novel by the same author.

And it can't possibly be the same woman on both covers, can't it? The woman on the front has much better hair.

Rex Parker said...


It's two books in one. That's what Ace Doubles are. That's why I said the best thing about the "back cover" was that it's actually a front cover. Two different books, same author.