Saturday, April 4, 2009

Paperback 214: Black Mail / Did She Fall Or Was She Pushed? - Doris Miles Disney (Ace G-506)

Paperback 214: Ace G-506 (1st ptg / 1st ptg, 1963)

Title: Black Mail / Did She Fall Or Was She Pushed?
Author: Doris Miles Disney
Cover artist: uncredited / uncredited

Yours for: $9

Best things about this cover:

  • I believe the mail now prefers to be called "Negro"
  • Sexy librarian look is basically ruined by the straitjacket
  • "I got rejected from Haverford?! But that was my safety school! Noooo!"
  • Awesome psionic powers - that horn-rimmed lady is packing the double whammy: Swirling Disorientation Vortex and Orange Implaing Lance of Death
  • "Authentic background," HA ha. "The sky and fields look so real..."

Best things about this cover:
  • That guy wins the award for Most Oddly Proportioned Detective. His feet are gigantic. And hazy.
  • Experimental art - sometimes good, sometimes bad. Here ... thumbs down. No action? Is it cold or just desolate? What in the hell is on her head? Her vacant look does nothing for me. I'll take the freaked-out letter reader and even the freaky four-eyes on the flip side of this book over this lavender-hooded nobody.
  • That title is laughably bad. The whole book should be just one word long: "Pushed."

Page 123~

Monday had figured so consistently in the pattern that this was the day on which he expected the watch to bear fruit.

That is, by far, the most exciting sentence on the page. Reading her prose is like watching paint dry. Beige paint.


P.S. where are my snarky, enthusiastic commenters? I've actually lost two "Followers" in the past week? Boo hoo. I know I have been *slightly* behind on my postings, but come on - help me out here a little. Give me a push. A little momentum. Somethin'. Thx.


Alix said...

Well, you know what they say about detectives with big feet...

That poor abandoned question mark!

Since it is the abridged version, after all, maybe they just cut out the exciting prose.

Clearly the only way to get your followers back, Rex, is to start posting seven times a week. WE ARE HUNGRY FOR PAPERBACKS!

Jake Kesinger said...

The contents are abridged, but they forgot to abridge the title.

Rex Parker said...

Actually, I think you're supposed to read it like this:


libwitch said...

As a sexy librarian, I take umbridge. Um, so should all other female. I am not quite sure what they going for there, but I am pretty sure that looked failed.

I thought the back cover was a bit better - at least she has sort of young Elizabeth Taylor look going on there. But yeah, so much for a story being told by the art.

And the overall color combo of the two is a bit...glaring.

Alix said...

Librarian? I thought she was a pissed-off dentist.

Rachel Helps said...

So, is she balanced on that... thread, or shish-kabobed?

Tulse said...

Perhaps she dropped from an overpass, and this was "a-bridged".

Rex Parker said...

Dentist! Yes. Why couldn't I place it. A lady dentist from the 60s. Why do the looks of dentists and psych ward doctors overlap so much in my mind?

Levi Stahl said...

I'm just disappointed that you rate her writing so low; I had almost bought Anthony Boucher's praise and was wondering whether I should check her out. Glad you set me straight.

JamiSings said...

See, she doesn't look like either a librarian nor a dentist to me, but rather some hybrid between an alien who is having trouble assimilating to humanity and a mad scientist.

Rex Parker said...

Yes, I want to retract the "sexy librarian" comment. I meant that that seemed to be the direction they wanted to head, but then they veered sharply away into the avian/alien/medical professional realm, creating a terribly unsexy monstrosity.

I read exactly one page of the book. Maybe the rest of the book is better. My experience with Boucher is that he has bad taste.


pious agnostic said...

I wonder what kind of fruit he expected his watch to bear?


Nicole "Gidget" Kalstein said...

You're losing followers? Sad! This is my favorite blog in the whole world. I'll never leave you!!! :) I often talk about your blogs to my friends, and they think I'm a nerd, but I don't care.

Keep up the awesomeness! We love you, Rex!

Vicky said...

I could say that I quite like the way the cliff could also be a wall he's lurking behind. However that would be neither snarky nor enthusiastic.
The blog's fantastic - I've been reading it for a few months now - and I'm impressed at the regularity of posts. It's a far more consistent output than I achieve.

Dirt Diggler said...

The trenchcoat-ed dick is playing pocket pool! (One can clearly deduce this from the vertical divining rod connecting the impotent fields to his swollen bulge!) Not to mention his laid back leer at Eliza Doolittle, who has just emerged from the loo guacomole-masked and terry toweled.

warren said...

That guy wins the award for Most Oddly Proportioned Detective. His feet are gigantic.

It's Frankenstein's Detective.

this was the day on which he expected the watch to bear fruit.

It's clear this detective is neither an horologist nor a botanist, or he'd know that watches never bear fruit half as well as trees.

Miss Maggie said...

I totally have got to gets me some o' them sexy librarian glasses. With my square lenses I'm just a hipster libarian which is no fun at all. But I promise not to wear my shirt backward, if it'll please you, Rex.

Michael5000 said...

~I'm~ still enthusiastic! And VERY snarky! And, like, a month behind! But still trying to keep out of Reader bankruptcy.