Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Paperback 216: The April Robin Murders / Craig Rice and Ed McBain (Dell D306)

Paperback 216: Dell D306 (1st ptg, 1959)

Title: The April Robin Murders
Author: Craig Rice and Ed McBain
Cover artist: Robert McGinnis

Yours for: SOLD (June '09)

Best things about this cover:
  • Signature super-hot McGinnis woman ... until you get up to the head. Then it's The Joker's mom. Holy moly.
  • I hope I don't offend anyone when I say that McGinnis draws the best asses, anywhere, ever. His women tend to be a little gaunt and a little dead-eyed for me, in general, but from waist to knees I have zero complaints.
  • Oddly comical cover for McGinnis, perhaps because the book is a kind of dark comedy. Love the Spy vs. Spy wavy dagger in the dead guy's hand. Also, love his hand. Awesome agony hand.

Best things about this back cover:

  • I think you mean "A Front," but OK.
  • I want you to write a story for me that begins "So Bingo and Handsome..." I would read that story.
  • Why are those phrases hyphenated in the second paragraph. So Wrong. So Wrong. Trying to see humor ... failing ...
  • I would wear a t-shirt that read simply "What You Need In Hollywood Is "Front"" - enigmatic!
  • Um, I just noticed that she has pompons on her ankles for some reason. What the hell is that all about? Or is she being attacked by Evil Tribbles?

Page 123~

There were a great many things to say, Bingo reflected, and none of them really seemed to fit the occasion. He stood by the doorway, deciding between "How did you get in?" "What are you doing here?" and "Who are you?"



Alix said...

Now see, I think her butt looks kinda odd, like it's drooping in the middle or something. Also, I think her neck is protruding from her clavicle -- that's one odd angle.

Hideous hyphenation aside, I thought the back cover was fairly incoherent.

"Bingo" and "Handsome"? Those are some zany nicknames, all right.

Cullen Gallagher said...

I actually just bought this book last week (different edition though). I'm a big Craig Rice and Ed McBain fan, so the combination seemed intriguing!

Eunice said...

Honey, that outfit sooo clashes with your hair. Maybe the pompoms are to add to the whole clown makeup look.

My problem is the obvious panty line (I'm hoping that's what it is anyway) under her left cheek. Thanks a lot, Rex, for causing me to look that closely - tch.

Dirt Diggler said...

"Oh Dahling, you know how parched you get when you sunbathe in your tuxedo...."

Elaine said...

I'll bet the dead guy did something like...perpetrating a cruel hoax on another blog, claiming that there is such a thing as a "Reester Bunny"--a chocolate bunny with peanut-butter filling.

(How did the guy get killed when armed with the awesome wavy dagger? Don't the victims usually die due to lack of armament?)

Unknown said...

now when you say "draws the best asses anywhere" .. it _might_ still be true because of course there might only be people who draw worse asses, OR it's just that you like your asses differently proportioned than I do, but frankly, my reaction was a definite "meh". Would need lots of alcohol to find interesting. If I were single, that is. Which I'm not. But anyway.

DemetriosX said...

A couple of things jumped out at me on the front cover. First of all, she appears to be approaching the Addams mansion. Secondly, either that arm isn't attached to anything (Oh my God, they killed Thing!) or the guy it belongs to is 8 feet tall (Oh my God, they killed Lurch!).

Back cover: They mean "front" not "a front". It's a quality not an object. You have to project an image. You wouldn't say, "You gotta have a heart." The pom-poms aren't on her ankles, more like mid-calf, which would go with her Capri pants. It may have been the style at the time.

Also, I'm in general agreement with the other commenters. I don't find this a particularly attractive butt either.

Rex Parker said...


First, "Have a heart" is an exceedingly common expression, so no idea what you're talking about there. And "Front" as a quality is totally unknown to me, whereas "a front" (as in "a sham facade") is utterly common to anyone who reads crime fiction or is at all a sentient being. See W. Allen's movie "The Front." There is an expression, "don't front" - meaning don't put up a false front, pretend you are what you're not, etc. If someone said "we need a front," I'd know exactly what that person was talking about. See also "beard."

"You've got front, kid" ... no.

I think everyone is judging the butt by the face. Though there is an odd wrinkle under the left cheek, I'll give you that.

DemetriosX said...

"Heart" was probably not the best example. I was thinking of "You gotta have heart" from Damn Yankees (?). Maybe moxie would have been better. Anyway in Hollywood slang of the period front without an article has to do with image and putting on a good appearance, while front with an article would be like in the Woody Allen film or Barton Fink.

pious agnostic said...

She's definitely a Butterface, that's for sure.


As for Page 123, I'd bet my last five dollars that "the occasion" involves a naked female stranger in somebody's bed.

Arun said...

"Invariably" doesn't mean what the back cover writer thinks it means.

Anonymous said...

I'm theorizing that a goon armed with a wavy dagger jumped out of the weeds to attack our cover heroine. But he was distracted by the pom poms on her capris, allowing the red head to successfully defend herself with the killer heels she's wearing. With cigarette intact, she triumphantly smirks her way past the body, pausing only long enough to scratch her left calf with her right foot.

Nicole "Gidget" Kalstein said...

"What you need in Hollywood is Front..." unfortunately, Baby got Back.

I love the way she looks at the dead guy. "Oh, Marco, stop goofing around. We've got work to do."

"Bingo and Handsome"?!?!? I'd have a 3-way with them, were I the kinky type...

Michael5000 said...

Nothing says SoCal like a decrepit four-story stone gothic palace with turrets and a widow's walk.