Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Paperback 600 (!): My Pal, the Killer / Chester Warwick + Scratch a Thief / John Trinian (Ace Double F-107)

Paperback 600: Ace Double F-107 (PBO / PBO, 1961)

Title: My Pal, the Killer / Scratch a Thief
Author: Chester Warwick / John Trinian
Cover artists: Uncredited / Uncredited

Yours for: $11


Best things about this cover:

  • Font!
  • I love that guy. "Dames ... probably expects me to walk over there and see if she's OK. Shows what she knows."
  • She looks like she keeled over mid-mambo.
  • The flowers near her ankles are lovely and delicate. Nice, incongruous touch.


Best things about this other cover:

  • "I" dot = clown nose
  • I love how perspective has been wildly manipulated here. Eyeline = assline. Plus, he's doing that "I can see behind me" thing that only exists in soap operas and book covers.
  • If that title is playing on "To Catch a Thief," that's terrible. Not as terrible as the puke-green background color, but pretty terrible, nonetheless.

Page 123~ (from My Pal, the Killer)

He nodded. Even in the poor light I could see the grimness of his face. He said, "I got the idea, watching you two together, that you were attracted to my daughter. I hope so."

This was the introduction of a new (and sadly short-lived) stock figure in American crime fiction: Inappropriate Dad.


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Karl said...

I recon "Scratch a Thief" is playing on expressions of the format "scratch a ____ and you'll find a ____". "Scratch a liar and you'll find a thief" was probably the specific reference. Although this expression only gets 143 or 11 or 18 hits on Google (Google is weird that way), I'm guessing it was a lot more popular when this epic was written.

And about that negligee thingy: Saran wrap or cellophane? I'm thinking cellophane. Must have been noisy as hell!

Miss Maggie said...

I want to buy this. Those covers are amazing. How do I do so? Email me

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking he'll go examine the corpse one he finishes his cigarette. See, it's hard enough smoking with your hands in your pockets without getting ash all over your suit, but it's near impossible to do so while you're walking. And face it, she'll still be dead in two or three minutes, so can't you just let a guy enjoy his damned cigarette?

DemetriosX said...

I think the worst part of the baby-poop wash on the second cover is the way it affects the woman's skin tones. The worst part is the normal skin tone highlights on the backs of her knees/top of her calves and her foot. It makes the coloring on her thighs even more icky.

Also the guy on that cover has kind of a Hugh Laurie thing going.