Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Paperback 628: Dead Giveaway / Hugh Lawrence Nelson (Dell 520)

Paperback 628: Dell 520 (1st ptg, 1951)

Title: Dead Giveaway
Author: Hugh Lawrence Nelson
Cover artist: Robert Stanley

Yours for: $13


Best things about this cover:

  • Legato-erotic asphyxiation.
  • "There was no stool!"
  • I love the thick, sweaty, unshaven humanity of Bob Stanley's painting.
  • I also entertained "auto-melodic asphyxiation." But I stand by my first choice.


Best things about this back cover:

  • When Cartography Goes Bad. A confused and ugly mapback. Too many keys and insets and overlays. San Francisco has never looked more dull.
  • If that is the "zany troupe of entertainers" there in the inset, then we have very different ideas about what "zany" means.
  • There's someone named "Deasy" in this book? And it's not called "Deasy Does It." The titling folks are slacking.

Page 123~

"And Mr. Gates passing out and going—"
"Thump!" They shouted it in unison.
Abbott jumped.
They beamed with pleasure.

I'm guessing "they" are the "zany troupe of entertainers." And I'm also guessing Abbott shoots them within the next couple pages.


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Dave M said...

There's a death by piano in one of Ngaio Marsh's mysteries. A practical joke squirt gun is replaced by a real gun--but I like this one better. It's much more creative.

Tulse said...

Boy, those covers really don't trust the art, do they? "Hey, that guy in the picture? It may just look like he's sitting there, but he's actually being strangled by a piano wire! Yeah, that's right, it's murder with a piano! He's dead, and a piano killed him!"

(And while I'm glad there's no stool in this case, I understand that it's fairly common in the aftermath of hangings...)

Karl said...

I guess nobody told the killer that when you strangle someone with piano wire, you don't have to bring along the whole piano.

Also, based on my admittedly-limited experience, I don't think a dead body would hold a position like that.

Anonymous said...

This is actually the biography of Stan Cliburn, younger brother of Van. 20 years of lessons, 8 years at Julliard, and he ended up being a lounge piano player. At some point, after decades of hearing nothing but "He's good, he's just not Van", when some drunk calls out Play Misty for Me for the 10th time in a night, Stan just couldn't take it any more. Sadly, his one great poetic and pianistic accomplishment was offing himself with a piano string, the instrument of his torture and the instrument of his relief.

Anonymous said...

This looks like a plot Monk would have enjoyed.
Susan in NYC

Pat said...

Nothing says zany, like garroting the piano player.