Sunday, November 29, 2015

Paperback 915: Murder in Room 13 / Albert Conroy (Gold Medal 806)

Paperback 915: Gold Medal 806 (PBO, 1958)

Title: Murder in Room 13
Author: Albert Conroy
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $6-8

Best things about this cover:
  • Women Falling Backwards Over Beds Or Couches should really be a "Tag" on this blog. Happens all the time, or at least, let's say, six times.
  • This looks like Barye Phillips, but there's no art credit, so ... Uncredited.
  • I think the figure departing via the door is supposed to look sinister, but instead he looks cartoonishly cornball. Like some combination of Peter Lorre and Boris Badinov and a badger.
  • I think the giant "13" is where it is because the artist kind of screwed up her middle section. Foreshortening of the body is all wrong and her boobs are just ... odd ... somehow.

Best things about this back cover:
  • The evidence! Now in dramatic yellow!
  • This reads like the most generic crime story pitch of all time. It's got all the elements. Ex-pug. Alcoholic haze. Motel. Raincoat. I mean, I'd be *in* if you gave me even the *slightest* reason to care.
  • Murderer! Now in dramatic italics!

Page 123~

"What the hell do you want?" She sounded surly-drunk.

This novel probably sucks, but I'd say this guy's compound adjective skills are at least promising.


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Friday, November 20, 2015

Paperback 914: Enter the Saint / Leslie Charteris (Pocket Books 257)

Paperback 914: Pocket Books 257 (1st ptg, 1944)

Title: Enter the Saint
Author: Leslie Charteris
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $8-12

Best things about this cover:
  • Strike a pose.
  • The Pocket Books logo went through a lot of versions in the early years. This is one of the more adorable variants.
  • I know remarkably little about the Saint, except he was played by Roger Moore on television. There were reruns in syndication on TV when I was a kid. I don't remember a damn thing about them. I had no idea he was known as "The Robin Hood of Modern Crime." I just thought he was a charming cut-rate Bond.

Best things about this back cover.
  • It's weird how (relatively) quickly "gay" lost its non-sexual connotation. I was reading "Cotton Comes to Harlem" this week, and Cotton Ed and Grave Digger talk about wanting to get gay, i.e. go out, drink, have fun ... you know: have a gay old time. I wonder when that meaning essentially died, because it has died hard.
  • Meet Snake Ganning ... Jane, his wife!
  • Piratical!
  • This is a war-time book (1944). Pocket Books' whole "Send this book to a boy in the armed forces" thing was a genius marketing strategy. Together with the Armed Services Editions of cheap books, Pocket Books was helping cultivate a huge paperback-buying market for the post-war era.

Page 123~

The removal of the "dope bird" to a quiet cellar where a ruthless interrogation could proceed without interruption.

A sentence ominous in its incompleteness as well as its all-too-common anti-avian rhetoric.


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