Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Paperback 1000: The Case of the Musical Cow / Erle Stanley Gardner (Pocket Books 1063)

Paperback 1000: Pocket Books 1063 (1st ptg, 1955)

Title: The Case of the Musical Cow
Author: Erle Stanley Gardner
Cover artist: photo cover (Silver Studios)

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $12-15

Best things about this cover:
  • After "All About Eve," Bette Davis's career took a weird turn there for a bit...
  • Out with the old kind of mystery about DOPE and MURDER, in with the new kind of mystery about DOPE and MURDER. What's new, you ask? Well, musical cows, for one. Admit it, you did not see that coming.
  • Is that an Eames chair? That's some pretty stylish bondage.
  • There is a *lot* of rope in her lap, which the red-painted case title and the immersive mustard experience are probably supposed to distract you from.

Best things about this back cover:
  • I love (like, Love) that the exciting red cursive intro text just says "Rob Trenton."
  • I also love (like, Am In Awe Of) Erle Stanley Gardner's psychopathic signature.
  • Ooh, Europe. How exoticish!

Page 123~

Rob Trenton, who had been listening incredulously, said, "That's a lie! That whole statement is false. This man is one of the . . . "

At this point, Rob Trenton was deemed both too implausible and too boring to continue as a functioning character in this story, and so he simply exploded, leaving the remaining characters staring (incredulously, of course) at an empty chair.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]


dnature said...

Congratulations on 1000 covers. Super cool.

Karl said...

Holy cow, I would kill to have a signature like that, even if it is psychopathic.

And yeah, what's with the 200 coils of rope around the lady's lap? The photographer must have spent an hour crouched over her, his face practically in her boobs, wrapping that rope around and around and ... Okay, never mind. Mystery of the 200 Coils of Rope solved.

Jean said...

Wow, you sure kept the best for the anniversary! Congratulations, and I cannot be the only one looking (incredulously) at "Musical Cow" and thinking unfortunate things about methane.

Jean said...

Wait just one gosh-darn second here. I'm looking at the girl, and it seems like her body is real and her head is painted? What is up with that?

vintagehoarder said...

I've got this book (in a Pan paperback edition) and now I'm tempted to push it to the top of my pile of reading. If nothing else I want to find out how a musical cow is related to dope pushing!

Xerxes Iguana said...

I was about to ask the same question - the legs look photographed and the face looks painted.

Is it all a painting, then the artist put an insane amount of detail into the legs, rope, shoes and shadow and just dashed off the face in a few minutes.

Rex Parker said...

I never thought about her face seeming painted. I guess ... but I always saw this as just a photograph. Maybe they touched her up?


Jean said...

I think touching up might be the answer -- her hair, at least, looks painted, and while her face isn't as glamorous as I'd expect a painting to be, she doesn't look quite real either. Skin too smooth, eyes too blue...huh, now that I look at it, the rope doesn't look very real either. Weird.

Larry said...

I love the rope tied around her upper arms. This is the classic hollywood hostage knot. Looks like it would take about 30 seconds to slip out of it. A couple of weeks ago, Negen was tied this was on Walking Dead on a dolly.