Friday, January 31, 2014

Paperback 738: The Lady in the Lake / Raymond Chandler (Pocket Books 389)

Paperback 738: Pocket Books 389 (4th ptg, 1947)

Title: The Lady in the Lake
Author: Raymond Chandler
Cover artist: [Tom Dunn]

Yours for: $15


Best things about this cover:
  • Not my favorite cover, but I love the movie tie-in angle. Audrey Totter died just last month.
  • It's a pretty, evocative cover—I like the way the bubbles and her hair float up in soft curves. I also like how her bright purple dress pops against the blue/yellow/green-ness of the rest of the cover.
  • Ten years later, this cover would've been way more sexed-up, which I realize is a morbid thing to say about a cover featuring a corpse, but … you know I'm right.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Gah. Nothing. 
  • I like "susceptible blondes," but "moves with the speed and general effect of a well-aimed bullet to its suspected target" is noxious, for more reasons than I care to go into.
  • If these scans look a little odd, it's just the permagloss, which is fraying (book still in excellent condition, though)

Page 123~

"Women are always leaving their handkerchiefs around. A fellow like Lavery would collect them and keep them in a drawer with a sandalwood sachet. Somebody would find the stock and take one out to use. Or he would lend them, enjoying the reactions to the other girls' initials. I'd say he was that kind of a heel. Goodby, Miss Fromsett, and thanks for talking to me."

So *that's* what he meant by "The Long Goodbye"—it had an "e" on the end, unlike all his other goodbys, which, apparently, didn't.


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Paperback 737: Duke / Hal Ellson (Popular Library 219)

Paperback 737: Popular Library 219 (5th ptg, 1950)

Title: Duke
Author: Hal Ellson
Cover artist: Rudolph Belarski

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:
  • Her "whatever" face is the best.
  • Black Joan Crawford could take you or leave you.
  • Shoes! Why does everyone on old paperbacks look so damn cool. Even goofy people look cool. Even Flat-butt No Face here has a certain simple, shabby style I admire. 
  • Juvenile delinquency! Dope! Smoking (literally) hot girls who could give a damn! This book has it all.
  • The one word I think of when I see Belarski's artwork: creamy. 


Best things about this back cover:
  • Love the advisory at the end there! "If you barf easy, or don't, like, care about important stuff, then fuck off already." This book has the same attitude as the lady on the cover.
  • Marijuana. I like when books name their drugs. Even though this is a 5th printing, the great condition, the JD (juvenile delinquency) theme, and the drug references make it super-sweet / collectible. 
  • "Cash before pleasure"? Come on, you gotta up your slang game if you're gonna run the streets. "Money before honeys"? "Dough before ho"? "Cheddar before girls in tight sweaters"? Something.

Page 123~

"You got any sticks on you?" Chink said.
"Yeah, I got some. You want one."
"I could use it."
I gave Chink one. I passed some around to the others. I lit one for myself. I needed that. We all got to be feeling gay then. 

Aw, yeah … [cue sexy music] …


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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Paperback 736: She Ate Her Cake / Blair Treynor (Dell 186)

Paperback 736: Dell 186 (1st ptg, 1947)

Title: She Ate Her Cake
Author: Blair Treynor
Cover artist: Uncredited [Gerald Gregg]

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:
  • Hell yeah she did! Good for her.
  • She ate her cake, then stood near the window and shot at birds.
  • Pretty dang racy for a '40s Dell cover.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Mapback!
  • Chickens! 
  • I'm not sure where to go after "Chickens." Not sure how you top "Chickens."

Page 123~

"Well then, why not come back to Los Angeles when I leave? You can go places with me. Now that Al is gone, I'm Mr. Big."
"Yeah, Mr.-Big-on-the-Lam."

Yeesh, I've heard better gangster patter at crossword puzzle conventions. Come on!


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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Paperback 735: The Wanton / Carter Brown (Signet 1713)

Paperback 735: Signet 1713 (1st ptg, 1959)

Title: The Wanton
Author: Carter Brown
Cover artist: Barye Phillips

Yours for: $8


Best things about this cover:
  • "Emerging from the giant green space womb on her ornate hovercraft, Suzie began putting her magnetic hands to work..."
  • Spangle tights!
  • Wantons sure sit funny.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Carter Brown, Private Accountant
  • "Mom says I'm not supposed to smoke around the typewriter, but … I'm kind of a rebel."
  • "…with death" — just add it to anything you happen to be saying for more drama.
  • Who is Mavis Seidlitz and how do I get my hands on one of her (her?) mysteries?

Page 123~

Late the following afternoon, I sat in the visitor's chair—the one with springs—and watched the beaming smile on the Sheriff's face.

Because visitors like to *bounce* *bounce* *bounce* ….


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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Paperback 734: Fire, Burn / John Dickson Carr (Bantam A1847)

Paperback 734: Bantam A1847 (1st ptg, 1959)

Title: Fire, Burn
Author: John Dickson Carr
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $9


Best things about this cover:
  • So, uh, title: are you giving instructions to the fire (which I doubt it needs), or … are you Frankenstein's monster remarking up on what fire does, or …?
  • "Oh, hi there, I was just fixing my hair and … my boobs? … oh yes, there they are. Whoops, how careless of me."
  • Giant pink bookmark.
  • Cape/cane frame.
  • God, 19th-century interior decorating was dreadful.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Least flattering author pic of all time.
  • Amateurish bats are oddly charming.
  • I hope that Lady Flora is either a rapper or has a sister named Lady Fauna.

Page 123~

If anyone had seen the pistol fall from Flora's muff, or seen him hide it under the hollow-based lamp, they might both stand in the dock on a charge of murder.


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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Paperback 733: Waterfront Blonde / Gordon Semple (Beacon B352)

Paperback 733: Beacon B352 (PBO, 1960)

Title: Waterfront Blonde
Author: Gordon Semple
Cover artist: Fracé (!?) (see signature just left of Beacon icon)

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:
  • She was everything shirtless Carrot Top wanted … the body of a goddess, the eyes of an old-school extra-terrestrial, the smoking habit of a young Selma Diamond …
  • I thought the "Bawd" was the go-between / pimp. Yes, "a woman in charge of a brothel." So she's … half in charge of a brothel?
  • Love the bikini—appropriate attire, as the room appears to be underwater. 
  • I like how the cover copy reads like poetry/verse. Speaking of … 


Best things about this back cover:
  • Epic Sleaze Acrostic!
  • Seriously, someone worked long and hard on this. OK, maybe not "long," but … someone *worked* on this, is what I'm saying.
  • Best word in the whole poem: "practically" (line 4)
  • Mmm, "velvety charms." They're magically delicious! (I assume)

Page 123~

She chuckled, gave his hair a rumpling, then went to the door and saw a pocket-size Venus attired in a nautical costume that did full justice to her hips and formidable bosom. The Venus flashed an insouciant smile. "Mrs. Marsh, no doubt?"

They don't call Gordon Semple "The Faulkner of Sleaze" for nothing. Actually, they don't call him that at all, but they should.


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