Monday, December 30, 2013

Paperback 732: A Taste for Cognac / Brett Halliday (Dell 10c 15)

Paperback 732: Dell 10c 15 (1st ptg, 1951)

Title: A Taste for Cognac
Author: Brett Halliday
Cover artist: Bob Stanley

Yours for: $15


Best things about this cover:

  • Red hair. Bow tie. Side glance.
  • That ugly booth bench puts her in a rather weird, hunchy, decidedly unsexy position.
  • His hand is almost too expertly rendered. Seems like a living thing, operating wholly independently from Cap'n Bow Tie.


Best things about this back cover:

  • Psst, Blackie. He's gonna need his face for, you know, talking.
  • Love trigger-happy gunmen. So much cooler than gun-happy triggermen. Or gun-shy gunmen—those guys are the worst.
  • I am intrigued by the concept of "Night Bus."

Page 23~

"So you think I did it?" Shayne fumed.


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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Paperback 731: The Terrible Night / Peter Cheyney (Avon T-365)

Paperback 731: Avon T-365 (1st ptg, 1959)

Title: The Terrible Night
Author: Peter Cheyney
Cover artist: Darcy

Yours for: $12


Best things about this cover:
  • The cigarette. Definitely the ominous, abandoned cigarette.
  • "Gore galore!"
  • Title font = awesome.
  • Interesting variation on the Keyhole Cover. Sadly, in this case, I get none of the titillation of voyeurism. The view is sordid. I'm all for bondage (!), but whatever's going on here seems too grim to be exciting.


Best things about this back cover:
  • … sorry, I was just contemplating what a great addition THEOMARA would make to my Crossword Compiler dictionary.
  • Lion + snake + woman. So he's like a griffin … kind of.
  • All the best trappers use tanga.
Page 123~

O'Mara said brusquely: "No. Go to bed." He went out into the corridor; down the stairs. As she went into her room he heard her murmur: "Such a pig …"

I don't have much to go on, but my gut tells me she's right.


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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Paperback 730: Doctor with a Gun / Richard Ferber (Dell First Edition A198)

Paperback 730: Dell FE A198 (PBO, 1960)

Title: Doctor with a Gun
Author: Richard Ferber
Cover artist: John Leone

Yours for: $6


Best things about this cover:
  • I guess I can kind of make out a gun, there, in a holster near his knee. Still, with a title like that, you'd think you'd make the "gun" a little more prominent. "Doctor with a Horse!"
  • What do you call those kinds of neck ties? Not bolos … 
  • Few doctors had the guts to ride alone through the Land of Mustard.


Best things about this back cover:
  • That's a damned stupid layout of KILL OR BE KILLED. It makes no sense. What are all the "Kills"? why would you wrote "Be" after "Kill" — "Kill Kill Kill OR Kill BE Killed ellipsis Kill Kill" WTF?
  • Nothing more sheeplike then "the whole town" in a Western. 
  • If Luke Short's word is so important, maybe give it slightly more prominence? Just a thought.

Page 123~
Nothing was as simple as it seemed. Nothing could stand isolated, without sooner or later infecting something else. There was no good in running away. 
Damn. Matt Kirby has gone full Greek Tragedy. Pray to Athena, Matt! I hear that works sometimes.


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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Paperback 729: Something's Got to Give / Marion Hargrove (Popular Library 222)

Paperback 729: Popular Library 222 (1st ptg, 1950)

Title: Something's Got To Give
Author: Marion Hargrove
Cover artist: familiar but Uncredited [Earle Bergey]

Yours for: $9


Best things about this cover:

  • Boobs. FUN. Boobs are FUN. I get it now.
  • Damn, that's pretty sexy for radio.
  • A Lady Lay Abed Too Long … and so she conceived twins? With captain Pipey McChinless there?
  • Those Children-of-the-Corn twins will haunt your dreams.
  • Question smoke! Nice.
  • She is flipping you off.


Best things about this back cover:

  • OK, that opening line is Great: "It happened in bed…"
  • More Popular Library Nothingness. Ugh.
  • Audiences *love* "babies screaming in neglect." Don't you miss the days when paternal incompetence was charming?

Page 123~

"He couldn't have been too hungry," I pointed out, "if he left one of the peas on his plate."

Enjoy your future eating disorder, kid.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Paperback 728: Duel in the Sun / Niven Busch (Popular Library 102)

Paperback 728: Popular Library 102 (1st ptg, 1946)

Title: Duel in the Sun
Author: Niven Busch
Cover artist: photo cover (mostly)

Yours for: $12

Best things about this cover:
  • Jennifer Jones manages to make armpit-sniffing look pretty sexy.
  • Joseph Cotten does not look "lusty." He looks "lank" and "weird." (Upon further review, that looks more like Peck than Cotten)
  • This hybrid photo/graphic cover is strange, though it does convey "sun-drenched" pretty well.
  • I believe this was a controversial film in terms of its tawdriness. Ah, here we go—per wikipedia: "The film received poor reviews, however, and was highly controversial due to its sexual content and to Selznick's real-life relationship with Jones, which broke up both of their marriages."

Best things about this back cover:
  • Just … nothing. 
  • Wait, I take that back. "Lewt McCanles" is a pretty great/awful name.
  • Also, that's pretty high praise from Cain. 
Page 123~
They rode for a couple of hours after dark and when they camped Coz wouldn't let Lewt light a fire. They were uncomfortable that night—thirsty and sore, and Lewt felt sick and couldn't eat the jerky Coz had brought along. 

I'm sure there is some very thick sexual tension here — if only I could understand all this coded language.


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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Paperback 727: Lie Down, Killer / Richard S. Prather (Crest 255)

Paperback 727: Crest Books 255 (3rd ptg, 1958)

Title: Lie Down, Killer
Author: Richard S. Prather
Cover artist: Darcy

Yours for: Not for sale (donation to the collection from S. Jacob)

Best things about this cover:

  • "I said 'Lie *Down*'!"
  • Despite the deplorable violence, like this cover. There's an interesting dynamic quality. I like motion. This is why James Avati leaves me Cold.
  • I thought he was beating a woman, but then I looked at the neck region and realized he's merely defending the world against some horrible alien with pincer-claw-face. Seriously, no way those are earrings. They're claws. It's like a skeleton baby is trying to escape from her neck.

Best things about this back cover:

  • I assume that last line of dialogue is supposed to be accompanied by ominous music, 'cause on its own it's pretty anti-climactic.
  • "That woman gag," also the name of the BDSM supply store down the street.
  • Love hate and murder—Prather's got you covered.

Page 123~
Steve straightened and looked around at them. Margo was looking at Gross, but Gross kept his eyes—and the .45—steadily on Steve. Steve pulled himself to the divan and sat on it ,his mind beginning to function.
Steve was always happiest when his mind began to function. A rare, fleeting pleasure for Steve.


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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Paperback 726: New Orleans Lady / Viña Delmar (Avon 209)

Paperback 726: Avon 209 (PBO, 1949)

Title: New Orleans Lady
Author: Viña Delmar
Cover artist: [Bernie] Barton

Yours for: $6


Best things about this cover:

  • The cover of Latex Fetish Monthly, June 1949
  • I love a title written in Whorehouse font.
  • Her breasts are like some kind of fancy little cupcake.
  • Cover's pretty boring, but if you stare at it long enough, it gets a little creepy. Dude looks like something Charles Burns would draw.

And now the back cover…


Best things about this back cover:
  • Shakespeare's like "Hey … 'sup?"
  • If you sing "Eulalie" to the tune of "Layla," it kind of works.

Page 123~

She passed her hand tiredly over her forehead. "Please, Lorenz, go away. I must rest. One of my headaches—"

"Go away indeed! I'll cure your headache." He threw a glance toward Septembre. "I have news."

"I'll cure your headache." HA ha. Oh, Lorenz, you're the date-rapiest!

P.S. Septembre


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Friday, December 6, 2013

Paperback 725: The Case of the Lazy Lover / Erle Stanley Gardner (Pocket Books 909)

Paperback 725: Pocket Books 909 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: TCOT the Lazy Lover
Author: Erle Stanley Gardner
Cover artist: Clyde Ross

Yours for: $7


Best things about this cover:
  • That dude has my ultimate respect. That is some top-notch lazy. Superfly PJs. Highball. Slippers. Smart green couch. He knows what he's doing.
  • That look in her eye is not lust. It's not annoyance. It's jealousy. Jealousy of his Red Hot Lazy.
  • I can't stop looking at her boobs, and yet I don't find them very interesting. What the hell?


Best things about this back cover:
  • That "Gossip … / and Murder!" heading would look great on a t-shirt.
  • Hmmm. I'm not sure we have the same definition of "crazy punchline."
  • What does it mean to be "lazy about making love"? I'm quite sure the images in my head do not match whatever happens in this book.

Page 123~

Mason took the pass Lieutenant Tragg scribbled, and went over to the detention ward. After a ten minute wait, he was taken in to see Mrs. Allred, who had quite evidently been aroused from a sound sleep and had had no opportunity to put on her make-up.

Wow. That must've been really hard on Mason.


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Monday, December 2, 2013

Paperback 724: Live With Me / Jerry M. Goff, Jr. (Merit 612)

Paperback 724: Merit Books 612 (PBO, 1962)

Title: Live With Me
Author: Jerry M. Goff, Jr.
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $27


Best things about this cover:
  • I honestly don't know what I'm looking at. Unless her bra straps clasp behind her head like some kind of necklace, I can't see why her elbows are up that high. Is she making her boobs do a little dance performance? Her companion seems intrigued.
  • Those are some straight-up terrible hands. Or hand, I guess. Hands are always the giveaway. Only the best artists can do hands right. The reason for the giant boobs and Krazy Eyes is to distract you from the terrible, terrible hands. 
  • That left boob has a mind of its own. It seems to be experiencing the gravitational pull of the artist-lady's gaze.
  • What is up with that lady's gown? Here is the dialogue I like to imagine they are having: "I like your gown." "Thank you." "Are you headed to a ball?" "Balls don't interest me much … if you know what I mean …" 


Best things about this back cover:
  • Hey look, it's the artist lady, back from Barbados and possessed by twelve demons!
  • "… lovely, normal and stunning …" ??? Can't wait for all the red hot normality.
  • So basically Suzanne Pleshette goes on a telekinetic lesbian rampage. Got it.

Page 123~

"Tell us. Does she wash your back when you bathe? She did the other girls. That was always her first approach."

"Her second approach involved ball gowns, sketch pads, and mind control. I'm a little fuzzier on the details there…"


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