Paperback 869: N Or M? / Agatha Christie (Dell 187)

 1947, Agatha Christie, Crime Fiction, Dell, Gerald Gregg, Mapback, matches, Nautical, Smoking  Comments Off on Paperback 869: N Or M? / Agatha Christie (Dell 187)
Apr 102015
 

Paperback 869: Dell 187 (1st ptg, 1947)

Title: N Or M?
Author: Agatha Christie
Cover artist: Gerald Gregg

Estimated value: $10-15

Dell187
Best things about this cover:

  • Norm!
  • The cigarette is puzzled. “What the hell does ‘NORM’ mean?” it wonders.
  • Design on this is so bizarre. Everything’s laid out at odd angles, the cigarette ashes have an eerie, vermiform look to them, and the whole thing kinda looks like a white whale with “NorM” tattooed to the side of its face is trying to fight the scourge of smoking by devouring all related paraphernalia in its sight.
  • Gerald Gregg is a cover artist god. As early, non-sexy paperback covers go, his weird abstractions are my favorite.

Dell187bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • Mappington! Backington! These never get old.
  • If you call your place “Smuggler’s Rest,” the cops *are* going to find you.
  • “Road.” LOL. Thanks, map!
  • If the devil doesn’t live at Sans Souci, he will soon.

Page 123~

“Friends of friends of yours, I think you said?” Tommy suggested mendaciously.

Tommy always was a mendacious little bastard. I’ve always said that about him.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Paperback 868: Framed In Blood / Brett Halliday (Dell 578)

 1952, blackmail, Brett Halliday, Dell, Lingerie, Mapback, Miami, Mike Shayne, Nudes, Redheads, Sideboob, voyeur  Comments Off on Paperback 868: Framed In Blood / Brett Halliday (Dell 578)
Apr 092015
 

Paperback 868: Dell 578 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: Framed in Blood
Author: Brett Halliday
Cover artist: Robert Stanley

Estimated value: $10

Dell578
Best things about this cover:

  • “Mmm hmm, I’d like to frame *that* in blood … wait, that came out creepy.”
  • Sideboob. Someone call HuffPo.
  • “Was it an accident she left the door open? … I mean, it’s like she *wants* me to furtively masturbate in her living room or something.”
  • And when the fairy princess finished her Tai Chi, Mike knew he’d wasted his time.

Dell578bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • Mmmmapback!
  • Mmmmmiami!
  • Mmmmike Shayne!
  • Mmmmmasturbation! (see cover)
  • Oooh, Ned Brooks’ apartment. That *is* interesting.

Page 123~

Shayne’s sore face muscles rebelled at an attempt at a wry grimace.

In fact, most of Mike’s muscles rebelled at the shit Mike tried to do. You see, Mike was an idiot, and…

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Paperback 864: A Man Called Spade / Dashiell Hammett (Dell 411)

 1950, Bed, Crime Fiction, Dashiell Hammett, Dell, Fear Hand, Fedora, Mapback, Neckwear, Sam Spade., Staircase  Comments Off on Paperback 864: A Man Called Spade / Dashiell Hammett (Dell 411)
Mar 062015
 

Paperback 864: Dell 411 (2nd ptg, 1st thus, 1950)

Title: A Man Called Spade
Author: Dashiell Hammett
Cover artist: Robert Stanley

Estimated value: $30

Dell411
Best things about this cover:

  • Spade’s tie is super-excited for battle.
  • If you looked in a 1950 encyclopedia under “Private Dick”: this picture. Chiseled. Determined. Behatted. Textbook.
  • Fear Hand Photobomb!
  • The scale / perspective is All wrong on this, but given that awesome green shirt, I’m gonna allow it.
  • “She screamed as Spade dashed up the stairs”—get it? “Dashed”? Yeah, you get it.
  • I have a friend whose kid is named Dashiell. Art Spiegelman’s son is named Dashiell. This concludes the Dashiell-shout-out portion of my the program.

Dell411bc
Best things about this back cover:

  • Mapback!
  • Whoa. You know, sometimes we forget that 1940s apartments were all long couches and putting greens.
  • Max Bliss is the best unintentional porn name I’ve come across in a Long time.
  • I love a pitcher of Bloody Marys as much as anyone, but maybe ease up on the celery there.
  • Wow, Max Bliss’s daughter is taking that “50 Shades of Grey” thing a bit literally.


Page 123~ (from “Too Many Have Lived”)

She was short, square, as if carved economically from a cube. 

Talk about economical. That is some haiku-esque objectification right there. Classic.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Jan 042015
 

Paperback 848: Dell 105 (1st ptg, 1946)

Title: Appointment with Death
Author: Agatha Christie
Cover artist: Gerald Gregg

Estimated value: $15-25

Dell105

Best things about this cover:

  • “Where have you been? You’re late. We had an appointment. [Sigh]. I guess we can get coffee and wait for the next tour to start, but … I really wish you’d called.” #PassiveAggressiveDeath
  • Killer Gerald Gregg cover. KILLER.
  • “AN Hercule Poirot Mystery”—I like that the cover knows the “H” is silent.

Dell105bc

Best things about this back cover:

  • O, man, jackpot. First off, MAPBACK!
  • Second off, check out the 1946 map! Predates existence of Israel by a scant two years.
  • Third, check out the insert map from “Star Wars.” You can see a Jawa camp and everything.

Page 123~

“None of the servants seemed to be about, but I found some soda water and drank it.”

You’ll thrill to the tale of the intrepid rich guy who risked all to survive in … A House Without Servants.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Hawker #1: Florida Firefight

 book reviews, Dell, Hawker, Men's Adventure Novels  Comments Off on Hawker #1: Florida Firefight
Nov 272014
 

Hawker #1: Florida Firefight, by Carl Ramm
May, 1985  Dell Books

One of those men’s adventure series that goes for high dollars now, thanks to the current fame of the author, Hawker ran for 11 volumes and, if this first volume is any indication, was pretty good. Unfortunately, given those inflated prices, I’ll only be reading the handful of copies I came upon last year at a Half Price

Aftershock (Dell) by Andrew Vachss

 Andrew Vachss, Dell, Review  Comments Off on Aftershock (Dell) by Andrew Vachss
Jul 082014
 

I was very sad to see the Burke series end, but was confident Andrew Vachss would still give me the best entertainment and food for thought in fiction with his new Cross series. That series doesn’t beat this new series featuring ex-Legionnare Dell though. With this guy and his love, former Médecins Sans Frontières nurse Dolly Mr. Vachss has found the perfect guides into the world of sexual violence and the advocates for justice for the abused, just like Burke and his crew were.
When a teenage girl shoots a fellow student in the hallway people try to compare it to Columbine. The girl’s not talking at first, but Dell sets out to investigate her reasons for shooting the student and discovers their hometown has a dark secret.
This story is a perfect combination of court room drama and vigilante justice as Dell enlists the aid of a lawyer and a really cool and original forensic psychologist to find out the truth.
Great, dark and chilling hardboiled prose, the best dialogue Vachss has written so far and a lot to think about.
A winner.

Paperback 760: Slan / A.E. Van Vogt (Dell 696)

 1953, A.E. Van Vogt, atoms, contest, Dell, Groff Conklin, GWG, SciFi, Uncredited  Comments Off on Paperback 760: Slan / A.E. Van Vogt (Dell 696)
Apr 072014
 

Paperback 760: Dell 696 (1st ptg, 1953)

Title: Slan
Author: A.E. Van Vogt
Cover artist: Uncredited, aarrgh!

Yours for: $20

Dell696

Best things about this cover:
  • “I Was a 22nd-Century Gun Moll!”
  • Her mouth! Is she talking? Hissing? Shouting “Slan!”?
  • I have seen the future. It is full of 8th graders’ atom diagrams.
  • Pretty bold to paint right on top of a well-used bandage.
  • Quintessential mid-century sci-fi cover art. Iconic. Beautiful. Perfect.

Dell696bc

Best things about this back cover.
  • Why aren’t people named “Groff” any more? Or “Jommy”?
  • Idea: Western / Scifi epic with a hero named “Slim Tendrils”…
  • I’m guessing that’s not “Jommy” on the cover. But who knows what the future holds…

Page 123~

The impression smashed into fragments. Granny.

That has to be the weirdest two-sentence sequence in literary history.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Paperback 757: Hammett Homicides / Dashiell Hammett (Dell 223)

 1948, Blood, Crime Fiction, Dashiell Hammett, Dell, Gerald Gregg, Hall of Fame, Mapback, MWG, San Francisco  Comments Off on Paperback 757: Hammett Homicides / Dashiell Hammett (Dell 223)
Mar 262014
 

Paperback 757: Dell 223 (1st ptg, 1948)

Title: Hammett Homicides
Author: Dashiell Hammett
Cover artist: Gerald Gregg

Yours for: $30

Dell223-1

Best things about this cover:
  • Taste the (lead) rainbow!
  • Uh, guys? I think it’s probably dead now.
  • I see a pretty butterfly.
  • Gerald Gregg is my favorite early, semi-abstract, non-sleazy cover artist.

Dell223bc

Best things about this back cover:
  • [ahem] … MAPBACK!
  • So iconic—Hammett’s S.F.!
  • Sausaleto? What the?! … aw, I can’t stay mad at you, mapback! Come here!

Page 123~ (opening paragraph of “The Main Death”)

The captain told me Hacken and Begg were handling the job. I caught them leaving the detectives’ assembly room. Begg was a freckled heavyweight, as friendly as a Saint Bernard puppy, but less intelligent. Lanky Detective-Sergeant Hacken, not so playful, carried the team’s brains behind his worried hatchet face.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Fear Itself (Book Of The Undead #1)

 Book Of The Undead, book reviews, Dell, horror, Ric Meyers  Comments Off on Fear Itself (Book Of The Undead #1)
Jan 272014
 

Fear Itself, by Ric Meyers
June, 1991  Dell Books

About a decade after writing Ninja Master, Ric Meyers turned out this now-forgotten trilogy that seems very much inspired by Sam Raimi’s film Darkman. But whereas Raimi was sure to keep his story action-packed and darkly comedic, Meyers unfortunately delivers what is for the most part a padded, tepid, and uninvolving story – a definite

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

 1947, Blair Treynor, Boobs, Crime Fiction, Dell, Gerald Gregg, GWG, Mapback  Comments Off on Paperback 736: She Ate Her Cake / Blair Treynor (Dell 186)
Jan 252014
 

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

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

Yours for: $12

Dell186

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.

Dell186bc

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!

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]