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0681 Легкая нажива

January 27, 2021

0681 Easy Money russia 1562
  • Title: Легкая нажива
  • English Title: Easy Money
  • Canon: omnibus
  • Language: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Year: 1992
  • Publisher: Amex
  • Collection: Winners of the criminal genre
  • ISBN-10: 5865581252
  • ISBN-13: 9785865581253
  • Cover Artist: Photo

I’m not easily embarrassed. I looked my mom straight in the eye and told her I had no idea how a live squirrel got into the refrigerator. When I lost that football bet I stood on a street corner in a pink tutu. I’ll tell anyone who asks that I keep binoculars in the glove box and like to park by the girls’ field hockey games. And I can’t hold my liquor; so what?

But everyone has his limits and I have mine. I said I’m going to post them all and so I must, but I don’t have to be proud of it. Gawd Almighty, what were the Russians thinking?

Ok, let’s try to apply a little actual cover analysis. The omnibus contains The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything and Soft Touch. The title represents the latter story but I see a gold watch photoshopped there so the artwork represents the former. But can that really be Bonny Lee? What does John D. MacDonald have to say?

She was kneeling, staring down at him, a deeply browned leggy girl. Her brown eyes were huge and round. Her mouth was shaped into a round shocked circle. She had big round brown breasts with a startling white stripe across them. She had a flat tummy, smooth muscles of a swimmer, and under a tight tangled cap of white curls, a lovely, delicate, angelic face, bronzed and innocent.

Let’s add ’em up. Deeply browned, yep. Leggy? Maybe. I can’t see them but I’m willing to if my arm is twisted. Huge, round brown breasts? Oh, yes, yes, yes. Smooth muscles? Who cares?

However that mouth is not in a circle, round or shocked or otherwise. No startling white stripe. This girl has spent plenty of time in a tanning bed, and if her sartorial choices are any indication, several other types of bed as well. Flat tummy? Uh, maybe, maybe not. I’ll give you the tangled white curls but it’s hardly a “cap”. And last but most, angelic and innocent? Not on your life, fella.

0680 Deadly Welcome

January 26, 2021

0680 Deadly Welcome 389
  • Title: Deadly Welcome
  • Language: English
  • Country: USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1970/71
  • Publisher: Fawcett
  • Collection: Gold Medal
  • Collection #: T2332
  • Cover Price: $0.75
  • Cover Artist: Stanley Zuckerberg

I’ve been waiting for this artwork to re-appear for too long. Yeah, we saw the 2nd printing here but now we have the 3rd (and 4th! woot woot!) printing so we get to see it again.

The guy is just so bad. Those boots. The way he’s standing over her. The fact that he clearly just knocked her down.

And she is just so vulnerable. That cleavage. That leg. The fact that he clearly just knocked her down.

And I’m not even going to talk about her head placement.

Seriously, this is absolute classic paperback sleaze. It could never appear today. I’m not at all sure that it is permissible to talk about it, let alone appreciate it. So just keep quiet and express your feelings silently. And wipe that grin off your face!

0679 The Damned

January 25, 2021

0679 Damned, The 313
  • Title: The Damned
  • Language: English
  • Country: USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1980
  • Publisher: Fawcett
  • Collection: Gold Medal
  • Collection #: 1-3997-2
  • Cover Price: $1.95
  • Cover Artist: Robert McGinnis
  • Author of: The Green Ripper

I would say we have seen this artwork before, because we have, but Somebody (and if we ever find out who, he or she may be found later floating face down in the river) has squished it down so much that we can’t even make out the faces the of minor characters. It’s a real shame, too, because it has a truly accurate rendition of a small ferry that is nonetheless too large for the river in question. The detail is excellent, down to the chain pulled across to keep vehicles from randomly sliding off into the water (and it happens more often than you might think!).

Oh yeah, there is also a slinky little slitch wearing waaay out-of-date bell bottomed hip huggers and a sprayed on top, but none of us would have noticed that, would we?

0678 Judge Me Not

January 24, 2021

0678 Judge Me Not unknown 2080
  • Title: Judge Me Not
  • Language: English
  • Country: unknown
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1954
  • Publisher: Phantom Books
  • Collection #: 575
  • Cover Price: 35 Cents, 1/6 N.Z., 2′- Aust.
  • Cover Artist: unknown

We’ve got a strange one today. It’s common to have an unknown artist. No big deal. It’s not unheard of to have a foreign title where we don’t know what JDM book it is. But to not know what country a book was published in? That’s new.

A key piece of information are the cover prices. I no longer remember where I picked up this scan but my notes say it was published in Australia. This is obviously incorrect since it has an Australian price listed in third place on the cover. I’ve never seen a multiple price cover where the first price listed isn’t the price in the country of origin, so imho Australia is out. Ditto New Zealand. Anyway, these countries switched from using pounds, shillings, and pence to dollars and cents in 1966 and 1967 respectively, so a 1954 printing date (which jibes with the cover art style) lets them out as well.

The UK didn’t switch over to decimal current until 1971 and even so they have never used “cents” but “pence” so they’re out as well. The only other candidate is Canada but daggummit I can’t be certain. Hopefully the power of the internet will reveal all.

The cover art is a rework of the classic Barye Phillips’ original but done with a style I would expect from Bergil Hegland while recovering from a three day bender. Sure, the unknown artist kept the modestly placed red blanket and rumpled pillow, and added a stylish bureau and a window that no doubt looks out over an air shaft. Yes, he covered her décolletage slightly and compensated by increasing the transparency of her wrap. But he also managed to scrub every bit of Mr. Phillips’ artistry at the same time. Shadows? We don’t need no stinkin’ shadows. Who wears a mustard yellow negligee?

I’m sorry, but it just reminds me of this.


0677 Pale Gray for Guilt

January 21, 2021

0677 Pale Grey for Guilt 2195
  • Title: Pale Gray for Guilt
  • Language: English
  • Country: USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1972
  • Publisher: Fawcett
  • Collection: Gold Medal
  • Collection #: T2518
  • Cover Price: $0.75
  • Cover Artist: Ron Lesser

Image courtesy of Freiler Thompson

Ron Lesser certainly knew his business. If that zebra print bikini bottom was slung any lower it would be draped around her knees. The legs crossed daintily at the ankles don’t help her reputation; we know what kind of girl she is. The floppy red hat belongs on the cover of Scarlet.

And those shoes! Those aren’t black high-heeled slingbacks. They are needle-heeled registered lethal weapons with the sole(!) purpose of drawing in would-be Ned Racines (“I’m no yokel, I was all the way to Miami once.”) to the black widow’s lair where they will then poke him full of holes. I can’t even imagine what those pointed toes are doing to her feet.

Sorry about the fade out on the right side of this 9th & 10th printing. The quality of the scans you steal just isn’t what it used to be. If you have a better one, I will happily emblazon your name in italic 10 point type.

Update (01/24/2021): Frieler is the winnah!

Milk Carton

Have you seen me? I am the 31st printing of Pale Gray for Guilt, printed in 1982 by Fawcett as Gold Medal 1-2561-0 (ISBN-10 0449125610). My cover price is $2.75 and I sport the Robert McGinnis “James Bond” artwork.

0676 The Executioners

January 20, 2021

0676 Executioners, The 1940
  • Title: The Executioners
  • Language: English
  • Country: USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1981/83
  • Publisher: Fawcett
  • Collection: Gold Medal
  • Collection #: 1-4059-8
  • ISBN-10: 0449140598
  • Cover Price: $2.25
  • Cover Artist: William Schmidt
  • Author of: The Green Ripper

Hoo boy, I like this one. In fact, I would have sworn that I have already blogged it but Mr. Search says otherwise. If it somehow turns out that I’m right, it just means that this post was that much easier to write since all I have to do is remember what I wrote before.

Unfortunately, the soggy, ulignose patch of palustrine wetware that is my brain can’t conjure up a vestige of my former verbiage. All I remember is how much I like the screaming face reflected in the soup pot.¹ I’m a sucker for reflections and this one is wonderful.

I’m guessing that the tumbled pots are “Carol’s alarm system of pots and pans and string”. Or was there an earlier scene involving a pump? Welp, I guess this book gets put on my re-read queue.

¹ It’s clearly too deep to be a saucier and not big enough to be a stock pot. A French oven? Oh, puh-leaze!

Milk Carton

Have you seen me? I am a Korean edition of The Executioners, whose anglicized title is Sahyeongjipaengin, printed in 1994 by Jeonggyeong chulpansa.

0675 The Deep Blue Good-by

January 19, 2021

0675 Deep Blue Good-bye, The 453
  • Title: The Deep Blue Good-by
  • Language: English
  • Country: USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1980
  • Publisher: Fawcett
  • Collection: Gold Medal
  • Collection #: 1-4176-4
  • ISBN-10: 0449141764
  • ISBN-13: 9780449141762
  • Cover Price: $2.25
  • Cover Artist: Ron Lesser
  • Author of: The Green Ripper

Well, yer Honah, it was jest yer typical Mississippi summer afternoon, hotter’n the preacher’s daughter — the flame headed one, ya know? — and closer’n a tick on a dawg’s back. Steam was a’risin’ offen the cracked asphalt like spit on a griddle and it was like that downpour hadn’t cooled darn near nothin’.

Folks know I ain’t no saint. I din’t break up Derwin’s still like all say, but I done my share o’ sinnin’ and my share o’ repentin’. I’se sorry ’bout that whole bizness wit’ Danny Hopper’s melon patch, and Miz Callie wuz bound to get her tin roof rusted even if it hadn’t been me. But I swear on all that is holy, yer Honor, that I did mash that Terms and Conditions button and if there be any justice in this world like the good Lord promise us fer the next, then I’m entitled to what I ordered.

Now the dee-fen-dants claim that they made no rep-re-sen-tation regardings the quality of the merchandise but I sez it clearly states on that there web site “Buy new from these sellers”. Then they sez that “new” don’t mean purrfect but merely acceptable. I axe you, yer Honah, does that cover look acceptable to you? Shee-it, I wouldn’t let my wife read it, even supposin’ she could read, though she say she will by the time she finish middle school.

So I axe you, yer Honah, to find for the plaintiff and force those heathen carpetbaggin’ Yankees to cough up a fittin’ image so’s all them folks out there can plain see what Mistuh Lesser and God himself intended them to see. Thank ye.

Milk Carton

Have you seen me? I am the 28th printing of The Deep Blue Good-by, printed in 1955 by Fawcett under their Gold Medal imprint (ISBN-10 0449141764). I’m purt’ near a twin to today’s lavish offering and I have a cover price of $2.50.

0674 Cape Fear

January 18, 2021

0674 Cape Fear uk 590
  • Title: Cape Fear
  • Canon: The Executioners
  • Language: English
  • Country: UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1997
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury
  • ISBN-10: 0747537763
  • ISBN-13: 9780747537762
  • Cover Artist: photo

When I first saw the second film version of Cape Fear, I didn’t even know it was based on a John D. MacDonald book. The story seemed somehow familiar and so I stayed around for the closing credits and voila! my education was furthered. It was many years later before I got a chance to see the original and if I am forced to deviate from my usual practice and tell you the truth, I am with everybody else in the world (with the possible exception of  Robert DeNiro) who prefers the former to the latter.

This British paperback movie tie-in is available everywhere but somehow they all use the same tiny cover image. How on earth are cover thieves supposed to make a living? Fortunately the fortuitous combination of a sock filled with marbles and subtle persuasion (blackmail is such an ugly word) pried loose this slightly better scan from someone who didn’t really need it anyway and you are the beneficiary. Enjoy!

0673 Le dolce dita

January 17, 2021

0673 Beach Girls, The 1682
  • Title: Le dolce dita
  • English Title: Sweet Fingers
  • Canon: The Beach Girls
  • Language: Italian
  • Country: Italy
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1962
  • Publisher: Longanesi
  • Collection: Suspense
  • Collection #: 10
  • Cover Price: 300 lire
  • Cover Artist: photo
  • Translator: Adele Cortese Rossi

Image courtesy of Richard Stevens

Ask and ye shall receive. Richard pulled this previously milk cartoned cover out of … uh … the ether after receiving an undeserved berating from me. Hmm, now that I know it works, this will be my new productivity improvement technique for use throughout the JDM Cover empire. Small Ethiopian boys searching among the rubbish tips of Nazret, drunk Dutch expatriates plying the stinking Paramaribo alleys, mischievous rail-thin gamines caught lifting tattered paperbacks from the used bookstores of Canton, and the world-weary working women plying their trades in the more odious and odorous back streets of the French Quarter, selling themselves for a battered Milton Charles effort.

Actually, today’s cover girl used to be one of them, going door-to-door through the seedier Foggia neighborhoods, begging for low res scans before losing her left thumb in a pasta machine and resorting to dangling her … her … assets for our viewing pleasure.

It’s a cold, harsh world.

0672 The Beach Girls

January 16, 2021

0672 Beach Girls, The 1989
  • Title: The Beach Girls
  • Language: English
  • Country: UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 2014
  • Publisher: Orion
  • Collection: The Murder Room
  • ISBN-10: 1471911543
  • ISBN-13: 9781471911545
  • Cover Artist: none

We have just finished a high-energy, exciting week of showing off glamourous English Pan covers, replete with bevies of beautiful babes and littered with legions of luscious ladies. And now we have this.

I know, I know. In today’s world of illiterate so-called “audio books” — geez, does your mommy still read to you before she tucks you in? — we should be everlastingly grateful for whatever paltry excuses for covers we can get, but stuff like this makes me weep for the future to all mankind.

I now extort (no, I didn’t mean exhort) our East Anglia Division of Certifiable (no, I didn’t mean Certified) Cover Researchers, 2nd Class, to get out there and earn your celery (no, I most definitely didn’t mean salary) by finding us some quality Brit covers that we can be proud to post. If you know what’s good for you.