Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Novel Selections/Detective Novel Classics 47 (1946)

Title : Blood on Nassau’s Moon 
   [Digest-sized paperback; abridgment of the original; first published in harcover, N. Y., Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1945]
Author : (Ethel) Walbridge McCully
Style **
Substance **
Collectability ** 

A 1940s second-tier mystery writer with an unlikely name, Walbridge McCully penned three novels, with Nassau’s Moon being her last. But certainly her best-known book is the nonfiction Grandma Raised the Roof (1954), which recalls her building a house at Little Maho Bay on St. John, the Virgin Islands, where she lived for about fifty years.
The two (alas, uncredited) cover artists for the Doubleday and Detective Novel Classics versions take the word ‘moon’ from the title and bring it to the foreground in most stylish fashion; there’s great atmosphere in both covers, nicely suggesting the tropical and offbeat setting of the Bahamas. I can’t quite decide which cover I like better, though I lean toward the one with the red clouds. However, the Detective Classics version earns some cool points for including the front page of the New York Times worked into the front cover. Nassau’s Moon concerns a hospital nurse on assignment looking after a rich lady in the Bahamas who finds she has been framed for a murder in N.Y. and is now the prime suspect.

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