Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Checkerbooks No. 9, 1949

Title : The Florentine Dagger  [Subtitle : “a novel for amateur detectives.”]
  First published in hardcover, New York, Boni & Liveright, 1923.
Author : Ben Hecht
Cover art : Bob Ritter

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substance ** 
collectibility ***

Dagger is a potboiler murder mystery which takes place in the New York theatrical milieu. Author Hecht claims he wrote the novel in ten hours because, as he explains, “it should not take more than twice as long to write a baffling mystery as to read one.” Bob Ritter, an artist heretofore unknown to me, contributes a suitably theatrical, quasi-Deco front cover illustration -- an eye-popping, highly stylized depiction of a woman in Itlaian Renaissance garb brandishing a dagger.

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