Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Zenith Books ZB-29, 1959

Title : Sweet and Deadly
Author : Philip MacDonald and A. Boyd Correll
Cover art : uncredited
  [Rockville Centre, N. Y. : Zenith Books, 1959. 'Zenith Books edition published October 1959.' Originally hardcover edition published by Morrow in 1948 as The Dark Wheel].

style **
substance **
collectibility **

Sweet and Deadly is a mystery offering from softcore sleaze publisher Zenith books. The anonymous cover art depicts a distraught looking blonde in loose fitting gray dress sporting jade(?) jewelry, orange lipstick and orange nail polish. An added feature is the gray dress, the left side of which seems to come from the gravity-defying school of cover art. This cover strikes me as both artificial and strangely compelling (much the same could be said for all the vintage pb cover art from the classic era, I suppose). In any case, the woman's look is obviously posed, with hokey theatrical gestures, and besides there's a mannequin-ish quality about her as well. But who cares? It's a wonderfully fetching design with the murky background, and it's hard to go wrong with such a strong use of the all-too-infrequent color of blue.

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