Title : Hue and Cry
Author : Thomas B. Dewey
Cover art : uncredited
[N. Y. : Jefferson House, 1944 Released in the UK as The Murder of Marion Mason].
One of the more unjustly neglected of mid-twentieth century mystery writers, Thomas B. Dewey is perhaps best known for two series private eyes, Pete Schofield and ‘Mac’. Another series character was the less well known Singer Batts, who appeared in four novels. Batts owns a hotel in ‘Preston, Ohio’ and is also a bibliophile and Shakespeare expert. He made his first appearance in Hue and Cry, coincidentally also Dewey’s first book. Alas there never seems to have been a paperback release (in the U.S.). Note the 1963 French take, which is no.10 of the ‘Haute Tension’ series. The unattributed cover for the Jefferson House first printing has a quirky charm with its vaguely surrealistic/cubist, mildly risqué rendering of an [almost topless] woman. The use of chalky greys for woman’s flesh is actually kind of refreshing; also nice off-yellow lettering.