Friday, July 1, 2011

Dell 896 (1954)

Title : The Butcher's Wife
Author : Owen Cameron
Cover art : William Rose
  [Cameron, Owen. The Butcher’s Wife. N. Y. : Dell Books, 1954. No. 896. Cover art : William Rose. First published, Simon & Schuster Inner Sanctum, 1954.] 

"Two lovely ladies on his mind, and two dead dames on his hands." – front cover.

style ***
substance **
collectibility *

  I confess to not being familiar with author Cameron or cover artist William Rose.* Cameron apparently wrote some mystery novels in the 1950s set in California. For the Dell reprint of Butcher's Wife, cover artist Rose provides a knockout cover, quite an improvement over the rather bland hardcover original. The woman in the foreground is rendered in loving detail featuring peach and off-orange tints for her dress [which is nicely matched in the lettering], along with a pouting mouth and a defiant upturn of the head. The shadows in the background of a man carrying a [presumably] naked, dead woman, help to conjure up a sinister, macabre atmosphere. 

* A little research reveals artist Rose to be yet another of the 1950s unsung heroes of vintage cover design. His covers tend to be a synthesis of Mitchell Hooks-like expressionism and James Meese naturalism.   

Inner Sanctum, 1954

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