Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fawcett-Muller 41

Title : Murder for the Bride
Author : MacDonald, John D. 
Cover art : Barye Phillips  
  [[Manchester], UKFawcett-Muller, 1954. Printed in Great Britain by Frederick Muller, Ltd.”]. 

style ***
substance ***
collectibility **

Bride is MacDonald’s second novel and dates from his pre-Travis Magee period. Very much a product of its time, it’s a good example of how the tough school of writers could borrow Red Scare themes and treat them in a hard-boiled style. To wit, Bride is the story of a man who unknowingly marries a communist agent. Many complications follow, one of them being a Spillane-esque denouement in which the hero sniffs out the den of Red spies and has the inevitable confrontation with the bad guys. 

Gold Medal K1537 (1965)
In any case Barye Phillips' cover is a stunner. Phillips usually emphasized glamour in his portrayals of women and this one has the glamour but a sharp edge as well, with the ominous gigantic red hand and shadows in the backgound seeming to suggest the Red Menace.

Gold Medal 767 (1958)
This version is a rare British paperback edition; I don’t recall seeing any other GM books which originated in the UK, and I’m not that familiar with the company’s publishing history to know how this one fits in the mix. Everything seems to be the same as the cover of the U.S. printing except that it happened to originate from the UK. A curious bit of trivia is that my copy didn’t have a GM number. -- BCS

See also : AbeBooks post on Brides' Books Revisited: Weddings in Literature

Presses de la Cité, Un Mystère, 
No. 249 (1956)

1 comment:

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