Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Macfadden 60-275 (1967)

Title : Pearls Before Swine
Author : Margery Allingham
Cover : uncredited
   [N. Y. : Macfadden, 1967. Second edition. First published, London, William Heinemann, 1945, as Coroner's Pidgin.]

style *
substance ***
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The Macfadden paperbacks issued in the 1960s seemed to me among the most bland of the late vintage entries. 60-275 is true to form, with more of a Sixties feeling that’s incongruous with the novel’s 1940s London fog bonafides. However, it’s noteworthy as a top drawer entry in the canon of the great Margery Allingham. The quirky lettering and pearl necklace rather in the form of a question mark are pluses.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Executioner 71

Title : Blood Dues

Author : [Don Pendleton]

Cover art : uncredited  
   [N. Y. : Gold Eagle, 1984. Mack Bolan. Executioner 71. Written by Mike Newton]

style **

substance *

collectibility *

   It’s been noted that the early and mid 1970s represents the nadir of espionage and action paperback cover design. Certainly most of the Executioner titles can be included in this dubious pantheon, but I confess I rather like the cover of Blood Dues, mostly because it has such a genuinely pulpy feeling to it, both the setting and execution (no pun intended!). It has that seedy, smoky back room gestalt so beloved by fans of the authentic vintage pb cover art style of the Golden Age.