Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · Look Here

Look Here: Two “Michael Shayne Murder Mystery” novels with cover art by Robert Stanley

Actually, only A Taste for Violence includes the credit line “Cover painting by Robert Stanley,” but the stylistic and circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that Stanley produced the cover painting for The Corpse Came Calling as well. And yet, the style was common during the period, so maybe someone else deserves the credit:


The diagrams on the backs of the novels are not something I personally tend to associate with mystery fiction — fantasy fiction, on the other hand, seems to me to be head-over-heels in love with maps and really ought to marry them — but I do wonder if readers at the time ever actually consulted the back covers as they were reading. The disappearance of the maps and floor plans from later editions of the novels may be a sign that they were not a big selling point, that punchy, suggestive copy did more to whet the reader’s appetite for the story within than a label-festooned diagram of an apartment or a neighbourhood ever could.

I’ve got many more “Michael Shayne Murder Mysteries” to scan and post, all with cover art by everybody’s favourite pulp cover artist, Robert McGinnis, but those will have to wait for another day…

Keywords: The Corpse Came Calling, A Taste for Violence, Michael Shayne.

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