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.

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

Look Here: Five for a dollar

A local seller of used books currently has a sale shelf where everything on display is five for a dollar. Here are the books I selected (where I know the cover artist/photographer, the info is in the file name):


A couple of the books have a bit of damage, but as a Malzberg collector, I’d have paid five or six bucks for The Spread alone, and as an collector of paperbacks with interesting cover art, I’d definitely have paid a buck or two for Roger Lamanna’s Black Hit Woman. Also, although I don’t usually buy covers with photos on the front, I made an exception in the case of To the Beat of Drum based on a sudden idiosyncratic insight (or delusion) that Dennis Rolfe’s composition is some sort of visual kissing cousin to the famous double portrait of Rene Magritte and his wife Georgette, The Shadow and Its Shadow (1932):

Not to mention Pierre Bonnard’s Nude in an Interior (1912-14):

Needless to say, I left the bookstore that day with a spring in my step — although I must admit, the short stack of SF paperbacks with cover art by Richard Powers that I purchased at the same time might also have contributed to my good mood.


The list of “Kozy Books” on the back cover of Water Witch is amusing, I think:


Cozy up with Kozy Books!

Keywords: Water Witch, Murder by Proxy, The Spread, Black Hit Woman, To Beat of Drum.