Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thursday's Child Is A Vintage Damsel in Danger - Or Dangerous!

First paperback edition in Dutch of Christie's The Body in the Library.
Artist: Rein van Looji.

Dames. Good looks, legs that start at the floor and go all the way to heaven, and a soft spot for hard eggs gets 'em into trouble every time. Or, they'll sock you in the gut with love then karate chop you when they give you the air.

Some are too sensitive for this rotten world.

Villa Cascara by Mr. A. Roothaert. Ultrecht: Bruna, 1950. First edition
  Dust jacket by Rein va Looji.

Some are misunderstood.

Popular Library 302. 1949. The Old Battle Ax by Elizabeth Sanxay Holding.
Cover by Rudolph Belarski.

Some are haunted by the man that got away.

Avon 186. 1949. Night Cry by William Stuart. First edition in paperback.
Cover art by Ann Cantor.

Some get tongued-tied when the handyman stops by to lend a hand...

London: Reader's Library, n.d., c. late 1940s
A paperback original. Artist unknown.

...And others express fear when Mr. Fixit flexes his fingers.

Popular Lirary 215. 1949. The Silver Forest by Ben Ames Williams.
Cover by Rudoplf Belarski.

Others hang out with the wrong sort of men.

Franfurt: Ullstein, 1966. Cover artist unknown

Some take it and like it.

Archer Kaywin 3. 1951. Take It and Like It
by Spike Morelli with the the gloves off.
First U.S. edition of a U.K. paperback original.
Cover by Reginald Heade.

Others aren't so crazy about it.

White Circle 325. 1947. Strange Landing by Laurence Meynell.
Cover by "Bac"?

Some resort to chin tucks that go horribly awry.

Boardman TvB 105. 1952. London, U.K. The Screaming Mimi by Frederick Brown.
Cover by Denis McCloughlin.

Others fall prey to fiends who shoot 'em up first and ask questions later.

Giganten 20. Rotterdam: Kerco, 1964.
Dutch translation of Sax Rohmer's [Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward]
The Triumph of Fu Manchu. Artist unknown.

Some fall for smooth-talkin', green skinned Euro-Trash and live to regret it.

Avon 272. 1950. Europa by Robert Briffault.
Two states of the cover. A: Girl against map. B. Bondage.

And then there are the poison damsels who don't give a damn, who checked their morals at the door and left them there on the way out.

London: Pedigree Books (Edwin Self), 1959.
First Pedigree paperback edition. Artist unknown.

And there's the skirt who invites you to a party that's no party where she reveals herself as a twisted daughter of Satan!

London: Pedigree (Edwin Self), 1955. The Satanic Mass by H.T.F. Rhodes.
First Pedigree paperback edition. Artist unknown.

I'm Mike Hammer. I dated these broads. In high school. You don't want to know what happened in college. Hint: My gun is quick, you laughed, and now vengeance is mine. Kiss me, deadly, baby. I'm ready for you. Yeah, that's Viagra in my pocket and I'm just glad to see you.

Rotterdom: Combinatie, 1952. Renzez-vous met de dood (I, the Jury).
First edition in Dutch.Translated as Rendezvous With Death.
Dust jacket illustrator unknown.

Images courtesy of the UK Vintage collection at Flickr, via a tip from Will Schofield's A Journey Round My Skull, courtesy of Tosh Berman, who has a great eye and visual sense, no doubt inherited from his father, Wallace Berman. Tosh publishes Tam Tam Books, a small press that spcializes in 20th century literature, and is devoted to reprinting lost masterpieces. He has a particular fondness for the works of Boris Vian.


  1. Even the Dutch had 'fatale vrouwen'?
    Thanks for your interesting blog!

  2. Hey, nice post, but I'm pretty sure A Journey is Will Schofield's blog. Are you sure there's a Tosh Berman connection? Am I missing something?

  3. That's the sexiest cover for an Agatha Christie novel I've ever seen. Miss Marple would be shocked.

  4. Gives new meaning to Kurt Vonnegut's quip about "now available in lurid cover"
    How splendid these are

  5. Thanks, Arthur, for stopping by - and for the head's-up: Tosh posted Will's post to his FB page, thus the confusion on my part. Have made the appropriate correction.

  6. better and better- being a huge Agatha Christie fan that is my favorite-However Death has no Tongue, this could definitely be a relief. Love seeing all these.


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