Vintage Pulp Jul 12 2022
TO IGNORE IS DIVINE
I really wish you'd answer me just once, honey. Sometimes I feel like you're not even there.


Above is an uncredited cover for Rex Stout's psychological drama How Like a God, with its title referencing Hamlet, and its narrative considered notable for both structure and style. Basically, a man ascends a stairway with the intent to commit murder, and along the way the reader learns his entire life story, as well as who's at the top of the stairs that he intends to kill. In addition, the tale is told in both third and second person, though mostly the latter, so that for most of the story you're reading about yourself. Stout would go on to author the highly successful Nero Wolfe series, which eventually ran to thirty-three entries, and cemented his legacy as one of greats of mystery literature. How Like a God was originally published in 1929, with this Lion edition coming in 1955.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 9 2021
SAMBA DO CRIME
It's a carnaval of mayhem in Brazil.


We wanted to call attention one last time to an interesting Facebook page dedicated to vintage crime paperbacks published in Brazil by Edições de Ouro and Editora Tecnoprint. We started our webpage in 2008 and back then we had a lot of company. Somehow or other, regretfully, we've outlasted many of them. Maybe in the age of Twitter and Instagram, blogs with actual words have died. But for that reason it's exciting to see someone launch something new—especially dedicated to such an exotic (from our point of view) niche of paperback style. It was actually launched in 2017, but we saw it only recently. We can tell you this—we love Brazil, have been there for carnaval, and if we'd known these books were down there we'd have brought back more than just a long lasting cachaça hangover. We knew Brazil had produced some pulp style paperbacks—much of the art was repurposed from U.S. editions—but we didn't know it was this extensive. Carnaval 2022? Well, probably not. But one day, return we will, to old Brazil.

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Vintage Pulp Jun 13 2021
ODOR IN THE COURT
p.s. I also confess that it was me who let that silent-but-deadly slip during the arraignment. Jail food. Sorry.


Above, a cover for The Second Confession by Rex Stout, originally 1949 with this Bantam edition coming in 1952. It stars Stout's recurring character Nero Wolfe, a sedentary and overweight man of mysterious background who loves orchids and occasionally solves crimes. The book did quite well, but we haven't been enticed yet. So many franchise detectives, so little time. 

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Vintage Pulp Jan 19 2017
THREE OF A KIND
So, you're saying it's death, death, and... what was the last one again?

3 Doors to Death is a collection of Nero Wolfe mystery novellas by Rex Stout, published by the Viking Press in 1950, with this Dell paperback appearing in 1952. The stories are “Man Alive,” “Omit Flowers,” and “Door to Death,” and as the cover states, these all star Stout's famed detective Nero Wolfe, who was created back in 1935, and since has been adapted to stage, film, radio, and television. His assistant Archie Goodwin is on hand to assist in each of the tales. The art on this paperback was painted by Rafael DeSoto, who we've featured before, like here and here. And we should mention we found this cover at Noah Stewart's book blog. We recommend a visit there for more interesting covers.  

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Vintage Pulp Jul 10 2015
GIRL MEETS CORPSE
What do you call forty dead men? A good start.

Two years ago we shared five covers of women standing over men they had just killed and mentioned that there were many examples in vintage cover art of that particular theme. Today we’ve decided to revisit the idea in order to reiterate just how often women in pulp are the movers and shakers—and shooters and stabbers and clubbers and poisoners and scissorers. Now if they do this about a billion more times they’ll really be making a difference that counts. French publishers, interestingly, were unusually fond of this theme—so egalitarian of them. That’s why many of the covers here are from France, including one—for which we admit we bent the rules of the collection a bit, because the victim isn’t dead quite yet—of a woman actually machine gunning some hapless dude. But what a great cover. We also have a couple of Spanish killer femmes, and a Dutch example or two. Because we wanted to be comprehensive, the collection is large and some of the fronts are quite famous, but a good portion are also probably new to you. Art is by the usual suspects—Robert Maguire, Barye Phillips, Alex Piñon, Robert Bonfils, Robert McGinnis, Rudolph Belarski, et al. Enjoy. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 06
1989—Anti-Feminist Gunman Kills 14
In Montreal, Canada, at the École Polytechnique, a gunman shoots twenty-eight young women with a semi-automatic rifle, killing fourteen. The gunman claimed to be fighting feminism, which he believed had ruined his life. After the killings he turns the gun on himself and commits suicide.
December 05
1933—Prohibition Ends in United States
Utah becomes the 36th U.S. state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution, thus establishing the required 75% of states needed to overturn the 18th Amendment which had made the sale of alcohol illegal. But the criminal gangs that had gained power during Prohibition are now firmly established, and maintain an influence that continues unabated for decades.
1945—Flight 19 Vanishes without a Trace
During an overwater navigation training flight from Fort Lauderdale, five U.S. Navy TBM Avenger torpedo-bombers lose radio contact with their base and vanish. The disappearance takes place in what is popularly known as the Bermuda Triangle.
December 04
1918—Wilson Goes to Europe
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sails to Europe for the World War I peace talks in Versailles, France, becoming the first U.S. president to travel to Europe while in office.
1921—Arbuckle Manslaughter Trial Ends
In the U.S., a manslaughter trial against actor/director Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle ends with the jury deadlocked as to whether he had killed aspiring actress Virginia Rappe during rape and sodomy. Arbuckle was finally cleared of all wrongdoing after two more trials, but the scandal ruined his career and personal life.
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