Don't worry about how my husband would react. He gets mad at everything I do anyway.
Most of the authors of sleaze or love novels tended to come and go quickly, and Margaret Carruthers, who wrote 1953's Another Man's Wife, is one of those cases. She's also credited with the novel His Best Friend's Wife, but beyond that, and a possible magazine short story, we've got nothing on her. The cover, however, is by the well known and talented Bernard Safran, a painter who isn't in the same class perhaps as paperback digest illustrators like George Gross and Rudy Nappi, but someone whose work we've always liked. This effort, with its beautiful colors and effortless pose, is so good it makes us want to lounge in bed too.
Mwah! I love you left hook. You get it done every time.
1954's The Man from Laramie by T.T. Flynn is fronted by Stanley Borack art featuring a standing figure nursing sore knuckles, but we prefer to think of him as gratefully kissing his fist. You get a couple of archetypal western elements in this novel, most importantly the mysterious stranger from out of town, and the powerful rancher with no scruples. If the title sounds familiar, it's probably because the book was made into a hit 1955 movie with James Stewart. We may have a look at that later.
Four thousand nine hundred... four thousand nine hundred fifty... Hmm... Make it an even five thousand, then maybe.
Above: A paticualrly nice Franco Picchioni cover for Per piacere, non toccate le signore!, written by Mark Wheeler for Edizioni MA-GA and published in 1965 as part of its Il Cerchio Rosso collection. The title means, “please don't touch the ladies.” You can get more peeks at Picchioni by clicking his keywords below.
So here's the thing I prefer about indoor cats. You never have to do this.
The Judas Cat by Dorothy Salisbury Davis is an unusual mystery about a ninety-two-year old toymaker and engineer found dead in a locked room with a terrified expression and scratches on his face. A few reviews of the book say the main suspect is the man's cat. Not really. Davis makes clear from the beginning that some malefactor may have used the cat in a mysterious way to facilitate the murder. The police chief Fred Waterman, who was so intimidated by the cat's aggressive behavior that he shot it just before discovering its owner's body, has it sent for a post-mortem to determine whether it was sick, had been posioned, or perhaps had poison on its claws. Local newsman Alex Whiting is the one who first notices something unusual about the animal's body. Thus begins the novel-length team-up between chief and reporter as they try to unlock the puzzle. While the method of murder continues to baffle them, the motives slowly coalesce around valuable patents, a will with a recent codicil, and hidden connections between various townspeople.
In general we liked the book. The characterizations are pretty sharp and the portrayal of life in a town where everyone knows everyone else's business is both fascinating and frustrating, as Davis intends. The story may not contain enough menace or action for some readers, but it's a pretty good example of a rural mystery, a decent examination of the effects of murder on a supposedly wholesome community, an interesting look at the quaint courtship rituals of the immediate post-war period (where a woman must simply wait to be noticed and courted), and a reminder of how political power was wielded in a time when those in control had fewer fears of exposure. We would read Davis again without hesitation, especially considering The Judas Cat was only her first novel. She probably got better with experience. We'll find out. We have another of her books. The nice purple cover on this 1951 edition from Bantam was not credited, and as we always say, that's a crime in itself.
My diagnosis is that you're a nymphomaniac, but I'll need to run a few tests to be sure.
Psychiatrist sleaze novels are safe havens for us. Whenever we can't think of anything to post, we just grab one of these. They're ridiculous, and easy to riff on. John Dexter's Sin Psycho was published by Greenleaf Classics and it appeared in 1962 with unattributed art. We don't keyword for “therapy” or “psychiatrist,” so we can't point you to all the others in this style we've posted, but you can see most of them by starting here.
Yes! Another fight over me successfully started. My work here is done.
We've never seen a fight over a woman that the woman influenced in any way except being seen as an object of ownership by testosterone filled guys, but for this piece of art for Roger Duchesne's Faut les avoir bien accrochées we're going with femme fatale-induced violence because of her lifted glass and smile. There's a signature: “Marculeta,” which left us with some sleuthing to do. We think the illustrator is probably Alfredo Marculeta, a Basque artist, primarily known for comic book work, active in Spain and France during the 1950s and 1960s. Don't quote us on it.
The title Faut les avoir bien accrochées has an amusing translation: “must have them well hung.” Ahem. Actually, though, we think the phrase is a colloquialism meaning to have one's heart set on, or to have a strong heart. Don't quote us on that either. We'd prefer if the title actually did mean being well hung. Then the femme fatale's smile would be perfect: “Don't bother fighting over me, boys. I must have them well hung.” This came from Éditions le Trotteur and was published in 1953.
If you want to kill something, how about you knock off that pile of dirty dishes in the kitchen.
Above: a cover for The Hunter, by Hugh Forsburgh, for Bantam Books, 1951. This one is Hemingway with a geographical shift—big game hunter Monk Taylor lives and shoots in the Rocky Mountains instead of Africa. It's man, nature, and love, as Taylor is presented with the possibility having his macho fun ruined by a normal existence with faithful Marge Davies. We were tempted to buy it, but we already have other hunting novels on tap. The art on this is uncredited.
Of course you were the first. Geez. Why does every guy ask the same question?
Above: a very nice Tom Miller cover for Stuart Friedman's novel Irina, from Monarch Books, copyright 1963. The maxim, “Don't ask don't tell,” would seem to apply here.
You'll love this. It's called a body shot and it makes American girls squeal with delight.
Some things never go out of style. We don't mean body shots. We mean covers by the French artist Jacques Thibésart, aka Nik. He painted the above example for the 1953 crime comic Cette fille est sans pitié! No author is listed on the front, but it was written by George Maxwell, aka Georges Esposito, for Presses Mondiales and its series Les grands romans dessinés. We have a fair amount of Thibésart in the website. Two of his better efforts are here and here.
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