Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Forgotten Books: Staircases and Murder - Perfect Together.


Can we all agree that vintage book covers were/are a visual treat (even the lurid ones)? Good. Dissenters cover your eyes.

This particular post is about staircases as instruments of evil. Why is it that staircases are features of choice on so many vintage mystery book covers? (Possibly because staircases feature so prominently in the actual books, Yvette. ) Asked and answered. I know I did a blog post about staircases prominent in movies once upon a time and I know I did one with book covers too, but damn if I can find it in my archives. (Maybe I accidentally deleted it?) So what the heck, let me do it again for the first time.

Staircase. Murder. The two just seem to go so nicely together. When you think of one, naturally you think of the other. Ergo:















Since it's Friday, don't forget to check in at author Patricia Abbott's blog, Pattinase, to see what forgotten or overlooked books other bloggers are talking about today.

18 comments:

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    1. Me too. I have a board devoted to these sorts of covers over at Pinterest. I don't know what people must think of me - HA! I love all this old stuff. P.S. I found that Ann Blyth movie about time travel over on youtube, now to sit still for a while and watch it. Lately my attention span seems to be nil. Part and parcel I expect. At any rate, soon as I saw the title, I said: Jacqueline's movie!! :)

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    2. " Jacqueline's movie!!" -- Ha. Definitely watch it. I noticed it up there too. It had been taken down for a while, and will be again, I'm sure, so catch it while you can.

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  2. What a great thematic posting. You've hit upon something that probably has its roots in a grim reality. Anyone (like me) who lived in an old farmhouse with a treacherous staircase will immediately understand that small and big falls are a constant danger. In any case, congratulations on your offering of a very interesting gallery. Well done!

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    1. Thanks, R.T. This was a fun post to work on. I'm a very visual person, so I'm especially fond of artwork related covers. The more themes the better. :)

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  3. I love those vintage covers! I think The Rap Sheet has a covers feature...
    Thanks

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    1. Me too! I'll go check over at The Rap Sheet. A great site, by the way. But I'll bet you already knew that. :)

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  4. I have that book at the very top. At first I thought you were going to review that one. And I said, "What?! Yvette actually read a Bruno Fischer book?" Knowing how you feel about the whole subgenre dealing with easily manipulated men lured into crime by sexy femme fatales I was a dumbfounded. But of course you hadn't read it all. Cool pix! I've read four of these but have never heard of Adam Bliss. Sounds like a pseudonym to me. And it is! A husband and wife team wrote three books using that name. They're Americans, not Brits. For some reason Adam Bliss sounds more British to me than American. Maybe they did that on purpose.

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    1. Ah, 'easily manipulated men' - they're still with us, John. Ha. All you have to be is a sexy femme fatale and men will twist themselves over backwards for you. I've read four of these too! But I'll bet not the same ones you've read.

      I'm sure the Bliss name was done with just that purpose, John. Brits make you feel as if they know what's what when it comes to a particular sort of mystery.

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  5. That's quite an interesting collection, Yvette! From a psychological perspective, I suppose staircases are one of our earliest hurdles, though I never gave it thought before. But staircases can be scary things. I remember when I got my first bifocals, it took me a full week to go up and down stairs with ease.

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    1. I've never been able to wear bifocals, Mark. I have to carry two pairs of glasses, sometimes three. Oh well, better than a migraine. :) My grandson was having the typical two year old's troubles with staircases, but now he's a champ. :)

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  6. Let's face it, Yvette, staircases are wonderful places to stage a murder. A shot up (or down) a stairwell, a piece of black thread tied across the steps to induce a fatal fall, the distorted shadows, viewed from below, of an attack some flights above a landing...so many opportunities for mayhem! And those covers you selected show off some of that quite nicely!

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    1. 'Opportunities for mayhem' - yes, I like that. The string across the top step (actually a wire) was used to deadly effect in POIROT LOSES A CLIENT aka DUMB WITNESS - remember?

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  7. Great post, Yvette! I love those pulp-era covers (evidenced by all my used bookstore purchases!). I've read both Rineharts, Marsh,and Christie--so four for me as well. I've got another for you...Glass on the Stairs by Margaret Scherf (1954).

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    1. Thanks, Bev. Margaret Scherf? Another new one for me. :)

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    2. The Scherf books have been reprinted by Rue Morgue Press--so if you can't find a vintage copy at least there is a reprint available. :-)

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    3. Thanks, Bev. Good to know.

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