One of our cherished inheritances is a good chunk of the collection of paperbacks my Wife's late Grandmother had built up. I think the original appeal was the cover art. I've become a big fan of the work of the talented and prolific Robert McGinnis who I consider to be the Gustav Klimt of the drugstore racks, and who did the covers of a large number of these books. (Pond Press not too long ago released a nice book collection of covers with a checklist.)
Also, it's just plain nice having the books around as objects, what with their slight whiff of paper decay and the conjuring up of mid 20th century America mass entertainment. (I like to imagine Tommy Newell's character Richard Sherman in The Seven Year Itch working for these publishers.)
Finally...THOSE BLURBS! Heaven's to murgatroid that's some racy-ass man fantasy! I wonder if the publishers ever realized that their product would have devoted followers who were older women living in Northeast Vermont?
Hey, despite not being an older woman, I suppose I should read one some time!
Here's a few covers from one of her fave series Mike Shayne along with the blurbs from the backs. Sorry I can't provide smell too, but I encourage you to huff any old paper you have lying around.
SHE WAS BOLD AND SHAMELESS WITH THE PROMISE OF FIRE AND LUST.
Not that Mike Shayne had any objections-who would when the lady has violet eyes, full lips and hair the color of cornsilk?
Still, with her husband dead of a heart attack only two days before, even tough, torrid Mr. Shayne was shocked when she whispered, "I want you."
Especially with the strong possibility that in this case the death of the lady's late husband had been a matter of murder.
IT ALL ADDED UP
First there was a murdered man-Mike Shayne's client.
Then there was the murder weapon-a filing spindle from Shayne's office.
And then there was the pair of dainty panties left behind-belonging to Shayne's secretary.
All the clues added up and pointed to the killer-Michael Shayne, private eye.
AN 18-KARAT DOLL WITH $200,00 IDEAS
She was beautiful, blonde, and willing, with all the right measurements and all the wrong morals. To a guy just out of stir, she was the kind of dream that had warmed him all those cold nights in an icy cell.
She had provided everything. The food, the drinks, and herself as the entertainment. Now to top it off, she wanted to stake him to a bankroll and cut him in on a job with a $200,00 take.
During his 13 years in the prison, there were only two things he had wanted. The second was the soft warm body of a dish like her-in his arms. But the first was the cold, dead body of Mike Shayne-in the morgue.