New Arrivals August 1 – 7, 2011

Various & Sundry might be a good description for this weeks additions to the stockpile here at the Portland abode. Old mystery, newer mystery, travel, graphic novels, fantasy, pulp. To quote a line from the film Jurassic Park, (remember? It’s when the girl gets the computer system back up.): “you want it, you got it”. So click to see bigger images or just read on…

The first set of books are the first 5 (as published by Cinebook, not in originally published order) in a series of graphic novels starring Professor Phillip Mortimar and Captain Francis Blake:

  • The Yellow M, 
  • The Mystery of the Great Pyramid Part 1
  • The Mystery o the Great Pyramid Part 2
  • The Francis Blake Affair
  • Strange Encounter

[Cinebook, translated from the French, 2001 – 2003, new] – graphic novel, adventure – the author-artist on the first 3 is Edgar P. Jacobs, who worked with Hergé on many of the Tintin books. You may see the similarity in the style of the artwork. The other two books in the group are by Jean Van Hamme and Ted Benoit, who assumed the series after Jacobs.

Coyote Frontier by Allen Steele [Ace, 2006 mass market paperback, used] – science fiction, space opera, interstellar colonization – this is the third in the series, I got the first two a month ago or so, this was on my PaperBack Swap wish list and just came. Going on the shelf for now.

A Darker Shade of Blue by John Harvey [Arrow Books, 2010, paperback, used] – mystery short story collection – Harvey is always a favorite, but I’d missed this collection from last year. I was glad to find this used copy, and expect it will be a good read.

Another group of 5 books, these gotten from Barry Ergang after reading a Friday Forgotten Book post of his. These are the first 5 in the Tony Costaine and Bert McCall series by Neil MacNeil (pseudonym of Willis Todhunter Ballard, 1903-1980). Costaine and McCall, starring in 7 books, were two happy-go-lucky, high-priced private eyes who worked in the Rat Pack era of the late fifties/early sixties. Very swinging, very cool and very high-priced indeed, so successful that they routinely asked for and got as much as $20,000 as in up front fee, and that’s in 1950’s bucks!

The books in the series – all published by Gold Medal – are:

  • Death Takes an Option (1958)
  • Third on a Seesaw (1959)
  • Two Guns for Hire (1959)
  • Hot Dam (1960)
  • The Death Ride (1960)
  • Mexican Slay Ride (1962)
  • The Spy Catchers (1966)

I don’t have the last two — yet.

Mystery Ranch by Max Brand [Triangle Books 1938 hardcover, used] – western – also from Barry Ergang after reading his review of it HERE. He describes it much better than I can, since I’ve not read it yet. So follow the link and see what I got.

Perfect .38 by William Ard [Ramble House 2011 trade paper, new] – mystery fiction – this collects two novels featuring PI Timothy Dane: The Perfect Frame and .38 (also published as You Can’t Stop Me). George Kelley reviewed this on July 29, 2011. After reading his opinion, I had to have it. Now to find time to read it.

The Tao of Travel – Enlightenments from Lives on the Road edited by Paul Theroux [Hamish Hamilton (Penguin Books) 2011 hardcover, new] – non-fiction – travel – another review and suggestion by  George Kelley reviewed July 13, 2011. George says: “In The Tao of Travel, Theroux doesn’t just provide dazzling excerpts from his own travel books, Theroux manages to assemble a guide to the best travel books ever written. If you love lists, you’re really going to love this book. Theroux is clever enough just to give the reader a nugget from a classic travel book like Evelyn Waugh’s When the Going Was Good and leave it to the reader to want to read more. You can open The Tao of Travel anywhere and find fascinating prose.”

The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schaffer [Night Shade Books 2011 trade paper, new] – fantasy – the review at Fantasy Book Critic, a daily stop for me, was so strong I bought this. They deem it the best fantasy debut of the year.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in books, New Arrivals, reading and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to New Arrivals August 1 – 7, 2011

  1. Bill Crider says:

    Ah, the Neil MacNeil books. I read most of that series long ago, nearly 40 years now. Those were the days.

  2. Richard says:

    Bill, I’d never even heard of them until I spotted them on Barry’s site. They looked intriguing, so I got ’em, and at a good price too. Hey I figure every day is a good old day, come tomorrow.

  3. Carl v. says:

    You sure know how to put up a mouth-watering book post. Wow! The graphic novels immediately catch my eye. Haven’t ever seen, or heard, of them but they do look enticing. And I always love the pulp covers on books like the ones you snagged here. Was just down the other day looking at some of my own.

  4. Richard says:

    Carl, thanks. It’s amazing how the covers grab us, isn’t it? I’m really eager to read to the Mortimer and Blake books. You are familiar with Tintin, I trust?

  5. Carl v. says:

    Only vaguely so, seen the images around a lot and know that Peter Jackson and co are working on bringing it to the screen.

  6. Patti Abbott says:

    What a haul!

  7. Blew me out of the water this week. The Steele I’ve read, have the Ard Ramble House(read the first novel in it). All the rest look great and make me green. Can’t get them all though, let alone read them.

  8. J F Norris says:

    I’ve never heard of Neil McNeil either. Those books look great. I’m adding his name to a list of writers to hunt for next time I’m out at the local vintage paperback shop.

    And I thought those Mortimer and Blake books were part of the Tintin series until I clicked and enlarged. Ever eager to look at pictures I didn’t even read the post until afterwards. As Carl mentioned there will be a Tintin animated movie coming out this Christmas. I just watched the trailer at and it looks great. I may shell out some dough and set foot in a movie theater for that one. I haven’t seen a movie in a theater in over a year. Such a boring homebody, I usually just wait for DVD releases.

  9. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I guess the whole “buy no new books” thing was on hold this week, eh?


    Just kidding. Great looking stuff. The one that jumps out at me is the Harvey, which I also somehow missed last year. HIBK it was out there I would have looked for it in London in April.


    The big one for me this week was the trade paperback edition of George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman on the March.

    It’s been a long time since I read a Flashman book and I’m several books behind. I also got a Burn Notice tie-in novelization, the fourth, by Tod Goldberg.

  10. You’ll enjoy the Ard, Rick. And the travel book. I’ve read some of Allen Steele’s work and I can take it or leave it. LOCUS just published a very positive review of Steele’s new novel, HEX. I read those Neil MacNeil books decades ago, but I remember liking them. Nice covers!

  11. Richard says:

    Patti, yes, it was a great week.

    Jeff, I had the two sets of 5 books on order, so that was 10 right there! I stumbled on the Harvey while looking for something else. I read a few of the Flashman books way back when, after reading an excerpt in Playboy.

    George, I get a lot of great suggestions from your blog!

  12. Richard says:

    deslily, I just finished re-reading Dargonflight. It’s been many years since I’d read it, and I’d forgotten what an unpleasant character Lessa is, so angry, indignant, quick to take offense and suspicious.

  13. Cap'n Bob says:

    Oddly enough, I read Mystery Ranch last year, in paperback. As I recall, it wasn’t a mystery.

  14. Richard says:

    Bob – more of a western, I believe, which is what I’d expect from Max Brand.

  15. Pingback: Hot Dam « Pulp Covers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s