TRASHY TUESDAY: MODELS, NECKLACES AND AUSTRALIAN ARTWORK – A JAMES HADLEY CHASE BOOK HAUL
I recently added to my James Hadley Chase collection with a good selection of covers from different phases of his publishing career, including a rare Australian edition and some interesting JHC jewelry!
In addition to publishing a swag of Australian paperback authors such as Carter Brown (Alan Yates),
J. E. Macdonnell and the sadistic novels by Jim Kent, Australian, publishers Horwitz also released a steady selection of popular genre books from overseas writers. Erle Stanley Gardner, Raymond Chandler and Agatha Christie all found their way into Horwitz editions, as did a handful of James Hadley Chase’s novels.
The Double Shuffle was released in 1963 by Horwitz, eleven years after its original release in the United Kingdom and features an eye-catching cover by an unidentified artist. Nice colours and a classic ‘strategically placed object’, add to the cover’s appeal.
This Thriller Book Club edition of A Coffin From Hong Kong, features a typically restrained cover by Val Biro, who did the artwork for a few of Chase’s books, including I Would Rather Stay Poor and Just Another Sucker.
The late 1970s Corgi editions of James Hadley Chase’s novels eschewed the colour and charm of the earlier illustrated covers, and instead went for generic photographic covers featuring blonde, bikini models in different poses and usually holding guns.
What is interesting about these covers, however, are the necklaces.
In the 1977 Corgi edition of I Hold The Four Aces, the model is wearing a necklace featuring what seems to be an automatic rifle (close up below).
In the 1982 edition of Hand Me A Fig Leaf the necklace features James Hadley Chase’s gold painted initials.
The necklace is more traditional in The Whiff Of Money, which is one of Chase’s better spy novels featuring freelance, Paris based, CIA agent Mark Gillard, and is presumably strategically placed to good effect.
My favourite James Hadley Chase covers were the Panther ones from the early 1970s.
These photographic covers featured odd close-ups and weird compositions, like the one above. A typically noir tale about an ex-con, a millionaire’s wife and a fake kidnapping scam Just Another Sucker is a solid read, and strangely enough the photo of a wig, a scarf and a pair of sunglasses actually captures the feel of the book.
The Panther cover of This Is For Real is a classic and I can remember being taken in by it, presumably showing CIA agent Mark Gillard with a poison capsule in his mouth, in the late 1970s and buying the book (which I still have). It is not the sort of cover you would get away with now.
Here is a link to an earlier article I did on the Panther covers, I might update it with new ones I have found in the next few weeks: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/trashy-tuesday-james-hadley-chase-the-panther-covers/