Oh boy. It's Monday evening, and I'm still smiling. This weekend I made an absolute haul at a thrift shop and a used bookstore. I found no less than two vintage John D. MacDonald novels--Dead Low Tide and The Brass Cupcake. The Brass Cupcake is a Gold Medal reprint (R2139)--the cover art has changed, for the worse, from the original (see right), while Dead Low Tide is one of those beautifully gaudy paperback editions put out by Fawcett Gold Medal in the 1970s. While I know little about Cupcake, I have heard that Dead Low Tide is a masterpiece. I can't wait to read it--them, I mean.
I also came away with Ian MacAlister's Valley of the Assassins. MacAlister is the pen name of Marvin Albert, Gold Medal writer, and all around great storyteller. He wrote four slam-bang adventure novels under the MacAlister name very reminiscent of the good, early work, of Alistair MacLean. Maybe even his pen name was influenced? To read a great article, written by Bill Crider, about Albert follow This Link to Mystery File.
The other two paperbacks I picked up are less exciting, but still--
The Executioner #26: Acapulco Rampage. I haven't read a Mack Bolan book since I was sixteen--okay, you caught me, 26--and I thougfht it was damn time I tried one again. I thought I would go back to the original though, the new stuff doesn't excite all that much.
And, .357: Vigilante by Ian Ludlow. This is the first of a series cut short (three books released) when the original Pinnacle Books went bankrupt. I've never tried one, but thought it might be time. It is the work of Lee Goldberg and Lewis Perdue. Goldberg's novel, The Man with the Iron-On Badge was selected as a finalist for an Edgar for best novel this year, and it deserved it. While Lewis Perdue is the scorned and angry author of The Da Vinci Legacy--he claims Dan Brown lifted ideas, plot points and research for his novel The Da Vinci Code. Frankly neither of the books are very good, and Lewis Perdue (his The Perfect Killer is much better) should just be thankful that Brown's success brought Legacy back into print.
Here is to all the little flea-ridden, dust enveloped shops around the world that still find space for a few old paperback books.