Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, May 24, 2013


I haven't read anything this week that would qualify as a Forgotten Book.  In lieu of a review, then, let me take the easy way out and recommend some good books.  The twenty-five books listed below are the ones short-listed for the Edgar award for best paperback original, from 1970 through 1974 -- the first years the award was granted in this category.  I've listed them alphabetically by author.  Can you tell which five won the Edgar?

  • Philip Atlee, The White Wolverine Contract (Gold Medal)
  • Daniel Banko, Not Dead Yet (Gold Medal)
  • Alan Caillou, Assault on Ming (Avon)
  • Elsie Cromwell, The Governess (Paperback Library)
  • Clive Cussler, The Mediterranean Caper (Pyramid)
  • Jack Ehrlich, The Drowning (Pocket Books)
  • Matt Gattzden, O.D. at Sweet Claude's (Belmont)
  • Ron Goulart, After Things Fell Apart (Ace)
  • Leo P. Kelley, Deadlocked! (Gold Medal)
  • Michael Kurland, A Plague of Spies (Pyramid)
  • John Lange, Grave Descend (Signet)
  • Dan J. Marlowe, Flashpoint (Gold Medal)
  • Frank McAuliffe, For Murder I Charge More (Ballantine)
  • Peter McCurtin, Mafioso (Belmont)
  • Richard Neely, The Smith Conspiracy (Signet)
  • William F. Nolan, Space for Hire (Lancer)
  • Dinah Palmtag, Starling Street (Dell)
  • Will Perry. Death of an Informer (Pyramid)
  • Charles Runyon, Power Kill (Gold Medal)
  • Roger L. Simon, The Big Fix (Straight Arrow)
  • Richard Stark, The Sour Lemon Score (Gold Medal)
  • Scott C. S. Stone, The Dragon's Eye (Gold Medal)
  • Alicen White, Nor Spell, Nor Charm (Lancer)
  • Charles Williams, And the Deep Blue Sea (Signet)
  • Richard Wormser, The Invader (Gold Medal)
There's a lot of good stuff here -- something for just about every taste:  crime, suspense, P.I., gothic, SF, adventure...

Some familiar authors, some unfamiliar, some -- Michael Crichton, Donald E. Westlake, Elsie Lee, James Atlee Phillips -- under pseudonyms, some unjustly forgotten.

Eight of the twenty-five books were published by Gold Medal.  No surprise there.  Two from bottom of the barrel publisher Belmont, which still managed from time to time to publish some good stuff, including the two listed here.  I never heard of Straight Arrow; I read the Simon in a Pocket Books reprint.  If memory serves, I have only read ten of these books.

A few of these books are readily available; others, alas, not as readily.  Any of these twenty-five should be well worth your time.


  1. To my horror I realise I have only read a few of these, tough THE BIG FIX really stands out here as a truly terrific book - thabks Jerry.

  2. THE BIG FIX is one of my favorites, too. The film, with Richard Dreyfuss as Moses Wine, is also outstanding.

  3. Straight Arrow was a publishing arm of Rolling Stone, I believe. I have that edition, but I don't know exactly where it is.

  4. I've read 16 books on your list. Great stuff! I should look for the others I missed back in the Seventies.

  5. Of those listed I've read only GRAVE DESCEND and thought it fantastic.(Kurland, Neely, Stark, and Williams I've read too, but other books not in the list.) Amazing that Crichton was so young and a med student when he wrote that one. It's available from Hard Case Crime, but I don't think it's one of the new trade paperback editions from HCC. I like many of Alan Caillou's scripts on the "Thriller" TV series. I've never run across any of his books. He was one of those Renanissance talents - actor, director, scriptwriter (theater, TV and movies), and novelist.

  6. One of these is out of my reach: the Gattzden goes from $63 to $250 on Abebooks. I don't think I've ever seen a copy. The others seem to be available for reasonable prices on the used book market. Many of those I have not read are boxed up somewhere. I'll have to dig them out and report on them...some day.

  7. I have read only THE BIG FIX and that was because I loved the movie.