Paperback 191: Popular Library 69 (1st ptg, 1946)
Title: The Listening House
Author: Mabel Seeley
Cover artist: [H. Lawrence Hoffman]
Best things about this cover:
- Yeah, if the house I was walking past suddenly grew a gigantic ear, I'd run like hell too.
- Is the runner holding a boomerang? Is he texting someone? Did the ice cream fall out of his cone? His forward hand looks very wrong.
- While I love the more realistic, lurid, 50s-60s covers the most, I have a strange affection for these more abstract early covers. Hoffman did some great work in the 40s. I'm pretty sure I have more from him coming up in my collection.
Best things about this back cover:
- This description sounds more Gothic than Mystery. A creaky old house ... on a cliff?
- I love the can-do, plucky optimism of the early paperbacks. They all had adorable slogans back then - "Mysteries of Proven Merit" Not sure what's going on with the quotation marks. When you say it about yourself, it's not really a quote.
"Mrs Dacres, did you ever spend any thought at all on why society makes such a hue and cry about murder? After all, by and large, I've found out that most of the people who get murdered leave the world better off for their absence."
Now that's a quote that makes me want to keep reading. For once.