Sultry Sunday #13 - The weekly "Pop Sensation" crossover

Your weekly syndicated "Pop Sensation" installment ...


Paperback 173: Signet J2334 (1st ptg, 1962)
Title: Too Many Clients
Author: Rex Stout
Cover artist: Bill Johnson

Best things about this cover:

  • "I love my blankie!"
  • This is more mustard than any one cover should have to endure.
  • The floating head of Nero Wolfe looks none too pleased with this flirtatious, naked hussy. It's as if he's thinking "So this is what selling books has come to - PFUI!"
  • Good example of how paperback sellers learned to develop brand recognition - the whole left panel, with huge author name and logo Nero head, will get repeated on a whole series of Rex Stout mysteries. Thus cover art gets squished - the title seems almost irrelevant.

Best things about this back cover:

  • "Sex wasn't Nero Wolfe's specialty" - yeah, we can pretty much tell from his expression on the cover
  • Someone should win an award for the phrase "satin-upholstered bower of carnality."
  • An ad for a John O'Hara book! I Love John O'Hara, and he used to be Ridiculously popular.
  • Bantam is one of the few publishers I can think of who would use their back covers to advertise books Not by the author of the book itself - though this ad seems oddly placed and poorly demarcated, with nothing but a font color change and a black bar to let you know the bottom half of the back cover is unrelated to the top.
Page 123~

"They killed him. That's obvious. They killed him."

Well of course they killed him. That's obvious.



Anonymous said...

The 80's edition of the Nero Wolfe books from Bantam gave Nero the entire back cover. And he had evidently taken some fashion tips from Orson Welles and Raymond Burr.

Anonymous said...

You know, 'satin-upholstered bower of carnality' is pretty much a concise description of that room.

This was a fab episode in the Hutton/Chaykin series, btw.

Anonymous said...

Steven Seagal? Is that you? Wow, your head got really big since you stopped making awesomely bad martial arts movies.

Zoe Winters said...

Ha! Nice. It amuses me that major publishers used to have covers THIS bad. Guess there is a learning curve for all of us.

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Pretzel said...

I've seen the live-action version of this book when the Nero Wolfe Mysteries was still airing on A&E with Timothy Hutton as Archie and Maury Chaykin. It (the series) only ran for two seasons, but it was still pretty good. And of course, the fact that Timothy Hutton could seriously rock a fedora and suit had absolutely nothing to do with it... *grin*