Paperback 176: Gold Medal D1976 (PBO?, 1966)
Title: The Irish Beauty Contract
Author: Philip Atlee
Cover artist: uncredited
Best things about this cover:
- Well, Joe Gall, obviously. Look at his tough-guy mug up there in the corner. "I Approve This Counterespionage Adventure"
- I was hoping and praying that the picture of Joe Gall in the corner meant that there was some TV show or something that featured his character ... but no. Not that I can see. Just some model ... ? Which is weird. I want to say "unprecedented." It's like they want you to think he's some kind of TV star, or that the book might be a TV tie-in. I guess that was a selling point in the 60s.
- The tagline for this non-existent TV show would be someone saying: "You've got some gall!" and then Joe would turn and smile knowingly into the camera. Magic!
- I'm guessing the dead girl is the "Irish Beauty." I say this because of her lush, cascading red hair. Something tells me those ruins are not in Ireland. Meanwhile, our hero is dressed oddly like Joan Crawford. Cross her with Norma Desmond descending the staircase at the end of "Sunset Boulevard." Now cross that with Frankenstein's monster. That's our hero.
- Love the blurb from Chandler. Legitimacy! The quote kind of trails off there. There's a longer one inside that continues: "... the hard economy of style, the characterizations ..." but that one trails off too. I'll be kind and assume that Chandler doesn't introduce a "but" in the next phrase.
Best things about this back cover:
- Joe Gall montage! See the many sides of Joe Gall! Wry look, followed by slightly less wry look, followed by the same look at a slightly different angle, followed by the cool pleasures of Chesterton, followed by exhale. Joe Gall!
- "The Nullifier," HA ha. Best name ever. It's very non-terrifying.
- Joe is not afraid of "hairy ones." I've heard of guys like that. I think they are called "bears." Or "cubs," I forget.
Screw that, here's page 1, line 1:
"You're most depressing," the Irish Beauty said. She was nude except for a solar topi and a riding crop.
Topi (n.): A pith helmet worn for protection against sun and heat.
At least I assume he means the pith helmet. The other "topi" is an antelope.