Sunday, August 16, 2009

Harlequin's vintage collection

Someone pointed out earlier today at the Rara-Avis e-mail list (which is focused on hardboiled and noir crime writing) that Harlequin is bringing back into print some old crime novels. Here's a link. There are two titles by James Hadley Chase - I think those were reprints already back in the day. The other three novels are pretty obscure. The Dale Bogard one, Pardon My Body (gotta love these titles!), was first published by Harlequin in 1951 - so it was one of their early original crime paperbacks, before they started concentrating on romance. "Dale Bogard" was a pseudonym for a British paperback hack Douglas Enefer, who wrote lots of other stuff, too, like some Cannon TV tie-ins in the seventies.

I can't find any info on Perry Lindsay's No Nice Girl, but Alan Handley's Kiss Your Elbow (Kiss Your Elbow?) was originally published by McKay in 1948. The reprint came from Pyramid in 1950, under the pretty different-sounding title Terror in Times Square, but there must've been a Harlequin one.

The fact that Harlequin is doing these under the original illustrated covers must have something to with Hard Case Crime. You see, they created a fashion! (Or, actually, recreated.)

Okay, I couldn't leave this unchecked: Perry Lindsay was the same writer as Peggy Gaddis, who started out back in the 1920's and continued penning cheap romance and sleaze way into the sixties. No Nice Girl was a Phoenix Press title in 1946 and the Harlequin reprint came in 1949. This information comes from Abebooks and is highly suspectible, but I'd like to hear otherwise.


Frank Loose said...

Hey Juri ... It appears that Harlequin is celebrating their 60th Anniversary this year, so i am guessing these Vintage reprints are in connection with that, rather than any attempt to continue a line of re-releases like HCC or Stark House, but who knows? I couldn't find any information at their web site.

I do know that Perry Lindsay is a pseudonym for Erolie Pearl Gaddis Dern, who was quite a prolific writer.

Interesting that two James Hadley Chase titles are there. I thought House of Stratus owned all the reprint rights. Guess not.

Harlequin certainly put out some great books in the early days, and published some big name writers. I already have the Chase titles, but I will be picking up the other books.

Juri said...

Frank, I guess you're right, but I can still see they were thinking at the Harlequin headquarters: "You know, these old pulp covers have been popular at the newsstands again, why don't we do it?"

And thanks for Peggy Gaddis's full name, I forgot it (no wonder, though!).