Biblios–Part 5

Biblios = Books about Books

Naturally, after I write about the specific areas within mystery biblios, I find slews of other titles that should be included–such as The Bookstore Mystery, James Saxon Childers–which is right on the front page of! However, I’ve no idea what the story-line is–I’ve only the image of the dust jacket to go by–but! I just found a really cheap copy on ebay–which is rather remarkable since every where else I’ve seen it, even without the jacket, the cost is exorbinet. As soon as I get the lowdown on the story, I’ll let you’all know.

Anyhoo, back to the what seems to be endless titles dealing with books, bookstores, booksellers, book scouts, book collectors, publishers, writers,  libraries, librarians, rare books, rare manuscripts, and on and on. I’m focusing on the business of books in this installment–there aren’t as many titles involved with publishing and such, but what there are sounds intriguing.

A Rep for Murder, Sylvester Avantiere 1991 penned a novel with a publisher’s sales rep as a suspect. I think this is hilarious for some reason. I knew reps, and can’t imagine why any of them would be willing to murder a romance novelist, as the Avon rep in this story is accused.  Unless her books were soooo very bad that he can’t get a decent commission from orders, it seems kind of silly. But what ho? Another mystery features an Avon rep? Why Avon, one may wonder?  I did find info explaining the former book was a giveaway to celebrate Avon’s 50th anniversary–so that explains that. However Michael Avallone’s title The Man From Avon, 1967 judging by the title and plot, is a spoof directed at the TV series, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.  Larry McKnight, top Avon salesman, moonlights are a secret UFO investigator. Ha! Avallone wrote many paperback originals during the 1960s–including those based on TV shows, ‘Hawaii 5-o’, ‘The Partridge Family’ and my favorite, ‘Mannix’. He also wrote a series of books similar to U.N.C.L.E–but did not pen the books based on that series. His lifetime output is known to have exceeded 1,000 works–books, articles, various and sundry–under a billion different pseudonyms.

Obscenity laws are explored in Tendency to Corrupt–an author’s books are confiscated by the police. The publisher and author have a battle on their hands.

P. D. James wrote an interesting take on an old established publisher Peverell Press, who is about to put an older long term staple author out to pasture in a Dagleish title, Original Sin, 1994. The publishing house’s managing director who intends to sell the historical building the press has been housed in since it’s early inception, and to lay off many employees,  is murdered just after a senior editor commits suicide. The book is more about the passing of old traditions in the publishing world, and how authors are treated as disposable items as is it about murder. Another title taking place in a publisher’s house is Dead Indeed, M.R. Hodgkin, 1956. And that’s all I know about that one! Here’s another with scanty info–Death on the Heath,  Alan Hunter 1981 Another murder of a publisher–I suppose upon a heath! Supt. George Gently is the series detective. Bronte Adams (great first name for a biblio writer) wrote Brought to Book 1992. The U.S. title– Margin For Murder about another director at a publishing house, this time not the victim, but the prime suspect in the murder of her superior.

I wonder if writers feel angry enough at their editors from time to time to throw them off a balcony, as happened in Kelly Among The Nightingales, J. F. Burke, 1976? The business of big time publishing is explored. At least in this next title the bad guy isn’t associated with a publishing company–the publisher of his own small company tries to find the murderer of his most important author, and her missing manuscript . Casual Slaughters, Robert A. Carter, 1992

Typical, I own the next title but haven’t read it. The Case of the Deadly Diary, William DuBois, 1940, pertains to a book kept by columnist with several people well represented within its pages, which has just been slated for publishing, until the publisher is himself murdered. My thought on reading the plot is that it may be a thinly disguised look at some of the nasty so called columnists who existed at the time–these people held great power, knew where the bodies were buried, per se, and could destroy careers with the turn of a pen. Walter Winchell was a ruthless gossip columnist for decades, so well known and popular, a film called the ‘Sweet Smell of Success’ was supposed to be about him–if so, it was not a love letter. The character supposed to be Winchell was a horrific individual who should have been the victim in this book, not the publisher, if true.

There is no end in sight to mystery biblios, and I’ve located some sites that have more lists than I’ve written so far–if you want to take a gander, here they are:


Until next time. . .

2 thoughts on “Biblios–Part 5”

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