RARA-AVIS: Unicorn Book Club, and the DBC...after Moore

From: foxbrick (foxbrick@yahoo.com)
Date: 23 Oct 2008

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Moore" <moorich@...> wrote:

    > Less well remembered is the Unicorn Mystery Book Club which began
    > 1945 and offered readers four novels in each volume. Initially, it
    > did well with Hans Stefan Santesson as editor from the third volume
    > on. According to an article in the Armchair Detective by Ed Hoch,
    > paid less than the Detective Book Club. When Doubleday launched
    > Mystery Guild in 1948, Unicorn began to lose members and it ended
    > November 1952. There were 83 volumes published. I've always had a
    > somewhat higher opinion of the Unicorn volumes as Santesson would
    > include the unexpected at times. For example, Jack Williamson's
    > DRAGON'S ISLAND was in the July 1951 volume. Fred Brown was a
    > with his mystery novels and even with the SF collection SPACE ON MY
    > HANDS. I was very happy one day to find the May 1949 volume as it
    > contains a thriller ATOMSK by Carmichael Smith, pseudonym for Paul
    > Linebarger who achieved greater success writing as Cordwainer
    > There was a pretty good Craig Rice novel in the same book.

    Cool. I have one four-novel Unicorn volume (and continuing thanks to John Boston for pointing out its availability), and a real winnner...Fredric Brown's THE FAR CRY, an Elizabeth Sanxay Holding whose title I keep forgetting, WHEN DORINDA DANCES from when Davis Dresser was still writing Mike Shaynes, and Curme Grey's famously eccentric sf mystery MURDER IN MILLENNIUM VI.

    And I'm always happy to take up a DBC triple-decker with a familiar, reliable writer in it, with the hope of being impressed by onr or both of the others.

    Todd Mason

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