RARA-AVIS: Re: Doubleday Crime Club

From: Richard Moore (moorich@aol.com)
Date: 27 Oct 2008

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    Yes and thanks for the correction as my earlier post had this wrong. I was relying on Michael Cook's MURDER BY MAIL, which did not cover the Crime Club (although it seems to fit his definition) nor did he explain why it was not covered.

    I should have looked more closely at Ellen Nehr's book on Crime Club.
     In the beginning 1928-1929, Crime Club members received the books ten days before they went on sale at the bookstores and received a monthly newsletter. I'm not certain without delving more into it how this might have changed when the CC began publishing several titles a month. CC did begin to place symbols on the books beginning in 1943 and lasting for about twenty years so fans of pure puzzle stories could look for the little chess piece and a man wearing a felt hat and smoking a cigarette was meant to communicate tougher stories, a grinning skull was "humor and homicide" and etc. The symbols changed over the years but were said to be much appreciated by librarians and book store owners who were in the business of recommending books to regular customers.

    A few other stray facts:

    Ogdan Nash was named editor of CC in December 1928, although he was reading manuscripts prior to that. He soon moved on to other duties.

    Andy Warhol did at least one CC design (THE SAINT IN EUROPE)

    Some CC novels were selected for reprinting by other book clubs including the Detective Book Club. According to one of the later CC editors, Larry Ashmead, the fee was usually $3000 which Doubleday split with the writer.

    Richard Moore

    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Terry Sanford <mbtbone@...> wrote:
    > These books were first editions or, at least, first American
    editions of the bookThe "club" aspect was that by joining a new title was mailed to you each month.If anyone has a complete run of these books in nice condition, they have a valuable collection.Terry Sanford
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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