Re: RARA-AVIS: Mercury Mystery

From: Nathan Cain (IndieCrime@gmail.com)
Date: 01 Jan 2009

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    Thanks. Very good to know.

    On Thu, Jan 1, 2009 at 5:28 PM, foxbrick <foxbrick@yahoo.com> wrote:
    > MERCURY MYSTERY and its stablemates BESTSELLER MYSTERY and JONATHAN
    > PRESS MYSTERY were a periodical set of digest magazine-format
    > reprints (at least for most of their run) of cf novels and
    > eventually some short story collections...a number of indexers and
    > collectors consider them paperback books, but they were produced in
    > the same format as stablemate ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, and
    > were apparently issued periodically, so I tend to think of them as
    > magazines (much as I would the ELLERY QUEEN'S ANTHOLOGY issues, and
    > the subsequent AHMM and ASIMOV'S and ANALOG anthologies in magazine
    > form that Davis Publications and its successors have issued). They
    > were very sedately covered in the 1940s into the '50s, and then
    > started to use the same sort of splashy covers the newsstand EQMMs
    > did from the early-mid '50s onward. At least one MERCURY MYSTERY
    > cover was the same photograph that had been used on a newsstand EQMM
    > a few years before, though the image was rotated so that the model
    > was lying in the opposite direction.
    >
    > After the sale of EQMM by Mercury Press to B. G. Davis, MERCURY and
    > BESTSELLER continued for a few years, into the '60s, as more
    > straightforward magazines, with a lead novel/novella and s few short
    > stories and at least one regular column on true crime in MERCURY. I
    > believe the last MERCURY was a collection of Dahiell Hammett's "Thin
    > Man" stories.
    >
    > Sorry, have other matters to attend to, as usual these days, so will
    > let one of the true scholars here flesh out and/or correct this
    > quick precis.
    >
    > Todd Mason
    >
    > --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Nathan Cain" <IndieCrime@...>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> Although, on second glance, the Mercury Mysteries I'm talking about
    >> appear to be older. They don't have the covers like those listed in
    >> the link. These are solid colors, with artwork surrounded by a
    >> rectuangular frame in the middle. As far as I can tell, they're
    > from
    >> the 40's. At least the Woolrich, Dead Man's Blues (published under
    >> William Irish), was published in 1947. It is listed at prices
    > between
    >> $40-70 on the internet. You can see a picture at the link below.
    >>
    >> http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/ListingDetails?
    > bi=1011584038&cm_mmc=gbase-_-us-_-gbase-_-1011584038
    >>
    >> Seeing as how, I just won that one and four others on ebay for
    > about
    >> $13 including shipping, I might have just made out. These are
    > listed
    >> as being published by Jonathan Press, and I'm curious to know if
    > they
    >> relate to the book's in Ed's link, or to Spivak's Mercury Press.
    >> > On Wed, Dec 31, 2008 at 10:26 PM, <ejgorman99@...> wrote:
    >> >> I recently ran across some Mercury Mysteries by Woolrich,
    > Richard
    >> >> Powell and others, but I can't seem to find out much about this
    >> >> particular line of digests. They look like Reader's Digest
    > condensed
    >> >> versions of mystery novels. Is that impression correct? They
    > seem to
    >> >> be fairly rare. Does anyone collect these?
    >> >>
    >> >> ------------
    >> >>
    >> >> Here's some background with covers.
    >> >>
    >> >> http://www.philsp.com/mags/mercury_mystery_book.html
    >> >>
    >> >> http://www.philsp.com/data/data207.html
    >> >>
    >> >> Mercury Mystery-Book Magazine
    >> >>
    >> >> Total Issues: 23
    >> >>
    >> >> Numbering began from #210. It was a continuation of the Mercury
    > Mystery
    >> >> novels, published in digest form since Mar-1940.
    >> >>
    >> >> Issues & Index Sources
    >> >> Sep-1955 Apr-1959:
    >> >> Monthly Murders
    >> >> Crime Fiction Index (in progress)
    >> >>
    >> >> #merges with Bestseller Mystery Magazine
    >> >>
    >> >> Publishers
    >> >> Mercury Publications
    >> >>
    >> >> Editors
    >> >> Joseph W. Ferman
    >> >>
    >> >> Formats
    >> >> digest
    >> >>
    >> >> Prices
    >> >> 35c
    >> >>
    >> >> Pagecounts
    >> >> 128pp
    >> >>
    >> >> Frequency
    >> >> Sep-1955 May-1956: monthly
    >> >> Jun-1956 Apr-1959: bi-monthly
    >> >>
    >> >> Sources
    >> >> UltGuide, CookMDE
    >> >> Issue Checklist
    >> >>
    >> >> Mercury Mystery Book Magazine (Australia)
    >> >>
    >> >> Total Issues: 6 (at least)
    >> >>
    >> >> Australian reprint edition of Mercury Mystery Book Magazine.
    >> >> Issues & Index Sources: Mar-1956 ?:
    >> >> Crime Fiction Index (in progress)
    >> >> (Missing: #2, any after #6)
    >> >> Publishers: Atlas Publishers, Melbourne
    >
    >

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