Mapbacks are collectible pulpy paperbacks published by Dell mostly in the 1940s. The hook—each book has a map or diagram on the back cover that’s related to the story. Great original art on the front, fun little map on the back, classic eye-in-the-keyhole logo—what’s not to love? We have a few:
One of my favorite maps, Dead of Night has New York, plus an inset map of central Kentucky (and some great teaser copy).
The Big City After Dark is a guide to 1948 New York. I suppose that’s why it doesn’t have the “mystery” keyhole logo. It does, however, provide a helpful map of midtown Manhattan.
We found A Man Called Spade in the “free bin” at a community book sale in Savannah, Georgia several years ago. The FREE bin. Granted, it’s in pretty rough shape, but one never turns down a free Hammett.
Gerald Gregg was the artist on many Dells in the 40s, including A Man Called Spade and Where There’s Smoke. He has a gorgeous airbrush technique and did more conceptual style covers (as opposed to the sexy girls-n-guns type).
posted by Rachel