Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Norman Conquest Part III

Norman Conquest's creator Berkeley Gray's real name was Edwy Searle Brooks (1889-1965). He also wrote as Victor Gunn. Here are the last of the 17 Norman Conquest books published by Wm Collins Co & Sons Canada.

White Circle 383 - 1949

White Circle 465 - 1950

White Circle 442 - 1950

White Circle 486 - 1951

White Circle 512 - 1951

White Circle 527 - 1951

Friday, 1 November 2019

Norman Conquest Part II

In Part I I introduced the Norman Conquest series by Berkeley Gray. Specifically the 17 novels from the series published by Toronto publisher Wm Collins & Sons Canada from 1942 to 1952. 

Today not a single one of the 51 novels in the series is in print. Here are the next six White Circle editions.

White Circle 291 - 1946

White Circle 60 - 1943

White Circle 227 - 1945

White Circle 244 - 1945

White Circle 267 - 1946

White Circle 360 - 1948

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Norman Conquest Part I

Series characters have long been a staple of the crime/mystery/thriller genre. Today large publishers are very careful about keeping a well-selling character in print. Older series are typically brought back into print in a systematic way. The best example today is Penguin's new editions of Georges Simenon's Inspector Maigret series - all 75 novels, most in new translations. In the early days of paperbacks this was not the case.

An example is Berkeley Gray's Norman Conquest series - 51 novels between 1938 and 1969. The early Canadian paperback imprint from Wm. Collins and Sons Canada, White Circle Pocket Library, published 17 of the first 24 between 1942 and 1952, at which time the WC imprint ended. They had been published between 1938 and 1951 by the parent company in the UK. In addition to skipping seven of the books the ones that were published are not in sequence. The list below has the original publish date and the WC number.


1 Mr. Mortimer Gets the Jitters 1938 P
2 Vultures Limited 1938 46
3 Miss Dynamite 1939 85
6 Conquest Takes All 1940 B4
7 Meet the Don 1940 344
9 Convict 1066 1940 291
11 Six Feet of Dynamite 1942 60
12 Blonde for Danger 1943 227
13 The Gay Desperado 1944 244
14 Cavalier Conquest 1944 267
16 Mr. Ball of Fire 1946 360
17 Killer Conquest 1947 383
19 The Spot Marked X 1948 465
20 Duel Murder 1948 442
21 Daredevil Conquest 1950 486
22 Seven Dawns to Death 1950 512
23 Operation Conquest 1951 527

White Circle P - 1942

White Circle 46 -1942

White Circle 85 - 1943

White Circle B4 - 1942

White Circle 344 - 1947

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Vehicule Press

The latest, 14th, Ricochet offering from Montreal publisher Vehicule Press is out - Kenneth Orvis's The Damned and the Destroyed first published in 1962.

The intro author (also author of The Dusty Bookcase) says it's Orvis's best book.

Here is his first book from Harlequin Books.



Harlequin 367 - April 1956

Harlequin 367 back

Sunday, 1 September 2019

WWII and Paperbacks Part I

My last three posts have been WWII themed. Today is the 80th anniversary of the start of the war.

You will have seen that Canadian paperback publishers did very little directly for the war effort. But the US and British publishers' efforts did help their allies, the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Armed Services Editions is the best known US series. They were published over 46 months from September 1943 to June 1947. Here are four from December 1945. 

ASE 952 

ASE 952 back

ASE 954

ASE 954 back

ASE 949

ASE 949 back

ASE 951

ASE 951 back