Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Weirdest cover
Date Finished: May 12, 2016
The second volume in the Saint Mystery Library, numbered 119 for some reason, this contains five stories published in the Saint Detective Magazine. Frank Kane presents a Johnny Liddell novella “A Package for Mr. Big” that is mostly just chasing around, Wenzell Brown’s “Witness to Death” is a good suspenseful story about a witness to a crime who can’t get anyone to pay attention to him. It gets a cover blurb and the title of the volume. Arthur Somers Roche’s “For the Good of the City” is an older 1932 story that is more confusing than good, with so many policeman, mobsters, and politicians that I couldn’t keep track of who was who. Hayden Howard’s “City in the Bottle” and Richard Deming’s “I Want It Foolproof” are a little more modern. Howard’s has an alcoholic protagonist and Deming’s has an ironic twist ending.
The cover doesn’t relate much to any of the stories, but I’ll use it as my “Weirdest Item You’ve Seen” selection. The weirdness is the hand that hovers over the head of the woman. At first I thought it was a giant hand trying to squeeze her head between his first and second fingers, but I realized that it is supposed to be a hand reaching from our point of view toward her. The positioning still makes no sense and the composition is still very weird.