Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dagger of the Mind by Kenneth Fearing

Bestseller Mystery edition from 1941 
Originally published by Random House in 1941, Kenneth Fearing's Dagger of the Mind was reprinted in this digest-sized Bestseller Mystery (published by Lawrence Spivak) softcover later the same year. According to the title page, "Titles for the Bestseller Mystery are chosen from those mysteries which have had a large and continuing sale. Sometimes they are reprinted in full, but more often they are cut to speed up the story—always, of course, with the permission of the author or his publisher. This book has not been cut." Publishing has come a long way since 1941 and, thankfully, Fearing's second novel was spared from being ellipsed in any way. Fearing was a progressive mystery writer who began as a poet and brought new stylistic twists to a genre that was usually pretty formulaic. This book, although out of print since the 1960's, along with Fearing's other novels (a couple are currently in print on NYRB) definitely deserve reading.

Close-up of the Bestseller Mystery logo on the back cover

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