Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Printer's Row Book Fair - pt. 2

I somehow missed these in my last post.  I even forgot two titles in my list:

Guilty Bystander by Wade Miller (the 1st Max Thursday private eye novel. This is the 2nd printing)
Strange Ones by Ben Travis (an early gay novel about a muscular lifeguard seduced by a randy New York sophisticate and the sexual conflict that follows. Published by Beacon, one of the leading sleaze PB houses)

That brings the total to the 15 books I mentioned in the earlier post.

The 24 page cook book (printed on light blue paper) in the rear of the Rex Stout book is pretty wild. Maybe not so wild if you're a gourmand. I'm not. My most adventurous meal was a venison stew in New York once. I wanted you to see that one dish out of the 32 recipes is named for the gourmand detective himself (click on the image to read it better).  Other dishes include Maryland Terrapin and Philadelphia Snapper Soup (yes, both are made from turtles), Tennessee Opossum which includes as the first direction "Skin and clean the opossum and rub inside and out with salt and pepper."  There are others with equally exotic ingredients, but those three stood out for me as things I didn't ever think of as gourmet food.

I'm not a big Nero Wolfe fan.  Does anyone who is more familiar with these books know if he really ate these things?  Are his meals ever mentioned in the books?

The Time Masters I mentioned on the previous post. The book by William Targ is deserving of a Friday's Forgotten Book post and I will probably write that up soon. It's also an alternative classic with an unusual printing history. As an enticing tidbit to the future post I will let you know that it's a bibliomystery and features the only nudist detective I have encountered in the genre. I certainly hope he's the only nudist detective.  But these days I wouldn't be surprised if some enterprising writer in desperation for a gimmick dreamed up another detective who liked to let it all hang out while mulling over whodunit.

Until the next book fair or sale...  There are a lot of them in the summer out here.  And I can't stay away.  Like a lonely sailor entranced by the tempting song of a mermaid I am doomed to follow the allure of vintage books.


  1. "There are others with equally exotic ingredients, but those three stood out for me as things I didn't ever think of as gourmet food."
    Turtle soup was a nineteenth-century luxury served at the Lord Mayor's banquets in London until the turtles were protected. You can still find recipes for mock-turtle soup, as featured in Alice in Wonderland. Squiirrel is becoming more popular too.

  2. Yes, Nero Wolfe ate lavish meals, consisting of at least three courses, prepared by his live-in chef Fritz Brenner and there's even a cookery book collecting all these recipes of dishes and deserts he has gobbled down during his cases.

    Great heist by the way! :)

  3. Roger -

    Thanks for the gastronomic history lesson. It's not that I never heard of turtle soup and I'm very well aware of Alice in Wonderland and the Mock Turtle weeping and lamenting his fate. It's just that a snapping turtle is a creture I used to see in our creek in our backyard in Pennsylvania and I'd never think of capturing it and preparing it for a meal. Some of this food labeled as gourmet seemed like "hillbilly food." I know that makes me sound like an classist snob, but there you have it. I don't even know what to say about squirrel becoming popular again. Was it Winter's Bone that did it? (kidding)

  4. I just finished reading THE NERO WOLFE FILES, and as I understand it, you have a pretty rare and expensive edition of TMC, the one with the recipes in the back was a limited printing. Good grab. I'm looking to complete my Wolfe set (I have 31 of the 43 books, most paperbacks). If you're in the area of Wolfe volumes, I can provide the wants, I never seem to get to the paperbacks shows since I moved here, as now it's an inter-state jaunt.

    The other thing fell through, as I thought it might, so that copy of THE CHEIM MANUSCRIPT will be most welcome. I'll email you my address (or did I do that already?) The rest of the haul is excellent too.

  5. Also, I was of the opinion the soup was Terripin, a type of turtle, but that may have been the soup at the American Banquet in TMC.