Thursday, 13 May 2010

Lemons Never Lie by Richard Stark

Latest new arrival is this:













A first edition of Richard Stark's fourth Alan Grofield novel, Lemons Never Lie, published in hardback in the US by The World Publishing Company in 1971. Stark/Westlake wrote four books starring Grofield; I already have a 1968 first UK edition of the first one, The Damsel:













And now I have the final one. Grofield, an actor and theatre-runner who funds his thespian career with heists, occasionally features in the Parker books – he's in the one I'm reading at the moment, The Handle – but his own books are apparently lighter in tone than the Parker ones (a lot of Parker fans don't like them, as they're closer to Westlake's comedy caper novels). I'll find out once I finish The Handle, as, chronologically speaking, The Damsel is next in line. But I read on The Violent World of Parker that Lemons Never Lie is much more like a Parker book: lean and mean. I'll find out how true that is once I've read the Parker novel Slayground (which comes before it).

This copy of Lemons Never Lie is ex-library, this time from the Reading Public Library. That's Reading Pennsylvania, not Reading Berkshire (where the big rock festival is). It's in good condition though. I'm slightly mystified by Westlake's dedication, however:








If you can't read that, it says, "This is for Edgar Carreras, wherever he may be." So who's Edgar Carreras? Google has failed me on this one. Answers on a postcard, or, possibly more helpfully, in the comments, please.

(NB: a review of Lemons Never Lie can be found here.)

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