Monday 24 May 2010

The Stark/Parker Coronet Editions (Slight Return)

I've blogged before about the UK Hodder Fawcett/Coronet paperback editions of Richard Stark/Donald Westlake's Parker novels from the late '60s/early '70s, and how I figured there were basically two types of design on the books over two printings, plus the odd movie cover. But with the arrival of a second printing (I already had the first and third printings) of The Rare Coin Score (Parker #9, but actually the second Parker novel Coronet picked up after Point Blank) I scored on eBay, I've now discovered there was another iteration of cover design:

From left to right we have the first Coronet paperback printing from 1968 (one year after the first US printing in 1967); the second printing from 1970; and the third printing from 1972. I knew there'd been a second printing of The Rare Coin Score, as the 'bullet-hole' edition stated as much on its imprint page; but I didn't realise it had been under a different cover design, a photo-cover which echoes the 1969 movie cover Coronet edition of The Split:

On the imprint page of the second printing of The Rare Coin Score, the previous Coronet edition Parkers are listed (in Coronet's order, not mine) as Point Blank, The Split, The Green Eagle Score, The Black Ice Score and The Sour Lemon Score. I stated in that previous post I thought that after Coronet published Point Blank (Parker #1) in 1967, they then jumped forward to The Rare Coin Score (Parker #9) because that was the most recent US Parker book. It now seems fairly clear that they published The Rare Coin Score, The Green Eagle Score (Parker #10), The Black Ice Score (Parker #11) and The Sour Lemon Score (Parker #12) consecutively around 1968(ish), under this type of cover design:

and then jumped back to The Split (Parker #7) to tie in with the 1969 movie, giving it a movie cover. After that, it looks as if they ran out of their original printing of The Rare Coin Score and had to reprint it, so they gave it a cover that reflected the movie cover of The Split.

So there you go. Of course, I'm still left with the question of which – if any – of the other Parker novels Coronet published with those photo covers, and also when it was they switched to the bullet-hole design, i.e. which was the first of their paperback Parkers to sport that design?

Unless anyone can help, those'll have to be questions for another day...

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