The sadly uncredited jacket wrapping the 1966 Collins edition of Black Money, the thirteenth Lew Archer novel. Quite an uncommon edition this one – there are just four copies available on AbeBooks at present – which is partly what prompted me to acquire this copy from Brighton book dealer Alan White – that and that it's reportedly one of the better novels in the series, a "watershed", according to Thrilling Detective, "modelled on (or a homage to) Macdonald's favourite book, The Great Gatsby".
Perhaps more acclaimed, though, is this:
The Underground Man, the sixteenth Archer novel, seen here in its – not especially uncommon, which is why I managed to nab this copy for a few quid – 1971 Collins edition, with a dust jacket designed by the unfortunately named Roy Belcher. Frequently pinpointed as one of, if not the, best Lew Archer novels – see, for example, Malcolm Forbes' Daily Beast review, or Prof. William Marling's Detnovel.com article – it was reviewed on publication by the author Eudora Welty, whose laudatory front-page New York Times Review piece (excerpted here) helped break Macdonald into the mainstream, turning The Underground Man, according to Robert L. Gale in A Ross Macdonald Companion, into "Macdonald's biggest bestseller".
In keeping with the general drift of book cover design from the mid-1960s on, post-Black Money the dust jackets of the Collins editions of four of the five remaining Lew Archer novels – The Instant Enemy (1968), The Goodbye Look (1969), Sleeping Beauty (1973) and The Blue Hammer (1976) – were photographic in nature – the exception being The Underground Man, the wrapper of which is very much of a piece with that of Black Money: an arresting, simplified design using bold blocks of colour. But as the two books fall either side of the dividing line between my two galleries – Beautiful British Book Jacket Design of the 1950s and 1960s and the recently established British Thriller Book Cover Design of the 1970s and 1980s – I've added Black Money to the former (under "Designer Unknown" down the bottom) and The Underground Man to the latter, thus illustrating the point I made in the introduction to British Thriller Book Cover Design that the division between design styles of particular eras isn't as clear cut as one might suppose.
I guess those four Collins editions with the photographic covers would have been a better fit for British Thriller Book Cover Design of the 1970s and 1980s than The Underground Man, but I don't own any of them (my Ross Macdonald collection is highly selective, comprising just a handful of books). I do, however, own this:
The 1971 second impression of the 1966 Fontana paperback edition of the debut Lew Archer novel, The Moving Target, which I bought over three years ago in Kim's Bookshop in Arundel. Fontana – Collins' paperback imprint – introduced this style of photographic cover design across their range of Macdonald titles in the early '70s, all variations on the same titillating theme of a close-up of part of a woman's body in conjunction with a target or a gun or a badge or somesuch. This one appears to feature the woman's buttocks – which, as I'm sure many would agree, makes the cover eminently suitable for the load of old arse that is British Thriller Book Cover Design of the 1970s and 1980s. (I thank you.)