I had occasion to be in Denton, Texas, today, so while I was there I made a stop at Recycled Books, one of the best used book stores in this area. Some of you who read this blog are quite familiar with Recycled, and for those of you who aren't, it's on the courthouse square and is located in what used to be a good old-fashioned downtown department store. So what we have there are three full floors (including the basement) of old books. I usually get up there two or three times a year. Today I found only a few things I wanted, but I was glad to get them. Here are the highlights:
IN THE MOOD FOR MURDER, M.T. Jefferson -- This is the second book in a series of mystery novels set in a small town during World War II. I came across the first one, THE VICTORY DANCE MURDER, a while back and really enjoyed it, so I've been looking for others in the series since then. "M.T. Jefferson" is really veteran paperback H. Paul Jeffers.
RENEGADE'S TRAIL, Gordon D. Shirreffs -- Another of Shirreffs' novels about manhunter Lee Kershaw. It's hard to go wrong with anything Shirreffs wrote. Even his minor books are entertaining, and when he was at the top of his game he was one of the best Western writers ever.
YOU PLAY THE BLACK AND THE RED COMES UP, Richard Hallas -- The Dell Mapback edition of this famous noir novel, for what I think was a pretty reasonable price. The cover's a little beat up, but hey, it's still a Dell Mapback. I've heard about this book for years but have never read it or even seen a copy before, to the best of my memory.
HIDEAWAY, Nikki Content -- This one had me puzzled when I saw it in the store. It's Gold Medal 308, a first printing from June 1953, but I never heard of it, or the author, before. It's a crime story about a gangster hiding out on a tropical island in the Pacific. Seems like I should have run across it before now. Is Nikki Content a pseudonym? A little Internet research tells me that yes, it is. Nikki Content is really Fan Nichols, who wrote at least one other book I own a copy of, the title of which escapes me at the moment. The copy I bought today is in pretty good shape, with a Barye Phillips cover (not a particularly good Barye Phillips cover, mind you, but still).
Before heading up to Denton I wrote on the current book and had a pretty productive day, the best in over a week, in fact.