Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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The Name's Eberlin - Alexander Eberlin

The British Heart Foundation bookshop in Harrogate endeared itself to me by having a section specially for '50s & 60s paperbacks', which is exactly what I go into charity shops looking for.

I walked away with a spy novel called A Dandy in Aspic, by Derek Marlowe. I was attracted to it because I had heard of neither book nor author, yet the cover blurb described the former as 'unquestionably the most stunning novel of the Espionage Era' and the latter as 'like John Le Carre [sic] at the top of his form', as well as mentioning that it had got itself made into a film with Mia Farrow.

Needless to say, it's a pretty terrible book. Sub-Le Carré, sub-Deighton, each chapter prefaced by a witty quotation attributed to the hero, Alexander Eberlin. I got more thrills out of Max Smart - The Spy Who Went Out To The Cold.

It is a lovely cover, though. Bright pink with blocky slanted-perspective text, a gun-pointing silhouette and a sticky label reading 'STRINGERS 3/6 BOOKSELLERS'. This one will be sitting on my shelf o'spylit for a while, even if I never crack the spine again.

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