Mon 1 Mar 2010
AN IPL CHECKLIST, by Victor A. Berch
This is Steve speaking. IPL is the short form of a tongue-twister name of a publishing company called International Polygonics Limited. The man behind the company was Hugh Abramson, and the man behind him, working as a series consultant and helping to choose what books to reprint, was Douglas G. Greene, who’s presently the man in charge of Crippen & Landru, publisher of previously uncollected stories of a long list of mystery writers.
Together, as the head honchos behind IPL, they put together a long run of paperback mystery reprints, with a soupcon of hardcovers and original novels thrown in. Authors such as John Dickson Carr (and his alter ego Carter Dickson), Margaret Millar, Leslie Charteris, Craig Rice, Clayton Rawson, and George Baxt.
Should I name more? I can, and easily. Ngaio Marsh, Ellery Queen, Jonathan Latimer, Charlotte Armstrong, E. Richard Johnson, and Stuart Palmer. All of the above, and others, were among those with multiple titles offered.
Impressed? You should be.
Among the non-mystery titles IPL published were more than a handful by P. G. Wodehouse.
Several years ago Victor Berch completed a checklist of all of the IPL titles, and you can see it here on the main Mystery*File website. (Click on the link.)
Note that it’s long enough that it takes two full pages, with a link on the first taking you to the second. Be sure you find your way to both pages.
This pair of web pages is still being worked on, which is why the checklist has never been announced officially until now. I have many many cover images to add to it, including back covers, and research into some of the non-mystery books remains to be done.
But as a checklist of the books themselves, they’re all there, with plenty of cover images already included. It also could use a better introduction and overview of the entire IPL operation, but you can consider this a Preview, with more to come, as soon as I can do it.
To my mind, this is an extraordinary run of paperbacks, but because of limited distribution of the books, few people are as aware of their existence as they should be. This checklist should help remedy that — or at least Victor and I hope so!