Rightly or wrongly, this cover reminds me of the jackets of British adventure novels of the 1920s and 30s. The artwork was done by Winslow Pinney Pels, while the overall cover design was by Louise Fili. I’ve found no website for Mr. Pels, but his primary work seems to have been for children’s books. The cover at hand, while almost suitable for a boys’ aviation novel, appears to me to be just a little more “adult” than that.

   Perhaps I’m wrong.

   As for James McClure, I included a bibliography for him on the main Mystery*File website along with a short obituary I did for him when he died. I’ve obtained a sizable number of his books since then, but sad to say, I’ve not yet read any of them. This one, perhaps, after reading the back cover blurb below, may be the first.

McCLURE Blood of an Englishman

Pantheon. Paperback reprint, April 1982. British First Edition: Macmillan, 1980. US hardcover: Harper & Row, 1981.

      From the back cover:

Six days into their search for the man who put a .32-caliber bullet into a South African antique dealer, neither Kramer of the Murder Squad nor his Bantu assistant, Zondi, has a single lead in the case. On the seventh day, Mrs. Digby-Smith opens the trunk of her car and discovers the hideous, tied-up corpse of her younger brother. Two violent crimes — seemingly unconnected. But as Kramer and Zondi pursue their investigation, startling connections turn up in the sordid underworld of Trekkersburg and in the secret, unresolved enmities of World War II.

“An altogether superior piece of work … McClure’s ability to create convincing characters, a wry sense of humor, and the rather exotic locale [puts this series] at the top of its class.”     Newgate Callander, The New York Times

“The concluding scene is one rarely matched for slashing irony and sheer impact.”     Publishers Weekly

“This well-plotted, well-written murder mystery is exceptional … sometimes grim, sometimes sourly comic, always shocking.”     Atlantic Monthly