The artist for this nifty paperback cover isn’t identified, so I won’t hazard either a guess or an opinion, but if you believe you know, I’d surely like to hear from you.

   That the girl looks something like Betty Grable, for those of us old enough to remember her, is not too surprising, as she starred in the 1941 film version with Victor Mature, Carole Landis, and Laird Cregar. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the film, and now I’m itching to.

STEVE FISHER I Wake Up Screaming

   Frank Loose sent me the following publication data for the book, supplemented by my own records:


   Dodd, Mead & Co., 1941.
   Robert Hale, UK, 1943.


   Handi-Book #27, 1944.
   Popular Library #129. No date stated. Frank says 1948; Graham Holroyd says 1947. Dealers on ABE seem to be 50-50 either way.
   Bestseller Mystery B204, digest-sized, 1957.
   Bantam Books A2145, 1960.
   Black Lizard, 1988.
   Vintage, 1991.

   Frank also adds, “I have a copy of the Black Lizard, but I want to read the original. If I understand correctly, the revised version starts with the Bantam book in 1960. Everything before that date should be the original unedited, unrevised version.”

   I’m sure Frank is right about this. I’m not sure, but I believe the reason for the revision is that Fisher himself wanted to “modernize” the book. If so, it’s the same thing John D. MacDonald did toward the end of his career when he published two collections of short stories taken from the 1940s pulp magazines. He rewrote some of the stories to make them seem as though they were taking place in the 1980s.

   It was a really bad idea, as far as I was concerned — something like “colorizing” black-and-white movies.

   But I don’t know for sure if that’s what Fisher did, nor why Black Lizard didn’t go back to the original novel for their edition. Once again, if you have more information, I hope you’ll pass it along.

      From the back cover:

Once there was a girl named Vicky Lynn. She met Pegasus, a screen writer, and they fell in love. Then Pegasus and three friends pooled their resources to sponsor Vicky. They built her into a glamorous personality, and she won a screen contract. And the next day she was murdered.

For Pegasus, Vicky’s death was the end of the world, until he became aware of Vicky’s lovely sister Jill, who believed in him when everyone branded him killer.

To escape the police, Peg and Jill ran away, but their flight turned into a cycle of terror, of hiding and running from the ever-approaching shadow of a relentless, obsessed pursuer!