As many of you will be aware, I'm rather fond of Ngaio Marsh and her books. A while back I undertook to find a copy of all her books, and had such a great time trolling bookshops and Trade Me that I completely forgot to stop when I had then all. So consequently I have multiple copies of some of them. Part of the reason for that was a love of cover art.
You'll probably think it is a little over the top to own five copies of The Nursing Home Murder (1935), by Ngaio Marsh, but I did some academic study on this book, and also it's quite interesting to see the progression of the cover art over a few decades. I should tell you in those days a nursing home was a private hospital, nowadays we think of them as geriatric hospitals. Also, this book is the only novel Ngaio wrote in collaboration with someone else, Irish physician Henry Jellett. I find it sad that none of the more modern editions mention him on the cover, although the earlier four here name him on the fly-leaf. The 1999 version doesn't mention his name at all!
This is the 1965 Fontana edition of The Nursing Home Murder. This is my second favourite cover.
1970 edition (Fontana) - it's awful! What were they thinking?!!!
1976. (Fontana) This is my favourite. In fact I've grown so fond of the cover art of Justin Todd that I'm now trying to find all the Ngaio Marsh books he did work for!
1983 (Fontana) Simple, but graphic, if a touch boring.
1999 Completely boring. Boring, Boring, Boring. And they didn't mention the co-authors name in the book anywhere! Naughty, naughty Harper Collins.
Which do you like best?