Westlake Score: The Sour Lemon Score (UK Coronet first edition, 1969)

NB: A version of this post also appears on Existential Ennui.

Here’s a Westlake Score which, for me, completes a particular run of Westlake’s Richard Stark-written Parker crime novels. It’s the British first edition of The Sour Lemon Score, the twelfth Parker outing, published in paperback by Coronet Books/Hodder Fawcett in 1969—the same year as the US Fawcett/Gold Medal first edition. This edition is the fourth of a run of four Coronet printings of the Parkers—which, you’ll doubtless recall from this post, followed the Gold Medal printing order in the late-1960s (Coronet and Gold Medal being two wings of the same international publishing company)—which all sport the same (uncredited, sadly) style of cover design and art: white backgrounds coupled with colorful but minimalist illustrations. The Sour Lemon Score was the only one of those four—the others being The Rare Coin Score (Parker #9), The Green Eagle Score (Parker #10), and The Black Ice Score (Parker #11)—that I was still missing, until I chanced across this copy online the other week; you don’t often see these pre-“bullet hole” cover design printings of the UK Parkers, so I was pleased to come across it.

And its acquisition means that I do now, I believe, own all of the paperbacks of the Parker novels Coronet issued in the UK before they switched to that aforementioned “bullet hole” design in the 1970s. So how about, for my next Violent World of Parker post, a gallery of all of the Coronet Parkers from 1967 (when Point Blank debuted in the UK) to 1970—including some little-seen reprints…?