Added to the cover gallery: A Portuguese edition of The Damsel

Rififi (Brazil) (19??)

The artwork here makes this lighthearted romp look absolutely terrifying.

Title translation: The Girl

Cover text translation: “Grofield, an extraordinary adventurer, rescues a young woman in trouble in a race of life and death across Mexico.”

Fourth (fourteenth?) anniversary

Lots of stuff going on in my so-called “real life” at the moment, so this post is late and a bit more perfunctory than last year’s. But I did want to mark the anniversary, even if it is late.

As I’ve mentioned before, I think of the real anniversary of the current VWOP as […]

The Damsel by Richard Stark; 1968 Hodder & Stoughton first edition

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

Having showcased two never-before-seen Hodder & Stoughton British hardback first editions of Donald E. Westlake’s Alan Grofield-starring Parker spin-off novels—The Dame (1969, Grofield #2) and The Blackbird (1970, Grofield #3)—it seems only fair I should shine the spotlight on the other […]

Westlake Score: The Blackbird by Richard Stark; 1970 Hodder & Stoughton first edition

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

On to the second of two exclusive, never-before-seen-online Westlake Scores; and as with yesterday’s Score—a 1969 British Hodder & Stoughton first edition of Westlake’s second Alan Grofield novel, The Dame—today’s offering is also a Grofield book, and again boasts a particular […]

Westlake Score: The Dame by Richard Stark; 1969 Hodder & Stoughton first edition

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

This week, I’ve a pair of very special Westlake Scores for you. Both of the books in question are incredibly scarce British first editions of Richard Stark novels; both boast strikingly psychedelic dust jacket artwork; and neither one, to my knowledge, […]

The Four Days of Grofield Day Four: Lemons Never Lie

Donald Westlake gave up the genre experimentation of the first three Alan Grofield novels in favor of just writing a Richard Stark novel for volume four. Thank goodness–it’s easily the best of the series.

I was critical of this one when these covers were first made public, but in retrospect I think I was […]

The Four Days of Grofield Day Three: The Blackbird

My least favorite book in the Grofield series gets my favorite cover–how do you like that? Esteemed co-blogger Nick thought more of it than I did.

The Blackbird: A Grofield Novel


The Four Days of Grofield Day Two: The Dame

As you know if you’ve read the books, or read esteemed co-blogger Nick’s recent reviews of the books (1, 2, 3, 4), the Grofield series appears to be Westlake’s attempt to create a series where he experimented with a different genre in each volume. The Dame is the whodunit, which I think this cover […]

The Four Days of Grofield Day One: The Damsel

With the Twelve Days of Christmas just having passed and blogging that involves actual writing unlikely to happen until the debut of the new year, now seems like the ideal time to unveil the covers of the upcoming University of Chicago reprints of the four Alan Grofield solo adventures.

We’ve linked to these before, […]

The Grofield Files: Lemons Never Lie (1971) by Richard Stark; a review

After a slightly-longer-than-intended gap following my re-posting on The Violent World of Parker the other week of my three previous reviews of Donald “Richard Stark” Westlake’s Parker spin-off Alan Grofield novels—The Damsel (1967), The Dame (1969) and The Blackbird (also 1969)—here, finally, are my thoughts on the fourth (and final) Grofield solo outing, Lemons […]