First published in 1945.
Many editions followed with wonderful covers. The most recent was published in 2014 with an introduction by Martin Edward. I have this cover, a second Pyramid Books edition from 1970.
I first heard about this creepy book over at Past Offences. Jump over and read what Rich has to say about it! I was so lucky to find a copy on Paperbackswap immediately after reading Rich’s review.
from the back cover:
Murder on the swamp road
There is one thing that is most important in all the dark mystery of tonight, and that is how Corkscrew-that ugly little red-eyed man with his toen ear and his sharp, dog-pointed teeth, with his twisted legs, and all the other extraordinary details about him-could have vanished so completely after killing Inis St. Erme.
Can such a conspicuous creature disappear into thin air?
The New York Times said ‘One of the most chilling, sinister mysteries ever written – a strange and terrifying story’
And it is a wonderfully chilling, creepy tale. Considered Rogers masterpiece. No conventional format, all normal mystery rules are thrown out the window on this one! I’ll let you jump over to Rich’s for more detail on the story.
It really kept me off balance and never quite sure of anything! How could there be so many ‘coincidences’? I was so sure I had it figured out and then POW! You will never in a million years figure this one out! I double dog dare you to get this book and try! Let me know if you do!
Here is a nice article on Joel Townsley Rogers. There is a link in the article to his son’s website full of family stories.
One of the many covers I found stated that it was soon to be a motion picture but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Here are the covers over the years for your viewing pleasure!
and even one from another country…
Here is the most recent reprint…