One of the thrills of the late summer was securing a copy of the early 1970s Bookfinger reprint of Sax Rohmer's obscure 1940s novel, Seven Sins. This included the final appearance of Rohmer's long-running French detective character Gaston Max, who made his first bow way back in 1915 in The Yellow Claw (which in some ways is a very peculiar book). The premise of Sins involves high society Egyptian occult highjinks, a locked room murder, and talk of a Nazi spy. But the real fun thus far has been Rohmer's portrait of wartime London and the various characters who cross his pages.
I may write more about the book, but I wanted to post this interesting article about the Bookfinger enterprise. It was this one guy in Brooklyn and seems to have been a DIY operation by and large, but the interest for many Vault readers may be that the reprints occurred through liaising with UK printers and some interaction with Tom Stacey (who goes bankrupt before the conclusion of the article, alas):
Unfortunately Jessica Salmonson's bibliography does not seem to have been transferred to the Web Archive site. I'm curious about those "psychic detective Gees" novels, the work of Jack Mann (pseudonym of E. Charles Vivian)--I think the library where I work may hold some of those. According to a blurb I found online, the Gees yarns include encounters with werewolves, ancient sorcerers, and an Egyptian cat-goddess--sounds right up my street.
This is specifically about the 1964 paperback edition which somehow came out from Brown, Watson--a UK publisher whose suggested floruit, according to the great Search Engine on the Cloud, is 1959-1978. They became known in the 70s for publishing annuals for various comic book and TV tie-in threads. A publisher with the same name which started up in 1980 and puts out kids' books seems to be a different outfit altogether.
Panther put out all the other Sixties pb editions of Rohmer's titles I've seen listed, so not sure why Brown, Watson did this one.
Seven Sins is proving to be a great ride--less formulaic and more character-driven than Rohmer's Fu and Sumuru books.