Rescued this lovely trio during dawn raid on Slater Street market yesterday. Bit miffed that I once charity-shopped a 1st edition of The Rape Of Venice on grounds that I'd never seen it included among the 'black magic' titles.
Dennis Wheatley - The Rape Of Venice (Arrow, 1965: originally Hutchinson, 1959)
Blurb: Passion Intrigue Violence Black Magic. All the ingredients are here for another action-packed, thrill-laden story of adventure and romance featuring Roger Brook, Prime Minister Pitt's most resourceful secret agent, one of the most famous characters created by "The Prince of thriller writers."
Dennis Wheatley - The Prisoner In The Mask (Arrow, 1964: originally Hutchinson, 1957)
Blurb: Duke de Richleau conspires to put a King on the Throne. This is the story of the youth of Dennis Wheatley's famous character, Duke de Richleau. He then bore his father's second title, Count de Quesnoy. The story is set against the glamorous background of Paris in the nineties, when the ladies of the great world had little to think about except their love affairs — and the Count was no mean gallant. The betrayal of the conspiracy brought death to some and left the Count in desperate straits. But instead of despairing he declared a vendetta against the Republican Government. How he fought it while being hunted on a charge of murder makes most exciting reading.
Dennis Wheatley - The Scarlet Imposter (Arrow, 1960: originally Hutchinson, 1940)
Blurb: When Gregory Sallust landed in wartime Germany he had as much chance of coming out alive as a mouse in a cage of cats. His job was to contact an anti-Nazi organization ready to overthrow Hitler and sue for peace.
Masquerading first as a German General, then as an S.S. Gruppenfuhrer, he stayed the course to the very end. A hundred times he risked death and the vilest tortures.
Each minute he pushed forward with incredible daring, and fought desperately to elude the enemy closing round him. Typical Wheatley, a thriller of tremendous power supercharged with violent action and terrific suspense.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.