Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday Cover: Matt Helm

In keeping with the espionage trend in this blog of late, here's the cover to an early edition (the first?) of the late Donald Hamilton's second Matt Helm novel, The Wrecking Crew. The Helm series is my favorite fiction series of all – sorry, Mr. Bond – and I love this cover, obviously issued before Gold Medal decided to give the Helm series a uniform trade dress.


Roland Hulme said...

Didn't Dean Martin play Matt Helm? The man in the picture looks remarkably like him. Was that before or after the movies got made?

Charles Gramlich said...

I've only read a few Matt Helm books. They were good but it's not particularly a big genre for me. I enjoyed the "destroyer" series a lot, which had a more humorous approach.

Christopher Mills said...

Roland – well, Martin played himself playinga character named Matt Helm in films only very loosely based on the novels, which are very hardboiled, esquisitely plotted thrillers. This cover predated those films by several years, so any resemblance is, I'm sure, coincidental.

By the way – I'm a big Dino fan, but those films have almost nothing to do with the books, except for putting some much-deserved fat checks into Hamilton's pockets.

Charles – IMO, the early Helms are among the best hardboiled espionage thrillers ever written. I like the Destroyers, too, but it's almost a different genre entirely.