PAN Fans Club

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

PAN Fans Club - Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

Tony Whitehorn, Douglas Reeman and ‘Not As A Stranger’

I recently received comment on a blog from Tony Whitehorn to which I sent a reply by email. Tony was the chief blurb writer at PAN from January 1962 to November 1964 and he has very kindly written an article which will appear in the PAN Macmillan newsletter but he has also let me have a copy which you can read HERE.

I asked Tony if he had a favourite ‘blurb and he replied “One of my favourite books, which I found exceptionally thrilling and moving, was Seven Men at Daybreak’ (I knew nothing of the Heydrich assassination then – cinema and television hadn’t yet made it well-known) and for that I decided to highlight the moment I had found most tense, that when the two brave Czechs waiting for Heydrich’s car saw it suddenly sweep into view”

This is the fifth and final title of the PANs I recently bought that were signed to members of staff at PAN. It is In Danger’s Hour’, one of the three Douglas Reeman titles I’ve found that have the PAN logo on the front. The artwork for all the titles is by Brian Sweet. I contacted Brian by phone, coincidentally almost two years ago to the day, asking if he knew where the artwork was? He said he have a look to see if he still had it but as I’ve not heard back I am presuming he wasn’t successful.

Still trying to find a 1969 copy of Morton Thmpson’s book Not As A Stranger’ but I did find there was a Signet title on which some of the stories in this was based.

Keith Scaife, Paula Gosling and RIP Mrs. Bond.

After visiting artist Keith Scaife in Leek last week I’ve put together a page of some of his PAN covers, the original artwork he had with him and correspondence from PAN as to how they wanted the covers to look. You can find the page HERE Keith is also an accomplished model maker and brought along the model he made for the bailer on a Lilliput Lane harvest scene including a thresher.

This week is number four of the five signed PAN Books I got recently. It is Monkey Puzzle’ by Paula Gosling from 1985. She won the Crime Writers Association ‘Golden Dagger’ award for this the same year. I was pleased to find a couple of early titles had covers by Harry Hants which I will add to his page.

I am currently scanning the covers I already have with a few more ‘in the post’ which I’ll add as and when they, arrive hopefully.

I was sorry to see that Diana Rigg had died as she was part of my formative years especially in ‘The Avengers’. The only proper link I can find to PAN is the 1965 film tie-in edition of ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ where photos including Diana are on the inside cover as she played Teresa “Tracy” Bond (born Teresa “Tracy” Draco, and also known as the Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo) There is a very tenuous one in that she narrates the story of ‘The Snail and the Whale’ in the BBC series of which the book is published by PAN Macmillan, I did say it was very tenuous!

‘Leviathan’, Viviane Ventura and Keith Scaife

Thanks to Bazeer Fulmore who runs the excellent’ website who drew my attention to a comment on a Facebook post that I had seen but I had missed an additional one from Ian Allison who posted a couple of photos.  It was a copy of ‘Leviathan’ by John Davis he had picked up in the States that had a sort of dust jacket as above. Now searching high and low to try and find one but no luck so far.

This week is number three of the five signed PAN Books I got recently. It is April Fool’  by Viviane Ventura from 1983. This was an author I had not come across before and it turns out she has only written two books. I was intrigued to see she appeared to have been in one of my favourite films “The Wild Wild West” but it turns out it was the TV series of the same name from the 60’s on which the 1999 version is based.

I was really lucky last week in that I  met up with book cover artist Keith Scaife at last. He was born in Lymington but now lives in Penrith so neither was not the most convenient of places. Fortunately he spent his formative years in Leek where his Mother still lives and whom he was visiting over the weekend. We were lucky with the weather as it was going to be a meet up, at a safe distance in the garden but actually turned out to be the front room of Mrs. Scaife’s house (Thanks for the coffee and chocolate biscuits Heather) I’d arranged to acquire the artwork for The Iron Tiger’which I collected and saw all the other Higgins covers at the same time. I will feature more on this and the visit next week.

FOOTNOTE We were a bit tied up last week with our eldest cat ‘Scruff’ who has recently developed teeth problems but struggles on wanting to eat so we had him booked in to have the bad teeth removed. The vet hinted that he might not survive the anaesthetic and it might be better to have him put to sleep as he also has kidney problems, anaemia and a serious heart murmur – oh and it will cost over £600! Well he did survive and is now almost back to how he was before he got the teeth problems although we have to give him a couple of drugs a day to help his kidneys.

“Thanks Jules”, Jackie Collins and Victor Canning

As I have mentioned before, if you have not seen Jules Burt’s ‘YouTube’ videos then you must give them a go. They are not just about vintage paperbacks but many other subjects with a retro theme. I can especially recommend the one ‘Vintage Paperback Collectors Resources – Summer 2020’ and this has nothing to do with my website and in particular this now regular Monday blog getting a mention. I try to include at least three things  and most of the time they have a PAN Books connection!

This week number two of the five signed PAN Books I got recently is ‘Hollywood Husbands’ by Jackie Collins from 1987. I went to put in a link to a page of other covers of her titles which I’m sure I had done but can I find it? I found a reference on another of my blogs saying I was going to do it but ………. keep visiting, it will be there one day, honestly. 

I managed to track down a couple more Victor Canning titles in the series where his name is in a distinctive style of type compared to an earlier series where it was the surname in a cartouche shape which can be seen HERE. I have two more I found on the net but although many sellers show them they are more often listed as ‘Stock Photo’ plus one in the States where the quoted postage is over £18! Click HERE to see the later series.

Bit short of time this week as we have been down in Kent for a few days for our Grandson’s Christening. It was amusing in church where we all had to wear masks watching the vicar trying to blow out a taper while wearing his.

‘Flood’, Kevin Tweddell’s Artwork and ‘The Stone Leopard’

As I mentioned a while ago I got several signed PAN editions and here is the first one, namely ‘Flood’ by Andrew H. Vachss and it’s not quite the standard run of the mill edition but a ‘special advance reading copy’ no less! I’ve not found many around but I did spot an auction site where one of the lots had several copies but as usual can I find the page now to check? I’ve included a scan of ‘Blossom’ as although PAN published many later titles by Vachss this, ‘Flood and Strega’  are the only ones with the ‘PAN Man’ logo on the spine if not the cover that I’ve spotted so far.

After a bit of negotiating I managed to pick up a piece of original artwork by the late Kevin Tweddell from his daughter. It was a little more than I usually pay but as it is a triptych I suppose I am getting three covers for my money plus they were also used on the later hardback editions from Severn House Publishing. You can see a better image of the artwork and other titles by Pamela Belle by clicking on the image below.

I am puzzling over two cover versions of The Stone Leopard’ as to why PAN felt the need to alter the one from Canada dated 1976 to when it was republished in the UK in 1985? Both versions have Gino d’Achilles’ monogram and he also did another version I found on line but unfortunately can’t find a coy for sale to buy and to check the date, anyone out there with one to spare?

Secret Lives, Signed, ‘Great Poems’

Having ‘confessed’ in the past to have a collection of all the ‘Confessions’ books using the excuse they are based around where I live so for ‘research’ purposes I found a similar series from PAN. They are ‘The Secret Lives of ……’ and I have eight titles so far but looking at the listings inside that might be the total number. When I have finished reading the ‘Travis McGee’ series I’ll give these a go. Speaking of these I’m not sure about the ‘McGee’ books as they have so disparate story lines I think they could be standalones with ‘McGee’ superimposed on top. They lost all credibility with me when MacDonald has ‘McGee’ hiring an Austin Moke with an ‘air cooled engine’ and as everybody knows the Moke had the ‘A’ Series water cooled engine, poor research!

I saw someone selling a signed copy of a Douglas Reeman title on eBay at a very reasonable price and when I looked I noticed they had several other signed PAN titles by different authors. As they were all at a price where it would have been rude not to bid I got all five as luckily nobody else did. They are yet more copies signed to ‘Celeste’ who as I’ve come to discover was Celeste Parsons employed at PAN  and who must have passed on her signed copies to many dealers as I bought them from at least four different sources up to now. I’ll put them on over the next few weeks

Having many ‘searches’ logged with various book sellers I am sometimes surprised at what comes up and here is a case in point. It was for a hard backed version of  PAN 116 ‘Great Poems and erroneously listed as published by PAN although there is a connection. This edition was published by the ‘University of London Press’ with acknowledgement to PAN as below. My copy seems to have been presented to someone who worked at ‘Eagle Star’ as there are three pages of signatures from their colleagues. Some might say this devalues the book but I think it just adds to its history. My PAN edition has the price stamped on which is unusual as I only have a few other titles like this, it is more often a sticker.

Sad News, ‘Airport’ Proof Copy and Diet!

I was really sorry to hear that Lizzie Sanders nee Moyes had died last week after a long illness although she endeavoured to keep herself full occupied  for as long as she could. Sandy (Brian Sanders) emailed me to say “She has packed more into the last four years than many would manage in a lifetime. In the past year alone she has published – with her historian hat on – a book on the historic landscapes of Audley End and organised a village arts festival which raising a considerable sum for charities. She is currently trying to finish a map study relating to early Saffron Walden which was at the time called Chipping Walden and Brook Walden. I love her so much” My wife and I send our condolences to Sandy and Family and I will always think of Lizzie every time I see a Yorkshire tea box as it features her artwork. I have three PAN’s with her covers but I’m sure there is at least one more. HERE is a link to Lizzie’s covers and HERE is the link to a page I made after vising them in their home near Saffron Walden.

I don’t know why as they are not really that attractive for a site that claims it “does judge a book by it’s cover’ but I do like proof editions and  I recently picked up one for Arthur Hailey’s ‘Airport Part of the fun is looking through them to see what notes and scribblings have been added but this time I’ve drawn a blank just like in the book!

So after being told to stay safe, stay alert and social distance our beloved leader,  Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, now tells us we are all too fat and at more of a risk of catching COVID-19. Talk about ‘pot/kettle’ so as part of my effort towards being community spirited I’ve put together a few useful titles on a page HERE. Actually there aren’t that many, just different editions, but I do like my original artwork for the Stillman cover. I’m pleased it still has the colour swatches attached and it’s amazing that in some parts all the individual letters were stuck on by hand.

Only in the UK could the government tell us to cut down on our ‘fast food’and then subsidises restaurants, pubs etc. to offer half price meals for three days a week all through August! Unsurprisingly some of  these venues are re-closing due to outbreaks of COVID, just what I pay my taxes for. I’d get out more but they are now suggesting the over 50’s need to ‘shield’ themselves.

Magnus Pike, Jean-Paul Tibbles and ‘No Book Fair!’

Magnus Alfred Pyke OBE (29/12/1908 – 19/10/1992) was an English nutritional scientist, governmental scientific advisor, writer and presenter who made regular appearances on the television in the 70s and 80s. He opened the Information Technology Conference and I was there in Nottingham on the 21st January 1982 (Pyke is second from left but I can’t remember the others)  Pan also published three titles by him shown HERE and as one cover is by Jean-Paul Tibbles, as mentioned in a previous blog and  below, it all looks as though it was planned!

After mentioning Jean-Paul Tibbles a couple of weeks ago I’ve got around to scanning in some of the covers he produced for PAN but I’m sure there are a couple more including an E. V. Thompson. 

I’ve used the above before as when I asked Jean-Paul if he had a photo I could use he replied “The pilot on Derek Robinson’s Piece of Cake was posed by me so you do have an image of the illustrator from that time. As I was OK for the role it saved on the model fee, though no expense was spared on the costume. Unfortunately  Berman and Nathan’s Battle of Britain pilot costume, though genuine, was from later in the war. Gary (Day-Ellison) showed me the letter that PAN Books received pointing this out. I thought I had done it ‘properly’ but I got shot down.”  To see the page click HERE 
(Jean-Paul Tibbles was born in 1958 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and studied at Eastbourne College of Art. His work has been seen in the Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery in 1988 and 1989. He has exhibited in the annual exhibitions of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (2001–12) and the Portrait Society of America International Competition (2002–7) winning the Grand Prize in 2008)

Unfortunately, as was expected, my favourite book fair of the year has been cancelled. It will be quite a blow to them as well, as last year they raised over £50,000 in the two weeks for which it ran. I like it because you get the feeling that there could be a bargain or two out there that may have slipped in under the wire although Clive is fairly astute – and they aren’t judgemental when it comes to what they think is or isn’t going to sell unlike a lot of charity shops!

‘Travis McGee’, Evan Hunter and a big ‘Thank You’ to Jules Burt

Still trying to hunt down a few John D. MacDonald’s ‘Travis McGee’ editions to complete the collection. I’ve put them by date as far as I can ascertain but as usual the same text block was used with different covers and the date was not always changed. I have also found another eight covers but not managed to track down copies as they are most often shown as ‘stock photos’ on the big player websites. Click HERE to see the ones I have so far.

While sorting the ‘Travis McGee’ titles I started on Ed McBain’s  ’87th Precinct’ series where it is the same problem with dates, not always being easy to decode. This is going to be a my project for the next coupe of months. In the meantime here is a scan of the cover of the only book PAN published under one of the pen names Salvatore Lombino used namely Evan Hunter before he started to use Ed McBain. I think there were around 55 titles in the series but not sure if PAN published them all as I’m still compiling the list.

I need to find another copy to see if they are all this insipid green or has it just changed colour over the last 47 years as I suspect?

I would like to say a huge “Thank’ You” to Jules Burt who very kindly gave me a copy of PAN’s 50th Anniversary catalogue. I remember a copy coming up on eBay at the same time as the special hardback edition of ‘The Dam Busters’ for selling a million copies. As I was not going to be around when the auctions finished I decided nobody would want the catalogue so bid low but high on the book – I was completely wrong so I’m really pleased to get a copy at last. Jules also lent me a fascinating early bibliography of PAN books I’d not seen before and I’ve photographed it and sent it back. These were part of the amazing haul Jules got recently and HERE is a link to the first of two videos of him starting to unpack the PANs. There are a several with dust jackets but there doesn’t appear to be a list of those that do and that don’t but HERE is my reference page of the ones I found so far. Please let me know if you have any not shown.

Mary Howard, Jules Burt and Paul Sample

Mary Mussi, née Edgar (27/12/1907 to 2/3/1991), was a British writer born in London. She was the author of over fifty romance novels as Mary Howard and also wrote over ten Gothic romance as Josephine Edgar. She is one of only two novelists to win the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists’ Association three times (Mary Maddocks won four times)  She also won the Elinor Glyn award in 1961 and was a past chairwoman of Society of Women Writers and Journalists. PAN published eight of her titles as Mary Howard but I’ve not found any as Joesphine Edgar. You can see the covers HERE

Fellow PAN Fan Jules Burt certainly struck lucky recently with a haul of eight boxes of PAN’s and six of paperbacks from other publishers, not that I’m envious in any way!!!!!! Click HERE to see a selection of the fascinating videos Jules has posted recently and keep visiting to see the boxes being unpacked of which this is a tantalising glimpse.

A while back, when I had an ‘Australian’ special with titles printed in Australia I included ‘Virginity Stakes’ by Don Townshend with a cover by Paul Sample. At the time Paul said “Hi Tim, Yes, it is one of my illustrations, dating from the early 70’s……….I can remember drawing it, dip pen, ink and watercolour. I did quite a few book jacket illustrations besides all the ones for Tom Sharpe’s books. Not all of the jackets were for Pan though” Since then I’ve come across ‘Gland Times’ which is the same book with the same cover but was the earlier UK printing. Not sure if there is much to choose between either of the titles? Click HERE to see them both.
Paul was born in 1947 in Leeds as is best known for his cartoon strip Ogri, and for the covers of paperbacks by Tom Sharpe and Flann O’Brien, posters for BBC Radio Two and advertisements for the Post Office, Ford, Dunlop, and British Airways. Paul trained at Bradford College of Art and at the Central School of Art and Design in London, where he studied graphic arts. As a student, he landed commissions from The Times and The Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph and Today, for which he designed and drew “The Zodiac Files’” strip cartoon. His first commission was for Management Today in 1968, for which he was paid £45. He went on to do freelance work for Melody Maker, Rockstar, Men Only and Skateboard magazines.