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

Agatha Christie, Panther Library Editions and Eric Tenney

Having mentioned I was scanning in the Agatha Christie covers I call the White Top and photo series last week I thought I should I knuckled down and finished all the titles, editions and variants I have from this late 1960s, early 70s series. Since then I have spotted at least two more variants of titles I have but I don’t think I’ll be rushing to buy them as there are plenty of the others at the moment (five copies of Poirot Investigates might be enough) This sort of completes the Christie photo covers from PAN with the Double Dagger series and the All Photo series.

When doing a search for PAN I am often offered PANther but for once it was a title I was after, namely ‘Raiders of Darfur’ by Stanley Mann. The reason is that the cover was by Derek Stowe, who also painted several PAN covers and sadly passed last year, and was the only one of his covers I didn’t have the book for. The image on his page was from the Bodleian Library and was for the Panther 214 paperback edition. What I got was the hardback library edition actually bound by Panther and not by a library as I thought it would be. The Panther Library editions, published by Hamilton, are not to be confused with the Panther Library editions, published by Nelson, as I found out! Anyone want a copy of ‘At Close Grips’?

I mentioned the passing of artist Eric Tenney and that I’d had a communication from Sue, his daughter about selling his artworks. She also said We do have many of his paintings but Charlie is special. Dad rescued him from a pet shop in Epsom, built a huge cage for him in his studio and worked striped to the waist in an over heated studio to try and nurse him back to health. We named him Charlie and used to love petting and feeding him moths and meal worms which he held like a banana”  I had bought Eric’s painting of Charlie the Bushbaby off eBay but when Sue asked if there was any chance of getting him back I reluctantly agreed. In exchange Sue sent me the artwork for Colin Forbes ‘Shockwave’ but we’ll miss Charlie even though I scanned him in and his clone is now taking his place. The photo is of Charlie back with the family.

“Sorry”, Eric Tenney, “Well done Jules” and a Work in Hand.

Sorry, just a brief blog this week as we have spent the last few days pet sitting our daughters five cats and huge dog, who is lovely, but insists on sleeping on the bed with us otherwise it howls all night. That was followed by the arrival of our son and family coming to stay for a few days, which was really enjoyable with trips out every day to places like Blist Hill, but which makes scanning books etc. very difficult.

I mentioned last week the sad news of the passing of artist Eric Tenney. I have since heard from Susan, Eric’s daughter, to say she has been going though his studio and there are numerous paintings that could be available for sale. If you know of a cover by Eric and would be interested in find out if it is in his studio please email Susan using

Congratulations to Jules Burt on getting the last title in the first 1,000 Penguins he was after, namely number 464 ‘Death on the Borough Council’ I am hope to experience that elation one day when I get my last title, X705 ‘PAN Junior Crosswords Book 3’

I am currently trying to scan in all the Christie covers with a white top and a photo from around the late 1960s to early 70’s with as many of the variants as I have which is proving to be a larger undertaking than I though but hopefully completed by next week.

Sandy Gall Titles, ‘The Greatest Raid of All’, a Couple of Faces and RIP Eric Tenney

Hearing a recent mention of the name Sandy Gall made me check how many of his books PAN published. He is a Scottish journalist, author, and former ITN news presenter and PAN published two of his books. I thought I’d just check on AbeBooks to see if they listed any I hadn’t got and it would have been a dilemma knowing which copy of ‘Chasing The Dragon’ to buy if I needed one. £9.22 for shipping!

His other title was ‘Gold Scoop’ published in 1979. Henderson Alexander “Sandy” Gall, CMG, CBE was born in Penang on the 1st October 1927.

While constantly trying to track down the artists for book covers (and the artists themselves) I often find Pat Owen’s name crops up  such as the first edition of ‘The Greatest Raid of All’ but I’m stumped by the later two. Can anyone suggest possible artists as mine would just be guesses from the styles. The raid was named ‘Operation Chariot’ and was a daring attack on the docks at St Nazaire in German-occupied France by British forces on 28 March 194212345. The operation was a feat of cunning and daring that helped to shape the war at sea1. Over 600 Commandos and Royal Navy servicemen set sail from Falmouth, Cornwall to partake in the raid4. The mission was to sail undetected up the estuary to St. Nazaire disguised as German warships and destroy the largest dry dock in Europe.

Looking at a couple of covers with the connection of having a face on on them makes me wonder who comes up with the ideas? The first is for Sidney Sheldon’s first novel  The Naked Face’, one of the several titles by Sheldon published by PAN. I’m not sure what it is supposed to convey but I quite like it unlike the latter edition which does nothing for me. Sheldon was born Sidney Schechtel in Chicago, Illinois on February 11th 1917. He was prominent in the 1930s, first working on Broadway plays films, and television. After turning 50, he began writing romantic suspense novels, with his novels selling over 300 million copies in 51 languages. Sheldon is consistently cited as one of the top ten best-selling fiction writers of all time. He died in California on January 30th 2007. The second cover my wife described as ‘disturbing’ It is for Flam O’Brien’s 1974 Picador edition of ‘The Third Policeman’ Again I’m not sure what it is meant to convey but it does have something going for it.

I was sad to get an email from Susan, Eric Tenney‘s daughter, to say he had passed away on the 6th of June with his funeral next Friday. We seem to have lost so many great artists in the last few years, artists who knew how to paint a book cover.

‘A Quartet of 1960s Film Tie-ins

I recently heard from Tim Smith in Australia  to say did I know M120 ‘Two Gentlemen Sharing’ by David Stuart Leslie (1921-1999) had a cover by Hans Helweg? I did as the original artwork was in the plie I saw in Hans Helweg’s studio but I hadn’t got round to updating the page which I have done now.. Hans got paid £50 16s for the front cover and £26 10s for the back in February 1964. The original artwork was bought by a friend and I presume he still has it. PAN also published Leslie’s X194 ‘Two Left Feet’  and both titles were filmed in the 1960s. 

PAN X192 ‘The Furnished Room’ by Laura Del-Rivo from 1963 was made into a film in the same year and renamed ‘West 11’ and starring Alfred Lynch, Eric Portman and Diana Dors. To read more about Laura Del-Rivo (13/02/1934 to 30/03/2019) and her life click HERE PAN also published her book ‘Animals’ in 1967

Alan Samuel Lyle-Smythe MBE, M.C. (09/11/1914 – 01/10/2006) who wrote under the name Alan Caillou, was an English-born author, actor, screenwriter, soldier, policeman and professional hunter. PAN published his book X217 Rampage’ in 1963 to tie-in with the film of the same name starring Robert Mitchum, Jack Hawkins and Elsa Martinelli. PAN also published his X205 ‘The Walls of Jolo’ in 1962

I wonder if Tony Whitehorn wrote the cover blurbs?

‘Colditz’, The PAN Harlequin Chocolates connection and Face Masks!

Having mentioned obtaining a signed copy of Pat Reid’s ‘The Colditz Story’ it made me decide to put together a page with all the early PAN titles with a Colditz connection although I actually though I was going to find  more that just the four. As well as the one page I’ve also updated all their individual pages. The artists for two are easy to spot, namely F V M who was Francis Marshall who did so many Cartland covers and Sax (Rudolph Michael Sachs) I don’t have an artist for the Eggers cover. I have included pages from the relevant PAN Record magazines and some ‘Escape From Colditz’ merchandise including the board game devised by Pat Reid. These were banned in Germany as they showed the swastika hence the artwork being changed on later editions.

I’d forgotten I had a couple of paintings by Paul Davis, who did 12 Leslie Thomas covers for PAN plus a couple of others, that he did as advertising for Terry’s Harlequin chocolates hence the spurious connection. I also found an advertisement for Terry’s on YouTube so if you have 32 seconds to spare click HERE.

I have only just found these face masks which are not really PAN but included because of the same name from back in 2014 when we went to Croatia and I rounded up several PAN beer items. Since then Tomi has been sending me other PAN branded items such as playing cards, a T shirt and these face masks. Hopefully I won’t need them anytime soon.

FOOTNOTE I’m always pleased to find I get around 1,500 visitors a week but last week it went up to nearly 6,000. Now left wondering why and can I get there again?  The best week was back in 2017 when I got to 74,000 after a mention in The Bookseller magazine. Happy to receive any requests for items to include in these blogs such as covers of specific authors or featuring a particular artist etc that you would like to see.

James Bond Times Two and “Wingless Victory”

Simon Francis posted several photos of the James Bond material in his collection on Facebook and a couple caught my eye. Included was the advert above, which I have, but also the counter display below so if anyone has one to spare …….. or for that matter any other PAN advertising material they don’t want then please email me.

David Reinhardt, who is lucky enough to have a Golden PAN Award, posted more pictures of it on Facebook this week and although two are from the usual angle it’s interesting to see one of the back — no I’m not going to say his backside! If anyone has a Golden PAN Award they don’t want ………!

For a while my A3 Printer/Scanner has been playing up, well the printer part, and the only answer seemed to be a new print head which was more expensive than a new printer. I thought of keeping it just for the scanner but it was really too big to justify the space for something than only half worked. I bit the bullet and bought a new one but as luck would have it my old scanning software wouldn’t work with it so I’ve spent the last week trying to get a substitute and eventually resorted back to VueScan. To give it a good test I’ve taken the four PAN editions of ‘Wingless Victory’ by Anthony Thomas Stewart Currie Richardson (1899 to 1994) and included them with three of the original artworks. I advertised the old printer on Facebook and it went within an hour, did they know something I didn’t?

Hever Castle, A Spanish ‘Chitty ‘ And A Name Check

Sorry only a couple of things this week as we have been down in Kent stopping with our son and his family and in spite of getting out and about only managed  to pop into one bookshop and came out empty handed. We did get to visit some friends who were stopping in a cottage in the grounds of Hever Castle. It was only £4,550 for the week, click HERE if you want to see what you get for that sort of money!

I came back to find a copy of ‘Chitty Chitty Band Bang’ I bought from Spain ages ago had finally arrived, Unfortunately I can’t find the contract I had before I went to Kent giving details of the agreement with PAN to publish it in Spanish. I have looked through it very carefully and nowhere does it mention PAN or that it is the book of the film by John Burke although all the illustrations are based on the film story and not that of Flemings.

I’ve just been watching the YouTube video where Paul Duncan is reviewing his book on ‘Dr No’ published by Taschen and was pleasantly surprised to get a name check about eight minutes forty five seconds in. Looking forward to the trade edition coming out as the current limited edition is a little too much for me.

Agatha Christie Photo Covers, Disappointing Chitty and ‘N or M’

Having mentioned the Christie website the week before last it prompted me to scan it the later 1970/80s ones with photo covers. Interestingly only one has a photo credit. I make it twenty so far but if anyone has any others please let me know. Just wondering what is the correct way round for the photo of Agatha as she seems to be switched on different covers?

I was disappointed to get a Turkish edition of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ in that it was not what I was expecting, I have the agreement between PAN and Milliyet in Turkey to publish John Burke’s book of the film. With my Turkish being a little weak(!) I didn’t translate it that well. The agreement was with Milliyet Cocuk Gazetesi (Milliyet Children’s Newspaper) while the book was from Milliyet Yaninlari Cocuk Kitaplari Dizisi (Milliyet Publications Children’s Books Series) It appears the book by John Burke was serialised in the magazine while Ian Fleming’s story was the book.

While looking at my Christie titles I noticed something sticking out of my 1960 edition of ‘N or M?‘ It turned out to be a team list for a match Wolverhampton Warriors played against Shrewsbury Town in 1986 but this also got me wondering why PAN felt the need to publish the same title in 1959 and 1960 with different covers? The 1959 has a Glenn Steward cover while 1960 is by Sam Peffer. This usually happens if there is a film tie in but all I can think is something that occurred to me, the dot of the question mark looks like somebody had gone over something with a black marker? 

For any football fans out there here is the team sheet.

‘Free with Mizz’, A PAN Badge and another ‘Penmarric’

‘Mizz’ was a magazine aimed at teenage girls first published in April 1985 by Pannini until 2013 when it ceased publication. In 1985 the magazine  gave away copies of ‘Apple of an Eye’ by Jane Beeson under the PAN Pavanne imprint. All the copies I can find are second printings (including New Zealand) and have ‘Free with Mizz’ on the front. I’m wondering if a first printing had that as well? What I thought was interesting is that it had a page explaining the concept of the Pavanne imprint.

I’m always on the look out for PAN related bits and pieces so I was pleased to get this badge which might become appropriate at some time – fingers crossed. Still investigating the artist (Quentin Blake?) and date.

Spent a few days travelling around Warwickshire last week but returned with only one book from the secondhand bookshop at NT Baddesley Clinton, a later copy of the 1972 million selling ‘Penmarric’ by Susan Howatch. It uses the first edition artwork but it is made into a vignette but I’m still wondering why and who the cover artist might be? Baddesley Clinton has been selling secondhand books for nearly sixteen years and they reckon they have raised over £923,000 which will be increased by their ever popular Bookfair for three weeks this summer.

We also popped into NT Packwood House which has opened a secondhand bookshop called ‘Sundials’ last year and has quite a bit of stock but mostly too new but we will keep revisiting as it is not that far away.

Leslie Thomas, a ‘Poirot’ Mystery and Llandudno.

This weeks look at all the different editions of one particular million selling title is ‘The Virgin Soldiers’ by Leslie Thomas first published by PAN in 1967 as M191. For those that might not know the ‘M’ referred to the price which was 5/- (G was 2/6, X was 3/6 etc) I recently picked up a Canadian edition overprinted 75c on the cover and signed by Thomas.

Fellow PAN Fan Jeremy Birch, in one of his regular letters, sent me this small piece of card he found in his 1962 edition of ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ He wanted to know if I could throw any light on it but it was also a ‘mystery’ to me! I contacted David Morris at the ‘Collecting Christe’ website where he writes extremely well researched in depth articles on all things published relating to Christie including a recent one on PANs (thanks for the website mention) but he drew a blank. Anyone any idea or just something from someone’s imagination?

While having a day out in Llandudno, transported on friend Kevin’s vintage double decker bus, I popped into the flea market in the town hall not expecting to find anything but came out with two instructional PANs. Since then I have been trying them out although rather unsuccessfully but they do illustrate the range of titles PAN has published over the years. The first is ‘Creative Poker’ from 1985 (unread) and the second ‘The Complete Magician’ from 1976 (well read) The weather in Llandudno was very pleasant and as can be seen in my photo the seats were just a stones throw from the beach.