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

‘The PAN Book of Card Games’, ‘Superior Women’ and a Jack Higgins

‘The PAN Book of Card Games’ must hold the record for the use of the same artwork for so many editions over 35+ years. The original artworld is by Glenn Steward and I’m pleased to say I have it in my collection. It has been on a page for a while, but I have updated and added to it. It now includes not just PAN books by Hubert Phillips, but just to show I do acknowledge other publishers, some earlier Phillips titles. I was disappointed with the Russian version as I was hoping it might use the same artwork but not the case. Hubert Phillips (13/12/1891 – 09/01/1964) was a British economist, journalist, broadcaster, bridge player and organiser, composer of puzzles and quizzes, and the author of some 70 books.

I picked up a copy of Superior Women’ by Alice Adams and was pleasantly surprised to see the cover was by Kayes Hodges as I didn’t think she had painted any for PAN as PAN, just a few for the PAN Horizons’ series. I also found a hardback copy of this title and wondered if Kaye had seen it before she painted hers as it was published the year before? Looks like I be sending her an email shortly. It’s interesting to see the similarity in the figures and, without reading the book, try and work our which is which from the descriptions on the back of the PAN edition.

A while back I mentioned spotting a copy of ‘Confessional’ by Jack Higgins on an Indian website with a cover I had not seen before. Looking through my book for 1986 forthcoming titles I saw they had used a similar image. Now I am left wondering if there was a UK version or if it was just for overseas? Click on the photo to see the advertisement.

‘Jules and Me’ the video, ‘Queen of Crime’ and Hans Helweg

Having mentioned that Jules Burt had popped up to visit and film the collection I was expecting at least a few weeks before anything was published so I was pleasantly surprised to be given a link last week to the first of several videos. So, as Jules would say ‘Sit back, relax and let’s get to it’ -Click on the photo to see the first one, a general overview of the collection. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I see Val McDermid and PAN stalwart Agatha Christie have almost come to blows with Christie’s estate telling McDermid to ‘cease and desist’ from using the name ‘Queen of Crime’ as the estate have trademarked it. I’m reminded of Harry Hill who always used to say, “There’s only one way to find out, FIGHT!” I have noticed other authors such as Martina Cole being given this epithet; are they being warned as well?

Always on the lookout for anything Hans Helweg related to add to his pages and this time it was a reference in an edition of ‘The Puffin Post’ Click HERE to see the article where Michael Bond talks about ‘Olga da Polga’

R.I.P Your Majesty, Jules Burt Visit, ‘Still Life’ 3 and ‘Extracts From a Diary’ 2

We were staying in Tewkesbury last Thursday when we heard the sad news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. My wife had an affinity with the Queen as she was born on the Queen’s birthday in the year of the Coronation, and so has Elizabeth as one of her names. PAN published at least one related title M14 ‘How The Queen Reigns’ in 1961.

I was very pleased to welcome Jules Burt for a couple of days last week. He popped up to film my collection and to talk about PAN books which I was more than happy to do. Hopefully the video should appear soon.

Still on the subject of the Bond ‘Still Life’ covers I know I am not alone in wishing there was one for ‘Live and Let Die’ and not the film tie-in. This happens quite often such as the 1980 Nevil Shute George Sharp covers whereA Town Like Alice’ is a TV tie-in. The Bond ‘Still Life’ covers got mentioned on a Facebook page recently and thanks to Ian Stubbs we have a version made by person or persons unknown for ‘Live and Let Die‘. Ian spotted it on another Facebook page and it is a very good attempt which fits in well as a ‘what might have been’ If anyone knows who made it please tell us so we can give credit where credit is due.

My only criticism would be it doesn’t have the PAN logo at the bottom of the spine. 

I recently had a comment regarding Hugh Walpole’s ‘Extracts from a Diary’ from a lady where she says she is looking for a copy and is offering “several thousand dollars” My copy number 3 is not for sale as it belonged to Alan Bott but if anyone else has one please leave a comment if for sale or just to let me know the number. I have once again done a trawl to see if I can locate anymore of the 100 numbered copies and have managed to find number 88 in the Bodleian Library in Oxford and number ?? at the University of York..

Another wanted dustjacket, ‘Still Life’ 2 and a 75th birthday but when?

A while ago I mentioned trying to find the dust jacketed edition of ‘Leviathan’ I had seen on a Facebook post. but so far I have been unsuccessful and now I have to add another to the list. David Hyman posted the results of his book hunt in Kent on a FB group which made me look twice. What caught my eye was ’11 Harrowhouse Street’ by Gerald A Browne was not like my copy. My first thought was for a film tie-in but the cover underneath also mentions the film. My next thought was maybe the cover was a little ‘raunchy’ by PAN standards but now I think it is probably because the film dropped the word ‘street’ from the title as does the book dustjacket.. Although Browne wrote several novels this is the only one PAN published. Thank you to David for sending me photos of the dustjacket.

Having mentioned the ‘Still Life’ series of Bond titles and that I had contacted Peter Tiejen to ask if he knew anything about their background he replied to say “No” but had asked another colleague from that time who replied “I do remember these covers but from memory they weren’t very popular (being photographic) and I believe come from the early 1970’s. The Art Director at that time I think was David Larkin, and he went on to join Ballantine Books in the States. We published some of their large Art books – Magritte, Escher etc…” Unfortunately David died in 2020 so we can’t ask if he knew anything but Derek Askem was the studio photographer at the time and I am trying to track him down. I think he has/had a photographic studio but no reply to emails so far. Derek Askem is top right in this photo and Peter Tiejem is bottom left.

By PANs reckoning, following on from the 70th they celebrated in 2017, this year should be the 75th birthday of PAN Books but is it? The date of ‘Ten Stories’ by Rudyard Kipling numbered 1 was first published in June 1947 but if we were to go by the dates of earlier unnumbered titles then it could have been in either July 1946 or 1945 but PAN Books was actually incorporated on the 1st September 1944 so take your pick! I’m going with 1st September 1944 so Happy 78th Birthday PAN.