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 www.tikit.net or www.panfans.club

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  www.tikit.net or www.panfans.club

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 susanth107@aol.com.


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.