Yes, that’s a tarantula crawling on that black orchid.
Black Orchids, 1942, Rex Stout. (Ninth book in the Nero Wolfe series.)
Jove edition, 1979, $1.75. 

Yes, that’s a tarantula crawling on that black orchid.

Black Orchids, 1942, Rex Stout. (Ninth book in the Nero Wolfe series.)

Jove edition, 1979, $1.75. 

Was obsessed with this image of Nero Wolfe as a kid. It was found on the back cover of the late-70s, mid-80s Bantam paperback editions. Kept staring at it, thinking I could glean more from it from than the orchid, the crustacean, the sudsy beer, the tankard…
Wolfe’s character certainly embodied the idea of the armchair detective. I was always fascinated by an article in The Baker Street Journal that suggested Wolfe was Sherlock Holmes’s son, the son of—who else?—Irene Adler. I read the article in the mid-80s, but it may have been a reprint of the 1956 article referenced in this Wiki article:

In 1956, John D. Clark theorized in an article in the Baker Street Journal that Wolfe was the offspring of an affair between Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler (a character from “A Scandal in Bohemia”). Clark suggested that the two had had an affair in Montenegro in 1892, and that Nero Wolfe was the result. The idea was later co-opted by William S. Baring-Gould and implied in the novels of Nicholas Meyer, but there is no evidence that Rex Stout had any such connection in mind. Certainly there is no mention of it in any of the stories, although a painting of Sherlock Holmes does hang over Archie Goodwin’s desk in Nero Wolfe’s office. This suggests that in the Nero Wolfe universe, Sherlock Holmes is a real person, not a fictional one. Some commentators, noting both physical and psychological resemblances, suggest Sherlock’s brother Mycroft Holmes as a more likely father for Wolfe. Commentators have noted a coincidence in the names “Sherlock Holmes” and “Nero Wolfe”: the same vowels appear in the same order. In 1957 Ellery Queen called this “The Great O-E Theory” and suggested that it derived from the father of mysteries, Edgar Allan Poe.[8]

Was obsessed with this image of Nero Wolfe as a kid. It was found on the back cover of the late-70s, mid-80s Bantam paperback editions. Kept staring at it, thinking I could glean more from it from than the orchid, the crustacean, the sudsy beer, the tankard…

Wolfe’s character certainly embodied the idea of the armchair detective. I was always fascinated by an article in The Baker Street Journal that suggested Wolfe was Sherlock Holmes’s son, the son of—who else?—Irene Adler. I read the article in the mid-80s, but it may have been a reprint of the 1956 article referenced in this Wiki article:

In 1956, John D. Clark theorized in an article in the Baker Street Journal that Wolfe was the offspring of an affair between Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler (a character from “A Scandal in Bohemia”). Clark suggested that the two had had an affair in Montenegro in 1892, and that Nero Wolfe was the result. The idea was later co-opted by William S. Baring-Gould and implied in the novels of Nicholas Meyer, but there is no evidence that Rex Stout had any such connection in mind. Certainly there is no mention of it in any of the stories, although a painting of Sherlock Holmes does hang over Archie Goodwin’s desk in Nero Wolfe’s office. This suggests that in the Nero Wolfe universe, Sherlock Holmes is a real person, not a fictional one. Some commentators, noting both physical and psychological resemblances, suggest Sherlock’s brother Mycroft Holmes as a more likely father for Wolfe. Commentators have noted a coincidence in the names “Sherlock Holmes” and “Nero Wolfe”: the same vowels appear in the same order. In 1957 Ellery Queen called this “The Great O-E Theory” and suggested that it derived from the father of mysteries, Edgar Allan Poe.[8]

The first six Nero Wolfe titles, running from 1934 (Fer-de-lance) to 1939 (Some Buried Caesar).

Various paperback editions, various publishers.

One of these titles cost only 60 cents when published. Delicious.

And look! Moriarty is sporting a mean set of shades.

And look! Moriarty is sporting a mean set of shades.

Six-volume Ballantine paperback set of Sherlock Holmes stories, 1975. ($1.25 each; original boxed set price unknown.)

Featured essays by mystery writers of the day.

This is the set I had as a kid. I love the cover art—and the titles.

You can still buy them used online. See link.

Would you look at the crazy art!
Here’s the entire boxed set of the 1970s-era Ballantine editions of Sherlock Holmes with the intros by various writers, including, of all people Ed McBain and PG Wodehouse. Notice that the publishers omitted a few of the later volumes (Casebook, Reminiscences/His Last Bow, Valley of Fear).
Via Shelterhouse Books, a Vermont bookstore.

Would you look at the crazy art!

Here’s the entire boxed set of the 1970s-era Ballantine editions of Sherlock Holmes with the intros by various writers, including, of all people Ed McBain and PG Wodehouse. Notice that the publishers omitted a few of the later volumes (Casebook, Reminiscences/His Last Bow, Valley of Fear).

Via Shelterhouse Books, a Vermont bookstore.

The “modern” version.

The “modern” version.

Two of Arthur Conan Doyle’s creations—Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger—come together to battle aliens in this retelling of H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds.
The brainchild of father-and-son writing team of Manly W. Wellman and Wade Wellman.
I read the Warner Books edition, $1.25, back in 1975. All I can remember was how shocked I was that Holmes had a romantic relationship with a young, supple, widowed Mrs. Hudson. I was 11.
A modern Titan Books edition is part of their Further Adventures series. The source link takes you to Amazon’s search for both books. (I can’t find a decent image of the latter but will post what I have shortly.)
Holmes making out. Holmes don’t do dat.

Two of Arthur Conan Doyle’s creations—Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger—come together to battle aliens in this retelling of H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds.

The brainchild of father-and-son writing team of Manly W. Wellman and Wade Wellman.

I read the Warner Books edition, $1.25, back in 1975. All I can remember was how shocked I was that Holmes had a romantic relationship with a young, supple, widowed Mrs. Hudson. I was 11.

A modern Titan Books edition is part of their Further Adventures series. The source link takes you to Amazon’s search for both books. (I can’t find a decent image of the latter but will post what I have shortly.)

Holmes making out. Holmes don’t do dat.

I’ve always felt the movies didn’t do right by Ross Macdonald. Paul Newman did two turns as Macdonald’s PI, but they changed his name to Harper. Which is weird.

I love this set of old Bantam editions from the late 80s for the art. Each image has a compelling style and slightly offbeat perspective. I just wish they were bigger. My favorite is the cover of ZEBRA-STRIPED HEARSE; love the coat floating off the cliff.

I watched an old PBS documentary once on Macdonald (real name: Kenneth Millar). They had some B-roll of him sitting in a chair with a board over his lap, writing the synopsis of his next book in a composition notebook and then reading it to a camera. Made it seem so simple. It’s not; his plots are so dense.

Tomorrow: The OTHER Sherlock Holmes…

Look how cute! Paperbacks under $5!

Ross Macdonald’s 6th, 7th, and 8th Lew Archer books: The Barbarous Coast (1956), The Doomsters (1958), The Galton Case (1959).

The Ferguson Affair (1960) did not feature PI Lew Archer.

All Warner Books editions, late 1980s/early 1990s.