Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I've Got Deborah Crombie Covered!


Oh oh. The novice book cover commenter is back with another book to analyze!

An Anglophile before the age of ten, I've read a lot of fiction (and non-fiction) published in the UK. Back in the 1980s I even ordered books to be shipped to me from Waterstone's (before they lost their apostrophe). One of the thrills of opening the mailbox was seeing that huge catalog from them, and now I've had the pleasure of stepping foot in their stores in Cambridge and Durham to do a little browsing and buying in person.

But it can be dangerous to be hooked on books published in the UK. What if the books are also published on this side of the pond? Chances are, the same book will have two different covers. Since I've finally broken myself of the habit of buying duplicate books, I've become intrigued in the differences between US and UK book covers. 

This is the fourth week I've been comparing covers with the help of all of you. There have been two British authors and one American, so this week I thought I'd bring in another American to even the score. I know several of you are Deborah Crombie fans, too. Let's take a look at one of her Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James novels, Leave the Grave Green. (And if you have the tendency to call the book "Leave the Grass Green," you're in good company. Not only do I call it-- and type it-- that, but so do Poisoned Pen bookstore owner Barbara Peters and Deborah Crombie herself!)

Now that I've corrected the book title in that last paragraph, let's get to those covers!




I like how Deborah's name is at the top on both editions. That's a sign of a bestselling author. In addition, it would be more than a bit strange with a title like that if both publishers didn't use green in their covers, but other than the color and the use of cemetery imagery, there's quite a bit of difference between the two.

Here's where I admit-- right off the bat-- that I've never cared for the US covers with that ripped-out bit in the middle. I just can't figure out its significance, can you? I do like the glimpse of the old cemetery, and Crombie's name as well as the book title pop on the black background, but the US cover just doesn't do much for me.

On the other hand, I really like the UK cover. You can't see much of the cemetery, but those elaborate wrought iron gates, the shadowy shrubbery and trees, and the eery green cast to the sky make me want to walk through and see what's on the other side. Or rather, open the book and start reading.

So this week, my vote is for the UK cover. How about you? Is the UK cover too busy for you? Do you prefer the relative simplicity of the US cover? I'd love to have your opinion!



10 comments:

  1. I'm with you on the UK cover. I like it, the color, the fonts, the design and the fact that her name is in black.

    I also don't understand the ripped-out scene in the U.S. cover. It looks weird. It is not attractive. Also, I don't like Crombie's name in green on the black background.

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    1. I think it pops. You think it plops. (Green name on black background.) I love seeing how different eyes perceive the same objects!

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  2. I agree with you, Cathy. The UK cover is the better one for a number of reasons. It just feels like a better match to the story.

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    1. Yes, it is a better match to the story.

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  3. I don't like the US cover either. The first time I saw it, I couldn't even figure out for a bit what it was supposed to represent in that torn-out section. Obviously now I see it's graves. I also don't like the way that the word 'green' is so much bigger. I'm for UK cover all the way. Although I will say that it makes me think of a ghost story with those large gates and graveyard. And I also have a hard time with the title. One thinks of 'green grass' naturally, not 'green graves'. LOL

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    1. Not everyone has had my childhood-- following two intrepid genealogists to forgotten little country cemeteries to read and list all the tombstone inscriptions. I like the phrase "green graves" even though I have a tendency to say grass! LOL

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  4. I like the UK cover much better than the US cover. It has a mysterious atmospheric feel to it. Ah, that open gate does draw one in. It is beckoning one to enter. I wonder if it would be the same as the sleuth going down into the basement while the reader says 'No, stop!" .

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    1. It speaks to your imagination just as it does to mine, Lynn!

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  5. There's nothing about the US cover that I like so the UK cover wins by default.

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    1. It sounds as though you really care for neither, Debbie.

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