Let's see.... I reviewed Alex Grecian's latest Murder Squad mystery yesterday. I'm doing a US/UK Cover-Off of the book today, and tomorrow Denis and I will be heading to The Poisoned Pen to see him in person. I guess you could say that this is Alex Grecian Week!
Before we actually get right down to it, I have to tell you that I'm looking forward to seeing Alex's shoes. The first time I saw him, his shoes had lots of bright neon green. Last year he wore his Union Jack shoes. I can't wait to see what he has in store for us this time!
Okay, time to take a look at these covers....
The US cover is a bit depressing, isn't it? Gray, gray, gray. Gloomy skies, fog, one lone figure who's probably wondering what the deal is with all those chairs just like I am. No real blurbs. Just the title, author's name, and information telling us that this is a Murder Squad book and that Grecian is a bestselling author. I like the fonts used, and the spacing, but... there's really nothing there to grab me. How about you?
On the other hand, I like the use of color on the UK cover. There's a lot of red on that cover, which is appropriate since these books can sometimes get a bit bloody-- especially with Jack the Ripper as a character in the last two. But even with all that use of red, the cover still strongly implies darkness. I really like the fact that a man in Victorian clothing has walked through a dark tunnel and is coming out into the light. This is very symbolic of Walter Day's progress throughout the book.
Title, author's name, "bestselling author," and four-- count 'em--four blurbs. You're probably expecting me to be frothing at the mouth because I've made no secret of my loathing of blurbs. But guess what? They don't bother me on this cover. Yes, it's true that I wish they weren't there. I don't know if it's because the blurbs are short, well balanced on either side of the tunnel, and actually give the prospective buyer genuine clues about the book, but I don't find them as obnoxious as I usually do. What do you think about them?
Now... which one is my choice? I think it's rather easy to deduce that I prefer the UK cover. It's just plain more eye-catching. Walking down that bookstore aisle, I'd go right past the depressing gray US cover (unless I did happen to see Grecian's name) and find myself picking up the UK edition.
What about you? Which cover do you prefer? US? UK? Neither one? Too close to call? Inquiring minds would love to know!