Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I Have G.M.Malliet Covered!

My comparison of U.S. and U.K. crime fiction book covers took a bit of a rest over the holidays, so I thought it was more than time to start going again.

This time I used one of my tried and true methods for choosing which title to spotlight: taking a good look at my expansive to-be-read shelves and choosing an author I've ignored for too long. I consider it a gentle nudge to my memory.

The author who caught my eye first was G.M. Malliet since I have books from both her St. Just series and her Max Tudor series to read.

Let's take a look at those covers, shall we? 


Quite a difference in style, eh? 

The US Cover...

I absolutely love the artwork on the US cover. Fabulous river, bridge, village, flowers.... It doesn't hurt that blue is my favorite color either. But then they go and muck it all up. I can't figure out why they had to put that blurb at the top because most of what it says is strongly implied by the art that is used. Maybe they owed Stasio something. Me? I'd get my money's worth out of the art instead. Get rid of the blurb and move the title up so it's not leaning on the church tower and trees.

"My money's worth" would also include getting rid of the coral-colored banner at the bottom. That banner is an eyesore! Doesn't the artwork extend all the way to the bottom? If it does, I'm sure it's not all that difficult to put the series identifier, author's name, and previous book in a color and font that will show up against it. While I'm being grumpy, I'd rip the award badge off the cover, too, but that comes in a distant third to the blurb and the coral banner.

Grump, grump, grump....

The UK Cover...

I find that I can't warm up to the cartoon-like artwork that is used in a lot of UK traditional (AKA cozy) mysteries. It's as though I'm being told not to take this book too seriously. Or am I still being a grouch?   

There's an abbey in the background, birds are singing, flowers are in riotous bloom... and there's a man being pulled along by a dog, and that human's got a rude surprise in store for him when they get to the well. Hopefully, he ate his Wheaties before going walkies because I doubt it's going to be easy pulling the body out of the well. 

As much as I don't care for the artwork, the entire cover is coherent and finished. Not covered in distractions.

The Verdict...

I am passionately in love with the artwork on the US cover, so it breaks my heart to say that I am going to choose the UK coverIt's clean. It's simple. It's appealing. And it certainly doesn't ruin a beautiful piece of art with garish colors and other distractions!

What Say All of You?

Which cover do you prefer? US? UK? Too close to call? Inquiring minds would love to know!



  1. Is this a comedy? A light romp through murder? That's what the British cover conveys.

    I also like the U.S. cover -- minus the salmon section at the bottom. That does not mesh with the artwork above. I don't mind the quote at the top, but I do mind that bottom section and I don't think all those words are needed either.
    The design would have been more attractive if the water and greenery had gone to the bottom of the cover. And just put the author's name in with a nice curvy font.

    The British cover is nice and catchy, but does it go well with the book's contents? As I said above, it looks like the story within is a comedy.

    1. There's nothing really overtly funny in the artwork to me, which is its saving grace.

  2. I'll jump on the US side. I just like that artwork so much more. And yes, the colors at the bottom do clash. Still...

    1. That's okay. I think this was my Oscar the Grouch post, and we Oscars are used to being outvoted. ;-)

  3. I have to say, I'm drawn to the US cover....can't help it, it just pulls me in...

    1. Can see yourself walking across that bridge, eh?

  4. I usually like UK covers much better, but in this case I think the US one is better.

    1. That artwork *is* marvelous. Thankfully, I just received an email from another reader, and she is my sole support (so far) of preferring the UK cover! LOL


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