Books: The Editors Like
THE BEACH HOUSE by Stephen Longstreet. (Holt, $3.50.) A tart, jittery story of movie making, which shows Mike Zelsmlth, a once brilliant producer, hitting the skids in a final flurry of woman trouble, money trouble, and cinematic disaster.
MORM1NG STAR by James Lansdale Hodson. (Simon and Schuster, $3.50.) Mr. Hudson has constructed a frequently witty novel about an English editor’s fight to save his paper from absorption by a syndicate. The robber baron of the syndicate is a refreshing rogue.
WISE BLOOD by Flannery O’Connor. (Harcourt, Brace, $3.00.) The writing in this first novel is austere and lucid; the story can be read as a nightmare about a. militant atheist or as a fable about all man’s troubles.
HARPOON VENTURE by Gavin Maxwell. (Viking, $4.75.) The basking shark is valuable for the oil in his liver. Mr. Maxwell hunted him, largely by trial and error, off Sony in the Hebrides. As a business, shark hunting never paid. As adventure, it’s fine stuff, helped by good writing and the author’s infectious love of the sea and the beautiful, lonely islands,
MONSOON SEAS by Alan Villiers. (McGraw-Hill, $4.75.) A veteran sailor, Mr. Villiers peppers his survey of practically everything about the Indian Ocean with opinions on Egyptian navigation, lateen sails, and the probity of Sinbad the Sailor. It’s a book to delight anyone who ever dreamed of spice islands and ships under sail.
ACROSS TO NORWAY by David Howarth. (Sloane, $3.75.) During the war, arms were run from the Shetlands to the Norwegian resistance by small fishing boats, whose Norse crews carried out their risky work in the long winter dark and across the vicious waters of the North Sea. The author calls the business a saga, which it truly Was.
Murder and Mayhem
THE KEY TO NICHOLAS STREET by Stanley Ellin. (Simon and Schuster, $2.50.) Five narrators tell what they know of death on the best street of a proper small town. A really extraordinary mystery, short, sharp, flawlessly constructed, iu which all the people ring so true that one is likely to forget the puzzle altogether in watching their world fall apart on a quiet Sunday morning.
DEATH AND LITTLE BROTHER by Clifford Knight. (Dutton, $4.50.) The newspaperman who outslcuths the police is a reasonable and even likable character here, unraveling a couple of ingrown family murders at Lake Tahoe.
THE IVORY GRIN by John Ross Macdonald. (Knopf, $4.50,) This one belongs to the tough school and piles up a fair mountain of corpses, what with throat cutting, shooting, and torch murder.
THE DARKENING DOOR by Bill S. Ballinger. (Harper, $2.50,) Mr. Ballinger’s book is a Straight story about the ramifications of the dope racket, a misty, arbitrary, atmospheric yarn which ultimately works up a fine cauld grue.