Noir: On the Prowl

One intriguing pic Nathaniel Mills sent along from his trip to Malta, he noticed later,  “unintentionally captured this Maltese blonde, there on the bench, checking me out as I walked by.

“Did she think I was handsome or was she hired to tail me by someone who thought my store-bought falcon might’ve been the real thing?”

The shot instantly recalled for me some of those Paperback Original covers of the 1950s and early 60s, Gold Medal and company, something that could have served as the top wraps for a novel by Charles Willeford — or more likely, one of the many books by the prolific sleaze merchant Orrie Hitt.

Sure, the cover painting — by Bob McGinnis or another pro — would have softened details with quick brushstrokes, jumped up the color palate a bit, maybe moved the blonde a little closer. . . .

The kind of novel I always think of — courtesy a contemporary blurb for an early Willeford — as a tale of the Male Animal on the Prowl.

Or perhaps in this case, the Female Animal.

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