Cory's first novels came out in hard-back
during the early 1950s. Over a 30 year period,
Cory's novels were seldom out of print, with
many being re-published both in Britain and
the USA under different titles.
The first British hardbacks featured some
attractive cover designs very much of their
time. The 1950s covers had painted artwork
that continued into the 1960s, but by this
time the simpler graphic illustrations were
becoming more popular.
During the 70s
and 80s photographic covers took over. In
the 1990s Cory's US publishers returned to
the more attractive hand-painted designs that
featured the superb art of Paul Cozzolino.
early success with his serial character
Johnny Fedora, Desmond Cory wrote several
more assignments for this fictional British
secret agent. Throughout the 50s they were
published mostly by Frederick Muller Ltd.,
London with some terrific covers.
the mid-1950s Cory's novels were also
being published in paperback by World
Distribution Ltd in Manchester. "Height
of Day" was the first, a Fedora
novel Cory stated he wrote in just a
number of days. For this reason, it
was not Cory's favorite novel, but the
public continued to buy them. In 1955
five Cory novels were published in either
paperback or hardback. Cory even wrote
under another nome-de-plume (Theo Callas),
and saw his novels converted into BBC
Cory's popularity grew futher in the
years that followed. In 1957, six novels
published in one year alone, and in
1958 , Maclean Rogers directed the film
"The Mark of the Phoenix "
, based on Cory's novel "The Phoenix
the early 1960s, US publishers also
began to print Desmond Cory's newer
novels. "Pilgrim on the Island"
was the first (by Walker & Company,
New York), followed by "Undertow".
This was at a time when Cory was already
widening the scope of his work, with
"Jones on the Belgrade Express
" (his 2nd novel for children),
and "Stranglehold", which
introduced Cory's new off-beat hero
- Mr. Dee.
mid-sixties marked a defining moment
for Cory's work. While his publishers
pressed him for more Fedora novels (with
which he obliged), the author was already
tiring of the character, and wrote "Deadfall",
a pschological thriller totally different
from his previous material. Published
both in Britain and the USA in 1965
as a hard-back, the American version
(by Walker & Company, New York)
is to many the more attractive design.
It's marvellous design by Roberta Kimmel,
consists of a silver jacket with a black
cat. Inside, the book is of a high quality
blue cloth with silver slanting lettering.
The novel was to prove to be Desmond
Cory's most successful, being made into
a Twentieth Century Fox movie with Michael
During the late
60s, the demand for Cory's British espionage
novels continued in the USA as in Britain.
Award Books, New York, republished most
of the Johnny Fedora novels, most under
new titles. For some strange reason,
only " Johnnny Goes West"
kept it original title, while others
received more dubious titles (in vogue
with the time) such as " The Nazi
Assasins", " The Swastika
Hunt", and "the Gestapo Files".
|| Click here to continue: Part 2 (1970s-2010s)