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January 2019



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Who's Queen?

Daisy Dalrymple and the Reprinting Mystery

I’ve now read the first three Daisy Dalrymple mysteries and enjoyed them very much as light, undemanding reads. As the books are a series which follows Daisy’s progress in love as well as in detection I want to read them in order. Because I’m a fusspot about these things I’ve decided I want a matching set and there comes the problem. Plenty of editions but not the ones I want. The most recent (and eighteenth!) book in the series, Sheer Folly is available from Amazon now but the three books following on from Requiem for a Mezzo have to be pre-ordered.

If a book is scarce and expensive it makes sense to reprint that one before tackling more common books by the same author. If the books are still available, why not print them in order? Luckily for readers (though not for dealers) a number of small publishers have acquired copyrights and reprinted desirable books. I make a distinction between that worthwhile task and what is merely repackaging to find a new market.

Virago and Persephone are too well known now to need any introduction from me. I’ve been glad to buy new editions of hard to find books from: Girls Gone By and Fidra Books . The Bloomsbury Group has attractive reprints of some lovely books like Henrietta’s War which deserve a wider audience. Elizabeth Sharman of Longwater Books is reprinting Pamela Brown’s Blue Door series. Some very rare adult titles by Noel Streatfeild and other authors better known for their children’s books are available from Shirley Neilson of The Old Children’s Bookshop in Edinburgh under the Greyladies imprint.

Established publishers like Penguin seem to be for ever repackaging the books on their list; I remain fond of the original orange and green covers. Arrow Books have given a classy, period look to their reissues of books by Georgette Heyer and Dornford Yates. I really dislike the pink and glittery (even though I like pink!) attempts to disguise Jane Austen as chicklit and find new readers for the Malory Towers books.

More about covers here and here.
What do you think?

Does it matter to you if series books are in a matching edition?


Have you ever bought a reprint from a new publisher?


Old books with new covers which you like?

Old books with new covers you dislike?


rosathome, ISTR you mentioning the Heyer covers. I was referring to the mysteries rather than the romances.
Oh, yes, I like the mystery covers too, actually. I think they really do give a good sense of the period and tone of the books.
I purchased the entire set of Flashman papers at the same time so as I would have all the covers matching, and they were at the time, splendid covers. Then one more book was published and even though it was similar to the others, the spine was entirely different and ruined the look of the set on the shelf. It still irks me each time I glance over.
I know the feeling. Later editions of Georgette Heyer's books were taller than earlier ones so they don't fit on the same shelf. Grr.
That would annoy me too! I'm very obsessive compulsive about my books and once put them all in colour order .. if I saw even a colour out of place I would fret and obsess until it was changed!
Keep meaning to say if you've not read and would like to borrow Damsel in Distress, I've found an old copy.