“In 1948 Vital Publications put out four Nick Carter novels as Vital Books, the link being that Vital Publications also issued Tom J. Hopkins’ Open Land Renegades as a Western Thriller digest, which has the telltale “An Atlas Western” all over the rear cover.”
“Bard Books, published by Bard Publishing, released Dead Giveaway by Dorothy Wheelock in 1944. That’s their only book, although oddly a Bard Publishing published two books under the Atlas Mystery imprint in 1944 and 1945.”
“My criteria are subjective, obviously. I only include fiction; anthologies and collections count alongside novels, but nonfiction is out . . . . To be included, publishers had to be legitimate companies devoted to putting out the work of others . . . . Trying to settle on a definitionof a “digest” was surprisingly difficult . . . . I do not include chapbooks . . . . This [series] is my attempt to merge all my research into a single source listing.”
Steve proceeds in alphabetical order.
“Amazing Stories Science Fiction Novel is about as awkward an appellation as publishers’ lines ever get. Fortunately, its sole book was the 1957 movie tie-in 20 Million Miles to Earth by Henry Slesar. This is a prime collectible because of its rarity and the gigantic space lizard from Venus on its cover.”
Per the criteria, not a true One-and-Done as it was published by giant Ziff-Davis, but nevertheless a fascinating one-shot.
Life magazine’s October 27, 1941 profile of Bob Hope: “His most pretentious work, They Got Me Covered, a riotous autobiography, is in the tradition of Josh Billings, Bill Nye and Petroleum V. Nasby, and he is showing signs of developing into a cracker-barrel philosopher.”
An excerpt from Steve Carper’s article for The Digest Enthusiast book six:
“Quick. What’s the bestselling digest paperback of all time? Here are some hints. It appeared in 1941. It was self-published. It sold four million copies. And you’ve probably never heard of it.
“If none of those things seem at all probable, here’s the wholly improbable story of Bob Hope’s They Got Me Covered.”
A sample of the quips inside:
“I grew up with six brothers. That’s how I learned to dance—waiting for the bathroom.”
“I get letters written in all languages: French, Spanish and unmentionable.”
“You know what a fan letter is—it’s just an inky raspberry.”
Steve Carper’s website <FlyingCarsandFoodPills.com>, a history of the Future as seen through 19th and 20th century eyes, led to a book in progress, the first comprehensive history of robots in popular culture. That led to a semi-regular column about robots on <BlackGate.com>. His digest novel collection has passed the 1000 milestone.
Although not labeled officially with the “Ellery Queen Selects” banner, Bestseller Mystery B128 follows the series’ formula: a short story collection edited by Queen, with his introduction. It’s also the last of the series.
Bestseller Mystery, B128, Nov. 1, 1950
“The Monkey Murder and other Hildegarde Withers Stories” by Stuart Palmer
“The Monkey Murder,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Jan.1947
“The Purple Postcards,” The Detroit Free Press, July 2, 1939 as “The Riddle of the Purple Postcards” with slight differences in text
“Miss Withers and the Unicorn,” Aug. 3, 1941*
“The Riddle of the Double Negative,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, March 1947
“The Long Worm,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Oct.1947
“The Hungry Hippo,” 1943**
“Tomorrow’s Murder,” The Detroit Free Press, June 2, 1940 as “Riddle of the Beggar on Horseback” with slight differences in text.
“Fingerprints Don’t Lie,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Nov. 1947
* date of copyright registration: no findable publication previous to this volume.
** 1943 is copyright date given in the book; earliest findable publication: The Australian Women’s Weekly, Feb. 19, 1944. The text has numerous differences.
Although not labeled officially with the “Ellery Queen Selects” banner, Bestseller Mystery B94 follows the series’ formula: a short story collection edited by Queen, with his introduction.
Bestseller Mystery B94, Jan. 30, 1948
“Cops and Robbers” by O. Henry
“After Twenty Years” (The Four Million, New York Sunday World Magazine, Feb. 14, 1904)
“The Clarion Call” (The Voice of the City)
“A Municipal Report” (Strictly Business, Hampton’s Magazine, Nov. 1909)
“The Dissipated Jeweler” (O. Henry Encore, Houston Post, 1896)
“The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes,” (Sixes and Seven, New York Sunday World Magazine, Feb. 7, 1904)
“The Cop and the Anthem” (The Four Million, New York Sunday World Magazine, Dec. 4, 1904)
“Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet” (The Gentle Grafter)
“The Random of Red Chief” (Whirligigs, The Saturday Evening Post, July 6, 1907)
“A Retrieved Reformation” (Roads of Destiny, Cosmopolitan, April 1903)
“Babes in the Jungle” (Strictly Business)
“A Double-Dyed Deceiver” (Roads of Destiny, Everybody’s Magazine, Dec. 1905)
“The Caballero’s Way” (Heart of the World, Everybody’s Magazine, July 1907)
“The Marionettes,” (Rolling Stones, The Black Cat, Apr. 1902)
“The Man Higher Up” (The Gentle Grafter)
Although not labeled officially with the “Ellery Queen Selects” banner, Bestseller Mystery B91 follows the series’ formula: a short story collection edited by Queen, with his introduction.
Bestseller Mystery B91, Oct. 14, 1947
“The Department of Dead Ends” by Roy Vickers
“The Rubber Trumpet,” Pearson’s Magazine, Sept. 1934*
“The Case of the Merry Andrew,” Fiction Parade and Golden Book Magazine, July 1936 as “The Cowboy of Oxford Street”
“The Man Who Was Murdered By a Bed,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, March 1946
“Mean Man’s Murder,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Nov. 1945
“Snob’s Murder,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Aug. 1946
“The Case of the Honest Murderer,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, July 1946
“The Man Who Played the Market,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Oct.1946
* Listed on the copyright page as Fiction Parade, 1935, actually the first merged issue of Fiction Parade and Golden Book Magazine, Oct. 1935, reprinted from Pearson’s.
Although not labeled officially with the “Ellery Queen Selects” banner, Mercury Mystery #112 met all the series’ criteria: a short story collection edited by Queen, with his introduction.
Mercury Mystery 112, June 10, 1947
“The Case Book of Mr. Campion” by Margery Allingham
“The Crimson Letters,” The Strand Magazine, Aug. 1938 as “The Case of the Longer View”
“Safe as Houses,” The Strand Magazine, Jan. 1940
“The Case of the Question Mark,” The Strand Magazine, Jan. 1938 as “The Question Mark”
“The Definite Article,” The Strand Magazine, Oct. 1937
“The Magic Hat,” The Strand Magazine, Oct. 1938 as “The Case of the Hat Trick”
“The Meaning of the Act,” The Strand Magazine, Sept. 1939
“A Matter of Form,” The Strand Magazine, May 1940