Thursday, 10 April 2014

Venus Books !

Now it's time for a little look into the Venus Book story from start number # 101 through to the final edition #198. Plenty of saucy titles, great art and some top writers can be found among this very long running book company !

Published by 'Star Guidance' in New York City from 1950 up to1954. The early editions had many pages within the book with B/W photo's (posed by professional models !!!) 

OK here we go, I will break it down into 4 parts and as usual will show you my collection of 41 titles that I own within the long list .

Venus Books.


Venus Books - Colophon

Part 1 .

101 - Girl With No Past - Peggy Gaddis.
Girl With No Past # 101
102 - She Wanted Love - Joan Sherman (Peggy Gaddis)
103 - Mazie-Any Mans Girl - Gerald Foster (James N. Gifford)
Mazie-Any Man's Girl # 103
104 - Beach Party - Peggy Gaddis.
105 - Take My Love - Peggy Gaddis.



106 - Over Night - Norman Bligh (William Arthur Neubauer)
107 - Play-Girl - Norman Bligh (William Arthur Neubauer)
108 - Cutie - Gene Harvey - Gene Harvey.

Play-Girl # 107 art by George Gross

Cutie # 108

109 - Lover Boy - Harmon Bellamy (Herman Irving Bloom)

110 - Hard-Boiled - Harmon Bellamy (Herman Irving Bloom)


Hard-Boiled # 110 - 1950

111 - Pick-Up Alley - Albert L.Quandt
112 - Temptation - Peggy Gaddis.


Pick-Up Alley # 111

Temptation # 112 - Art by George Gross.


113 - Reckless - James Clayford (Peggy Gaddis)

Reckless # 113 - 1951
114 - Carnival Dancer - Gene Harvey
115 - Journey Into Ecstasy - Albert L.Quandt
116 - One Wild Night - Peggy Gaddis.

Carnival Dancer # 114 - 1951

Journey Into Ecstasy # 115 - 1951

One Wild Night # 116 - 1951
117 - Desire Is A Woman - Gene Harvey 
118 - Honey-Broadway Playgirl - Peggy Gaddis.

Honey-Broadway Playgirl # 118
119 - No Time For Marriage - David Charlson.
120 - The Naked Light - Norman Bligh (William Arthur Neubauer)
121 - Girl Of The Slums - Albert L.Quandt.
122 - Pleasure At Midnight - Peggy Gaddis

Girl Of The Slums # 121

Pleasure at Midnight # 122

123 - Emotions Of Fire - Peggy Gaddis 
124 - She Couldn't Be Good - Gene Harvey.
125 - Thrill Me Again - Albert L.Quandt.

She Couldn't Be Good # 124

Emotions Of Fire #123 - Art by Rudy Nappi

Thrill Me Again # 125
Some fantastic books in the list above, Peggy Gaddis being the major writer in the first 25 books with a total of 10 titles ( two using pseudonyms). These early Venus books are mostly first editions so add into the mix some great artwork and sleazy titles and you get some highly collectable and desired books and trust me these will go for top prices ......but they are worth every penny !!

Part 2 

126 - No Time For Sleep - Amos Hatter (James W. Lampp)


No Time For Sleep # 126
127 - Painted Lips - Peggy Gaddis
128 - She Had What It Takes - Kermit Welles.

She Had What It Takes # 128 - Art by Rudy Nappi
Painted Lips # 127 - 1951
129 - Big-Time Girl - Albert L. Quandt.
130 - The Men She Knew - Norman Bligh

The Men She Knew # 130

Big-Time Girl # 129
131 - Tough Doll - Peggy Gaddis


Tough Doll # 131 - Art by Rudy Nappi

132 - Lady With A Past - Amos Hatter (James W. Lampp)
133 - She Tried To Be Good - Florence Stonebraker.


Lady With A Past # 132 - 1951

She Tried To Be Good # 133 - Art by Rudy Nappi

134 - The Doctor's Wife - Arthur Marin
135 - Night Nurse - David Charlson.

A note that at number # 135 (Night Nurse) Venus covers changed to the block color banner as above, they were either yellow, red, blue or green banners right up to # 169. 

136 - Torch Singer - William Arnold.
137 - Lost To Desire - Peggy Gaddis
138 - Reckless - Joan Sherman (Peggy Gaddis)
139 - The Naked Canvas - William Arnold 
140 - Oriental Nights - Florence Stonebraker.
141 - Strip Street - Gene Harvey 
142 - Unfaithful - Peggy Gaddis.
Unfaithful - # 142

Strip Street # 141

143 - Lover's In The Sun - Joan Sherman (Peggy Gaddis)
144 - The Innocent Wanton - Kermit Welles (Manning Lee Stokes)
145 - Frenchie - David Charlson


The Innocent Wanton # 144

Frenchie # 145

146 - Call It Marriage - Gail Jordan (Peggy Gaddis)
147 - Weekend Of Madness - Joan Tucker (Peggy Gaddis)


Weekend Of Madness # 147

148 - Remembered Moment - Norman Bligh (William Arthur Neubauer)
149 - Runaway Lovers - Peggy Gaddis.


Runaway Lovers # 149 - art by Ray Pease

150 - The Affairs Of A Leading Lady - Jane Manning 

Right that is (Part 2) complete and there sure are some right beauties to be found, Peggy Gaddis again was very busy with nine books in total. Some great artwork by Rudy Nappi and some cracking titles to look out for are 'Tough Doll' #131, 'No Time For Sleep' # Amos Hatter & 'She Tried To Be Good' # 133 , right it's on to part 3 !!!

PART 3.

151 - Young Wife - Norman Bligh (William Arthur Neubauer)
152 - Passion Is A Woman - Kate Nickerson (Lulla Adler) 
153 - Sailors Weekend - Whit Harrison (Harry Whittington)


Sailor's Weekend # 153 - Art by Herb Tauss
154 - Hired Girl - Amos Hatter (James W. Lampp)

From now on Venus started to reprint titles so as usual after the title where it is applicable you will see 2nd/3rd editions.

155 - Night Nurse (2nd Edition) - David Charlson (#135)


Night Nurse # 155 
156 - The Doctor's Wife (2nd Edition) - Arthur Marin (#134)
157 - Womens Doctor - Frank Haskell.
158 - Girl On Parole - Whit Harrison (Harry Whittington)
159 - Shanty Girl - Joan Tucker (Peggy Gaddis)


Women's Doctor # 157 - Art by Rudy Nappi

Girl On Parole # 158 - 1953

Shanty Girl # 159 - Art By Rudolph Belarski
159 - Shanty Girl - Joan Tucker (Peggy Gaddis)
160 - Farmer's Wife - Peggy Gaddis.
161 - Army Girl - Whit Harrison (Harry Whittington)


Army Girl #161 - Art by Belaski

162 - Wayward Nurse - Norman Bligh (William Arthur Neubauer)
163 - Private Nurse - David Charlson

Private Nurse # 163 - Art by Rudy Nappi

Wayward Nurse # 162 - Art by Belarski

164 - Hired Girl (2nd Edition) - Amos Hatter (James W. Lampp) - (#154)
165 - Passion Is A Woman (2nd Edition) - Kate Nickerson (# 152)
166 - Sailors Weekend (2nd Edition) - Whit Harrison (Harry Whittington) (# 153)


Just a side note the copy of the above title 'Wayward Nurse', this was the first Digest book I ever bought , purchased in Memphis, Tennessee whilst on holiday in 1993. I purchased my second Digest book in 2008 (15 years later) .

167 - Young Secretary - Joan Tucker (Peggy Gaddis)
168 - Backwoods Girl - Peggy Gaddis.
169 - Strip Street (2nd Edition) - Gene Harvey (# 141)

Young Secretary # 167 - 1954

Backwoods Girl # 168 - Art by George Gross - 1954
Right, onto the final part and I will call it ......

Part 4.

This final part is crammed full of Venus 2nd, 3rd and even 4th editions of earlier titles, OK here goes numbers 170 - 198 (# 170 up to # 175 saw a change in cover style, the color banner was dropped and reintroduced at # 176 )

170 - Male Ward - Mitchell Coleman (William Arthur Neubauer)

Male Ward # 170 - Art by Rudolph Belarski

171 - Beach Girl - Joan Sherman (Peggy Gaddis)
172 - Farmer's Woman - Peggy Gaddis.

Farmers's Woman # 172

173 - Young Doctor - Frank Haskell
174 - Night Nurse (3rd Edition) - David Charlson (# 135/155)

Night Nurse # 174

175 - Young Sinners - Jane Manning .
176 - Women's Doctor (2nd Ed) - Frank Haskell ( # 157)
177 - Young Wife (2nd Ed) - Norman Bligh (William Arthur Neubauer) (#151)

Young Wife # 177 - art by Raymond Johnson

178 - Wild Sister - Kermit Welles .
179 - Hotel Doctor - Frank Haskell.
180 - Beach Girl (2nd Ed) - Joan Sherman (Peggy Gaddis)

Hotel Doctor # 179

Beach Girl # 180

Venus were very much into stories of Sexy Nurses, sex mad Doctors and all things sleazy medical ! with titles like 'Hotel Doctor', 'Women's Doctor', 'Male Ward', 'Night Nurse' , Wayward Nurse' & 'Private Nurse' you get the general idea .....right let's finish of the Venus list .

181 - Hired Girl (3rd Ed) - Amos Hatter (James W. Lampp) ( #154/164)
182 - Strip Street (3rd Ed) - Gene Harvey (#141/169)
183 - Young Sinners (2nd Ed) - Jane Manning (#175)
184 - Hotel Doctor (2nd Ed) - Frank Haskell (# 179)
185 - Wild Sister (2nd Ed) - Kermit Welles (# 178)
186 - Wayward Nurse (2nd Ed) - Norman Bligh (William Arthur Neubauer) (#162)
187 - Backwoods Girl (2nd Ed) - Peggy Gaddis (#168)
188 - Young Wife (3rd Ed) - Norman Bligh (# 151/177)
189 - Woman's Doctor (3rd Ed) - Frank Haskell ( #157/176)
190 - Farmer's Woman (2nd Ed) - Peggy Gaddis (# 172)
191 - Young Doctor (2nd Ed) - Frank Haskell (#173)
192 - Night Nurse (4th Ed) - David Charlson (# 135/155/174)
193 - Waterfront Club - Joan Tucker.
194 - Army Girl (2nd Ed) - Whit Harrison (Harry Whittington) - (#161)
195 - Young Bride - George Jordan.
196 - Cabin Hostess - Peggy Gaddis
197 - Professional Model - William Arnold .
198 - Hollywood Starlet - Richard Hull.

Venus Books Australia.

This is the only copy ( below ) I have ever seen but this Venus book seemed to be a short lived publication down under ,

Venus Books (Australia # 506) -  'Fire In The Wind' - Anne Tedlock Brooks



Here are some variations of some Venus back covers, some of them are just great and are really worth a look at ........
Back Cover 'Play Girl' # 107

Back Cover 'Take My Love' # 105

Back Cover 'Strip Street' # 141


Just for your enjoyment below is a Black & White photo that was used for inspiration for cover 'Hired Girl' the photo was used on back cover on Venus Book 'Farmers Woman' # 172 art by Raymond Johnson.




Blimey that sure was a long long list, plenty of great titles, great writers and superb artists like Belarski, Nappi and Gross. Again really important to try and get the all important 1st editions and I hope this list of Venus books will help you in your tracking down those vital missing books to your collection.

Next time will be a closer look at twin digest covers from my collection, so same artwork but used on different book publishers.

6 comments:

  1. Tough Doll by Peggy Gaddis is on my wish list! Hopefully one day I will find a copy...I think the cover art is great though I must admit Peggy Gaddis isn't my favourite of authors in the sleazy digest book world!!

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    1. Nearly all Peggy Gaddis novels were just re-packaged as they were wrote mostly in the late 1930's and 40's and yeah they are pretty awful sickly romance/love novels, stick to writers like Norman A. Daniels if you wanna good read and buy the Gaddis stuff for the great art like Tough Doll !

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  2. Cheers for the tip, I think my next read will be Street of Dark Desire by Mark Reed (Norman A. Daniels) so I will let you know what I think.

    I'm currently reading Thrill me Suzy by Joan Sherman (Peggy Gaddis) and actually this one isn't to bad.

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  3. It's got good cover art plus a story which isn't to sickly sweet and is a bit of a mystery story (squabbling heirs, people getting poisoned, mysterious strangers etc etc you get the picture) with a big dollop of 50s melodrama!!

    What I have noticed is that Peggy Gaddis's books are nearly all about wealthy people, big mansions etc and as a fan of film noir I really like the stories set in the big cities, smoky night clubs (what I imagine Falcon books are like) and where you can imagine the characters look like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall!

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  4. I gave up reading Gaddis stuff a while back, I did try but they are all a bit lovey dovey posh people romance type stuff. I am reading Tease The Wild Flame by Mark Reed at the moment and it's superb, crime, fighting, low life's , rape and that's just the first 30 pages !!! , Raise The Devil on Falcon is by far the best read from Falcon, if you like the film noir type detective story, drugs, murder, sex and double crossing , it's all that one !!!

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  5. I will keep a look out for a Raise The Devil, it sounds really cool!

    I reckon Street of Dark Desire could be a very noir-type story so I will let you know if it's any good, the cover is great but it did cost me!! I think it might be my most expensive purchase at £80+

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