Doubleday Crime Club Categories


Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2010
This may be easy for someone to answer.

The Doubleday Crime Club was an American publisher's book club that ran from the 1920s to 1991, similarly to the Double Science Fiction Book Club. Apparently they issued about 2500 titles.

My memory is that, at least around the time of the late 1960s, the club releases had something like five categories, each with its own little emblem. I don't remember what they were, but I suppose this was a way of labelling some as police procedurals, some as thrillers, etc. -- something like that.

There was one category in particular that interests me. It might have been called "Something Special" or "Something Different" or the like. Under this label, if I'm not mistaken they published borderline sf -- a case being L. P. Davies's The Artificial Man (not sure how "borderline" that really is).

So does anyone have the information on what the categories were, and especially how the sfish ones were designated?

Probably this book

Doubleday Crime Club Compendium 1928-1991: Ellen Nehr: 9780963442000: Books

has the answer, but maybe I don't need to file an interlibrary loan request -- can someone help?
The Crime Club 1928, then later a radio show same name. Wallace, Cheyney... all the names were familiar, and they were in piles with Alfred Hitchcock digests. Locked room category? The Artificial Man' I read it ... "about a man who thinks he is a writer with writer's block. He lives in a small town and tries to write.." Then there's The Saint, and Fu Manchu novels. 2492 titles, I think Crime Club includes the SF crossover stuff? Wasn't the symbol a little skull?
Thank you, DZ! Great!

I wonder if there's a list somewhere of all the "Something Special" releases. There must have been one or more L. P. Davies books categorized thus.
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And that little skull.. I remember it because you didn't find many of them, it leaped out at you and I grabbed anything with that little skull on it, from the thousands of boxes of PBs we got to root through, esp. in the 70s at book sales, estate sales, yard sales, church sales, thrift sales, sales sales, that little skull was a dead giveaway. (< * )
J Riff, are we talking about the same series? What I was referring to was cheap hardcovers, like the old Doubleday Science Fiction Book Club editions. These, and the Crime Club ones, had dust jackets. You seem to be referring to paperbacks. But maybe the Crime Club moved away from hardbacks to paperbacks -- ?

Here's a picture of one, by sf's own Wilson Tucker.
i dunno I don't usually Google stuff, I just remember that cool little skull.... maybe it was on the Brit versions, cos they were fairly rare.

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