‘The Lonely Hour’ Full Cover


One of the happiest experiences in my publishing life has been watching the Bryant & May covers mature and remain remarkably consistent. This is now my favourite cover of them all. If we could just repaint No.2, ‘The Water Room’ and get rid of the Simpsons I’d be even happier.

Semiotically, the covers send out a complex message redolent of old railway carriage paintings, London arcana, 1930s Golden Age covers and, wherever possible, a hint of something more recent. It’s a look that subtly changes for the paperback versions, where a modernised sans-serif typeface is used to create a cleaner look. We’re moving toward a puzzle-picture look, I notice – there are at least three elements from the book tucked away in the image and I would love to create a cover which hides the identity of the killer in visual puzzles.

The best example of a movie whodunnit hiding its clues in plain sight remains ‘The Last of Sheila’, which uses visual and verbal mnemonics to share its secrets with astute viewers. A Bryant & May puzzle book…now that would be something!

(I’m currently in Poland, and was planning a longer article on my trip today, but I need to take time to write it. Hopefully I’ll get it done tomorrow.)

8 comments on “‘The Lonely Hour’ Full Cover”

  1. Jo W says:

    The cover of the new book is looking good,it will sit well on my bookshelf with the others.
    A puzzle book of B&M, now wouldn’t that be great. Have you got time to fit it in? 😉

    Please take time to write that article about your trip, so that it be posted with ‘polish’. :-/

  2. Jo W says:

    Should have written, can be posted with your usual polish. 🙁
    (My apologies,I have a head stuffed with cold atm.)

  3. Stephen says:

    Hi Chris,the cover is excellent.Is there going to be a Byrant And May short story for Christmas?

  4. Brooke says:

    For me, too much text with a complex design; sans serif is clean but contradicts the Golden Age look. Glad to see the bat still flying above.
    Enjoy your trip; so envious.

  5. Bernard says:

    This continues the high standard of previous covers with the exception of Wild Chamber (what happened there?). However, I most admire the elegant artwork which portrays B&M in silhouette.

  6. SteveB says:

    Nice cover – a lot of elements without being cluttered.
    As a crossword addict, I suppose I should have enjoyed ‘The Last of Sheila’ but I didn’t so much really.
    Looking forward to the despatch from Poland!

  7. admin says:

    Yes, there will be a Christmas story; it will appear in ‘Bryant & May: England’s Finest’ out in October 2019.

  8. Peter Tromans says:

    I like the cover. The mixture of the art deco of the sans serif titles with the Victorian Gothic of picture plants the cover nicely in the golden age.

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