Some of you may be aware of my love of detective stories. (Current faves include Dana Stabenow and Julia Keller). It goes back a long way.

I wrote my undergraduate college thesis on detective fiction, from Oedipus through Ross Macdonald. And for more than 40 years I have been carrying around copies of the novels and stories of Raymond Chandler, the creator of Philip Marlowe ("The Big Sleep," "The Long Goodbye" and more).

Yes, I love them. Yes, I can argue at length about Chandler vs. Dashiell Hammett and others. Yes, I know the screen Marlowes (Humphrey Bogart, Robert Montgomery, James Garner, Elliott Gould and so on), their merits and their failings.

But I have kept these old Ballantine editions because of their spectacular, unnnerving covers. I've seen other, more recent editions and the covers have never really measured up to these.

For some reason, I never looked into the creator of those old covers. Recently, having pulled one of the books off the shelf for re-reading, I looked for the artist's name. It's Tom Adams, and I learned recently that he's a legend as an illustrator. You can read more about him here. And, as you can see, he's worth your attention. Consider just the unsettling quality of "The Big Sleep," the ominousness of "The Long Goodbye."

I am also, by the way, learning a new blog system here. Forgive errors as I learn. And I'm getting used to Instagram, where you can find me as popculturerich. Still on Twitter, @RichHeldenfels, and in various forms on Facebook.