I’ve got it covered #1

It was always going to be The London Eye Mystery.

Whenever I thought of revisiting to best book covers, Siobhan Dowd’s crime novel about a young autistic detective was top of my list, because not only is it a wonderful story, but the cover is one of my favourites.

So there was that. I always think of it as pale blue. As you can see, it’s not in the slightest blue, pale or otherwise. (That was the plain cover of the proof…)

When I wrote about the illustrator’s lot in life a few weeks ago, David Dean kindly popped in to say a few things. So I looked him up. Liked what I saw. And by the time my brain kicked in properly, I knew that I knew him, and that David had been praised by me before, and that I’d noticed quite a few of his book covers. And that he’d done The London Eye Mystery.

In short, I like David Dean’s work. Like I like Siobhan Dowd’s writing. And since it’s actually been very nearly 14 years since this book came out, it could be that some of you don’t know it, or never got round to reading it. I’d recommend doing so.

4 responses to “I’ve got it covered #1

  1. https://bookwitch.wordpress.com/2007/06/07/the-london-eye-mystery/

    It was this very brief ‘review’ of the book that set a lot of balls rolling. I made new friends. I was in touch with Siobhan, which is something I cherish more than ever, as she died a couple of month later.

    And as I said, the cover is great. Just not blue.

  2. odetteelliott6

    I agree. I think the London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd is an excellent book. Thank you for reminding me about it.

  3. Well, this is unexpected and rather lovely. And nice to see that cover again. Crazy to think that I did this back at the end of 2006 as it seems like yesterday. This cover was commissioned by Alison Gadsby at Random House (David Fickling was still an imprint of RH then) – Alison had actually given me my first book cover jobs five years earlier when she was at Egmont (some Jamila Gavin covers) and for this one she wanted something simple and eye-catching along the lines of my cover for Lauren St John’s ‘The White Giraffe’ that had come out the previous year. She sent me a doodle of what she had in mind (which I can no longer find) which was basically a straight-on view of the Eye with silhouettes in some of the pods and the silhouettes of Ted and Kat running along the ground (which is sort of similar to the cover of the US edition). But having read the manuscript, I really wanted to do something with a weird angle to suggest Ted’s unique perspective on things. This was one of those rare instances where the rough got approved with no changes required – I was really surprised that the brown colour scheme was okayed as brown is pretty much a no-no with children’s book covers (designers can be open to it, but it is almost always shot down by Sales & Marketing). Though it did get changed to bright blue for the paperback edition!
    Siobhan enquired about buying the original artwork and I can’t remember if she did eventually but it or if I still have it somewhere.

    Anyway, thanks for this nice little reminder of the cover, and for the kind words about my work. And I agree it is a fantastic book and it’s a great shame that we don’t have more of Siobhan’s books to read. Robin Stevens’ sequel The Guggenheim Mystery is also well worth a read.

  4. Hello again, David!
    Good to hear the background story to the cover. And I am always aghast at how sales & marketing people decide what a book is allowed to look like.
    The Robin Stevens book never came my way, and I’ve yet to source it elsewhere. But I did love that cover, too.
    Looked on my shelf, and there was a Jamila Gavin book, with cover art by none other than David Dean…

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