The Chill and the Kill by Joan Fleming

The Chill and the Kill by Joan Flemming

First published in 1964, The Chill and the Kill is a supernaturally-tinged book by British author Joan Fleming. Set in the fictional village of Marklane, this novel contains both a whodunit murder mystery and a character with premonitions of the future. “Hysterical imagination or deadly murder — which?” asks the tagline. Why not both?

Joan Fleming started out writing children’s books, but she soon moved into the realm of adult fiction, penning titles like Two Lovers Too Many and A Daisy Chain for Satan. Over the course of her career, she published more than 30 crime novels, winning both the Dagger Award and the CWA’s Red Herring Award. Fleming was known for her unusual plots and dark sense of humor. Critic Anthony Boucher once said “No two of [Fleming’s] mystery novels resemble each other in anything save artistry.”

The Chill and the Kill by Joan Flemming

This striking cover, which is the work of George Ziel , has been used for several editions of this book. While this particular scan comes from the 1966 Ballantine Books edition, this art was also used repeatedly by Fontana Books. Ziel created several other covers for Ballantine, including the cover for Edwin Connell’s I Had To Kill Her, which can be seen on the back cover above.

Ziel, whose real name was Jerzy Zielezinski, was born in Poland in 1914. During the German occupation of Poland, Ziel was sent to the Dachau concentration camp. Because paper and pencils were banned at the camp, he practiced his art with charcoal. After the war, Ziel moved to America, where he began a career as a cover artist. He was known for his dark and provocative cover art.