Cover for Dashiell Hammet — Red Harvest(Designed by Megan Wilson)

I’m a big fan of covers that suggest thematic elements in a book without giving anything about the story away. Covers should illustrate, first and foremost, the feeling reading the book gives. In Megan Wilson’s design for Red Harvest, she’s narrowed down the hard-boiled detective story into its most primal elements: a smoking gun and a grimacing face in a pin-striped suit. The fact that these images look to be a more painterly version of the same sort of style that would be used on pulp fiction novels from the ‘20s and ‘30s pays homage to the sometime great, sometime cheesy covers from that era. That fits perfectly, since Red Harvest is a perfect example of better-than-it-should-be genre fiction.