When we did our George Ziel checklist in 2011, we were starting from scratch. Nobody had ever attempted a Ziel checklist before. Starting with a handful of books including the nine in the Paperback Price Guide, I was continually surprised as our Ziel checklist grew to 300 titles.

Ever since that list was published online, I have continued to learn about other Ziel covers from a number of people, all listed on our “thank you” list below. Among them, my friend Ruben at continues to be the “Ziel Champion” as he turns up more and more books by this tremendously gifted and too long unsung artist. Another friend, Brooklyn bookman Chris Eckhoff, looked for Ziels as he went through his collection and added many more titles to the mix. I can't thank those two men enough for their contributions to this update.

To let you see which titles we are adding, I've listed them separately here for the time being. Throughout 2014, these books will be incorporated into the existing Ziel checklist.

At the same time, we will remove a few dubious titles. With no authorized source to work from, we had to use guesswork when attributing cover art to George Ziel, and on occasion, as it can happen, we guessed wrong.  I'm still not sure about some of the earliest Avons, especially THE ART STUDIO MURDERS, Avon 688. It MIGHT be Ziel, but Ziel is one of the two artists I think it might be. How to be sure? I have to rely on the advice of cooler heads.

I'm convinced George Ziel was the artist of Paperback Library 52-620, a Gothic romance by Phyllis Whitney called SKYE CAMERON. But then we added the 7th printing, with a different cover, to our list too (Paperback Library 64-185), and the more I look at it the more I am convinced it's NOT a Ziel cover. So I'm removing it from our checklist.

After a long second look at Lancer 74752, THE DEVIL'S DREAMER, and Pyramid V3110, A CROWDED LONELINESS, I decided both of those were not Ziel covers either. It is a sad fact that most of the paperback artists of the vintage era are no longer with us. Luckily for us, one of them, Hector Garrido, is still alive, and Mr. Garrido was kind enough to look at both of those books for me and confirm he was the artist on THE DEVIL'S DREAMER and A CROWDED LONELINESS. 

So updating the Ziel catalog is an ongoing effort, and if you find a Ziel cover or illustration out there not shown here, please email me the info. The list goes on.

Thanks for help to: Ruben at, Chris Eckhoff, Tom Lesser, Robert Speray, Art Scott, Grant Thiessen, Mark Goodman at Green Lion Books, Bruce Black, Grahame Flanagan,  American Art Enterprises,  Rachel Parker-Stephen, Karla at Goodreads, and John McClaverty.


Ace D-201 – SATURDAY MOUNTAIN by Nathaniel E. Jones, 1956 – courtesy of Ruben at

Ace D-254 - THE LASH OF DESIRE by Marcos Spinelli, 1957. Thanks to Mark Goodman at Green Lion Books.


Avon 604 – THE CASE OF THE BURNING BRIDE by Alan Hynd, 1954 Added by both Chris Eckhoff and Ruben at

 That double recommendation has convinced me this is an early Ziel.

Avon 660 – WAKE UP TO MURDER by Day Keene, 1955. From Ruben.

Avon G-1026 – YOUR DAUGHTER IRIS by Jerome Weidman, 1956. From Chris Eckhoff.  I suspect this is probably Ziel.

Avon T-140 – TEMPTATION IN PARIS by Balzac, 1956.  From Chris Eckhoff.


Avon T-151 – HANNIBAL by Mary Dolan, 1956. From Ruben at

Avon T-166 – JOSEPHINE THE GREAT LOVER by N.P. Nezelof, 1957.

Avon T-258 –

G STRING MURDERS by Gypsy Rose Lee, 1958. Thanks to Chris Eckhoff.

The standing woman's face does not remind me of Ziel, but her outfit matches each of Ziel's choices for LES GIRLS, an Avon that has his name on it.

G STRING MURDERS – frontis, re-used from page 34 of LES GIRLS, Avon T-203.

Avon 77065 – THE TOUCH OF FIRE by Nella Benson, March 1982. Attributed to George Ziel.

Published a few days after George Ziel died, this must have been one of his last covers. We know that Ziel painted a 1981 Avon called THE WAY OF PASSION. I believe this cover art, with a similar feel, to be the work of the same artist.

Avon 56523 – TORN COVENANTS by Lois Swann, 1981. Thanks to Karla from Goodreads.

Torn Covenants

When I showed the cover of Avon 35733, GHOST FOX by James Houston, on the 2011 Ziel catalog all I had was a front cover scan. Since then I have seen the actual book, which features this magnificent wraparound cover painting I've attributed to George Ziel. I believe this is Ziel because of similarities to two contemporary Avons that we are sure were painted by George Ziel: THE WAY OF PASSION and CROWN OF PASSION.


Belmont 220 – SOUTH PACIFIC AFFAIR by Ed Lacy, 1961. Thank you Chris Eckhoff.


Grant Thiessen at BookIT Enterprises Inc. sent us this credited Ziel from the Dell Great Mystery Library. This is Dell 4572, KISS KISS by Roald Dahl, from 1965.

Dell 9788 – THE YELLOW GOLD OF TIRYNS by Helena Osborne, 1971.

Thank you Ruben at

Dell 8504 – THE STARS WILL JUDGE by Irving A. Greenfield, 1974.  Several different collectors have suggested this must be a Ziel.

Dell 19217 – UNFINISHED PORTRAIT by Agatha Christie writing as Mary Westmacott, March 1982.

At the end of his life, in one of his last assignments, George Ziel painted an extraordinarily beautiful set of uniform editions for the Mary Westmacott books by Agatha Christie. Dell issued the books one every two months over the year Ziel died, like a legacy from a departed friend. His  UNFINISHED PORTRAIT evokes the work of great artists such as Maxfield Parrish and Hippolyte Flandrin.

Dell 11674 – A DAUGHTER'S A DAUGHTER by Agatha Christie writing as Mary Westmacott, May 1982.

Dell 17503 – THE ROSE AND THE YEW TREE by Agatha Christie writing as Mary Westmacott, July 1982.

Dell 12871 - GIANT'S BREAD by Agatha Christie writing as Mary Westmacott, September 1982.

Dell 10011 – ABSENT IN THE SPRING by Agatha Christie writing as Mary Westmacott, November 1982. All of the Agatha Christie covers by George Ziel are remarkable, but ABSENT IN THE SPRING is something sublime. The pensive brunette is striking; the two scenes behind her, a sunset and a moonrise, are both quietly evocative. The flowers at the bottom of the painting pop as they repeat color choices used above.

George Ziel died before painting the sixth and final book in the set, THE BURDEN, not published until May 1983. It is the work of a different artist.


Fawcett Crest 2-3466-5 – ONE WAY TO VENICE by Jane Aiken Hodge, 1976.

Fawcett Crest 2-3531-9 - THE MOLE by Dan Sherman, nd (1978).

Fawcett Crest 2-3581-5 - DEVIL-MAY-CARE by Elizabeth Peters, 1978.

Compare the horse to the Ziel cover for Ballantine 24567, DARK SIDE OF PARADISE, 1975, shown below.

Thanks to Ruben at


Fawcett Crest 2-4111-4 – THE CRYSTAL CAVE by Mary Stewart, 1980 (26th printing is shown, with new Ziel cover.) The first volume in Lady Stewart's Merlin Series.

 Reprints a 1971 Crest which had art by a different artist.

Fawcett Crest 20644-0 – 1st Ballantine edition, 1983. A 1988 reprint is shown. Although the new framework cuts off the face of the rather important character Merlin, this reprint nonetheless offers a better look at George Ziel's brilliant – and previously uncredited - cover painting.

Fawcett Crest 2-4112-2 – THE HOLLOW HILLS by Mary Stewart, 1980. The second book in the Merlin series.

This cover art was also used for a 1982 box set of the first three books called THE GREAT ROMANTIC TRILOGY.

Fawcett Crest 20645-9 – 1st Ballantine edition, 1983. 1988 reprint shown.

It is impossible to tell who painted the cover art for the third book in the series, THE LAST ENCHANTMENT. Ziel is one of many possibilities. The fourth cover, first published in 1984 two years after Ziel's death, is the work of a different artist.

Fawcett Crest 2-4375-3 - BABYLON by Anthony Esler, 1981.

I suspect this must be Ziel. I have no proof and would appreciate hearing from you if you know anything about this cover painting. But this cover has each of the Ziel romance trademarks – the darker-skinned male, the closed eyes, the lovers touching each other, the muted color choices.

Fawcett Crest 2-4391-5 – TREGARON'S DAUGHTER by Madeleine Brent, 1981. Pseudonym of Peter O'Donnell.

Fawcett Crest 2-4347-8 - FALLING STAR by Lillian O'Donnell, 1980.

First in a uniform set of three Mici Anhalt mysteries.

Fawcett Crest 2-4437-7 – WICKED DESIGNS – Lillian O'Donnell, 1981.

Fawcett Crest 2-4479-2 -AFTERSHOCK – Lillian O'Donnell, 1982.  


Fawcett Gold Medal 1-4073-3 - THE FOX TRAP by Robert Arthur Smith, 1979.


Hillman 165 – KRIEGIE: PRISONER OF WAR by Kenneth W. Simmons, 1960.

Thank you to Chris Eckhoff.


Jove 0-515-04515-2 – ANISE by Patricia Phillips, 1978. Thanks to Karla for her George Ziel Shelf at Goodreads.


Jove 0-515-04754-6 – THE OVERLORD by Les V. Roper Jr., 1978. 

Jove 0-515-04768-6 - THE OFFERING by James Reid, 1978.

Jove 0-515-05374-0 - ALL THAT JAZZ by H.B. Gilmour, 1979. Movie tie-in. 

Jove 0-515-05130-6 - PUBLIC MURDERS by Bill Granger, 1980.

Jove 0-515-05480-1 - THE BORODINS: LOVE & HONOR by Leslie Arlen, 1980. Maybe Ziel.

This cover art was re-used several times on book club hardcovers and foreign editions.

The first in a six-volume series. Borodins 2, 3 and 4 are all signed by another artist with a signature I can not decipher. This cover may also be by that artist, although several things about it remind us of Ziel, who was painting for Jove in 1980. Borodins 5 & 6, published after Ziel's death, are the work of another unknown artist.


Lancer 73-699 - THE MARBLE LEAF by Dorothy Daniels, 1967. Courtesy of Ruben at

A lot of Lancers reappeared as Magnum Books, sometimes with variations in the cover art. This is THE MARBLE LEAF, Magnum 75325, undated but from 1972. 

Lancer 74-601 – WORLD WITHOUT CHILDREN and THE EARTH QUARTER by Damon Knight, 1970. From Ruben at

Lancer 74-603 – THE DEVIL AND DESTINY by Theodora DuBois, nd (1970). Scan courtesy of Chris Eckhoff.

Lancer 75157 – MACHISMO by Gramm Hall, 1971. Scan courtesy of Chris Eckhoff.

Lancer 75285 – THE MAHOGANY HOUSE by June Wetherell. 2nd printing, nd (1972). Reprints Lancer 73692. 

Lancer 75426 - DARK MASQUERADE by Elna Stone, 1973.

Thanks to Ruben at

Magnum 75426 - DARK MASQUERADE by Elna Stone, 1973.

Thanks to Ruben at


Manor 12369 – DARK IS MY SHADOW by W.E.D. Ross, 1976. Re-uses cover art from LYDIA TRENDENNIS, Paperback Library 53-715.


Macfadden 50-201 – PAYMENT IN SIN by Kay Martin, 1964. Thanks to John McClaverty.


Panther (UK) 859 - THE FALLOW LAND by H.E. Bates, 1958. Re-uses cover art from Pyramid G278, BITTER LOVE. Thanks to Ruben at


Paperback Library 54-522 - HANGOVER SQUARE by Patrick Hamilton, 1967. Thanks to Ruben at


Popular Library 445-00236-125 – THE DARKENING NIGHT by Jane Elliott, 1975 – thanks to Ruben at

Foreign Language offers a great online look at Grahame Flanagan's collection of Finnish paperbacks. Some of them re-use American cover art. This one, Hornasarja 01, uses Ziel's art for Ace D-378, OUT FOR KICKS.

Kuukauden Shokki 6511 re-uses Ziel's cover for Ace D-428, SCOWTOWN WOMAN.

Kuukauden Shokki 650708 re-uses art from


Finnish scans courtesy of Grahame Flanagan and

Plon (France) MISS CHARLIE by Norah Lofts. 1976 hardcover. Re-uses Ziel art for Dell 8355, THE STREET OF SEVEN STARS. 

Ullstein, 1976 – DAS GESICHT IM SPIEGEL by Clarissa Ross. Re-uses Ziel cover art for Gold Medal M2982, GWEN IN GREEN.

Das Gesicht im Spiegel

Ullstein, 1976 – BESUCH VON EINEM TOTEN by Clarissa Ross – re-uses Ziel art for Crest P2453, FALSE IDOLS.

Besuch von einem Toten

Illustration art

My always resourceful friends at American Art Enterprises turned up MAN'S June 1969 with “Boudoirs and Brothels” illustration re-used (and slightly re-drawn) from Ziel's Pyramid R207, YAMA, THE HELL-HOLE.



Lynn Munroe Books