The prime innovator of the then-revolutionary notion that appearance had something to do with sales, he introduced chrome, tail fins, hardtops and dozens of today's stylistic clich�s, often revealing his own fascination with aerodynamics and space flight and nearly always designing longer and lower models. Harley Earl and the Dream Machine, by Stephen Bayley ( Alfred A. Knopf, $20) tells this story magnificently in both words and pictures, from Earl's early days in Hollywood, when he custom-designed cars for many of the stars, through the 1927 La Salle, the Buick "Y" Job, the '50s Cadillacs, the Corvettes and all of the "dream cars" that mesmerized millions of Americans.
Games and puzzles in book format, especially for children, are an old tradition, but I have not seen anything as good as Photo Crimes ( Simon and Schuster, $7.95) in some time. It is definitely not for the kiddies, but for you; it challenges you to play detective competitively. Twenty crimes—thefts, murders, industrial espionage—are enacted in step-by-step photographs, and you have to identify the culprits after examining clues and evidence. The clues are optional; for each one you decide to look at, you deduct points from your score; if you think you know who done it without their help, your score is that much higher. Then you compare your score with that of your opponent on each case. The cases are not easy, and I found them great fun. One interesting puzzle is the book itself. It was produced in England by four enterprising women, manufactured in Singapore and is offered to you by our own S & S. Oh, the miracles of Christmastime!