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Fiction: Mystery/Detective

Fiction: Mystery/Detective

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Plot Twist [*SIGNED*], Adams, Eric
1 Adams, Eric Plot Twist [*SIGNED*]
London Hodder & Stoughton 1995 0-340-64015-4 / 9780340640159 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj Signed by Author
[browning to page edges, slight waviness in pages; jacket mildly worn, some wrinkling along top/bottom edges]. INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the author on the title page. The author's first novel, about a true crime writer whose son is kidnapped -- and whose kidnappers demand the writer's severed hands as a ransom payment! Signed by Author 
Price: 15.00 USD
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The Adventures of Romney Pringle, Ashdown, Clifford (pseud. for R. Austin Freeman and John J. Pitcairn)
2 Ashdown, Clifford (pseud. for R. Austin Freeman and John J. Pitcairn) The Adventures of Romney Pringle
Philadelphia Oswald Train: Publisher 1972 NO 2nd printing Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) William Dixon 
(price-clipped) [nice clean book, minor wear to extremities; jacket a little browned along edges and spine Reprint edition of this renowed collection of Victorian-era detective stories, originally published in book form in 1903. The earliest fiction by R. Austin Freeman, "soon to be acknowledged as one of the great masters of the field, in collaboration with his close friend, Dr. John James Pitcairn." The First American Edition of this reprint (got that?) appeared in 1968; this is the second printing, from 1972. 
Price: 40.00 USD
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The Further Adventures of Romney Pringle, Ashdown, Clifford (pseud. for R. Austin Freeman and John J. Pitcairn)
3 Ashdown, Clifford (pseud. for R. Austin Freeman and John J. Pitcairn) The Further Adventures of Romney Pringle
Philadelphia Oswald Train, Publisher (c.1969) NO First Edition Hardcover Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) William Dixon 
[nice and clean, no discernible wear to book; jacket has a teensy-tiny nick at top of front panel, faint soiling/browning to spine]. Half a dozen Victorian-era detective stories, co-authored by R. Austin Freeman in collaboration with his close friend, Dr. John James Pitcairn. Unlike the preceding volume of Pringle stories (which was a reprint of a collection originally published in 1903), this volume is the first book printing of six previously-uncollected tales. As the jacket blurb explains: "These are the last six Romney Pringle stories -- there are no more." Contains two short introductory pieces: "Of Romney Pringle," by August Derleth; and "Clifford Ashdown: A Retrospect," by Norman Donaldson. 
Price: 45.00 USD
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The Santa Ana Wind [*SIGNED*], Ashton, Sharon (pseud. for Helen Van Slyke)
4 Ashton, Sharon (pseud. for Helen Van Slyke) The Santa Ana Wind [*SIGNED*]
Garden City NY Doubleday & Company, Inc. for The Crime Club 1974 NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj illus) Garry Gilmartin Signed by Author
[nice tight clean copy, faint wear to top and bottom edges of book; jacket slightly faded at spine, tiny tears at top corners of spine, one-inch closed tear at bottom of rear panel, light soiling to rear panel]. INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the author (using her real name) on the half-title page: "To Robert Lewine -- / from an unknown admirer named / Helen Van Slyke / Sept, 1974." Romantic suspense/mystery novel about a woman who marries a doctor and moves to his luxurious family compound, called Madrugada, in Southern California -- but soon finds herself in danger, and convinced that "whatever the reason, someone is determined to drive her away from Madrugada." All of which is made immeasurably more unpleasant -- as life generally is (I can testify) -- "under the sudden onslaught of the Santa Ana Wind, whose fiery breath leaves none of the enigmatic Tripipe clan untouched." (Because you know what Raymond Chandler wrote about the Santa Ana winds, right? You don't? You should really look it up.) Signed by Author 
Price: 30.00 USD
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The Pyramid of Lead, Atkey, Bertram
5 Atkey, Bertram The Pyramid of Lead
New York D. Appleton and Company (c.1925) NO 2nd printing Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj) "T.N." 
[very nice clean copy, firm and tight with just a touch of wear at the extremities; jacket a bit scuffed on the front panel, a couple of tiny edge-tears, long vertical scrape to top half of rear panel, minor soiling at spine and rear panel]. The first of three mysteries by this author, all quite uncommon, featuring his character "Prosper Fair," an upper-class Englishman "whose identity is itself a mystery [at least until the end of this first adventure]," who "takes on the role of a detective while he is wandering through the English countryside with his donkey and his dog. He is young, keen-witted, and, you will find, as whimsical and lovable a soul as you will have met in many years of fiction reading." ("Whimsical" seems to have been one of the hallmarks of Atkey's work; his better-known and slightly longer-lived creation was a detective named "Smiler Bunn." And how whimsical is that?) First published in England by Hutchinson, 1924. 
Price: 150.00 USD
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The Cool Cottontail [*SIGNED*], Ball, John
6 Ball, John The Cool Cottontail [*SIGNED*]
New York Harper & Row (c.1966) NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) Fred Burrell Signed by Author
(price-clipped) [nice clean copy, light wear to cloth at spine ends; jacket also very nice, downgraded from Near Fine only because of the price-clipping]. INSCRIBED briefly and SIGNED by the author on the title page. The second Virgil Tibbs novel, this one involving a murder at a California nudist resort. Signed by Author 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Like a Hole in the Head, Banbury, Jen
7 Banbury, Jen Like a Hole in the Head
Boston Little, Brown and Company (c.1998) 0-316-17110-7 / 9780316171106 First Edition Hardcover First Printing Near Fine in Very Good- dj Illustrated by (dj design) Michael Ian Kaye 
[spine slightly turned, otherwise nice and tight, appears unread; very slight scuffing to front jacket panel, spine lettering faded to near-unreadability, small black smudge on spine]. The author's debut novel, a sort of hard-boiled bibliomystery with an engaging female protagonist. (This is the true first edition (first printing, with number line ending in 1), so please don't e-mail me asking "is this REALLY the first edition?" It is, it is. And it doesn't have a remainder mark, either.) 
Price: 8.00 USD
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Like a Hole in the Head [*SIGNED*], Banbury, Jen
8 Banbury, Jen Like a Hole in the Head [*SIGNED*]
Boston Little, Brown and Company (c.1998) 0-316-17110-7 / 9780316171106 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Michael Ian Kaye Signed by Author
[nice tight copy, no significant wear; faint soiling to front panel of jacket, spine lettering (orange on yellow) faded to near-unreadability]. INSCRIBED ("To __________ / Thank you for coming / to my virgin reading") and SIGNED by the author on the ffep. Her debut novel, a bibliomystery with a "wickedly hard-boiled female protagonist -- a part-time bookseller and full-time wise-ass, [who] buys a first edition Jack London from a slippery-looking dwarf." Unexpected adventure ensues when she sells the book, and then has to negotiate "a cast of B-movie thugs, sleazy book dealers, and ambitious Hollywood moguls" and get the book back -- "or else." [And before you ask: yes, this is the first printing of the first edition, stated as such with a full number line.] Signed by Author 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Death in the Virgins, Barbour, R[alph]. H[enry].
9 Barbour, R[alph]. H[enry]. Death in the Virgins
New York/London D. Appleton-Century Company 1940 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[light wear to spine ends; jacket edgeworn, with some soiling/staining at internal edges of flaps]. Mystery novel set in the Virgin Islands. The main character is a writer "who has been living on St. Thomas for many years and who knows all about the permanent residents there, the natives, the tourists from the States, and the island's history and traditions." The author was a prolific writer of (mostly) juvenile fiction, often with sports-related themes, and often (I'm really just guessing here) quite a few virgins involved as well. (Sometimes I really just can't help myself.) 
Price: 150.00 USD
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The Redman Cave Murder, Barker, Elsa
10 Barker, Elsa The Redman Cave Murder
New York Sears Publishing Company, Inc. (c.1930) First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj) Andrews 
[book slightly bumped at top rear corner, otherwise tight and clean and about as nice as you could want; jacket has short closed tears at the top spine corners, with some moderate edgewear and a few tiny nicks and tears]. The third (and last) of the "superdetective Dexter Drake" mystery novels, all of which are rather uncommon in jacket. This one commences with the discovery of a dead body in (you guessed it) a cave. 
Price: 100.00 USD
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A Queer Kind of Death; an Inner Sanctum Mystery [*SIGNED*], Baxt, George
11 Baxt, George A Queer Kind of Death; an Inner Sanctum Mystery [*SIGNED*]
New York Simon and Schuster (c.1966) First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) Lawrence Ratzkin Signed by Author
[a little wear to binding at spine ends, otherwise a tight clean copy that appears unread; jacket lightly soiled, with a closed tear at top of rear panel]. INSCRIBED briefly and SIGNED by the author on the ffep. A modern classic which introduced Pharoah Love, a gay black N.Y. detective (subsequently featured in a number of additional novels by this author), and took as its milieu New York's homosexual subculture. Uncommon signed. Signed by Author 
Price: 100.00 USD
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A Queer Kind of Umbrella: A Pharoah Love Mystery, Baxt, George
12 Baxt, George A Queer Kind of Umbrella: A Pharoah Love Mystery
New York Simon & Schuster (c.1995) 0-684-81496-X / 9780684814964 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj design) Cheung Tai 
[nice copy, no discernible wear, would be Fine but for some minor white smudging (chalk?) on black ffep; jacket has one tiny closed tear at top of front panel, minor wrinkling along top edge]. 
Price: 11.50 USD
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Topsy and Evil (an Inner Sanctum Mystery), Baxt, George
13 Baxt, George Topsy and Evil (an Inner Sanctum Mystery)
New York Simon and Schuster (c.1968) First Edition Hardcover Good in Good dj 
[ex-library book, well-worn with typical markings (incl pocket on ffep, stamping on top edge, tape markings on covers), spine turned; jacket edgeworn, a few tiny tears, vertical crease up left side of front panel, spine very faded]. The author's third novel featuring "hip Negro detective Pharoah Love." 
Price: 8.00 USD
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The Body in the Volvo [*SIGNED*], Beck, K.K.
14 Beck, K.K. The Body in the Volvo [*SIGNED*]
New York Walker and Company (c.1987) 0-8027-5685-9 / 9780802756855 2nd printing Hardcover Near Fine in Fine dj Illustrated by (dj design) Angela Arnet Signed by Author
[minor spotting to top edge, otherwise nice and tight, appears unread; jacket looks like it's been in a protective cover since Day One]. SIGNED by the author on the title page (signature only). Signed by Author 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Catacombs, Bennett, Jay
15 Bennett, Jay Catacombs
London/New York Abelard-Schuman (c.1959) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) Brian Paine 
[solid copy, light shelfwear, bottom corners very lightly bumped, a couple of small white spots on front cover; jacket shows wear at corners and edges, moderate soiling/rubbing, various small tears and associated creasing, slight paper loss at spine ends] "Alice Taylor, gifted young painter, is an orphan. She has been reared by her beloved aunt, a woman of executive ability as well as profound personal courage, a woman who overcame eighteen years of physical pain in order to walk again, to fall in love, and to marry the amusing and gracious Raymond Garth. Alice, living an independent life now in California, has observed in letters and frequent visits to New York, the blissful ten years of marriage that followed, years of peaceful happiness between two older people who loved and understood each other perfectly. Why then does her latest trip to New York distress Alice?" The first mystery novel by this prominent radio and television writer. 
Price: 40.00 USD
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The McGuffin, Bowen, John
16 Bowen, John The McGuffin
Boston/New York The Atlantic Monthly Press (c.1984) 0-87113-018-1 / 9780871130181 First American Edition Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj art) Pat Doyle 
[nice tight clean unread book, with no discernible wear; jacket shows very light wear at extremities, faint rubbing/soiling]. Mystery novel about a middle-aged, divorced film reviewer who finds himself involved in what seems to be "a real-life replay of Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rear Window'." According to the jacket blurb, the book "is both a potent psychological thriller and a game -- it offers the experience of a Hitchcock movie, not from outside, which is the way we usually experience it, but from inside, from the point of view of one of the characters." (It would seem to me that this blurb-writer has not actually seen very many Hitchcock movies.) 
Price: 10.00 USD
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Search for the New Land [*SIGNED*], Bowman, Earle
17 Bowman, Earle Search for the New Land [*SIGNED*]
New York Vantage Press (c.1970) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj Signed by Author
Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj [good solid copy, mild soiling to top edge, minor shelfwear to bottom edge; jacket mildly edgeworn, considerable wear at spine ends/extremities]. INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the author on the ffep. Thank goodness for Vantage Press and its ilk -- how else, back in those low-tech days, could your average ex-taxi driver-fry cook-window dresser-hobo-drug clerk-mailman-high school teacher-probation officer-ladies sportswear salesman-security guard have ever gotten his novel published? Like most vanity press novels, this one at least raises the hope that the author's life experience may enrich the content, even if the style doesn't hold up to serious scrutiny. Maybe, per the jacket blurb, it really is "a superb yarn of multiple murder, karate killing, and electronic spying" -- but all I can really say for sure, from a quick flip-through, is that (a) quite a bit of it takes place in Los Angeles, and (b) there's a considerable amount of sex involved. The title, we're informed up front, comes from the title track of a jazz album by Lee Morgan, issued on Blue Note Records. Signed by Author 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Murder a la Stroganoff, Brahms, Caryl, and S.J. Simon
18 Brahms, Caryl, and S.J. Simon Murder a la Stroganoff
New York Doubleday, Doran & Co. 1938 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ 
(no dust jacket) [solid, square copy, with some fading to black cloth along edges, mild browning to page edges]. 
Price: 35.00 USD
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The One-Minute Murder, Brandon, John G.
19 Brandon, John G. The One-Minute Murder
New York The Dial Press, Inc. 1935 NO 1st [U.S.] Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [ex-circulating library book, stamped as such on both pastedown and endpapers, with an additional "withdrawn" stamp over each library stamp and a catalog number and date at the upper corner of front pastedown; generally a solid used copy, moderately worn but not abused; also bears an original vintage price sticker on the rear pastedown, from "City of Paris," a noted San Francisco department store (the stamping indicates that the book had been part of that store's circulating library)]. Somewhat scarce mystery by the prolific author of the "Sexton Blake" mysteries, this particular caper featuring two of his other regular series characters, Arthur Stukely Pennington (one of those crime-solving gentlemen of leisure, referred to throughout the text as "A.S.P.") and Detective Inspector Patrick Aloysius McCarthy (a Scotland Yard man, natch). The action is kicked off here when the star of a new musical comedy (of which an A.S.P. chum is the principal backer) is murdered onstage in full view of the audience. "This is a good, lively yarn," opined the New York Times critic, "even though the method by which the murder is committed is a bit too elaborate to be practical." (Which might explain why he's a critic and not a murderer.) [A little further about that price sticker: the City of Paris, which opened in San Francisco in 1850 and survived the 1906 earthquake, was the oldest department store in the city at the time of its closing in the 1970s; the building was demolished in 1980.] 
Price: 30.00 USD
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The Darker the Night, Brean, Herbert
20 Brean, Herbert The Darker the Night
New York William Morrow & Co. 1949 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) H. Lawrence Hoffman 
[light shelfwear, minor spotting to top page edges; jacket shows wear along top and bottom edges, a few teensy tears and slight creasing along top edge]. The author's second novel, and one of four featuring freelance magazine writer/photographer Reynold Frame, whose investigations always seem to get him mixed up with murder cases. Brean had been a newspaperman who eventually turned to pulp fictioneering. 
Price: 35.00 USD
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