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Detective fiction

Rare first editions, signed and inscribed copies, deluxe and collectible editions of books, pamphlets, and ephemera relating to novels and short stories centring on the investigation of a crime by a detective figure. Early examples include "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", Bleak House, and The Moonstone, as well as the practitioners of the golden age of detective fiction – Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, et al. – and their modern successors.

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  1. The Woman in White.
    COLLINS, Wilkie. The Woman in White.

    London : 1860

    First edition of Collins's landmark masterpiece of detective fiction. Published on or around 15 August 1860 (preceding the New York edition by two weeks) this is Collins's "best-known novel" and his "greatest success" (ODNB). The advertisements in this copy are dated 1 August 1860, and list The Woman in White as due "shortly" with no price being recorded.... Learn More
    £6,750.00

    Stock Code: 139575

  2. The Twelve Figures of the World.
    [BORGES, Jorge, & Adolfo Bioy-Casares.] BUSTON [sic] DOMECQ, H., pseud. The Twelve Figures of the World.

    [Austin : Autumn 1960

    First English-language edition, rare offprint issue, of one of Borges's earliest appearances in English, signed by Borges in his blind hand on the front wrapper, and signed by the translator Donald Yates on the first page. This offprint marks a rare and significant stepping stone in the Borges canon, with no copies traced institutionally or in auction... Learn More
    £2,500.00

    Stock Code: 139334

  3. The Secret of Father Brown.
    CHESTERTON, G. K. The Secret of Father Brown.

    London : 1927

    First edition, first impression in the 7/6 dust jacket, of the fourth instalment in Chesterton's Father Brown series. Quayle notes that Chesterton's psychological approach and his nuanced characters give his work a special importance in the genre, but that "Father Brown, whose most 'conspicuous quality was not being conspicuous', will... Learn More
    £2,750.00

    Stock Code: 138902

  4. 137416
    DOYLE, Arthur Conan. The Hound of the Baskervilles.

    London : 1902

    First edition in book-form, first impression. The Hound of the Baskervilles was Sherlock Holmes's comeback after his shocking demise on the Reichenbach Falls stunned his loyal Victorian readership. When first serialized in the Strand Magazine in 1901 it was a great success, with queues at the publisher's office and throughout the country.... Learn More
    £3,000.00

    Stock Code: 137416

  5. The Hollow.
    CHRISTIE, Agatha. The Hollow.

    London : 1946

    First UK edition, first impression. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author to Sir Leonard Woolley on the front free endpaper, "Len, with best wishes, from, Agatha, Xmas 1946". Sir Leonard and his wife Katharine were good friends of Christie and her second husband, the archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan. Mallowan's archaeological career began as an assistant... Learn More
    £2,750.00

    Stock Code: 117922

  6. A Small Town in Germany.
    LE CARRÉ, John. A Small Town in Germany.

    London : 1968

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £150.00

    Stock Code: 141410

  7. Poirot Investigates.
    CHRISTIE, Agatha. Poirot Investigates.

    London : 1924

    First edition, first impression, first state (with three titles facing the title page). Agatha Christie's first collection of short stories featuring Hercule Poirot, following their appearance in The Sketch Magazine the previous year. Learn More
    £4,500.00

    Stock Code: 135760

  8. Call for the Dead.
    LE CARRÉ, John. Call for the Dead.

    London : 1961

    First edition, first impression, of Le Carré's first book, and the inaugural appearance of Smiley, rare in such beautiful condition. Learn More
    £22,500.00

    Stock Code: 140938

  9. The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes.
    DOYLE, Arthur Conan. The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes.

    London : 1927

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £1,750.00

    Stock Code: 133516

  10. 120639comp
    HAYCRAFT, Howard. Murder for Pleasure.

    London : 1942

    First edition, first impression. This copy is from the library of the detective fiction writer Dorothy Bowers (1902-1948) and has her ownership inscription to the front free endpaper, "Dorothy Bowers. London. July 30, 1942." This is the first book-length treatment of the history of detective fiction. Loosely inserted is a pamphlet for the Sherlock Holmes... Learn More
    £250.00

    Stock Code: 120639

  11. 115877
    HUGHES, Dorothy B. In a Lonely Place.

    London & Brussels : 1950

    First UK edition, first impression; first published in the US in 1947, the basis of the classic film noir starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame in 1950. Learn More
    £425.00

    Stock Code: 115877

  12. 140887
    RENDELL, Ruth. From Doon with Death.

    London : 1964

    First edition, first impression, of the author's first book, and the first of the Inspector Wexford thrillers. Several copies were sent to libraries, making copies like this unmarred by library labels or stamps uncommon. Learn More
    £2,250.00

    Stock Code: 140887

  13. 140419
    [MOORE, Bryan.] BRYAN, Michael. Murder in Majorca.

    London : 1958

    First UK edition, first impression, scarce in such nice condition. This early pseudonymous detective novel by the prize-winning Canadian author was first published in the US the preceding year. Learn More
    £450.00

    Stock Code: 140419

  14. 140378
    BLOCK, Lawrence. Eight Million Ways to Die.

    New York : 1982

    First edition, first printing. The fifth book in the famous Matthew Scudder series, featuring the ex-cop turned P.I. Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 140378

  15. 140443
    SPILLANE, Mickey. The Big Kill.

    London : 1951

    First UK edition, first impression, of the fifth Mike Hammer mystery. It was originally published in the US the same year. Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 140443

  16. The Cuckoo's Calling.
    [ROWLING, J. K.] GALBRAITH, Robert. The Cuckoo's Calling.

    London : 2013

    First edition, first impression. The first printing of the first edition ran to at least 1,500 copies, with a cover which features a quote from Val McDermid, while the back cover has quotes from Mark Billingham and Alex Gray. The copyright page does not have a number line but simply states "First published in Great Britain in 2013 by Sphere". Learn More
    £800.00

    Stock Code: 131822

  17. The Looking-Glass War.
    LE CARRÉ, John. The Looking-Glass War.

    London : 1965

    First edition, first impression, inscribed by the author, "John le Carré aka David Cornwell, Cornwall, Spring 2007", on the title page. Learn More
    £1,500.00

    Stock Code: 140259

  18. The Lymington Edition: The Forbidden Territory, The Scarlet Impostor, The Launch of Roger Brook, The Haunting of Toby Jugg, and They Found Atlantis.
    WHEATLEY, Dennis. The Lymington Edition: The Forbidden Territory, The Scarlet Impostor, The Launch of Roger Brook, The Haunting of Toby Jugg, and They Found Atlantis.

    London : 1961

    First collected edition, one of 1,000 sets thus issued with a colophon in the first volume signed by Wheatley under a notice reading "This signed copy is one of only 1,000 issued to mark the publication of the first collected edition of The Prince of Thriller Writers". Learn More
    £100.00

    Stock Code: 139935

  19. 139866
    DEIGHTON, Len. An Expensive Place To Die.

    London : 1967

    First edition, first impression. With the top secret transit docket loosely inserted. Learn More
    £150.00

    Stock Code: 139866

  20. Mrs McGinty's Dead.
    CHRISTIE, Agatha. Mrs McGinty's Dead.

    London : 1952

    First UK edition, first impression, of this Poirot mystery; this copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "Dorothy from Agatha". Dorothy North, daughter-in-law of the 12th Baron North, was a member of Christie's London inner social circle in the 30s. Her daughter, Susan and Christie's daughter, Rosalind were best friends in their 20s,... Learn More
    £3,500.00

    Stock Code: 136239

  21. Red Harvest.
    HAMMETT, Dashiell. Red Harvest.

    New York : 1929

    First edition, first printing, of Hammett's landmark first book, inscribed by the author, "Billy Greer Hobson, keep a notebook and pencil - the story of the other fellows' crime pays. Dashiell Hammett", in blue ink on the second blank. The recipient was William Greer Hobson (1924-1996), a bookseller from Phoenix, Arizona, whose father founded Hobson's... Learn More
    £32,500.00

    Stock Code: 134723

  22. The Long Good-Bye.
    CHANDLER, Raymond. The Long Good-Bye.

    London : 1953

    First edition, first impression. The UK edition precedes the US edition, published in 1954. This, the sixth Philip Marlowe novel, was described by Chandler, in a letter to a friend, as "my best book" (Chandler, p. 228), and was adapted into the 1973 film of the same name, starring Elliott Gould. Learn More
    £600.00

    Stock Code: 136008

  23. The Maltese Falcon.
    HAMMETT, Dashiell. The Maltese Falcon.

    New York : 1930

    First edition, first printing, of one of the greatest detective thrillers of the 20th century. The Maltese Falcon was adapted as a film noir in 1941, written and directed by John Huston, and featuring Humphrey Bogart in the lead role. Learn More
    £2,750.00

    Stock Code: 133578

  24. The Night Manager.
    LE CARRÉ, John. The Night Manager.

    London : 1993

    First edition, first impression. Signed by the author on the title page and dated June 1993. Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 136671

  25. Jewel Mysteries I Have Known:
    PEMBERTON, Max. Jewel Mysteries I Have Known:

    London : [1894]

    First edition of this collection of ten detective tales. Learn More
    £275.00

    Stock Code: 112240

  26. In the Teeth of the Evidence and Other Stories.
    SAYERS, Dorothy L. In the Teeth of the Evidence and Other Stories.

    London : 1939

    First edition, first impression, of Sayers's third collection of short stories, two of which feature Lord Peter Wimsey. Learn More
    £2,000.00

    Stock Code: 132137

  27. The Valley of Fear.
    DOYLE, Arthur Conan. The Valley of Fear.

    London : 1915

    First UK edition, first impression. Published 3 June 1915, it was preceded by the American edition, released earlier the same year, on 27 February. Learn More
    £975.00

    Stock Code: 106897

  28. The Big Bow Mystery.
    ZANGWILL, Israel. The Big Bow Mystery.

    London : 1892

    First edition, presentation copy inscribed on a preliminary blank:"From the author and publishers' with compls" (just slightly shaved by the binder), perhaps presented to the Gainsboro' & District Liberal Club, with their library label to front pastedown and first blank, library accession stamp on rear free endpaper (dated 4 March 1893). A Haycraft-Queen... Learn More
    £2,750.00

    Stock Code: 106149

  29. Killer in the Rain.
    CHANDLER, Raymond. Killer in the Rain.

    London : 1964

    First edition, first impression. A collection of eight stories that were originally published in pulp magazines between 1935 and 1941 and not reprinted until this volume appeared following the author's death. Learn More
    £250.00

    Stock Code: 85868

  30. The Mystery of a Hansom Cab.
    HUME, Fergus W. The Mystery of a Hansom Cab.

    London : 1888

    First UK edition. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author to the prolific dime novel author William J. Benners (1863-1940) on the half-title: "To Will J. Benners with best wishes Fergus Hume". Inscribed copies of Hume's works are extremely rare. This copy was later part of the library of Florence & Edward Kaye, both leading collectors of detective... Learn More
    £10,000.00

    Stock Code: 126192

  31. The Galton Case.
    MACDONALD, Ross. The Galton Case.

    New York : 1959

    First edition, first printing. Inscribed by the author, using his real name Kenneth Millar, on the front free endpaper "March 1959. For Willard and Pidge, affectionately, Ken". Willard and Pidge were Santa Barbara neighbors, and a character named Pidge appears in another of the author's books. Learn More
    £1,400.00

    Stock Code: 50936

  32. Crime Collection.
    CHRISTIE, Agatha. Crime Collection.

    London : 1970

    A complete set of this well known collected edition, with three stories per volume. It includes all published crime novels up to 1970. Learn More
    £6,750.00

    Stock Code: 119434

  33. Corpse on the Mat.
    (DETECTIVE FICTION.) KENNEDY, Milward. Corpse on the Mat.

    London : 1929

    First edition, first impression. An early Kennedy detective novel, and published later the same year in the US under the title The Man Who Rang the Bell. The publisher's retained copy with their stamp to the front panel of the dust jacket and the front pastedown. Learn More
    £875.00

    Stock Code: 93641

  34. Single & Single.
    LE CARRÉ, John. Single & Single.

    London : 1999

    First edition, first impression. Signed by the author on the title page. Learn More
    £150.00

    Stock Code: 137461

  35. The Hound of the Baskervilles.
    DOYLE, Arthur Conan. The Hound of the Baskervilles.

    London : 1902

    First edition in book form. The Hound of the Baskervilles was Sherlock Holmes's comeback after his shocking demise on the Reichenbach Falls stunned his loyal Victorian readership. When first serialized in the Strand Magazine in 1901 it was a great success, with queues at the publisher's office and throughout the country. Learn More
    £3,750.00

    Stock Code: 136147

  36. The Return of Sherlock Holmes.
    DOYLE, Arthur Conan. The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

    London : 1905

    First UK edition, first impression. Published on 7 March 1905, the UK edition was preceded by the US edition, which was released in February of the same year. Learn More
    £3,250.00

    Stock Code: 137430

  37. A Small Town in Germany.
    LE CARRÉ, John. A Small Town in Germany.

    London : 1968

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £175.00

    Stock Code: 137410

  38. Prince Zaleski.
    SHIEL, M. P. Prince Zaleski.

    London : 1895

    First edition, number seven in Lane's Keynotes series. The Keynotes Series, comprising 33 novels and short story collections, was published in a distinctive format, featuring Aubrey Beardsley's cover designs and embellishments, by John Lane between 1893 and 1897; Beardsley produced the designs for 22 Keynotes volumes while he was working on The... Learn More
    £750.00

    Stock Code: 137109

  39. The Big Sleep.
    CHANDLER, Raymond. The Big Sleep.

    London : 1939

    First UK edition, first impression, of Chandler's first book. The work was the basis for the 1946 Howard Hawks noir staple of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, with a screenplay co-written by William Faulkner. The US edition was published earlier the same year. Learn More
    £1,000.00

    Stock Code: 135842

  40. Dumb Witness.
    CHRISTIE, Agatha. Dumb Witness.

    London : 1937

    First edition, first impression, rare in the jacket and here in exemplary unrestored condition. With a Crime Club membership postcard loosely inserted. Learn More
    £25,000.00

    Stock Code: 135757

  41. Double Death. A Murder Story.
    (DETECTIVE FICTION.) SAYERS, Dorothy, Freeman Wills Crofts, Valentine Williams, F. Tennyson Jesse, Anthony Armstrong, David Hume. Double Death. A Murder Story.

    London : 1939

    First edition, first impression, of this collaborative detective story, written with members of the Detection Club, which was formed in 1930 by a group of British mystery writers. Learn More
    £2,750.00

    Stock Code: 136024

  42. Partners in Crime.
    CHRISTIE, Agatha. Partners in Crime.

    London : 1929

    First UK edition, first impression. It was published in the US the same year. Learn More
    £750.00

    Stock Code: 136796

  43. Peril at End House.
    CHRISTIE, Agatha. Peril at End House.

    London : 1932

    First edition, first impression, also published the same year in the US.
    "Christie aficionados reckon it to be one of her best books" (Wagstaff & Poole). Learn More
    £750.00

    Stock Code: 135963

  44. Aunt Jeanne.
    SIMENON, Georges. Aunt Jeanne.

    London : 1953

    First UK edition (third overall), first impression, inscribed "to Ralph, this very first book written in a house I love and he loves "factuellement", G. Simenon, Shadow Rock Farm, Lakeville 1955" to front free endpaper. Most certainly Ralph Ingersoll (1900-1985), an American writer, editor, and publisher, from whom Simenon bought Shadow Rock Farm in... Learn More
    £600.00

    Stock Code: 135410

  45. Little Tich: A Book of Travels (and Wanderings). By Little Tich.
    [ROHMER, Sax.] Little Tich: A Book of Travels (and Wanderings). By Little Tich.

    London : 1911

    First edition, first impression. Harry Relph (1867-1928), known as Little Tich, was the preeminent music-hall star of his day, famous for his madly elongated shoes and diminutive stature. Film exists of him leaning so far forward over his shoes as to be able to wedge his head into a top hat and stand up again with it on. His literary skills were less... Learn More
    £1,250.00

    Stock Code: 134917

  46. Victorian Detective Fiction.
    (GREENE, Graham.) Victorian Detective Fiction.

    London : 1966

    First edition, first impression. One of 500 numbered copies signed by Glover, Carter and Greene. Learn More
    £475.00

    Stock Code: 71993

  47. The Man in the Brown Suit.
    CHRISTIE, Agatha. The Man in the Brown Suit.

    London : 1924

    First edition, first impression, of Christie's fifth book. The Man in the Brown Suit is "a well-paced thriller with a strong sense of place, which aficionados consider one of her best" (Wagstaff & Poole, p. 30). Learn More
    £975.00

    Stock Code: 134783

  48. The Secret Pilgrim.
    LE CARRÉ, John. The Secret Pilgrim.

    London : 1991

    First UK edition, first impression, signed by the author on the title page. First published in the US earlier the same year. Learn More
    £200.00

    Stock Code: 134511

  49. The Little Sister.
    CHANDLER, Raymond. The Little Sister.

    London : 1949

    First edition, first impression, preceding the first US edition, which was released later in the same year. "The Little Sister is particularly remarkable for Marlowe's cleverly phrased and brutally honest self-evaluations" (ODNB). Learn More
    £1,000.00

    Stock Code: 132154

  50. The Lady in the Lake.
    CHANDLER, Raymond. The Lady in the Lake.

    London : 1944

    First UK edition, first impression, originally published in America in 1943. This was the fourth of Chandler's novels featuring Philip Marlowe, in which he "becomes more cynical and world-weary, and actively misanthropic, projecting his own despair onto the state of California, and onto modern life itself" (ODNB). It was adapted into a film of the same... Learn More
    £2,750.00

    Stock Code: 132156

  51. The High Window.
    CHANDLER, Raymond. The High Window.

    New York : 1942

    First edition, first printing, of Chandler's third novel featuring the Los Angeles private detective Philip Marlowe, adapted into films in 1942 (Time to Kill) and in 1947 (The Brasher Doubloon). Learn More
    £3,000.00

    Stock Code: 131251

  52. No Orchids for Miss Blandish.
    CHASE, James Hadley. No Orchids for Miss Blandish.

    New York : 1942

    First US edition, first printing. First published in the UK in 1939, No Orchids for Miss Blandish provoked considerable controversy for its open displays of sexuality and violence. Nonetheless it proved highly popular, and a film adaptation was produced in 1948. The novel was included as number 89 in Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century in 1999. Learn More
    £1,750.00

    Stock Code: 130341

  53. The Flesh of the Orchid.
    CHASE, James Hadley. The Flesh of the Orchid.

    London : [1948]

    First edition, first impression, of the author's continuation of No Orchids for Miss Blandish, which was published in 1939. A film adaptation, La Chair de l'orchidée, was produced in France in 1975. Learn More
    £500.00

    Stock Code: 130342

  54. The Valley of Fear.
    DOYLE, Arthur Conan. The Valley of Fear.

    London : 1915

    First UK edition, first impression, of the fourth and final Sherlock Holmes novel. Published on 3 June 1915, the UK edition was preceded by the US edition, which was released on 27 February of the same year. It is, however, far less common, with some 20,000 fewer copies issued in Britain. Learn More
    £1,500.00

    Stock Code: 130244

  55. The Maltese Falcon.
    HAMMETT, Dashiell. The Maltese Falcon.

    New York : 1930

    First edition, first printing, of one of the greatest detective thrillers of the 20th century. The Maltese Falcon was adapted as a film noir in 1941, written and directed by John Huston, and featuring Humphrey Bogart in the lead role. Learn More
    £2,500.00

    Stock Code: 130249

  56. A Mind to Murder.
    JAMES, P. D. A Mind to Murder.

    London : 1963

    Uncorrected proof copy, inscribed by the author for fellow writer on the title page, "To Clive Hirschhorn with every good wish from the author, P. D. James". Hirschhorn, known primarily as a writer and critic, is also a keen book collector. Hirschhorn moved to London in 1963, the year of this work's publication, and was the Sunday Express's film and... Learn More
    £3,500.00

    Stock Code: 130265

  57. Philo Gubb. Correspondence-School Detective.
    BUTLER, Ellis Parker. Philo Gubb. Correspondence-School Detective.

    Boston and New York : 1918

    First edition, first printing, in the rare dust jacket. This is the only hardcover appearance of the comedic detective Philo Gubb, who was highly popular throughout the 1910s, so much so that the author's plan to kill him off was overturned by public pressure. Learn More
    £1,000.00

    Stock Code: 130123

  58. Playback.
    CHANDLER, Raymond. Playback.

    Boston : 1958

    First US edition, first printing, of Chandler's last completed novel, following the first UK edition published earlier the same year. Learn More
    £275.00

    Stock Code: 130018

  59. The Little Sister.
    CHANDLER, Raymond. The Little Sister.

    Boston : 1949

    First US edition, first printing, following the first UK edition published earlier the same year. Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 130029

  60. The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
    CHRISTIE, Agatha. The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

    London : 1921

    First UK edition, first impression, of Christie's first novel and Poirot's debut. Inspired by the refugees she saw in Torquay, the poisons she encountered whilst working in a local hospital for the Voluntary Aid Detachment, and "challenged by her sister Madge, Agatha embarked on a detective story" in 1914. "Rejected by two publishers The Mysterious... Learn More
    £7,500.00

    Stock Code: 128803

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