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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. Phantom Fingers.
    FARJEON, Joseph Jefferson. Phantom Fingers.

    New York : 1931

    First edition, first printing, of this uncommon work by Farjeon, with OCLC listing only ten copies institutionally. Learn More
    £300.00

    Stock Code: 126741

  2. The Mask of Dimitrios.
    AMBLER, Eric. The Mask of Dimitrios.

    London : 1939

    First edition, first impression, of this noted rarity, and particularly so in the jacket. Most of the first edition stock was destroyed during the Blitz when the Germans bombed the Hodder and Stoughton warehouse. This is Ambler's most famous work, and a Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone in detective fiction. Learn More
    £6,750.00

    Stock Code: 126598

  3. Postage Stamp Murder.
    BESTOR, George Clinton. Postage Stamp Murder.

    London : [1936]

    First UK edition, first impression, originally published in the US the previous year. One of only two detective novels by Bester, the book is rarely found in its striking dust jacket. Learn More
    £350.00

    Stock Code: 126631

  4. Murder in the Flagship.
    TAYLOR, Philip Walker. Murder in the Flagship.

    New York : 1937

    First edition, first printing, of this detective story featuring a murder on board a Royal Navy flagship. Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 126644

  5. Tales and Sketches.
    [LEGGETT, William.] Tales and Sketches.

    New York : 1829

    First edition of the author's second collection of short stories. The collection is particularly notable as the first printing in book-form of "The Rifle", first published in the Atlantic Souvenir in 1827. The story is cited by Queen's Quorum's: A History of Detective Fiction as an early example of detective fiction. Legget was highly influential in... Learn More
    £1,500.00

    Stock Code: 126352

  6. From This Dark Stairway.
    EBERHART, Mignon. G. From This Dark Stairway.

    Garden City, N.Y. : 1931

    First Crime Club edition, first printing. Inscribed by the author on front free endpaper: "Dear Leila McKinley: It gives me pleasure to inscribe this to you because you have sent me your books and because of our happy meeting. I hope I shall see you in America sometime not too far-off. Sincerely, Mignon G. Eberhart. Nice, France - January 21, 1932".... Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 126383

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

    London : 1887

    First UK edition, earliest practically obtainable impression with "seventy-fifth thousand" on the title page. The novel, one of the greatest and most successful of all detective stories, had met with enormous enthusiasm when first published in Australia in 1886. The author foolishly sold the copyright for a paltry sum to the businessman Frederick Trischler,... Learn More
    £7,500.00

    Stock Code: 126189

  8. Famous Novels of 1931.
    (GOLLANCZ OMNIBUS.) Famous Novels of 1931.

    London : 1931

    First edition, first impression, of this collection of novels, including an early printing of Francis Iles's Malice Aforethought, one of the most significant murder mystery novels of the 1930s. The book, which was published in October 1931, also includes Naomi Royde-Smith's The Delicate Situation, L. A. G. Strong's The Garden, and Helen Ashton's Mackerel... Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 125324

  9. The Thirty-Nine Steps.
    BUCHAN, John. The Thirty-Nine Steps.

    Edinburgh : 1915

    First edition, first impression. The Thirty-Nine Steps was originally published in The All Story Weekly from 5 June to 31 July 1915, and in Blackwood's Magazine under the pseudonym "H. De V." from July to September 1915. It is the first of five novels featuring the detective Richard Hannay. Learn More
    £2,000.00

    Stock Code: 123882

  10. The Man Who Knew Too Much
    CHESTERTON, G. K. The Man Who Knew Too Much

    London : 1922

    First edition, first impression. This collection of eight short connected stories is uncommon in the dust jacket, with just four such copies traced at auction, the majority heavily repaired. Learn More
    £3,250.00

    Stock Code: 123496

  11. Behind That Curtain.
    BIGGERS, Earl Derr. Behind That Curtain.

    Indianapolis : 1928

    First edition, first impression. This edition is uncommon, especially in such bright condition, with just six copies traced at auction in damaged jackets. Learn More
    £2,250.00

    Stock Code: 123507

  12. The Black Camel.
    BIGGERS, Earl Derr. The Black Camel.

    Indianapolis : 1929

    First edition, first printing, in the first state dust jacket. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "To Harold Carew, May we meet frequently over another glass of the 'light' - and elsewhere - Earl Derr Biggers, Pasadena, June 16, 1929". This is a review copy inscribed a week before the official publication date of... Learn More
    £2,250.00

    Stock Code: 123513

  13. A Coffin for Dimitrios.
    AMBLER, Eric. A Coffin for Dimitrios.

    New York : 1939

    First US edition, first printing. A Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone, this work was first published in the UK in August of the same year as The Mask of Dimitrios. It has been described as "the book on which Ambler's reputation as 'the father of the modern spy novel', as he was acclaimed in 1975, still rests" (ODNB). Learn More
    £1,750.00

    Stock Code: 123522

  14. The Cape Cod Mystery.
    TAYLOR, Phoebe Atwood. The Cape Cod Mystery.

    Indianapolis : 1931

    First edition, first printing, a Haycraft-Queen cornerstone. This is Taylor's first book and features her "Codfish Sherlock" Asey Mayo. This edition is very scarce, with just two copies traced at auction in the jacket. From the library of the renowned bibliophile Lawrence M. Solomon (1931-2014), with his bookplate to the inside cover of the solander... Learn More
    £4,750.00

    Stock Code: 123529

  15. Crime in Corn-Weather.
    ATWATER, Mary M. Crime in Corn-Weather.

    Boston : 1935

    First edition, first printing. Inscribed by Atwater on the front free endpaper: "'I hope you'll like it.' Mary M. Atwater, May 1935". Learn More
    £675.00

    Stock Code: 122353

  16. The Purple Sickle Murders.
    CROFTS, Freeman Wills. The Purple Sickle Murders.

    New York : 1929

    First edition, first printing, uncommon in the striking Paul Wenck dust jacket. Learn More
    £1,000.00

    Stock Code: 122355

  17. Max Carrados.
    BRAMAH, Ernest. Max Carrados.

    London : 1914

    First edition, first impression. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: "Josephine Mary Cockill with love from Ernest and Mattie Aug. 15, 1918". (A number of records note Bramah marrying a Lucy Maisie Barker in 1897, although other sources have her listed under the name Mattie, as here.) Inscribed copies of Bramah's works... Learn More
    £2,750.00

    Stock Code: 120453

  18. The Sherlock Holmes Murder File.
    JONES, Kelvin I. The Sherlock Holmes Murder File.

    New York : 1985

    First edition, first printing. This uncommon work details the deaths found in the Holmes canon in a "scholarly compendium". It is listed on OCLC in only seven institutions worldwide, all in the US. Learn More
    £50.00

    Stock Code: 117782

  19. A Life's Reminiscences. Scotland Yard.
    LANSDOWNE, Andrew. A Life's Reminiscences. Scotland Yard.

    London : [1893]

    First illustrated edition (originally published in 1890) of this decidedly uncommon and highly regarded police memoir. Lansdowne's book came out at a time when the police were being portrayed negatively in popular fiction: "Real detectives responded by trying to influence public opinion in their favour. Police officers had been forbidden by the Police... Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 115177

  20. The Stoneware Monkey.
    (QUEEN, Ellery.) FREEMAN, R. Austin. The Stoneware Monkey.

    London : 1938

    First edition, first impression. With superb provenance, this copy bears the ownership inscription of Ellery Queen to the half-title: "From the Freeman Library. 'Ellery Queen'", and small marginal marks to the list of author's works. This is the penultimate Dr John Thorndike story. Learn More
    £650.00

    Stock Code: 113366

  21. The Belsingtons.
    YOUNG, Robert Zetetic. The Belsingtons.

    London : 1935

    First edition. Uncommon, just four locations on Copac, BL, NLS, NLW, Oxford, no additional copies on OCLC. This copy inscribed on the front free endpaper; "To Myrtle from Bob, R.Z. Young". Rather clumsy "detective" tale. Young was the author of another novel, The Roadman's Son, of the previous year, which is all we have been able to ascertain... Learn More
    £150.00

    Stock Code: 113156

  22. The Mad Hatter Murder.
    GRIERSON, Francis D. The Mad Hatter Murder.

    London : 1941

    First edition, first impression of this detective novel by Grierson. Learn More
    £1,250.00

    Stock Code: 112979

  23. The Bottle Party.
    BAILEY, H. C. The Bottle Party.

    New York : 1940

    First separate edition, first printing. It was first published the preceding year in the UK in the Strand Magazine. Learn More
    £150.00

    Stock Code: 111571

  24. Masters of Mystery.
    THOMSON, H. Douglas. Masters of Mystery.

    London : 1931

    First edition. "Despite the universal appeal of detective fiction, only recently has serious attention been paid to its technique. It is surely high time that criticism "placed" detective fiction and officially recognised the conscientious craftsmanship that beguiles our leisure hours" (Foreword). Study described by Ellery Queen as "the most ambitious... Learn More
    £300.00

    Stock Code: 111577

  25. The Wrong Box.
    STEVENSON, Robert Louis, & Lloyd Osbourne. The Wrong Box.

    London : 1889

    First edition, first impression, with a rule underneath the word "contents" on the contents page. With the spine panel of the original binding bound in at rear. A fine Zaehnsdorf binding. Learn More
    £200.00

    Stock Code: 110771

  26. Original manuscript: What No Woman Knows.
    [SOUTHWOLD, Stephen.] BELL, Neil. Original manuscript: What No Woman Knows.

    London : 1955 & 1957

    The original manuscript of Southwold's novel, accompanied by the first edition, inscribed by him on the third page: "Original manuscript of my novel What No Woman Knows. Begun Feb. 1, 1955 & finished March 2, 1955. Neil Bell, Brixham, Devon. April 1955." Learn More
    £1,500.00

    Stock Code: 110233

  27. Insecurity.
    EWER, Monica. Insecurity.

    London : 1930

    First edition, first impression. A novel of Fleet Street. Learn More
    £175.00

    Stock Code: 108752

  28. Detection Medley.
    RHODE, John (ed.) Detection Medley.

    [London] : [1939]

    First edition, first impression, second issue jacket. A collection of stories, essays and articles written by the members of the Detection Club, including Agatha Christie, G. K. Chesterton, and Dorothy L. Sayers. Learn More
    £525.00

    Stock Code: 108852

  29. Charteris Royal.
    PHILLIPS, Hubert. Charteris Royal.

    London : 1941

    First UK edition, first impression. From the publisher's archive, with their ink stamp to the title page, front free endpaper and front panel of the dust jacket. Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 108730

  30. Second Front-First Spy.
    NEWMAN, Bernard. Second Front-First Spy.

    London : 1944

    First edition, first impression. From the publisher's archive, with their ink stamp to front free endpaper and front panel of the dust jacket. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 108686

  31. Second Front-First Spy.
    (DETECTIVE FICTION.) NEWMAN, Bernard. Second Front-First Spy.

    London : 1944

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £65.00

    Stock Code: 108639

  32. The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes.
    QUEEN, Ellery [pseud. of Frederic Dannay & Manfred Bennington Lee]. The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes.

    Boston : 1944

    First edition, first printing. This collection of 33 stories about Sherlock Holmes was written by writers other than Conan Doyle, and includes contributions from Vincent Starrett, Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, J. M. Barrie, Mark Twain, and O. Henry. Learn More
    £250.00

    Stock Code: 108239

  33. The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars.
    BOUCHER, Anthony. The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars.

    New York : 1940

    First edition, first printing. With a typed note signed by the author to fellow mystery write Veronica Parker Johns laid-in, in which he reflects on her short story, The Homecoming, that it was "a damned good story, which assuredly as an editor I would buy, but a little less strikingly individual. And your greatest virtue is being not quite like anybody... Learn More
    £275.00

    Stock Code: 108299

  34. Fantômas Captured.
    ALLAIN, Marcel. Fantômas Captured.

    London : 1926

    First edition in English, first impression. It was first published in French earlier the same year as Fantômas en Danger. Scarce in the jacket. Learn More
    £175.00

    Stock Code: 108024

  35. Farewell My Lovely.
    CHANDLER, Raymond. Farewell My Lovely.

    New York : 1940

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

    Stock Code: 108211

  36. Murder Must Appetize.
    KEATING, H. R. F. Murder Must Appetize.

    New York & London : 1981

    Revised edition, number 218 of 280 copies signed and numbered by the author on the limitation page from a total edition of 3,250 copies. Keating's "connoisseurs' guide" to detective fiction was first published in 1975. Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 107871

  37. The End of Andrew Harrison.
    CROFTS, Freeman Wills. The End of Andrew Harrison.

    London : 1938

    First edition, first impression. An Inspector French mystery, published in the US as The Futile Alibi later the same year. Scarce in the dust jacket. The bequest plate, dated August 1938, identifies the donor as Mrs Cole Porter and the institution as the public library at Dark Harbor, Maine, though neither the composer nor his wife Linda Lee Thomas... Learn More
    £975.00

    Stock Code: 107919

  38. Death Comes Laughing.
    GUNN, Victor. Death Comes Laughing.

    London : 1952

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 107838

  39. Put Out That Star.
    [OGNALL, Leopold Horace.] CARMICHAEL, Harry. Put Out That Star.

    London : 1957

    First edition, first impression of this detective story featuring the series characters John Piper and Quinn. It was published in the US under the title Into Thin Air. Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 107842

  40. Design for Murder.
    WILDE, Percival. Design for Murder.

    New York : 1941

    First edition, first printing of the author's third and final novel. Scarce in the dust jacket. Learn More
    £525.00

    Stock Code: 107269

  41. Call the Yard!
    CLEVELY, Hugh. Call the Yard!

    New York : 1931

    First US edition, first printing of the second title in the Inspector Williams series, following Fraser Butts In. Originally published in the UK by Hutchinson the previous year under the title "Hell to Pay!" Learn More
    £675.00

    Stock Code: 107077

  42. Tiny Carteret.
    SAPPER [pseudonym of Herman Cyril McNeile]. Tiny Carteret.

    London : [1930]

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £2,500.00

    Stock Code: 107094

  43. Death and the Joyful Woman.
    [PARGETER, Edith.] PETERS, Ellis. Death and the Joyful Woman.

    London : 1961

    First edition, first impression of the author's third novel as Ellis Peters, for which she was awarded the Edgar Allan Poe Award by the Mystery Writers of America. "Ellis Peters became Pargeter's most successful literary incarnation and the name by which she is best known as a writer" (ODNB). Scarce in anything approaching this condition. Learn More
    £875.00

    Stock Code: 107102

  44. In Full Cry.
    GOODWIN, John. In Full Cry.

    London : 1941

    First edition, first impression. Scarce with the jacket. Learn More
    £475.00

    Stock Code: 107118

  45. While She Sleeps.
    WHITE, Ethel Lina. While She Sleeps.

    New York & London : 1940

    First US edition, first printing. Originally published in the UK in the same year. Learn More
    £325.00

    Stock Code: 107123

  46. [Complete set of the Philip Marlowe novels.]
    CHANDLER, Raymond. [Complete set of the Philip Marlowe novels.]

    New York : 1938-58

    All first editions, first printings. Chandler's first four novels were first published in America; the last three appeared first in the UK. Learn More
    £12,500.00

    Stock Code: 106986

  47. The Ghost of Truth.
    CHANCE, John Newton. The Ghost of Truth.

    London : 1939

    First edition, first impression. From the publisher's archive, with their stamp to the front free endpaper, title page and front panel of jacket. Pseudonyms used by John Richard Newton Chance (1911-1983) throughout his prolific career included John Lymington, John Drummond, David C. Newton, Desmond Reid, and Jonathan Chance. Learn More
    £275.00

    Stock Code: 106993

  48. We Shot An Arrow.
    GOODCHILD, George, & C. E. Bechhofer Roberts. We Shot An Arrow.

    London : 1939

    First edition, first impression. From the publisher's archive, with their ink stamp to the front panel of the jacket and the front free endpaper. Learn More
    £575.00

    Stock Code: 106781

  49. The Case of the Perjured Parrot.
    GARDNER, Erle Stanley. The Case of the Perjured Parrot.

    New York : 1939

    First edition, first printing. "This early Perry Mason is uncommonly full of detection, and the games played in it with parrots do not detract from plausibility. Denouement not huddled - all in all, a model in his special genre" (Barzun & Taylor, A Catalogue of Crime). Learn More
    £875.00

    Stock Code: 106911

  50. The Case of the Silent Partner.
    GARDNER, Erle Stanley. The Case of the Silent Partner.

    New York : 1940

    First edition, first printing. The seventeenth Perry Mason novel and the first to feature Lieutenant Arthur Tragg. Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 106914

  51. The Case of the Careless Kitten.
    GARDNER, Erle Stanley. The Case of the Careless Kitten.

    New York : 1942

    First edition, first printing. The twenty-first Perry Mason novel. Learn More
    £475.00

    Stock Code: 106916

  52. The Body on the Beam.
    [MALLESON, Lucy Beatrice.] GILBERT, Anthony. The Body on the Beam.

    London : [1932]

    First edition, first impression, the remainder issue; this copy with W. H. Smith's label on the spine, offering the book at "one shilling net, ex-libris". Most uncommon in the appealing period jacket (designed by Ellen Edwards). Learn More
    £750.00

    Stock Code: 106920

  53. Skin for Skin.
    DUKE, Winifred. Skin for Skin.

    London : 1935

    First edition, first impression, the Gollancz archive copy with their ink-stamp to the front panel of the dust jacket and to the front pastedown. A scarce work of detective fiction, incorporating elements of true crime, scarce with just nine copies in libraries worldwide, and exceedingly hard to find in anything approaching this condition. Learn More
    £225.00

    Stock Code: 106665

  54. Wanton Venus.
    LEBLANC, Maurice. Wanton Venus.

    London : [1935]

    First edition in English, first impression; originally published as L'image de la femme nue (Paris 1934). Decidedly scarce: the publisher's London warehouse was apparently destroyed during the Blitz; Copac locates a single copy (BL) in British and Irish institutional libraries, and OCLC adds only one more (National Library of New Zealand). Leblanc was... Learn More
    £425.00

    Stock Code: 106484

  55. Journey Downstairs.
    PHILMORE, R. Journey Downstairs.

    London : 1934

    First edition, first impression of the author's first novel, the publisher's retained copy with their ink-stamp to the front pastedown and dust-jacket front panel. R. Philmore was the pseudonym of Herbert Edmund Howard (1900-63), and his protagonist, an amateur detective named C. J. Swan, was reputedly based on his close friend C. P. Snow. Scarce in... Learn More
    £750.00

    Stock Code: 106575

  56. The Door Between.
    [DANNAY, Frederic, & LEE, Manfred Bennington.] Ellery Queen. The Door Between.

    London : 1937

    First UK edition, first impression. The Gollancz archive copy with their ink-stamp to the front pastedown and title-page. The Door Between was originally published in the US earlier the same year by Frederick A. Stokes. Learn More
    £475.00

    Stock Code: 106580

  57. The Death-Riders.
    [SAUNDERS, Hilary Saint George, & John deVere Loder.] COFYN, Cornelius. The Death-Riders.

    London : 1935

    First edition, first impression. From the publisher's archive, with their inkstamp to the front panel of the jacket and front pastedown. Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 106303

  58. Wheels in the Forest.
    CHANCE, John Newton. Wheels in the Forest.

    London : 1935

    First edition, first impression of the author's first book. From the publisher's archive, with their ink stamp to the front panel of the jacket and front pastedown. Pseudonyms used by John Richard Newton Chance (1911-1983) throughout his prolific career included John Lymington, John Drummond, David C. Newton, Desmond Reid, and Jonathan Chance. Learn More
    £475.00

    Stock Code: 106304

  59. The Gambler.
    [MALLESON, Lucy Beatrice.] Anne Meredith. The Gambler.

    London : 1937

    First edition, first impression of this crime novel. Malleson also wrote prolifically under the pseudonym of Anthony Gilbert. The publisher's retained copy with their inkstamp to the front panel of the dust jacket, the front pastedown and the title page. Learn More
    £475.00

    Stock Code: 106310

  60. The Mystery of Orcival.
    GABORIAU, Emile. The Mystery of Orcival.

    London : 1929

    First Gollancz edition, first impression. Publisher's file copy with relevant markings to dust jacket and front free endpaper. The work was first published in French as Le Crime d'Orcival in 1867. The scarce and striking jacket declares: "Arnold Bennett gave it as his opinion in the Evening Stardard of the 3rd May 1928 that Gaboriau's The Mystery of... Learn More
    £500.00

    Stock Code: 106159

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