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The Old Man In the Corner - Baroness Orczy

1909 - William Briggs, Toronto - First Canadian Edition (or first edition, Canadian issue, comprised of the sheets from the Greening and Co. publication of the same year with a new title-leaf)
The man in the corner pushed aside his glass, and leant across the table. ‘Mysteries!’ he commented. ‘There is no such thing as a mystery in connection with any crime, provided intelligence is brought to bear upon its investigation.’

A superb copy, illustrated with eight full page plates by H. M. Brock.

The nameless hero of this masterpiece has since been credited as the world’s first ‘armchair’ detective, solving crimes simply by reading newspaper articles whilst sipping tea in the corner of London’s A.B.C Teashop. His eccentricities include tying and unravelling complicated knots of string as he explains his deductions to his primary audience, Polly Burton, a young journalist who eagerly chronicles his adventures.

Throughout a series of twelve short stories and anecdotes, our protagonist does occasionally find purpose to leave his chair for the odd courtroom visit, and extremely polite interrogations, though, unusually for the genre, our hero disdains the police and seldom gives up the identities of the various perpetrators, often leaving them to wander the streets of London unassailed.
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Price HK$ 1,200

Lady Molly of Scotland Yard – Inscribed to the Detection Club - Baroness Orczy

April 1928 - Cassell and Company, London - Second Impression of the popular edition
A unique and important association copy. A gift from Baroness Orczy to the ‘Detection Club’, whose founder members include Anthony Berkeley, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie and Freeman Wills Crofts. Baroness Orczy was initiated into the club in 1930.

Inscribed ‘
The Detection Club, With the author’s compliments, Emmuska Orczy, Montecarlo 1932’, and with the club library’s pictorial bookplate to the front pastedown.

In a rare example of the dust jacket which is scarce in any of the early editions. Containing 12 short stories about Lady Molly Robertson-Kirk, one of the early female sleuths who fictionally joins the police force to head up the ‘Female Department of the Yard’, a decade before women were actually allowed to join.
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Price HK$ 15,000

Ellery Queen's Challenge to the Reader - Inscribed - Ellery Queen, H. C. Bailey

1938 - Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York - First Edition
The ‘Challenge’ - In each of these 25 short stories the name of the detective is changed; the reader must recognise the great detectives by their methods, mannerisms, and other “internal” evidence. The correct names of the detectives are revealed at the end of each story.

One of the rare fifty de luxe signed gift editions, with rather fabulous association, being the one presented to ‘H. C. Bailey’, British Golden Age author, whose detective ‘Reggie Fortune’ features in one of the stories contained within, of course we will not tell you which one...

This signature of ‘Ellery Queen’, the creation of authors Frederic Dannay and Manfred Lee, is most likely to be Dannay’s.

Containing the first book appearances of Dashiell Hammett’s
A Man Called Spade, about detective Sam Spade, and T. S. Stribling’s Bullets, about detective Professor Poggioli.  
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Price HK$ 18,000