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The Poisoned Chocolates Case - Anthony Berkeley

1929 - W. Collins Sons & Co Ltd, London - First Edition
A rare near fine first edition of this highlight of 1920’s crime fiction, and according to Julian Symons in Bloody Murder, 'one of the most stunning trick stories in the history of detective fiction'.

Joan Bendix is killed by a poisoned box of liqueur chocolates that cannot have been intended for her to eat. The police investigation rapidly reaches a dead end. Chief Inspector Moresby calls on Roger Sheringham and his Crimes Circle – six amateur but intrepid detectives – to consider the case. The evidence is laid before the Circle and the members take it in turn to offer a solution. Each is more convincing than the last, slowly filling in the pieces of the puzzle, until the dazzling conclusion.

‘A notable tour de force with no less than six separate solutions, and a veritable textbook of the literature’. – Howard Haycraft,
Murder for Pleasure. 
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Price HK$ 5,000



Death in the House - Anthony Berkeley

1939 - Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London - First Edition
A rare Berkeley title.

‘Lord Wellacombe, Secretary of State for India, dies whilst giving a speech to introduce a new bill on the floor of the House of Commons. His untimely demise looks like a stroke, but is it mere coincidence that a threat on his life had been made? The bill needs to be passed, but is anyone brave enough to defy the threats and risk potential murder?’

Enter Lord Arthur...
 
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Price HK$ 1,800



Trial and Error - Anthony Berkeley

1937 - Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London - First Edition
Dedicated to P. G. Wodehouse.

‘Non-descript, upstanding Mr Todhunter is told that he has only months to live. He decides to commit a murder for the good of mankind. Finding a worthy victim proves far from easy, and there is a false start before he settles on and dispatches his target. But then the police arrest an innocent man, and the honourable Todhunter has to set about proving himself guilty of the murder.’
 
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Price HK$ 2,800



Charlie Chan Carries On - Earl Derr Biggers

1931 - Grosset & Dunlap, New York - Photoplay edition
The fifth novel in the series, in which Chan begins in London investigating the murder of Hugh Morris Drake, the Detroit automaker.

First published in 1930, this photoplay edition of 1931 was issued for the movie starring Warner Oland, however only a trailer is known to have survived. Marvellous dust jacket, and illustrated with photographic plates from the film.

So popular was Charlie Chan that a total of 44 ‘Charlie Chan’ movies were made from 1931 to 1949 (actually, there were three others from 1925 to 1929, each with a different actor who played Chan). Over the length of this series, six different actors, none of whom were really Chinese, starred as Charlie Chan.
 
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Price HK$ 1,600



The Yangtze Valley and Beyond - Mrs J. F. (Isabella L. Bird) Bishop

1900 - G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York - First American Edition (First English Edition 1889)
A lovely set of the two volume American first edition, describing the remarkable journey through China in 1896-1897 by that intrepid lady traveller Isabella Bird, first female member of the Royal Geographical Society and doyenne of all women travel writers. A a far handsomer edition than the single volume published a year earlier in the London, with 116 illustrations and a folding colour map.

‘Many of the areas she explored and carefully described were almost unknown to European visitors and had not been mentioned in any earlier English publications. Based on journal letters and the diary written during her journey, and it is generously illustrated with photographs and Chinese drawings. Bishop's work was warmly received in England and praised especially for the information included on agriculture and industry. The Geographical Journal heralded the work as 'undoubtedly one of the most important contributions to English literature on that country'. It remains a key source for late nineteenth-century British perceptions of China.’ -–
Cambridge University Press. 
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Price HK$ 8,000



A Practical Treatise on Brewing, Based on Chemical and Economical Principles; with Formulæ for Public Brewers, and Instructions for Private Families. - William Black

1844 - Longman, London - Third Edition, ‘Much Enlarged and Improved’
A near fine, and unopened copy, of this important and popular treatise, first published in 1835

Folding plate ‘
Delineation of the New Improved Saccharometer’ to the rear.

The
Spectator in it’s review notes that this is ‘A new edition of a book we formerly noticed as a useful and original-minded treatise. The additional matter has been revised by Professor Graham, of the London University.’

Perhaps the most well known historical Scottish brewing firm was that of William Black & Company of Aberdeen believed to have been established in 1803, and his ‘Devanha Brewery’ used the former Paper Mills by the Wellington Suspension Bridge in Aberdeen. Black’s Devanha Porter - a dark beer resembling stout - became famous throughout the UK, the Brewery being conveniently close to the railway halt at the Cattle Bank. The firm itself was laterally acquired in 1819 to become the Gilcomston Brewery and again by the Devanha Brewery Company Limited, registered as a limited liability company in 1910. Brewing finally ceased in 1930 after the firm was acquired by Thomas Usher & Son Ltd. of Edinburgh. William Black & Co. also ran the Devanha Distillery, built about a mile upstream from the Brewery in 1825. [Durden Park Beer Circle / The Doric Columns].
 
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Price HK$ 3,500



Commentaries on the Laws of England. - William Blackstone, Esq. Solicitor General to Her Majesty

1770 - The Clarendon Press, Oxford - Fourth Edition
It Is Better That Ten Persons Escape, Than That One Innocent Suffer.

‘Blackstone's great work on the laws of England is the extreme example of justification of an existing state of affairs by virtue of its history. Until the ‘Commentaries’, the ordinary Englishman had viewed the law as a vast, unintelligible and unfriendly machine; nothing but trouble, even danger, was to be expected from contact with it. Blackstone's great achievement was to popularise the law and the traditions which had influenced its formation.’
Printing and the Mind of Man.

An attractive four volume quarto set [28 x 23 cm] in contemporary full calf binding. With two engraved tables, being the
Table of Consanguinity [Vol. II p.203] and the folding Table of Descents [Vol. II p.240]. 
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Price HK$ 38,000



1928 - Maurice de Becque, Paris
The romantic account of Sonnica of Saguntum, and the eight month siege of her city by Hannibal which took place between 219 BC and 218 BC between the Carthaginians and the Saguntines. Text in French, illustrated with 60 colour etchings by Maurice Becque, and two monochrome portraits opening and closing the text. A limited edition of 270 of which this is number 176. Originally in wraps this copy has been placed in a smartly bound in half morocco and patterned end-papers. 
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Price HK$ 3,500



 
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