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Espedair Street – with – Canal Dreams - Iain Banks

1987 - MacMillan, London - First Editions
‘The great white hope of contemporary British literature’ – Fay Weldon

Two fine first editions of Iain Banks’ early novels, both with musical overtones – Espedair Street the story of one-time rock star Daniel Weir who after being abandoned by his friends, contemplates his past and looks toward his future, presented together with Canal Dreams, the tale of world famous cellist Hisako Onoda who, refusing to fly, travels to Europe as a passenger on a tanker bound through the Panama Canal, only to find herself giving an impromptu recital in the shadow of a loaded Kalashnikov... 
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Price HK$ 1,800



The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont - Robert Barr

Circa 1905 - George Bell & Sons, London and Bombay - First Colonial Edition
The rare first collection of Eugène Valmont mysteries, the most successful literary French detective of his era, and the first in a long line of humorous detectives. Created not by a French writer but by a Scotsman who had grown up in Canada and returned to the UK to forge a literary career, founding The Idler magazine together with Jerome K. Jerome in 1892.

Although Robert Barr’s
Eugène Valmont has Sherlock Holmes-like qualities, he is ‘a much more tongue-in-cheek creation’. ‘The title of the book seems ironic. We see very few of his triumphs. The very first story explains why he has had to leave France to avoid becoming a laughing stock and, in the rest of the tales, he fails far more often than he succeeds. Yet none of these setbacks ever daunts him or dents his supreme self-confidence. ‘I have had my failures of course,’ he acknowledges but he remains a happy egotist. Whether dealing with a gang of anarchists in ‘The Siamese Twin of a Bomb-Thrower’ or flirting with the supernatural in ‘The Ghost with the Club-Foot’, his sense of style and his almost Poirot-like conceit never desert him.’ (Nick Rennison, from the preface to the Gaslight Crime edition).

It appears this ‘First Colonial Edition’ was published by George Bell in 1905, the year before the ‘First Edition’ of Hurst & Blackett. The adverts included are dated July 1905 and September 1905. Although it contains the same short stories, the titles and chapter headings match those of the 1906 American edition, and those of the original stories printed in
Windsor Magazine and Pearson’s Magazine in 1904-5. 
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Price HK$ 4,500



The Adventures of Augie March - Saul Bellow

1953 - The Viking Press, New York - First Edition, First Issue
‘I am an American, Chicago born – Chicago, that sombre city – and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted.’

Saul Bellow’s masterful novel, tells the story of the eponymous Augie March, a poor Chicago boy growing up during the Great Depression, whose numberless occupations and diverting encounters offer startling extremes of vivid realism and bravura philosophising.

The Adventures of Augie March is the Great American Novel. Search no further.’ – Martin Amis.

Winner of the National Book Award, 1954. Named by
Time magazine as one of the best 100 novels in the English language published since 1923. 
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Price HK$ 7,000



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



The Ninth Configuration - Signed and Inscribed - William Peter Blatty

1978 - Harper & Row, New York - First Edition
Signed and inscribed by the author of The Exorcist.

‘In a decaying Gothic mansion hidden in a forest near the coast of the Pacific Northwest are twenty-seven men confined for the treatment of inexplicable mental disturbances.....

This novel is a reworking of the author's previously published novel
Twinkle, Twinkle Killer Kane whose basic concept Blatty states ‘was surely the best I have ever created,’ however the work ‘was no more than notes for a novel’. ‘But the idea mattered to me so once again I have written a novel based on it. This time I know it is the best that I can do’. 
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Price HK$ 900



The Desert Flyer - John Bolton

1936 - Wright & Brown, London - First Edition
A thrilling “Story of the Air” in Egypt!

A scarce between the wars
Air Mystery.  
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Price HK$ 800



 
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