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Journey into Fear - Eric Ambler

1940 - Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London - First Edition
A clean and wonderfully bright, thus rare, jacketed first edition of this thrilling tale of international intrigue, beginning in Istanbul at the outbreak of World War II.

‘Returning to his hotel room after a late-night flirtation with a cabaret dancer at an Istanbul boîte, Graham is surprised by an intruder with a gun. What follows is a nightmare of intrigue for the English armaments engineer as he makes his way home aboard an Italian freighter. Among the passengers are a couple of Nazi assassins intent on preventing his returning to England with plans for a Turkish defence system, the seductive cabaret dancer and her manager husband, and a number of surprising allies.’ [from a later edition]
 
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Price HK$ 14,000



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



Sick Heart River - John Buchan

1941 - Hodder Stoughton Limited, London - First Edition
A fine first edition of Buchan’s last book, published posthumously.

The review in the April 1941 edition of Punch sums it up nicely:-

‘"
If thou hast a woe, tell it not to the weakling, tell it to thy saddle-bow, and ride singing forth." John Buchan took this Proverb of Alfred as text for his book Sick Heart River (Hodder and Stoughton, 8/3) which is as good a sermon to lift the downhearted as has ever been given in the form of a novel. When Sir Edward Leithen, a former British Attorney-General, received his notice of death from a specialist, "his memory sprawled over places he had seen" and he decided to go to Quebec to make his soul and to "die standing". One journey led to another in quest of a famous French-Canadian who, in a mood of mental sickness, had suddenly left his wife and important office in New York; and was "wanted" by American people because of his genius over international affairs. The tale that follows of two white men, their half-breed guides and some "Hare Indians", their fight with and against Nature in a lonely place is soul-stirring in more than one way and makes as brave a book as the late Governor-General of Canada ever gave us.’

The fictional Sick Heart River is in the real region of the Nahanni River in Canada's Northwest Territories. It is in some of the most rugged terrain in Canada. The area was only just being mapped when Buchan, as Governor-General Lord Tweedsmuir, passed nearby during his voyage down the Mackenzie River in the summer of 1937. Having heard much about the mysterious South Nahanni, Buchan was fascinated by it and wanted to go there, but did not make it before he died in February, 1940. [Galbraith, 2001]
 
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Price HK$ 3,500



The Free Fishers - John Buchan

1934 - Hodder Stoughton, London - First Edition
A fine first edition of Buchan’s last work of historical fiction, set in the Regency period, during the Napoleonic Wars.

Set in the bleak Yorkshire hamlet of Hungrygrain, this is a stirring tale of treason and romance. Anthony Lammas, minister and Professor of Logic at St Andrews University finds himself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens the country. His boyhood allegiance to a brotherhood of deep-sea fishermen involves him and his handsome ex-pupil with a beautiful but dangerous woman.

‘Crammed with the right ingredients : fishermen, hills, boats, hard-riding Scots, and intrigue in high aces’ –
The Spectator, July 1934. 
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Price HK$ 4,000



The House of the Four Winds - John Buchan

1935 - Hodder Stoughton, London - First English Edition
A fine first edition. ‘The House of the Four Winds is set in Central Europe in the 1930s. Scottish grocer Dickson McCunn features in his most exciting role. Gorbals Die-hards, Jaikie and his pals are now dabbling in politics. On his trek across Europe, Jaikie is warned to avoid Evallonia. It is in danger of being overthrown by the cruel Mastrovin. However Jaikie cannot resist taking a look and ends up being kidnapped twice. He is not the only one needing to be rescued - Evallonia's fate hangs in the balance until Dickson McCunn appears on the scene.’

‘Aurunculeia is surely the nicest elephant in fiction outside Kipling. Escapes are as hairbreadth, escapades as hair-raising as ever.’ –
Punch, July 1935.  
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Price HK$ 3,500



The Riddle of the Sands - Erskine Childers

1904 - Smith, London - Fifth Impression [First published in 1903]
A nice copy of this sailing and espionage classic, scarce in any early edition. Written when Childers, an accomplished yachtsman, was thirty years old. Childers, who served in the Royal Navy during World War I, wrote this as a wake-up call to the British government to attend to its North Sea defences, Winston Churchill later gave the book the credit for persuading public opinion to fund vital measures against the German naval threat.

Educated at Trinity College Cambridge, Robert Erskine Childers DSC [1870-1922] was shot by an Irish Free State firing squad in 1922 for smuggling guns, after having fought in the Boer War, and serving as a Major in Naval intelligence during the First World War. His son later become the fourth President of Ireland.

Illustrated with two maps [one folding] and two charts.
 
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Price HK$ 3,800



Incendiary - SIGNED - Chris Cleave

2005 - Chatto & Windus, London - First Edition
‘An al-Qaeda bomb attack on a London soccer match provides the tragicomic donnée of former Daily Telegraph journalist Cleave's impressive multilayered debut: a novel-length letter from an enraged mother to Osama bin Laden. Living hand to mouth in London's East End, the unnamed mother's life is shattered when her policeman husband (part of a bomb disposal unit) and four-year-old son are killed in the stadium stands.’ – Publisher’s Weekly.

‘Arguably the strangest epistolary novel ever written’ –
Newsweek.

True first and limited edition issued two weeks before the trade edition. Signed by the author and with a typed note of thanks. Unfortunately, it was published on the 7 July 2005, the day of the London bombings and most of the major bookshops removed it from their shelves.
 
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Price HK$ 2,000



1960 - Collins and Harvill Press, London - First Edition in English
‘Reading and rereading it has made me realise how many ways there are of being alive…’ – E. M. Forster.

Lampedusa’s masterful tale of the decline and fall of the house of Salina, a family of Sicilian aristocrats; the novel chronicles the life of world-weary Don Fabrizio, scion of an old feudal family and lover of astronomy, and recounts the fortunes of his nephew, Tancredi, as they struggle between mortality and decay during the Risorgimento.

In bright iconic dust jacket designed by Hans Tisdall, featuring his ‘strong calligraphic lettering and sharply drawn colour separations’.
 
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Price HK$ 2,800



 
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