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The Ninth Configuration - William Peter Blatty

1978 - Harper & Row, New York - First Edition Thus
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 Thirty-Nine Steps - John Buchan

1915 - William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London - First Edition
Penned in the early months of the first world war, while Buchan was writing for the War Propaganda Bureau and as a correspondent for The Times in France. Described as ‘the perfect thriller’, The Thirty-Nine Steps introduced the world to spy-catcher Richard Hannay, who was based on a friend of Buchan’s from his days serving in South Africa - Edmund Ironside.

The Thirty-Nine Steps clearly struck deep chords with the reading public of a Europe riven by war, because it sold twenty-five thousand copies in less time than it takes to fill a pipe whilst on the run across the Scottish highlands pursued by dastardly agents of a foreign power. Richard Hannay was, quite simply, everything that Britons should be and a personification at the time of everything they very much needed to be.

The neat card signed by John Buchan is an added bonus included with this nice example of the first edition with little of the usual toning caused by the cheap paper stock. Housed in custom clamshell case, navy morocco leather over matching cloth, spine lettered in gilt, felt lined.
 
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Price HK$ 13,000



Limehouse Nights. Tales of Chinatown - Signed by ‘Barnaby Ross’ and ‘Ellery Queen’ - Thomas Burke

1916 - Grant Richards, London - First Edition, First Issue
A superb copy of this collection of short stories, with fine provenance, not only signed by ‘Barnaby Ross’ and ‘Ellery Queen’, but described by them in Queen’s Quorum as a work of high literary art’, ‘the tales of subtle murder and Oriental passion’, which ‘became a classic overnight.’ Housed in a custom made leather slipcase and cloth chemise.

‘A London native, Burke knew the city intimately and brought it to life in essays, mood pieces, and short stories, most of which had a melodramatic atmosphere of crime. His first and best crime book was
Limehouse Nights (1916), a series of violent tales that rely on authentic background and Oriental flavour for their readability. Subtle passion and sinister murders abound.’ – Stenbrunner & Penzler.

Burke’s best friend ‘was the original model for the character of Quong Lee, the Chinatown philosopher in
Limehouse Nights... Several years later, when his aged friend was deported for having operated an opium den, Burke was inspired to write the first of his collection of short stores about Limehouse. To Burke, whose literary credo was “to tell a story as ably as Ambrose Bierce and to see and write as clearly as Stephen Crane,” Limehouse Nights was “admittedly violent stuff written hastily,” as a means of “simply telling tales”. But it firmly established his literary reputation in Britain, and the film adaptation of the first tale in the collection under the title Broken Blossoms extended the boundaries of his reputation internationally.’ – Reilly 
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Price HK$ 18,000



High Sierra - W. R. Burnett

1940 - Alfred A Knopf, New York. London - First Edition in First State Dust Jacket
‘In the darkness, in a vivid flash, he saw old Barmy’s thin wise face. Dead and buried now, poor guy! What was it he’d said about being buried? Yeah. Barmy said when they planted him he’d be wearing ‘the turning globe’ for an overcoat. Now, who’d think of a thing like that but him? It made you see the little earth lost in space, turning slowly through the night.’

‘In
High Sierra, Burnett, one of the most influential of the ‘Hard-Boiled’ crime writers, changed the typical characterisation of the gangster story from the aggressive, ambitious figure characterisation of the 1930’s to the ageing Roy Earle, a gangster well past his prime. A sense of fatalism pervades the story, and Burnett and John Huston scripted a film version for Warner Bros, which was released in 1941 with Humphrey Bogart as Earle.’ – Encyclopedia of Film Noir.

Housed in custom cloth slipcase.
 
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Price HK$ 8,000



The Urban Trilogy – The Asphalt Jungle, Little Men Big World, Vanity Row - W. R. Burnett

1949 - Alfred A. Knopf, New York - First Editions
‘Burnett paints an unforgettable panoramic picture of the metropolitan night-world as he unfolds the story of a relentless, big-scale manhunt, filled with suspense that does not let up until the very end - peopled by characters who are credible human beings - neither monuments of virtue nor monsters of vice...’

A stunning collection of these 1940’s gangster novels, beginning with the legendary ‘Asphalt Jungle’. Written by one of the most influential authors in screenwriting history. As one of the first writers to utilise the ‘antihero’ type while exploring the underbelly of the Mafiosi, Burnett unleashed an obsession with gangsters upon Hollywood from which it still has not recovered.
 
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Price HK$ 4,500



In Cold Blood - Truman Capote

1965 - Random House, New York - First Edition
‘The publication of In Cold Blood in 1966 launched Truman Capote firmly into the top rank of American writers, it was - and is - widely heralded as a masterpiece - not only a masterpiece of writing, but as a brilliant insight into the criminal mind.’ - J.J. Maloney.

The first edition of what is considered by many as Capote’s masterpiece, and one of the most important and influential book of creative non-fiction ever written by an American writer in his time.

‘The best documentary account of an American crime ever written.… The book chills the blood and exercises the intelligence… harrowing.’ –
The New York Review of Books. 
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Price HK$ 4,000



SOLD - Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford - George Randolph Chester

1908 - Henry Altemus Company, Philadelphia - First Edition
Dedicated ‘To the live business men of America, those who have been "stung" and those who have yet to undergo that painful experience’.

A sharp bright and thus rare example of this Queen’s Quorum highlight, illustrated with six black and white full page plates by various artists. The grandiose Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford started his big time bamboozling and no better description of the book can be devised than its own subtitle:
A Cheerful Account of the Rise and Fall of an American Business Buccaneer.

‘James Rufus Wallingford a “business buccaneer,” uses nearly legal methods to earn fortunes in business enterprises, promptly spending his money on costly food, drink and clothes Suave and sophisticated, with a look of affluence he inspires confidence in potential investors in his schemes, and they are anxious to be part of his endeavours, he is equally anxious to accept their contributions His lovely young wife, Fanny, has a vague suspicion that he is not quite honest, and she feels guilty for not trusting him’ - Steinbrunner & Penzler.
 
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Price HK$ 0



The Woman In White - Wilkie Collins

1860 - Sampson Low, London - First Edition
‘The best men are not consistent in good—why should the worst men be consistent in evil?’

Elegantly bound three volume first edition of what is considered to be one of the first murder mystery titles ever written, and hailed by Margaret Oliphant as
‘a new beginning in fiction’. The Woman in White is a dazzling display of literary prowess, causing a flurry of excitement upon its publication. By the time the novel had finished its first print run, Collins was earning a yearly income of over £10,000 pounds. It features a cast of unforgettable characters, including the plain, but brilliant ‘spinster’ Marian Halcome, and the nefarious Count Fosco, whose schemes and plots have earned him a place among the ranks of the best fictional villains.

The book has since been adapted into countless radio-shows, screenplays, television series, and movies, and is listed by The Mystery Writers of America, The Crime Writer’s Association,
The Telegraph, Julian Symons, and Haycraft Queen as one of the best Crime/Mystery Novels. 
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Price HK$ 29,000



 
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