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The Mask Of Dimitrios - INSCRIBED - Eric Ambler

1939 - Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London - First Edition
‘He wears it like a devil mask; a device to evoke in others the emotions complementary to his own. If he is afraid, then he must be feared; if he desires, then he must be desired. It is a screen to hide his mind's nakedness’.

Hugely influential to literary titans including Le Carre, Fleming, and Greene, and read by Agent 007 himself,
The Mask of Dimitrios is a masterwork of crime fiction, and is credited with elevating the status of murder-intrigue novels from penny dreadfuls, into literature. The tale begins in the heart of Istanbul in 1938, where Cornelius Leyden is conducting research for his next book, when the body of titular Dimitrios (the most wanted criminal in Southeastern Europe) washes up on shore, Leyden begins to retrace his final days, with devastating consequences.

Inscribed by Eric Ambler to the British film producer and director Roy Ward Baker (1916-2010), whose career was launched after Ambler insisted he be given the position of director for
The October Man, in 1947, produced and written by Ambler, which became the catalyst that launched the career of an extraordinary figure in cinema history. Ambler supervised Baker’s work during WWII when in 1943 he was transferred to the Kinematograph Unit to collaborate on documentary films following the lives of ordinary soldiers. 
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Price HK$ 35,000

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

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.’

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

A Pocket Full of Rye - Agatha Christie

1953 - Published for The Crime Club by Collins, London - First Edition
‘A tear rose in Miss Marple’s eyes. Succeeding pity, there came anger- anger against a heartless killer. And then, displacing both these emotions, there came a surge of triumph - the triumph some specialist might feel who has successfully reconstructed an extinct animal from a fragment of jawbone and a couple of teeth.’

Yet another case opens up for our distinguished sleuth, when a murder spree befalls a wealthy but troubled family, and the death of an innocent maid Miss Marple knew as a child compels her to investigate. A cracking murder-mystery with everything from poisoned teacups to sinister nursery rhymes- that will keep you up well past a sensible hour.
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Price HK$ 3,200

The House of Lost Identity - and - The Haunted Jester - Donald Corley

1927 - Robert M. McBride & Company, New York - First Editions
“Far away on some dark road, the young man rode, in pouring rain, and often cold and penniless, eagerly asking of every one he passed where the Elixir of youth might be found...”

Two volumes adorned in the scarce and stunning gold dust jackets. Corley’s tales of mystery and wonder have become celebrated for their spin on traditional fairy-tale motifs, amplifying them with darker, sinister elements... along with occasional comedy.

Drawing influences famed myths and legends from Persia, Ireland, China and Greece, both volumes are profusely illustrated throughout with the author’s own Harry Clarke-esque illustrations, and include a foreword by American sci-fi writer, James Branch Cabell.

From the library of the infamous Joseph Alexander Sadony, philosopher-scientist, inventor and poet, whose Michigan based ‘Educational Research Laboratories’ at ‘Valley of the Pines’ studied the power of the mind...
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Price HK$ 2,500

Off Sandy Hook and Other Stories - Clotilde Graves (Pseud. Richard Dehan)

1915 - Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York - First Edition
A fine copy of this collection of 26 short mystery and supernatural stories by the Irish born Clotilde Graves.

Scarce in the dust jacket, and even more so in this condition.
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Price HK$ 2,200

The Third Man and The Fallen Idol - Graham Greene

1950 - William Heinemann Ltd, London - FIrst Edition
Greene's legendary thriller, set in Vienna following World War II, and basis for the classic 1949 film noir, starring Orson Welles as Harry Lime.

‘My film story,
The Third Man, was never written to be read but only to be seen. The story, like many love affairs, started at a dinner table and continued with headaches in many places: Vienna, Ravello, London, Santa Monica.’ - Ways of Escape 
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Price HK$ 2,700

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