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An African Millionaire - Grant Allen

1897 - Grant Richards, London - First Edition
A bright sharp copy of what is considered to be the first work to feature a criminal protagonist, and the first great gentleman rogue of mystery fiction - Colonel Clay.

‘Wealthy, confident and handsome, Charles Van Drift is not accustomed to being swindled and his brush with Colonel Clay both rattles and infuriates him. As his South African diamond fortune takes hit after hit from the quick-witted master of disguise, Allen leaves even the reader guessing: who can you trust? Van Drift grows more suspicious of those around him and a few too many misguided accusations shake the millionaire's confidence. Colonel Clay is in his head.’
 
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Price HK$ 3,500



Call Mr. Fortune - H. C. Bailey

1924 - Methuen & Co Ltd., London - Second ‘and Cheaper’ Edition
Six Long Detective Tales’ which introduced the world to Doctor Reggie Fortune, a remarkable detective whose rotund frame conceals a razor-sharp mind and a fighting spirit. ‘Scotland Yard’s foremost pathologist, a master of forensic evidence, whom nothing escapes’. A true champion of the oppressed, Fortune will never let a murderer escape justice—whether his victim was royalty or the lowest of the low.

The tales –
The Archduke’s Tea, The Sleeping Companion, The Nice Girl, The Efficient Assassin, The Hottentot Venus, and The Business Minister.

A bright example, first published in 1919, but with a dust jacket it is elusive as a Hottentot Venus, and so here we have the second edition of 1924 in scarce healthy and unrestored dust jacket showing a far from healthy lady who has clearly been stilettoed after overdosing on caffeine and thus is past restoring.
 
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Price HK$ 2,200



Mr. Fortune Explains; Case for Mr. Fortune; Mr. Fortune Wonders; Shadow on the Wall - H. C. Bailey

1930 - Ward, London - First Editions
Three first editions of these short story collections, together with the first full length novel, Shadow on the Wall, all featuring Doctor Reggie Fortune, a remarkable detective whose rotund frame conceals a razor-sharp mind and a fighting spirit. ‘Scotland Yard’s foremost pathologist, a master of forensic evidence, whom nothing escapes’. A true champion of the oppressed, Fortune will never let a murderer escape justice—whether his victim was royalty or the lowest of the low.

Mr. Fortune Explains: Eight ‘explanations’ - The Picnic, The Little Milliner, The Wedding Ring, The Football Photograph, The Rock Garden, The Silver Cross, The Bicycle Lamp,and The Face in the Picture.

Case for Mr. Fortune: Eight ‘cases’ - The Greek Play, The Mountain Meadow, the Pair of Spectacles, The Bunch of Grapes, The Sported Oak, The Oak Gall, The Little Dog, and The Walrus Ivory.

Mr. Fortune Wonders: Eight stories - The Cigarette Case, The Yellow Diamonds, The Lilies of St Gabriel’s, The Gipsy Moth, The Fairy Cycle, The Oleander Flowers, The Love Bird, and The Old Bible. 
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Price HK$ 2,800



In The Heat of the Night - John Ball

1965 - Harper & Row, New York - First Edition
A fine first edition in exceptionally clean and bright dust jacket.

A fine physically fit first edition, well dressed in an exceptionally clean and bright dust jacket. Perfect for the debut of Californian Detective Virgil Tibbs. Tibbs is also extremely well read and an expert in karate and other martial arts.

They call me Mr. Tibbs’ was the line immortalised by Sidney Poitier in the 1967 Oscar-winning movie adaptation of In the Heat of the Night, which won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award and was named one of the 100 Favourite Mysteries of the 20th Century by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.

Virgil Tibbs is ‘a remarkable individual who may well end up in the great detective category.’ –
The New York Times. 
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Price HK$ 6,500



The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont - Robert Barr

1905 Circa - 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 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 include 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 in
Windsor Magazine and Pearson’s Magazine in 1904-5. 
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Price HK$ 4,500



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



 
Results 1 - 8 of 122 results