Confessions Of A Detective - Alfred Henry Lewis, E. M. Ashe (illustrator) 1906 - A. S. Barnes &, New York - First Edition A near fine first edition, illustrated with eight full page black and white plates.

In 1906 the world was rudely awakened by Inspector Val, a ‘hickory knot’ of a man, and the hard-boiled precursor to Mike Hammer. The author, Alfred Lewis was roaming the streets of detective fiction forty years before Spillane and his preoccupation with sex and sexual violence.

‘The five tales are mostly in the romantic pattern of the day; but underlying the romance is a tough realism far ahead of its time. The first story in the book, told in real-life style, can be interpreted as a precursor of the hard-boiled school minus the present-day preoccupation with sex.’ – Queen's Quorum (36).

‘Possibly, the prompt production of my Colt’s-38 had somewhat to do with their disappearance; for your true gangster is never one to meet the iron face to face.

In ancient days there was a party–Pythagoras was the name, I think, though I’ll not be sure I’ve got his number right at that–who taught how men’s souls, before they were men’s souls, served as the souls of animals... if old Pythagoras was right, then the soul of every gangster used aforetime to be the soul of a rat.’
  Alfred Henry Lewis (1855-1914) was an American author and investigative journalist who wrote extensively about corruption in New York politics. Lewis founded The Verdict magazine in 1898 and edited it until his death. He also had a lot of success as a writer of Westerns, namely the Wolfville series, written under the pseudonym of Dan Quin and the character ‘Old Cattleman’.

Provenance: Small bookseller’s plate to rear, blank pictorial bookplate ot the front.

Reference: Queen’s Quorum, 36. Steinbrunner & Penzler,
Encyclopaedia of Mystery & Detection, 248. Not in Haycraft, Herbert, or Symons.

Octavo (book size 19 x 13 cm), pp. [12] 280. Publisher’s red ribbed cloth, spine and front board with white lettering and gilt blocked vignettes.
  Condition: Near fine, slight fading to spine   Ref: 109362   Price: HK$ 2,500