Stop Press - Michael Innes (Pseud. John Innes Mackintosh Stewart) 1939 - Victor Gollancz Ltd, London - First Edition It all began in folly and in mere fantasy it is likely to end… It has been literally a preposterous affair. Endless complications and a promise of murder right at the end...

An exceptional example of the first edition, in strikingly fine Gollancz dust jacket. The fourth Inspector Appleby novel.

‘Famous writer Richard Eliot has written 37 detective novels, featuring ‘The Spider’, a daring, clever criminal in earlier books, and an equally canny private investigator in later ones. But when he comes to life, first to burgle an odd neighbour, then to harass the Eliot family, and finally to attend his own “birthday party”. Inspector John Appleby is sent to investigate.’ –
House of Stratus.
  John Innes Mackintosh Stewart (1904-94), was a British author, literary critic, and Oxford don, whose detective novels, penned under the pseudonym of Michael Innes, are are distinguished by mischievous wit, exuberant fancy and adroit contrivance, with literary allusion a sine qua non. At times his work achieves a bizarre, almost manic brilliance, pushing the form well beyond conventional limits.

Provenance: Small ink name to upper corner of front pastedown.

References: Herbert,
The Oxford Companion to Crime & Mystery Writing 236. Reilly, Twentieth-Century Crime and Mystery Writers (1980), 845.
Published the same year in New York as ‘
The Spider Strikes’.

Octavo (book size 20.2 x 13.8 cm), pp. 480. In publisher’s black cloth, spine lettered in orange. Dust jacket priced 8/6 Net to spine.
  Condition: Near fine, very light markings to boards, inner front hinge starting, in fine dust jacket with, to be picky, one small crease along spine.   Ref: 109477   Price: HK$ 8,000