The Secret Search - E. R. Punshon 1951 - Victor Gollancz Ltd, London - First Edition Superb copy in bright and unfaded Gollancz dust jacket, with fine provenance, containing the bookplate of The Detection Club, Punshon was initiated into the club in 1933.

“There’s a spot of trouble this morning. Old gentleman found dead in his bath.”
Bobby answered: “there may be one chance in a million it’s natural death.”


When the notorious gangster Cy King was imprisoned thanks to Commander Bobby Owen’s investigation, he spent a good deal of time talking about avenging himself... (
Dean Street Press). The 28th Bobby Owen mystery.

“What is distinction?... The few who achieve it step – plot or no plot – unquestioned into the first rank. We recognised it in Sherlock Holmes and in
Trent’s Last Case, in The Mystery at the Villa Rose, in the Father Brown stories, and in the works of Mr. E. R. Punshon we salute it every time.” – Dorothy Sayers.
  Ernest Robertson Punshon (1872-1956) ‘is one of the most shamefully neglected writers of detective fiction. His ability to construct labyrinthine plots that keep the reader fascinated but not confused is rivalled only by John Dickson Carr, with whom he shares a powerful imagination, a gift of conveying atmosphere and setting, and a most ingeniously fertile mind, adept at devising clues and situations. Yet his work is not only exemplary detective fiction, but studies of character, of the catalyst that drives an ordinary human being to commit the ultimate crime. In their emphasis on bizarre psychology, fantastic (but logical and convincing) plots, and the ability of the past to influence the present (whether it be in the form of past crimes or literary or artistic treasures), his work resembles a combination of H.C. Bailey, Gladys Mitchell, G.K. Chesterton and Michael Innes.’ - Nick Fuller, Golden Age of Detection.

Provenance: The Detection Club, with their bookplate.

References: Cooper & Pike,
Detective Fiction, 243. Herbert, The Oxford Companion to Crime & Mystery Writing, 187. Dean Street Press. The Dorothy Sayers quote is from the front panel of the original 1939 Gollancz dust jacket of Murder Abroad.

Octavo (book size 19x12.5cm), pp. 222 [2]. Publisher’s red cloth, spine lettered in black. Dust jacket priced ‘9/6 net’ to lower corner of front flap.
  Condition: Near fine, hint of foxing to endpapers and foredge, in near fine dust jacket, 3mm chip to head of spine, faint foxing, slightly heavier to rear panel.   Ref: 109589   Price: HK$ 2,600