The Thinking Machine. Being a True and Complete Statement of Several Intricate Mysteries which came under the Observation of Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen, PH.D., LL.D., F.R.S., M.D., etc. - Jacques Futrelle 1907 - Dodd, New York - First Edition in Book Form ‘Two and two are four, not sometimes, but always!’

Following the model of Edgar Allen Poe’s introverted, eccentric geniuses, Futrelle’s Professor S.F.X Van Dusen specialises in solving impossible crimes, and has become a hallmark of the ‘locked-room’ mystery genre. Exemplifying detection in reverse, as the protagonist must escape from a trap-laden dungeon, under intense time pressure, the novel is an unforgettable tour de force that no crime fanatic should miss.

A bright and sharp first edition, with four illustrations by the Kinneys. Listed among critics H.R.F Keating and Julian Symons’ top 100 crime novels, and a Queen’s Quorum and Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone title.
  The first edition in book form, 'The Thinking Machine' had also been serialised in the British 'Strand Magazine'.

Jaques Futrelle (1875-1912), American mystery-writer and journalist, whose career would undoubtedly have been illustrious, had he not died on the sinking of the Titanic, refusing to board the lifeboat and insisting that his wife take his place. He was last seen calmly smoking a cigarette with colonel John Jacob Astor IV. His body was never recovered. He was the author of seven critically and commercially popular mystery novels, and ten short story collections.

Provenance: Nellie H. Randle of Chicago with her signature dated March 1908.

References: Haycraft,
Murder for Pleasure, 85. Ellery Queen, Queen’s Quorum, 38. Herbert, The Oxford Companion to Crime & Mystery Writing, 171.

Octavo (19.5 x 13.5 cm). pp. [10] 342. In publisher’s black cloth, spine and front board lettered in red, front board with illustration of main character in white.
  Condition: Near fine, light wear to corners, light crease to page 213 and small ink stamp to rear pastedown.   Ref: 108976   Price: HK$ 5,500