Detective Fiction

Showing 1–36 of 304 results

Rare and collectable Detective Fiction titles, including first editions and other significant editions, often with striking dust-jackets. Authors ranging from the obscure, the pseudonymous and the classic, such as Agatha Christie, with titles from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction and beyond.

£425

First edition, inscribed by the author on the frontispiece.
London. Lincoln Williams, 1935
According to the Bear Alley blog the book is listed in the English Catalogue of Books as having appeared in February 1935 and it was listed under the pen-name "Trill". The publisher Lincoln Williams went into administration in July 1935 so the book probably wasn’t reprinted. Trill was a pen name for Harry C. Liebart according to Hubin. Very scarce in a jacket.

£1,250



New York, Doubleday Doran, 1934,

First US edition. 8vo. Original cloth. Dust-jacket.

Agatha Christie's semi-autobiographical novel, the second written using the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott. Christie's adoption of a pseudonym was an interesting psychological manoeuvre that allowed her license for a level of self-revelation not found in her detective fiction or even in her autobiography.

£395



London, Drane's, [1924].

First edition. 8vo. Original green boards. Dust-jacket, priced 6/-.

An uncommon first edition of this collection published by an uncommon imprint. Many of the tales revolve around a consulting detective agency in Calcutta, as in the author's coeval work Benjamin & Co., and despite a tendency towards some rather "old school" jingoism and misogyny do include some rather wonderfully evocative sketches of colonial life in India.

Detective Fiction

Adams (Herbert) Welcome Home

£75



London, Philip Macdonald, 1956.

First edition. 8vo. Original black cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 8/6.

A very good first edition, featuring the author's second major series character, Roger Bennion.

£400

First UK edition.
London. William Heinemann Ltd, 1937
Crime novel about small-time bank robbers, best known perhaps as the basis for the 1948 film They Live By Night, starring Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell. A 1974 Robert Altman film, starring Keith Carradine and Shelley Duvall used the original title but deviated further from the original novel.

£450



London, Stanley Paul, 1927.

First edition, first impression. 8vo. Advertisements. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 7/6.

Detective fiction with spy thriller overtones, courtesy of Anglo-Canadian author 'Anthony Armstrong' - striking jacket artwork; scarce.

£175


First edition.
London, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1935.

Features series character Spike Tracey who is studying the local paper for promising openings in crime when one literally blows in on his doorstep. Rare in wrapper especially one as good as this.

£150


First edition.
London, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1933.

When the dignified life of Steven Kester came to an undignified end there were several people with potential motives. Serial character Spike Tracy acts as detective and solves the mystery. Rare in d/w.

£175


A Series of Reminiscences and Adventures in Many Lands
London, Hurst & Blackett, [1926].

First edition. Large 8vo. Plates. Original red cloth lettered & ruled in black. Dust-jacket, early issue, with '1st Cheap Edition' and 2/6 to the spine.

An excellent copy of this compilation of nine stories by Ashton-Wolfe, drawing upon his years immersed in the world of crime, first as an assistant to Alphonse Bertillon, the great advocate of criminal anthropometrics, in Paris, then as an interpreter in the British law courts. The striking jacket artwork is by Hookway Cowles.

£250


New Stories of Murder and Mystery
New York, Charles Scribners, 1928.

First US edition. 8vo. Original pictorial orange cloth. Dust-jacket, price-clipped.

One of several anthologies compiled by the writer and socialite Lady Cynthia Asquith, herself known as an author of ghost stories. Uncommon in the original dust-jacket.

£75



London, The Readers Library, n.d. [1933].

First edition thus. Small 8vo. 2pp. advertisements. Original cloth, gilt. Dust-jacket, adverts printed to reverse.

An attractive pre-war edition, in good jacket.

£350



London, Peter Davies, 1935.

First edition. 8vo. Original tan cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 7/6.

The Ventriloquist, by E. Belasyse, is a much better crime story. It is written with a commendable simplicity, for one thing. If it is a first novel, it is unusually well planned and executed. The people are real." (Illustrated London News, vol.187).

Detective Fiction

Bell (Josephine) Easy Prey

£75



London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1959.

First edition. 8vo. Original cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 12s.6d.

A couple discover that their child-sitter served a prison sentence for child murder, something they cannot square with the individual in question, sparking their own investigation and the unravelling of some strange secrets.

£160

London, John Gifford, 1965. First edition. 8vo. Original green boards. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 10s6d. A fine copy of this classic Inspector Littlejohn yarn...the case of the dead roulette player.

£95



London, Gifford, [1949].

First edition. 8vo. Original red boards. Dust-jacket, priced 7/6.

An intriguing dust-jacket complements this detective Inspector Thomas Littlejohn yarn.

£100

early issue (stating 7th Thousand on title), some minor spotting, original red cloth, dust-jacket, some minor chipping to edges but overall a very good example, publisher's price sticker on spine, 8vo, Skeffington, [c.1930].

£1,950



London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1933.

First edition, first impression. 8vo. Original blue cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 7/6.

One of the harder Berkeley first editions to find in the original, correctly priced jacket, with the ominous hangman's gallows picked out against a black background - scarce in such condition.

£700



London & Melbourne, Ward, Lock & Co., 1937

First edition. 8vo. 2pp. advertisements. Original green cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced at 7'6.

A game leads to theft and murder, leaving Detective-Inspector Richard Courtenay with a quandary ...who was 'King Oscar'? A very attractive dust-jacket.

£380


Translated by Geoffrey Sainsbury.
London, Hutchinson, 1956.

First UK edition. 8vo. Original red boards. Dust-jacket, priced 12/6 (i.e. second issue, with 10/6 clipped and 12/6 added).

First edition in English of this novel by Boileau & Narcejac, authors credited with creating an authentically French subgenre of crime fiction. Famously the basis for the 1958 Hitchcock film Vertigo, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak.

£130



London, Pawling and Ness Ltd., 1934.

First edition, first impression. 8vo. 1p. advertisements. Original red cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced at 3/6.

A rare title in the jacket: "The author served his apprenticeship to fiction in the highly imaginative school of boys' papers, and was for a time associated with the late Edgar Wallace." (jacket blurb)

£275



London, G. Bell, 1935.

First UK edition. 8vo. Original red cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 7s6d.

Compelling Bip Pares artwork graces this detective fiction title by American author Dorothea Brady, recounting the experiences of three artists commissioned to portray a wealthy Frenchman's beautiful wife.

£180

(A Detective-Inspector McCarthy Yarn). First Edition. Wright & Brown, n.d. [c.1941].

£95


Book of the Play by John G. Brandon & Geo. Pickett.
London, Readers Library, August 1928..

First edition, third printing. Small 8vo. Original gilt-tooled cloth. Dust-jacket.

An attractive early printing of the first edition of this neat Readers Library title, published to trade on the success of the play by Brandon & Pickett. The play was subsequently made into a film, in 1929, which saw the Library reissue the work. The striking dust-jacket is by a relatively unknown illustrator, Kenneth Romney Towndrow, who undertook several remarkable jacket commissions around this time. The story is very much in the "Yellow Peril" vein; the film itself sadly not a great success.

£125


Book the Play & Film. Illustrated Edition
London, Readers Library, 1930.

Fifth printing. Small 8vo. Original gilt cloth. Dust-jacket.

An attractive early printing of the first edition of this neat Readers Library title, published to coincide with the coeval film version.

£750

First edition, in early (1928) jacket.
London. Collins, 1924
Author’s debut novel and the first to feature Colonel Gore. This and other books in the series are noted for their intricate plots.

Detective Fiction

Brown (Alec) A Time to Kill.

£325

First edition.
London. Cape, 1930
Contains two short novels both with murder at their core. Rare in dust-jacket.

£95



London, Peter Davies, 1960.

First edition. 8vo. Original green boards. Dust-jacket, priced 13s6d.

Ace private detective Carolus Deene is on the case in the village of Gladhurst.

£275



London, Constable, 1931.

First edition. 8vo. Original red cloth. Dust-jacket, price-clipped.

Tales of Chinatown and Limehouse: "horrible, ironical, whimsically aloof"

£225



London, Collins Crime Club, 1958.

First edition. Ex-Library. 8vo. Original boards. Dust-jacket, priced 10s6d.

One can almost forgive the library markings here given how nice the jacket is! An uncommon first edition by 'Miles Burton', aka 'John Rhode'.

£140



London, Collins Crime Club, 1957.

First edition. 8vo. Original orange boards. Dust-jacket.

Collectable first edition by 'Miles Burton', aka 'John Rhode', "an exciting tale of oriental ingenuity and revenge" (jacket blurb).

£250



Garden City & New York, The Crime Club, Inc., Doubleday, Doran and Co., 1936.

First US edition (published in the UK as Death in the Tunnel). 8vo. Original cloth. Dust-jacket, priced $2.00.

An early title in the author's Desmond Merrion and Inspector Henry Arnold series, investigating murder on board a train in the Blackdown Tunnel.

£250


A Mystery Story
Garden City, The Crime Club, Inc., Doubleday, Doran and Co., 1940.

First US edition (published in the UK as Murder in the Coalhole). 8vo. Original blue cloth. Dust-jacket, priced $2.00.

Merrion drew a picture of a murderer with dust; coal dust, coke dust, road dust... A tale of dust, this one free of any angels & daemons, by Cecil Street and under his nom de plume Miles Burton; Street, as John Rhode, was also creator of Dr Priestley.

£125



London, MacDonald, 1946.

First edition. 8vo. Original red cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 8/6.

A Ludovic Travers Mystery Novel. Bush wrote sixty-three novels, all of which featured his series characters Ludovic Travers and Superintendent Wharton.

Detective Fiction

Campbell (Alice) Juggernaut

£725



London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1928.

First edition. 8vo. Original blue cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 7/6.

The first edition of the author's first book, memorably transferred to the big screen in 1936, starring Boris Karloff.

£395

London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1936. First edition. 8vo. Original black cloth with yellow spine label. Dust-jacket, priced 7/6. The second of two Buchanesque thrillers by Cannan, right down to the style of the jacket artwork. The author was well known for her detective fiction and children's stories.

£395

London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1935. First edition. 8vo. Original black cloth with yellow spine label. Dust-jacket, priced 7/6. The first of two Buchanesque thrillers by Cannan, right down to the style of the jacket artwork. The author was well known for her detective fiction and children's stories.