Detective Fiction

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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.


London, John Gifford, 1976.

First edition. 8vo. Original red boards. Dust-jacket, priced £2.50.

A British travel group is stranded in France when the tour conductor is shot, and the bus driver is accused of murder. Luckily, Inspector Littlejohn is holidaying nearby and is on hand, both to interpret the annoyed tourists and to solve a baffling double crime.


London, John Gifford, 1948.

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

Decent first edition of this early Inspector Thomas Littlejohn novel.


London, John Gifford, [1949].

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

An Inspector Littlejohn story.


London, John Gifford, 1970.

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

Decent first edition of this later Inspector Thomas Littlejohn novel.


A Dramatic Story
London, Greening, 1906.

Early edition. 8vo. Original pictorial wrappers, priced 6d.

An excellent example of this early edition of a pulp classic.


London, Collins Crime Club, 1968.

First UK edition. 8vo. Original red boards. Dust-jacket, priced 21s.

The first UK edition of the author's third "cat" murder-mysteries.


London, Geoffrey Bles, 1956.

First edition. 8vo. Original green boards lettered in red. Dust-jacket, priced 10s6d.

The author's first novel, introducing her series character John Coffin, albeit in a less primary role than that he took on from the fourth book.


New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1934.

First edition (stated on copyright page). 8vo. Dust-jacket, price-clipped.

The first edition of this classic of US crime literature, widely recognised as an outstanding novel of the 20th century. The jacket is price-clipped, but the titles listed on the back panel conform to the first printing, and the inside front flap includes the disclaimer about no cheaper printings being issued before Spring 1935.


London, Hutchinson, [1935].

First edition. 8vo. Original orange cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 3/6.

Attractive first edition of this important anthology, featuring Anthony Berkeley, John Dickson Carr, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and many many more of the biggest names in crime fiction.


New York, Grosset & Dunlap, 1937.

First US edition, no printing specified on copyright page. 8vo. Original dark beige cloth lettered in dark blue. Early/first reprint dust-jacket, no price.

The first US edition of one of Christie's most famous Poirot novels, here in probably the first reprint dust-jacket, issued the same year.


London, Collins, 1954.

First edition. 8vo. Original red cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 10s6d.

An attractive first edition example of this 1950s Agatha Christie, set largely in Morocco.


New York, Grosset & Dunlap, March 1934.

First US edition, fourth printing. 8vo. Original blue cloth lettered in red. Dust-jacket, priced $.75

An attractive early printing of the first US edition of Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, retitled in America to avoid confusion with the 1932 Graham Greene novel Stamboul Train, which had been published in the United States as Orient Express.


A New Poirot Mystery
New York, Dodd, Mead, 1936.

First US edition. 8vo. Original yellow cloth. Dust-jacket, priced $2.00.

First USA edition of this excellent Hercule Poirot novel, satisfyingly televised by the BBC in 2018 with John Malkovich as the moustachioed detective.


London, Herbert Jenkins, n.d. [c.1925].

Early printing. 8vo. Original red cloth blocked in black. Dust-jacket, priced 3/6.

Great jacket artwork on this early printing of one of six titles Goodchild published under the name 'Alan Dare', originally published in 1924. The title was reissued under Goodchild's name by Newnes in 1934.


London, Macmillan, 1977.

First edition. 8vo. Original black boards. Dust-jacket, priced £3.50.

The scarce third Inspector Morse title.


comprising: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle; The Adventure of the Speckled Band; The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor; The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
London, George Newnes, 1892.

Together in The Strand Magazine, vol.III January to June. 4to. Bound in contemporary half calf, spine gilt.

Including several of the most famous Sherlock Holmes adventures, in their original first appearance.


London, John Murray, n.d. [c.1925].

Early jacketed issue. Small 8vo. Original blue cloth, blind-tooled to upper cover and lettered in gilt to spine. Dust-jacket, priced 2/-.

An uncommon edition in the dust-jacket, especially in such good order.


London, Newnes, 1902.

First edition. 8vo. Original red cloth blocked in elaborate gilt to upper cover and spine, with inset black silhouette of the Hound to upper cover.

Without doubt one of the most thrilling and atmospheric adventures of everybody's favourite consulting detective, a glorious blend of goth pseudo supernatural and definitive Holmesian deductive scene stealing, The Hound of the Baskervilles exists very much in a realm of its own.

The novel, the third of four featuring Holmes, was the first tale to be published after Doyle threw his most notable creation off a waterfall, and its considerable commercial success was really the catalyst for Holmes' triumphal return to life. With more plots than Varney the Vampire (actually five in all, including red we're exaggerating, because everyone knows Varney has about 750), it seems very much a harking back to the Victorian style of creeper, very Le Fanu or Wilkie Collins, with its diary entries, and letters, unearthed manuscript and doom laden portents uttered by gloomy locals staring out of windows overlooking marsh land.


London, Skeffington, n.d..

Early printing, stating '6th Thousand' on jacket spine. 8vo. Original olive cloth. Dust-jacket, with price rather dramatically excised from spine.

An early printing of the US author's first book.


London, Skeffington, n.d..

Early printing, stating '7th Thousand' to title-page. 8vo. Original red boards. Dust-jacket, priced 2/6.

Originally published in 1929, sometimes subtitled Or How the Squid Got Besuckered, introduces a villain known as the Crimson Query because he leaves, Zorro-like, a sign of his machinations. In this case, a bright red question mark. All in all, this hard-to-find detective story stands alongside the more horrific novels Eadie is known for.


London, Faber & Faber, 1935.

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

22 murder stories that only appeared in periodical form before.


London, Ward Lock, n.d. [c.1930].

8vo. Original red cloth lettered in black.

An early edition of this interesting yarn about two ex-jailbirds threatened by a blackmailing detective. Originally published in 1919.


London, Boardman, 1939.

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

Redhead reporter Rufus Reed and editor Asaph Clume at their finest, plus excellent jacket artwork.


London, Herbert Jenkins, n.d..

'Popular Edition'. 8vo. Original green cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 2/-.

A lovely early reissue of this classic, "the story of a mother's vengeance".


London, Methuen, 1952.

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

An attractively jacketed first edition of this crime thriller featuring Gregg's recurring detective, Inspector Cuthbert Higgins.


London, Collins, 1943.

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

One of several 'Ironsides' titles written by Brooks under the pseudonym Victor Gunn. He also famously wrote under the pen name of Berkeley Gray.


New York, Knopf, 1945.

7th Pocket Books edition. 8vo. Original pictorial wrappers. Pictorial dust-jacket.

An attractive paperback edition of this classic of this hard-boiled detective novel.


London, Chatto & Windus, 1938.

First edition. 8vo. Original red cloth. Dust-jacket, price-clipped and with price-sticker 7/6.

Twelve stories showcasing Household's literary flair above and beyond the spy/thriller genre he is normally associated with. Attractive dust-jacket.


London, Cassell, 1906.

First edition. 8vo. Patterned endpapers, publisher's catalogue at end. Original green pictorial cloth.

A very good first edition of this mystery novel by the author of The Mystery of a Hansom Cab.

Detective Fiction

Johns (W.E.) Murder by Air


London, Newnes, [1937].

First edition. 8vo. Original blue cloth.

The first edition in book form (preceded by appearance in The Thriller magazine the same year) of this more grown-up tale by the creator of Biggles, featuring former First World War pilot turned crime-fighter Deeley Montfort Delaroy (aka "Steeley").


London, Collins Crime Club, 1957.

First UK edition. 8vo. Original red boards. Dust-jacket, priced 10s6d.

Excellent, seemingly anonymous jacket artwork on this the first UK publication of a French author who famously wrote about the seedy criminal underworld.


London, Michael Joseph, 1955.

First edition. 8vo. Original black cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 10s6d.

One of a series of crime thrillers by journalist, author and war correspondent Macdonald Hastings.


London, Sampson Low, 1949.

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

Dave Lee was shot dead as he rode the Joyland ferris wheel. As hard-boiled private investigator Max Thursday stalked Dave's killer, he encountered … a high-powered sob sister, the sadistic king of a gambling syndicate, and a delicate, sphinx-like girl who packed a.38 revolver.


London, Sampson Low, 1949.

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

When a phony count, a weird artist, and a dazzling blond beauty relentlessly dog his footsteps, hard-hitting private investigator Max Thursday knows his charming personality isn't the attraction.


London, Methuen, 1922.

First edition. 8vo. Publisher's advertisements at rear. Original green cloth lettered and decorated in gilt to spine.

Rare detective fiction first edition by 'Christopher Robin' creator A.A. Milne, one of three such crime titles he wrote (others being The Fourth Wall (1928) and the play The Perfect Alibi (1928)). A Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone.

"And an excellent story it is! Anthony Gillingham light-heartedly unravels the mystery, standing at the head of a long, and soon extending queue of humorous sleuths who gave a new and refreshing slant to the business of fictional crime. 'What fun! Here's a body!' sums up the style; yet this fantasy, with its brilliant dialogue, finely-drawn scenes from the night-life of the 'twenties and credible characters, hold the reader until the final page is turned." (Quayle, The Collector's Book of Detective Fiction, pp.107-108).


London, Ward, Lock, [c.1901].

Early edition. 8vo. Original cloth-backed pictorial boards.

An attractive illustrated edition of this account of the ongoing adventures of investigator Martin Hewitt, first introduced to readers in 1894. Morrison is best known today for his novel A Child of the Jago (1896).