Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Author of the Week: S. S. Van Dine

S.S. VAN DINE

For a decade from the mid-1920's to the mid’30s, the most popular and successful mystery writer in America was Willard Huntington Wright using the pseudonym S.S. Van Dine. A famous and sophisticated critic of literature and art, he was taken ill and, to relieve his boredom, read hundreds of mysteries, decided he could do better than his contemporaries, and created Philo Vance. His editor at Scribners was the legendary Maxwell Perkins, who also published Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe. Vance appeared in a dozen novels, all of which became best-sellers (at a time when this was unheard of for detective novels). Many fans of old-fashioned detective stories who like fair-play clues and a superior amateur detective still regard the Philo Vance novels as the best series ever produced by an American.

The Benson Murder Case, N.Y., Burt, n.d. (originally published in 1926). Reprint. Gold on spine dulled, else about fine in dust jacket (reproducing the original Scribner design) which has light wear at spine ends and corners, and a small chip in the spine. $45.00

Another copy. Name, else very good. $15.00

Another copy. Hinge broken. Good reading copy. $10.00

Another copy. Movie edition, with scenes from the 1930 film starring William Powell. Very good. $20.00

The "Canary" Murder Case, N.Y., Scribners, 1928 (originally 1927). Reprint. Bookplate, else very good. $17.50

The "Canary" Murder Case, N.Y., Grosset & Dunlap, n.d. Movie edition, with scenes from the 1929 film starring William Powell. Binding worn, else very good. $15.00

The "Canary" Murder Case, N.Y., Collier, n.d. Binding has a spider web design. Fine. $17.50

The "Canary" Murder Case, Boston, Gregg, 1980. With a new introduction by Chris Steinbrunner. With illustrations from the 1929 film starring William Powell. Fine in dust jacket with a few small closed tears.

The Greene Murder Case, N.Y., Scribners, 1928. First edition, first issue (with only 1928 on the copyright page). Apart from light staining to the rear endpaper, a fine, fresh copy with the white lettering pristine, in a dust jacket with light wear to spine ends, corners, top edge and with staining to the rear panel. $100.00

Another copy. First edition, second state, with two dates on the copyright pages. Name, else about fine in dust jacket, which has light wear at spine ends and edges. $125.00

Another copy. First edition, second state, with two dates on the copyright page. Name, else about very good. $15.00

Another copy. First edition, second state. Good copy only. $10.00

Another copy. N.Y., Grosset & Dunlap, n.d. Reprint. Fine in a moderately chipped dust jacket. $25.00

Another copy. N.Y., Grosset & Dunlap, n.d. Movie edition, with scenes from the 1929 film starring William Powel. Fine. $20.00

Another copy. Movie edition, with scenes from the 1929 film starring William Powell. Wear at base of spine, else very good. $15.00

Another copy. N.Y., Collier, n.d. Binding has a spider web design. Fine. $17.50

Another copy. N.Y., Collier, n.d. Binding has a spider web design. Corner worn. $10.00

Another copy. Boston, Gregg, 1980. With a new introduction by Chris Steinbrunner. With illustrations from the 1929 film starring William Powell. Fine in dust jacket, which has a tear at one corner. $20.00

The Bishop Murder Case, N.Y., Scribners, 1929. First edition. Very good-near fine copy in an unusually nice dust jacket with light wear at spine tips and corners. $125.00

Another copy. First edition. About fine in a rubbed dust jacket. $100.00

Another copy. First edition. Name and bookplate, else fine. $25.00

Another copy. First edition. Cover rubbed, else very good. $17.50

Another copy. N.Y., Grosset & Dunlap, n.d. Movie edition, with scenes from the 1930 film starring Basil Rathbone. Small label inside front cover, else a fine copy. $20.00

Another copy. Boston, Gregg, 1980. With a new illustration by Chris Steinbrunner and illustrations from the 1930 film starring Basil Rathbone. Very fine in dust jacket. $25.00

Another copy. Near fine in dust jacket. $20.00

The Scarab Murder Case, N.Y., Grosset & Dunlap, n.d. (originally published in 1930). Reprint. Very fine in an as new dust jacket except for a small nearly invisible closed tear. $45.00

Another copy. Gift inscription, else fine in a lightly chipped dust jacket.

Another copy. Spine ends rubbed, else near fine. $20.00

Another copy. Name, else very good. $15.00

Another copy. Spine worn, else very good. $10.00

Another copy. Boston, Gregg. With a new introduction by Chris Steinbrunner and illustrations from the 1936 film starring Wilfred Hyde White. About fine in dust jacket. $20.00

The Kennel Murder Case, N.Y., Scribners, 1933. First edition. Very good-near fine. $35.00

The Dragon Murder Case, N.Y., Grosset & Dunlap, n.d. (originally published in 1933). Reprint. Tear in front endpaper, stain on first blank page, else very good in chipped dust jacket. $25.00

The Dragon Murder Case, N.Y., Otto Penzler, 1996. Facsimile of the first edition. As new in dust jacket. $40.00

The Casino Murder Case, N.Y., Scribners, 1934. First edition. Spine ends worn, front cover marked, front flap of dust jacket pasted inside front cover; overall near very good copy of a scarce title. $25.00

The Kidnap Murder Case, N.Y., Scribners, 1936. First edition. Very good copy in a rubbed and chipped dust jacket. $65.00

Another copy. First edition. Edges rubbed, holes in hinges; good-very good. $20.00

Another copy. N.Y., Collier, n.d. Binding has spider web design. Initial on front endpaper, else fine. $17.50

The Garden Murder Case, N.Y., Scribners, 1937. First edition. A fine copy in a near fine Grosset & Dunlap dust jacket. $75.00

The Garden Murder Case, N.Y., Collier, n.d. (originally published in 1937). Reprint. Binding has spider web design. Fine. $17.50

The Gracie Allen Murder Case, N.Y., Scribners, 1938. First edition. A fine copy with the yellow cover clean and fresh in a rubbed, price-clipped dust jacket. $175.00

The Gracie Allen Murder Case, N.Y., Scribners, 1938. First edition. Yellow cover soiled, else very good in rubbed dust jacket. $65.00

Another copy. N.Y., Grosset & Dunlap, n.d. Very good. $15.00

Another copy. N.Y. Collier, n.d. Binding has spider web design. Initial on front endpaper, else fine. $17.50

A Philo Vance Weekend, N.Y., Grosset & Dunlap, n.d. Reprint. An omnibus containing The "Canary" Murder Case, The Greene Murder Case and The Bishop Murder Case. Very good-near fine. $15.00

Wright, Willard Huntington, The Man of Promise, N.Y., Lane, 1916. Second edition of the author’s first novel (non-mystery). Bookplate, name; about very good. $20.00

North, Sterling, and Carl Kroch, So Red the Nose, N.Y., Farrar & Rinehart, 1935. First edition. A collection of cocktails by various authors, including Hemingway and Van Dine’s "Canary Murder Case Cocktail." Fine copy of a scarce book in a chipped dust jacket. $65.00

Van Dine, S.S., I Used to Be a Highbrow but Look at Me Now, N.Y., Mysterious Bookshop, 2000. A reprint of an autobiographical essay originally published in the September 1928 issue of The American Magazine, then published in a now very rare pamphlet by Scribners in 1929. With an introduction by Otto Penzler. Limited to 250 copies. Fine. $13.00

Loughery, John, Alias S.S. Van Dine, N.Y., Scribners, 1992. First edition. A biography of the man who created Philo Vance. Fine in dust jacket. $24.00

Truska, Jon, Philo Vance: The Life and Times of S.S. Van Dine, Bowling Green, Ohio, Popular Press, 1971. First edition. Fine in original wrappers. $15.00

Penzler, Otto, Collecting S.S. Van Dine, N.Y., Mysterious Bookshop, 1999. First edition, limited to 250 copies. A chapbook fully illustrated with all dust jackets, issue points for identifying first editions, and values (now somewhat outdated). Fine. Signed (on request). $13.00

2 comments:

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于名于名 said...

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