Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Hi Folks!
Our "author of the week" is a list of bibliomysteries.

Have fun with this.

Sally Owen
The Mysterious Bookshop



Since it has proven to be the most popular list we send out, we’re again offering some books in one of the most interesting sub-genres of the mystery world, "Bibliomysteries," which are books about books. They may be set in bookstores or libraries, they may involve collectors, librarians or authors, or they may involve rare books or manuscripts, but, for all of us who love the world of books, these are among the most satisfying books in the field, both for readers and for the many collectors who have specialized in these titles. If you would like to put together your own collection of bibliomysteries, whether reading copies or fine first editions, please make contact with Otto, who would enjoy working with you.

Allen, Garrison, Royal Cat, N.Y., Kensington, 1995. First edition.of the second book in the series about Penelope Warren, owner of the mystery bookstore Mycroft & Company and her cat, Mycroft, a.k.a. "Big Mike," as they investigate murders at the Almost Authentic Elizabethan Spring Faire in Empty Creek, Arizona. Very fine in dust jacket. Inscribed and signed. $25.00

Allen, Garrison, Stable Cat, N.Y., Kensington, 1997. First edition. Penelope Warren and "Big Mike"and the abduction of a valuable stallion. Very fine in dust jacket. $18.95

Allen, Garrison, Dinosaur Cat, N.Y., Kensington, 1998. First edition. Penelope Warren and "Big Mike" investigate murder at an archaeological site that involves a Russian ballerina and a manufacturer of fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls for Tel Aviv tourists. Very fine in dust jacket. $20.00

Allingham, Margery, Flowers for the Judge, London, Heinemann, 1953. Reprint. Originally published in 1936. Albert Campion investigates a London publishing house that is awash in scandal. Very good in nice vintage dust jacket. $20.00

Allingham, Margery, Flowers for the Judge, N.Y., Doubleday, 1936. Reprint. Near fine reading copy. $15.00

Anderson, Frederick Irving, "The Jorgenson Plates" contained in The Female of the Species edited by Ellery Queen, Boston, Little, Brown, 1943. Second printing Contains this story with much about the technical aspects of publishing in England and America. The Sophie Lang character served as the basis for three Paramount films, all starring Gertrude Michael: The Notorious Sophie Lang (1934), The Return of Sophie Lang (1936) and Sophie Lang Goes West (1937). Near fine copy. $15.00

Bradberry, James, Ruins of Civility, N.Y., St. Martin’s, 1996. First edition. A Princeton professor travels to Cambridge University to research a new book and finds his old mentor has disappeared. Very fine in dust jacket. $21.95

Breen, Jon L., Touch of the Past, N.Y., Walker, 1988. First edition. L.A. bookseller Rachel Jennings buys a collection of vintage mysteries from a Hollywood writer who is found murdered on the morning of the sale. Very fine in dust jacket. $25.00

Caldwell, Ian, and Dustin Thomason, The Rule of Four, London, Century, 2004. First edition. In 1999, two Princeton students have been studying one of the world’s rarest books, hoping to unlock its secrets, as scholars have attempted to do for 500 years. When they locate a rare diary, they are almost there, only to have the campus in an uproar when another studier of the book is murdered. Very fine in dust jacket. $125.00

Another copy. First U.S. edition. Very fine in dust jacket. $65.00

Cline, Ed, First Prize, N.Y., Mysterious Press, 1988. First edition. The winner of an important literary prize disappears. Top of pages dusty, else fine in dust jacket, which has a sunned spine. $15.00

Clynes, Michael (pseudonym of P.C. Doherty), The Poisoned Chalice, N.Y., Otto Penzler, 1992. First U.S. edition. Sir Roger Shallot searches for a certain book that King Henry doesn’t want in enemy hands. Very fine in dust jacket. $21.00

Cross, Amanda, The James Joyce Murders, N.Y., Macmillan, 1967. First edition. A great American publisher dies, leaving a large cache of letters by Joyce, D.H. Lawrence and other major literary figures. Kate Fansler is asked to edit them and becomes involved with murder. Fine in a fine, price-clipped dust jacket. $65.00

Cross, Amanda, The Theban Mysteries, N.Y., Knopf, 1971. First edition. Kate Fansler is teaching a course on Antigone when a scandal involving some of her students threatens to ruin the exclusive girls’ school. Fine in dust jacket. $45.00

Dane, Clemence, and Helen Simpson, Enter Sir John, N.Y., Cosmopolitan, 1928. First edition. A murder in a London theater is solved by means of a neatly rewritten play. Frontispiece. Very good copy. $35.00

Delving, Michael (pseudonym of Jay Williams), Smiling the Boy Fell Dead, N.Y., Scribner, 1966. First edition. Rare book dealer Dave Cannon makes his debut in this novel and travels to remote Gloucestershire to examine the rare manuscript he has been offered, only to find murder. Ink note inside front cover, else fine in a price-clipped dust jacket that has very light wear at spine ends. $15.00

Dolson, Hildegarde, Please Omit Funeral, Philadelphia, Lippincott, 1976. Book club edition. After a right-wing extremist demonstrates against "dirty" books in the library and burns them, a local author is murdered and she is the prime suspect. Near fine in dust jacket. $8.50

Dunning, John, The Bookman’s Wake, N.Y., Scribner, 1995. Book club edition. Denver rare book bookseller Cliff Janeway is happily buying and selling books when he is asked to pick up a young woman fugitive who may have stolen a priceless copy of Poe’s The Raven. He doesn’t like the job, but can’t resist because of the book. Fine in lightly worn dust jacket. $10.00

Fairstein, Linda, Lethal Legacy, N.Y., Dutton, 2009. First edition. A curator of rare books and maps is the victim of an assault but refuses to cooperate with the police. Soon, another woman in the same apartment is murdered with a valuable book—probably stolen--in her possession. Asst. D.A. Alex Cooper enters the privileged world of the Hunt family—passionate rare book collectors and major benefactors of the N.Y. Public Library. Very fine, as new, in dust jacket. Signed. $26.00

Fearing, Kenneth, The Big Clock, N.Y., Harcourt, 1946. First edition. A young woman involved with a large publishing company is murdered by a member of the prestigious publishing house. The basis for the outstanding 1948 Paramount film noir directed by John Farrow, with a screenplay by Jonathan Latimer; it starred Ray Millan and Charles Laughton. It was remade by Orion in 1987 as No Way Out. Fine in dust jacket, which has a sunned spine and small chips. Uncommon. $125.00

Fenster, Bob, The Last Page, N.Y., Perseverance Press, 1989. First edition. Trade paperback original. A New York mystery editor is found slumped across her desk with a rejection slip stapled to her sleeve and a bullet hole in her heart. Could a writer have accepted rejection badly? Very fine. $15.00

Fiechter, J.J., Death by Publication, N.Y., Arcade, 1995. First edition in English.. (Translated from the French Tire a Part, Paris, 1993). The head of one of England’s most prestigious publishing houses has always seemed quite content to be the silent supporter of his great authors as editor, translator and publisher. But when his best-selling French author delivers his greatest work, he recognizes it as a true story about the only woman he ever loved, reduced to ruin by the charismatic Frenchman, and determines to ruin him.

Very fine in dust jacket. $20.00

Fish, Robert L., Kek Huuygens, Smuggler, N.Y., Mysterious Press, 1976. First edition. A collection of clever short stories including one in which the gentleman smuggler manages to help steal the original manuscript of a Bach cantata. One of 1,000 copies. Fine in dust jacket. $10.00

Fiske, Dorsey, Bound to Murder, N.Y., St. Martin’s, 1987. First edition. A thief steals valuable color prints from a library, then an entire rare medieval text. The culprit is caught, then murdered. Fine in dust jacket. Review letter laid in. $25.00

Fuller, Timothy, Harvard Has a Homicide, 1936. Reprint. The murder of a professor sets off an investigation throughout Harvard, the Hasty Pudding Club and its famous library. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. $25.00

Another copy. Reprint. Very good reading copy. $15.00

Furutani, Dale, Death in Little Tokyo, N.Y., St. Martin’s, 1996. First edition. A mystery fan masquerades as a private eye at his local mystery club’s weekend event when a femme fatale turns up. The author’s first book. Very fine in dust jacket. $35.00

Thomas Gifford, Woman in the Window, N.Y., Bantam, 1984. Unity, ME, Five Star, 1999. First hardcover edition, originally published as a paperback original as by Dana Clarins. Very fine without dust jacket, as issued. A successful literary agent looks out her window to see a man throw a gun onto a construction site, and he sees her. Very fine, unread copy. $25.00

Grimes, Martha, The Five Bells and Bladebone, Boston, Little, Brown, 1987. First edition. A dismembered corpse is found in an antique secretary, and one of the prime suspects is the owner of Long Pidd’s bookshop. Very fine in dust jacket. $20.00

Handler, David, The Man Who Would F. Scott Fitzgerald, N.Y. Bantam, 1990. First edition. Paperback original. A first-time novelist writes in the style of Fitzgerald and has a huge success. Between touring, promoting, partying, etc. he’s too busy to write a second book, so the publisher hires a ghostwriter to produce his tell-all expose of the dirty side of publishing. Murders ensue. Winner of the Edgar for Paperback Original..

Harrison, Michael, The Exploits of the Chevalier Dupin, Sauk City, WI, Mycroft & Moran, 1968. First edition. A collection of short stories featuring Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin, including "The Mystery of the Fulton Documents." Very fine in dust jacket. $75.00

Hart, Carolyn G., Death on Demand, N.Y., Bantam, 1987. First edition. Paperback original. The first mystery in the series about Annie Laurence, the proprietress of the "Death on Demand" mystery bookstore on Broward’s Rock Island, S.C., holds a weekly meeting of mystery writers called "The Sunday Night Regulars" which doesn’t turn out as planned when one of the authors is murdered. Very fine, unread copy. $100.00

Hart, Carolyn G., Something Wicked, N.Y., Bantam, 1988. First edition. Paperback original. An Annie Laurence mystery in which the bookshop owner must deal with the surprising fact that her fiancé Max is accused of murdering the leading man in a summer stock production of Arsenic and Old Lace. Very fine, unread copy. Inscribed and signed. $45.00

Another copy. First edition. Very fine, unread copy. Not signed. $20.00

Hart, Carolyn G., Design for Murder, N.Y., Bantam, 1988. First edition. Paperback original. Annie Laurence, owner of the "Death on Demand" mystery bookstore, is invited to stage a mystery night that ends in murder. Very fine, unread copy. $20.00

Hart, Carolyn G., Mint Julep Murder, N.Y., Bantam, 1995. First edition. Annie Darling, owner of the Death on Demand Bookstore, attends the Dixie Book Festival and finds a publisher poisoned. Advance reading copy. Very fine in original wrappers. $7.50

Hess, Joan, Strangled Prose, N.Y., St. Martin’s, 1986. First edition. The first novel about Claire Malloy, who operates the Book Depot, a classy college bookshop located in an old train station. She reluctantly agrees to host a book signing party at her shop for the author of a steamy romance, a roman a clef about escapades of faculty members. Very fine in dust jacket. $100.00

Hess, Joan, Murder at the Murder at the Mimosa Inn, N.Y., St. Martin’s, 1986. A Claire Malloy mystery set at a murder mystery weekend. Very fine in dust jacket. $75.00

Hess, Joan, Dear Miss Demeanor, N.Y., St. Martin’s, 1987. First edition. A Claire Malloy mystery in which her daughter’s principal falls dead from a mouthful of poisoned peach compote. Very fine in dust jacket. $25.00

Hess, Joan, Busy Bodies, N.Y., Dutton, 1995. First edition. Claire Malloy becomes involved with an artist whose front yard showcases a coffin and a nude model, causing so large a crowd and commensurate noise that the local mystery writer can’t finish her book. Advance proof copy. Very fine in original wrappers. $10.00

Hess, Joan, Death by the Light of the Moon, N.Y., St. Martin’s, 1992. First edition. Claire Malloy, owner of the little campus book store, the Book Depot, finds herself in the middle of her own Gothic plot when she travels to her late husband’s decaying ancestral home for a murderous family reunion. Very fine in dust jacket. $20.00

Kenney, Susan, Garden of Menace, N.Y., Scribner, 1983. First edition. A Vassar professor is hired to edit the papers of famed author Lady Viola Montfort-Snow and learns that some people will do anything to prevent her—including murder. A fine fresh copy in dust jacket; advance copy with review slip and publicity letter laid in. $20.00

King, C(harles) Daly, The Curious Mr. Tarrant, N.Y., Dover, 1972. First U.S. edition. The British edition is one of the rarest books of the 20th century. Contains "The Episode of the ‘Codex’ Curse," an "impossible" crime in which a priceless Aztec Codex is stolen from a guarded and locked room. This trade paperback original is the first in the U.S. Fine. $20.00

Kurnitz, Harry, Invasion of Privacy, N.Y., Random House, 1955. First edition. A hot young Hollywood producer acquires the rights to a book by a beautiful woman and, after the film is shot, learns it was based on a true story. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. $17.50

Ludlum, Robert, The Chancellor Manuscript, N.Y., Dial, 1977. 4th printing. Peter Chancellor learns of a secret group of men who were involved in killing J. Edgar Hoover and reveals many secrets in the form of a novel. Much information about publishing. Fine in dust jacket. $12.50

McCrumb, Sharon, Zombies of the Gene Pool, N.Y., Simon & Schuster, 1992. First edition. Murder at a science fiction convention attended by many of the giants of the genre. Very fine in dust jacket. $20.00

McGaughey, Neil, Otherwise Known as Murder, N.Y., Scribner, 1994. First edition. America’s leading authority on mystery fiction takes a pseudonym to attempt his own novel but before he can begin he is asked to find one of the mystery world’s most influential writers and finds murder. Very fine in dust jacket. $25.00

McGaughey, Neil, And Then There Were Ten, N.Y., Scribner, 1995. First edition. His editor asks mystery expert Stokes Moran to compile a list of his 10 favorite crime novels; he attends a birthday party for a former literary agent, who is scared half to death. Advance reading copy. Very fine in wrappers. $10.00

McInerney, Ralph, Second Vespers, N.Y., Vanguard, 1980. First edition; advance uncorrected proof copy. A Father Dowling mystery about an author whose death sparks renewed interest in his work, including by a librarian who has some unpublished letters and bookshop owner with one of the author’s diaries. Very good in wrappers. $10.00

Michaels, Barbara (pseudonym of Barbara Louise Gross Mertz), Houses of Stone, N.Y., Simon & Schuster, 1993. First edition. A young professor of English chances upon a privately printed volume of poetry dating from the early 19th century and later finds an old manuscript with the same attribution, she believes her important discovery is worth further exploration, leading to dire consequences. Very fine in dust jacket. $21.00

Newman, Sharan, Death Comes as Epiphany, N.Y., Tor, 1993. First edition. In 12th century France, a manuscript produced at a convent has disappeared amid rumors that it contains sacrilegious passages and that it will be used to condemn Heloise’s lover, Peter Abelard. Very fine in dust jacket. $20.00

Offord, Lenore Glen, Walking Shadow, N.Y., Simon & Schuster, 1959. First edition. At the Ashland, Oregon, Shakespeare Festival, someone adds a line to one of Shakespeare’s plays, leading to murder. Fine in a fine dust jacket with minute rubbing to tip of spine. Inscribed and signed. $40.00

Another copy. First edition. Fine in a lightly rubbed dust jacket. $20.00

Reno, Marie, Final Proof, N.Y., Harper, 1976. First edition. The editorial director of a major book club is found slumped over a set of galley proofs. Written by a long-time publishing insider. Near fine in dust jacket. $15.00

Roberts, Gillian (pseudonym of Judith A. Greber), I’d Rather Be in Philadelphia, N.Y., Ballantine, 1992. First edition. Philadelphia schoolteacher Amanda Pepper is sorting through stacks of used books for a library sale when she notices a book about abused women with particularly vicious passages underlined and a marginal note that says "I know he’ll kill me." Very fine in dust jacket. $20.00

Rogow, Roberta, The Problem of the Evil Editor, N.Y., St. Martin’s, 2000. First edition; advance reading copy. Charles Dodgson brings his friend Arthur Conan Doyle to introduce him to editors who might be interested in his work. They approach Samuel Bassett as he violently rejects the work of Oscar Wilde, then soon afterward see him murdered in full sight during a heavy snow storm. Very fine in wrappers. $10.00

Sandom, J.G., Gospel Truths, N.Y., Doubleday, 1992. First edition. A Gnostic Bible buried beneath Chartres Cathedral is at the core of a murder. Very fine in dust jacket. $22.50

Schorr, Mark, Red Diamond, Private Eye, N.Y., St. Martin’s, 1983. First edition. Simon Jaffe is a New York cab driver by day, an avid pulp fiction reader and collector by night. Fine in dust jacket. Inscribed and signed. $45.00

Simonson, Sheila, Larkspur, N.Y., St. Martin’s, 1990. First edition. The first mystery in the series about bookstore owner Lark Dailey, who is invited to spend a "literary" weekend with the poet David "Dai" Llewellyn.

Very fine in dust jacket. Publicity letter laid in. $25.00

Sims, George R., The Despain Papers, Philadelphia, PA, Holmes, 1992. First U.S. and first hardcover edition; trade edition limited to 650 copies. Very fine in lightly rubbed dust jacket. $25.00

Skom, Edith, The Mark Twain Murders, Tulsa, OK, Council Oak Books, 1989. First edition. Murder in the stacks of the university library may be even more serious than the stolen books. No front endpaper; good reading copy in dust jacket. $10.00

Starrett, Vincent, "The Adventure of the Unique Hamlet," contained in 221B: Studies in Sherlock Holmes, N.Y., Macmillan, 1940. The first publication after the very rare privately printed edition of 1920 of what many believe to be the finest Sherlock Holmes pastiche ever written. A very fine, fresh copy in a bright dust jacket with a small chip at head of spine and a piece torn from the front flap, which is price-clipped. $150.00

Starrett, Vincent, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, N.Y., Otto Penzler. First of this edition. Contains "The Adventure of the Unique Hamlet." Fine in wrappers. $7.95

Straus, Ralph, Pengard Awake, N.Y., Appleton, 1920. First U.S. edition. An English book collector travels to Chicago and meets an antiquarian bookseller in his shop in Chicago and tries to help him cope with a dark mystery. Gift inscription on front endpaper, else a very nice, about fine copy in the scarce dust jacket, which has a few nicks and tears. A classic bibliomystery. $150.00

Strong, Tony, The Poison Tree, London, Doubleday, 1997. First edition. A young woman moves to Oxford to study for her doctorate in detective fiction and learns that her home was once the site of a brutal murder. Soon, strange and frightening events begin. Very fine in dust jacket. $35.00

Symons, Julian, The Colour of Murder, London, Collins, 1957. First edition. A happily married visits the library, where he begins an affair with a pretty young woman, leading to murder. Covers marked, else very good in dust jacket, which is sunned at the spine and has a closed tear. $25.00

Trocheck, Kathy Hogan, To Live and Die in Dixie, N.Y., Harper, 1993. First edition. An authentic Civil War diary is fervently pursued by numerous characters, from various university librarians to a lunatic Civil War buff. Very fine in dust jacket. $20.00

Valin, Jonathan, Final Notice, N.Y., Dodd, Mead, 1980. Private detective Harry Stoner is hired to stop a psychopath who has been mutilating books in a Cincinnati library by cutting out parts of the female anatomy from art books before he escalates to the real thing. Very fine in dust jacket. $125.00

Van Gieson, Judith, The Stolen Blue, Albuquerque, N.M., University of New Mexico, 2000. First edition. Claire Reynier’s job is to buy books for the University of New Mexico’s library, a job she loves. But when a collector invites her to a remote wilderness ranch, her dream job becomes a nightmare. Very fine in dust jacket. Signed. $22.95

Wallace, Edgar, The Door with Seven Locks, N.Y., Doubleday, 1928. A man of evil repute steals a book of biology from a library–not the least of his crimes. Filmed in London by Rialto in 1940 with a screenplay by Norman Lee, Gilbert Gunn and John Argyle; it was directed by Lee and starred Leslie Banks and Lilli Palmer. It was released in the United States by Monogram as Chamber of Horrors. Very good. $15.00

Wells, Carolyn, Murder in the Bookshop, N.Y., Grosset & Dunlap, 1936. Reprint. A wealthy book collector breaks into a New York antiquarian bookshop with his personal librarian and is found murdered, with a rare book missing. Some foxing, name on front endpaper, else about fine in a beautiful, bright dust jacket that replicates that of the first edition, which is a rare and expensive book in dust jacket. There is a closed tear at the lower hinge, otherwise it is fine. $100.00

Wren, Lassiter, and Randle McKay, The Baffle Book, N.Y., Doubleday, 1928. Later printing. A collection of solve-them-yourself mysteries, including "The Problem of Napoleon’s Signatures." Fine in dust jacket, which has minor spine wear. $45.00

Wren, Lassiter, and Randle McKay, The Third Baffle Book, N.Y., Doubleday, 1930. First edition. Another collection of solve-them-yourself mysteries, including "The Stolen Endymion." Very good. $15.00

Zaroulis, N.L., The Poe Papers, N.Y., Jove, 1977. First paperback edition. A literary treasure beyond price, the romantic letters exchanged between Edgar Allan Poe and Mrs. Nancy Richmond a year before his death, lures a passionate devotee of the author to the crumbling house filled with memorabilia and the letters, driving him mad. Fine. $6.00

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