Friday, March 11, 2011

Sally's Weekly Update for 03/11/11

Here's the latest update.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Sally Owen
The Mysterious Bookshop

The Mysterious Bookshop

58 Warren Street

New York, NY 10007

Ph: 212-587-1011

Fax: 212-587-1126

Open Seven Days, 11.00 a.m. - 7.00 p.m.

Weekly Update 3/11/11


Jasper Fforde dropped by to sign the U.S. Edition of One of Our Thursdays is Missing. This is the latest in his biblio series featuring literary detective Thursday Next. In this installment, Thursday has disappeared right before peace talks are scheduled to begin in order to avert a genre war. The written character of Thursday, who minds her own business at the quiet end of speculative fiction far from the grim specter of remaindering, investigates the disappearance of her namesake. This is a Soft Boiled Crime Club Main Selection. $25.95

What You See in the Dark is the first novel of Manuel Munoz and it is receiving terrific reviews. It tells the story of Teresa and Dan, young romantics in 1950s Bakersfield who fuel local gossip until a famous actress comes to town with a legendary director to make a groundbreaking movie about madness and murder at a roadside motel (yes, THAT movie). This is part thriller, part love story, and part exploration of the dark side of the American dream. $23.95

Our Joyce Carol Oates event went swimmingly:

Give Me Your Heart is her latest collection of short stories about the obsessive, the unpredictable, and the self-destructive need for love. $25.00

A Widow’s Story tells of the sudden death of her husband of forty-six years and the immediate effect that had on her life. $27.99

Shortcut Man by P.G. Sturges is another first novel. This one, set in the underbelly of Los Angeles, features Dick Henry, known for fixing problems quickly and discreetly. But his latest assignment from porn producer, Artie Benjamin, is a complicated one and Dick must not only get the job done, but also avoid being killed in the process. Just a few of this title, with the signature on a tipped in page.$24.00

Touch by Alexi Zentner is a beautifully written first novel (a big favorite of both Ian and Sally) set in Sawgamet, a north-woods boomtown gone bust. Stephen, a pastor, returns with his wife and family to comfort his dying mother. There he relives the tales told to him by his grandfather, the founder of the town, and the painful loss of both his father and his sister. A beautiful, well-told story. $24.95


We are already receiving inquiries about The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht based partly on the near-rave review in the New York Times this morning from Michiko Kakutani. We did offer copies of this title about a month ago and it is being signed today. It has now gone into its seventh printing (in a week) and we can get no more first editions.


f you are in The First Mystery Club it is your main selection this month. If you responded to the Update in the last four weeks, a copy is pending for you.


The Specimen Case by Ernest Bramah, Doran, NY. 1925. First U.S. Edition. $200.00

Contains a Max Carrados story. Top of spine rubbed, else a near fine copy in the scarce dust jacket, which is chipped at top and bottom of spine, has a closed tear on rear panel, and interior tape has bled through to be visible at spine ends.

The Sleeping Sphinx by John Dickson Carr, Harper, NY. 1947. First Edition. $45.00

Name on front endpaper, else near fine in dust jacket.

The Dead Sleep Lightly by John Dickson Carr, Doubleday Crime Club, NY. 1983. First Edition. $45.00

Very fine in dust jacket.

Tragedy at the Hollow by Freeman Wills Crofts, Dodd, Mead, NY. 1939. First U.S. Edition. $135.00

Near fine in dust jacket, which is lightly chipped at spine ends and rubbed along front hinge; still very good.


We have just acquired a wonderful collection of Frank Gruber first editions. One of the most popular pulp writers of his time, he was an important contributor to Black Mask and most of the top pulps of the 1930s and ‘40s; he was also a historian of the pulp era and wrote frequently on the subject. Additionally, a large number of his books qualify as bibliomysteries, particularly those about Simon Lash and the encyclopedia salesmen, Johnny Fletcher and his sidekick, Sam Cragg.

The French Key Mystery, Farrar & Rinehart, NY. 1940. First Edition. $175.00

The first book appearance of Johnny Fletcher and his partner, Sam Cragg, a pair of booksellers who specialize in selling a single title on street corners, Every Man His Own Sampson; Fletcher sells the book while Cragg amazes onlookers with his strength as he breaks (false) chains. Spine ends frayed, else very good in the scarce dust jacket, which is chipped along edges and spine ends.

Simon Lask, Private Detective, Farrar & Rinehart, NY. 1941. First Edition. $275.00

The first book about Lash, a laconic P.I. who only takes cases when he’s so broke that his assistant threatens to sell volumes from his book collection to pay bills. Filmed in 1946 as Accomplice (Pathe). An unusually fine copy of this scarce book in a dust jacket with chips at spine ends and corners.

The Navy Colt, Farrar & Rinehart, NY. 1941. First Edition. SIGNED. $125.00

Johnny Fletcher, the fantastic book salesman, and the muscular Sam Cragg find themselves mixed up with gun collectors, literary ladies, schools for scenario writers and other oddballs. Pale grey covers soiled, else very good copy in dust jacket which has chips at spine ends and along folds.

The Mighty Blockhead, Farrar & Rinehart, NY. 1942. First Edition. $175.00

Fletcher and Cragg put on their bookselling act at a cocktail party for the assembled publishers and artists of "Blockhead" the famous comic strip character. Very fine copy in dust jacket with chips at top of spine and on front panel.

The Buffalo Box, Farrar & Rinehart, NY. 1942. First Edition. $200.00

An author asks Lash for help, claiming to be a man who is supposed to have died in the Donner party. Another man tries to sell a copy of the same book to a second-hand dealer, and a box that belonged to a member of the Donner party turns up. A trace of rubbing to spine ends, else a fine, crisp copy in a price-clipped dust jacket which has light chipping at spine ends.

The Gift Horse, Farrar & Rinehart, NY. 1942. First Edition. $100.00

After an unexpected opportunity to sell books at the race track, Fletcher is given a racehorse named Ulysses, with enough money to support it, but there’s always a catch. Foxing to endpapers, else a fine copy in a dust jacket that is chipped at top of spine.

The Silver Tombstone, Farrar & Rinehart, NY. 1945. First Edition. $45.00

Fletcher and Cragg are selling books in Tombstone, AZ. Fine in dust jacket with heavy chipping to spine.

The Whispering Master, Farrar & Rinehart, NY. 1947. First Edition. $50.00

The publisher of the book that Fletcher and Cragg sell goes missing. Bottom edge shelf-worn, else very good in dust jacket that is chipped at spine ends and along bottom edges.

The Honest Dealer, Rinehart, NY. 1947. First Edition. $75.00

Fletcher and Cragg get mixed up with murder in Las Vegas. Minor bibliophilic content. Fine in dust jacket, which has a tape repair along top of spine and some staining on back panel.

Murder ‘97, Rinehart, NY. 1948. First Edition. $150.00

Simon Lash is hired to trace the ownership of a copy of Horatio Alger’s Ralph Raymond which had been inscribed "to Stuart from Aunt Clarissa." A fine, fresh copy in a bright dust jacket with just a trace of wear.

The Leather Duke, Rinehart, NY. 1949. First Edition. $35.00

When their publisher doesn’t get books to them, Fletcher and Cragg take a job in a leather factory. Minor bibliophilip interest. Unaccountably scarce. Very good in trimmed dust jacket with stain to edge of front flap.

The Limping Goose, Rinehart, NY. 1954. First Edition. $75.00

Down on their luck as usual, booksellers Fletcher and Cragg have taken a temporary job as collection agents and run into trouble when they accept a goose as payment. Very fine in dust jacket, which has sunned spine.

The Honest Dealer, Rinehart, NY. 1957. First Edition. $40.00

Fletcher and Cragg find themselves in Las Vegas. Endpapers foxed, else fine in dust jacket, which has a sunned spine and small nicks along front hinge and top of front panel.

We do have more Frank Gruber titles. If you are interested in a specific title, please contact us.


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