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191 items found:

NEWCOMB, Josiah Turner. A Fight for a Throne. NY, Tennyson Neely [1898]. Octavo publisher's red cloth blocked in white and black (spine a bit darkened and rubbed). Inscribed and signed by Newcomb in December 1898. Au$400

Only edition of this scarce Pacific thriller; part lost race and part Ruritanian romance in which the exiled king and his glorious daughter must be restored to their south seas kingdom and our hero must atone for his father's crime. We won't question how the hero came across the heroine by chance on a remote Long Island beach just before his father drops dead leaving his confession of the crime that killed the queen and sent the king and baby daughter into exile in New York. Like the actual result of the self-immolating - presumably sardonic - remark of Holmes, once we have eliminated the impossible there is nothing left.
Newcomb was a New York newspaper editor at the time he wrote this, later he turned lawyer and politician; this seems to be his only book.


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GRIFFITH, George. The Gold-Finder. London F.V. White 1898. Octavo publisher's illustrated green cloth (a bit used, spine wrinkled); frontispiece. An ok copy. Au$75

First edition of this thriller involving the Gold Magnet, high speed yachts, merciless modern piracy and tangled family secrets.


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HUME, Fergus. The Rainbow Feather. NY, Dillingham 1898. Octavo publisher's decorated cloth. A very good copy. There is a small triangular bump in the cloth on the front cover which puzzled me until I realised it was a patch applied to the inside of the cloth before binding - they weren't going to waste a foot of cloth because of a small flaw in the material. Au$165

First American edition contemporaneous with the London edition. An incredibly convoluted, even for Hume, murder mystery which begins with a cackling gipsy foretelling murder for a gorgeous but unpleasant young woman and misery for her equally gorgeous and unpleasant suitor. There is of course a twist. "And the remarkable result is that out of the thirteen active personages in 'The Rainbow Feather' ten are proved to have been present at the murder. It is pressing the credulous reader rather far, this transforming a quiet scene of assassination into a large social function." (Munsey's Magazine).


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SCOTT, G. Firth. The Last Lemurian. A Westralian romance. London, Bowden 1898. Octavo publisher's illustrated blocked in colour; three plates by Stanley L. Wood. Small flaws: inner back hinge cracked but firm; edges spotted and a scattering inside here and there. A rather good bright copy. Au$850

First edition of this west Australian lost race thriller. Who can divine the springs of chance and fate? If our disgruntled hero hadn't set off west at that moment he wouldn't have met the tall bushman and if the bushman hadn't learnt some black jabber he wouldn't have heard the story of the country ruled by a giant yellow woman where boulders of gold lie about the place. An author can divine these springs and a good author doesn't carry on about it but gets on with the story.


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MARSH, Richard. The Datchet Diamonds. London, Ward Lock [1898]. Octavo publisher's maroon cloth; two plates by Stanley L. Wood. Some pages opened coarsely and a couple of minor blotches but still a very good copy. Au$185

First edition; a detective thriller.


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BOOTHBY, Guy. Love Made Manifest. London, Ward Lock [1899]. Octavo publisher's decorated blue cloth blocked in gilt. Endpapers a bit browned as usual, a pleasing bright copy. Au$125

First edition. From Apia to Sydney to Belgrave Square our hero wins his way to fame and fortune only to find a peril worse than any of Boothby's opium addled Asiatic fiends lying in wait for him.


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MORETTE, Edgar. The Sturgis Wager. A detective story. NY, Stokes [1899]. Octavo publisher's decorated cloth blocked in red and black. Minor signs of use, a pretty good copy. Au$150

First edition of this fast paced New York murder mystery that opens in the chaos of Broadway traffic. Well before the end of chapter one we have our corpse and three mysteries. Another chapter, more mystery and the bet that gentleman reporter Sturgis can't solve them. Soon enough we enter the realm of scientific fantasy with the criminal genius who has disposed of hundreds of victims and dissolved their remains in his laboratory.


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SAVILE, Frank. Beyond the Great South Wall - being some surprising details of the voyage of the S.Y. Racoon. London, Sampson Low &c 1899. Octavo publisher's illustrated red cloth blocked in black, white, gilt and blue (spine a bit faded and rubbed); [6],302pp and 10pp publisher's list included in the last gathering. A bit used, browning of the endpapers and round the edges. Inscription of a Lawrence Fishburn dated 1916 and 1917 on the front endpaper with a short message written in some secret code. Pretty good; as this is the only copy I've found after some years of looking I can't compare it to others. Au$1500

First edition and close enough to rare. George Locke noted in the first volume of his Spectrum of Fantasy (1980) that he'd traded his way up to a good first American edition but not yet seen this. At the end of volume two he announced that, in 1993, he'd seen and finally got one. These original sheets were re-issued as an undated 'cheap edition' with a cancel title page and, I suspect, sat in the warehouse for decades - the only copy of that I've seen was apparently bought new and given as a prize in 1927. In other words it was a forgotten dud. How? with that cover? who could resist it? It seems to have been better received in America where it had two editions in 1901 and received a friendly notice in the NY Times.
This is an Antarctic adventure discovering a now extinct Mayan civilization and a not extinct prehistoric monster. By no means the worst lost race novel ever written; indeed it stands proud of most Antarctic novels in being brisk, breezy and easy going.


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BOOTHBY, Guy. Pharos the Egyptian. London, Ward Lock 1899. Octavo publisher's gilt decorated navy cloth; 12 plates by John H. Bacon. Endpapers browned as usual; a rather nice bright copy. Au$200

First edition of this exotic, fast moving and cosmopolitan thriller which begins in London: "Drawing my hand across my forehead, which was clammy with the sweat of real fear, I looked again at the river ... and by the light of a lantern on board I could make out the body of a man ... such was my first meeting with the man whom I afterwards came to know as Pharos the Egyptian." From here we leap around Europe to Egypt and back, with horror at every step.


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BOOTHBY, Guy. The Red Rat's Daughter. London, Ward Lock 1899. Octavo gilt cloth; 4 plates by Henry Austin. A used, decent copy. Au$30

First edition. An east-facing thriller.


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BLUM, Edgar C. In Satan's Realm. Chicago, Rand McNally 1899. Octavo publisher's illustrated red cloth blocked in green, black and white. A read copy but still quite a good copy. Inscribed by the author to a friend. Au$185

First edition. The story of a too successful journalist who begins rather than ends his greatest adventure by being eaten by a cannibal. He goes first to heaven but his 'reportorial instincts' had him quickly banished to hell.


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GRIFFITH, George. Gambles With Destiny. London, F.V. White 1899. Octavo publisher's cloth (tips a little worn). Endpapers spotted, a pretty good copy with Ronald E. Graham's Virgil Finlay bookplate. Au$185

First edition of this collection of shorter things, mostly sci-fi or fantasy - one of which introduces the countdown: 10, 9, 8 ...; another involves a Faustian bargain made with haschisch.


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CARRYL, Charles E. The River Syndicate and Other Stories. New York, Harper 1899. Octavo, very good in publisher's green illustrated cloth blocked in gilt and colours; four plates. Au$125

First edition; detective fiction and lesser thrillers. Known for his childrens' books and poetry this is apparently Carryl's only entry into the genre.


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de Rougemont, Louis. [Henri Grien]. The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont as told by himself. London, Newnes 1899. Octavo publisher's illustrated cloth; 46 illustrations, some full page. A bit of a lean but an excellent bright copy. Au$200

First edition, with the preface by the editor of World Wide, Fitzgerald. I have seen copies with this removed - embarrassment after de Rougemont was definitively proved a liar? Grien did make living as 'The Greatest Liar on Earth' for a while, and likely a better living than his apparently sad true life in Australia. Once a common book but getting hard to find in decent condition.


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DAKE, Charles Romeyn. [spelt 'Romyn' on the title page and 'Romeyn' on the cover which seems to be correct]. A Strange Discovery. NY, Kimball 1899. Octavo publisher's red cloth (spine a bit discoloured and worn at the tips); [4],310pp and three plates, one a map. Au$325

First edition of this Antarctic lost race thriller, an elaborately set up continuation of Poe's 'Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym'. It includes a photo of Loomis House in Bellevue Illinois, a focal point of the introduction to the story. Bellevue is apparently Belleville, Dake's home where he was a homeopath - as is the character Bainbridge in this book. Dake committed suicide in 1899; ostensibly because he discovered he had cancer, not because his only novel had his name misspelled on the title page.


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SMEATON, Oliphant. A Mystery of the Pacific. London, Blackie 1899. Octavo publisher's illustrated red cloth printed in black and white and blocked in gilt; eight plates by Wal Paget. Covers a touch dusty, a few spots at the beginning but a rather good, bright copy. Au$200

First edition of this Pacific lost race thriller - by the sometime editor of the Queensland Daily Northern Argus - which begins on board a blackbirder for the Queensland labour trade and ends in Nova Sicilia - a Roman offshoot in the western Pacific.


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HIND, Lewis. The Enchanted Stone. NY, Dodd Mead 1899. Octavo publisher's cloth & colour illustrated boards. Outstanding in probably the original tissue wrapper. Au$200

First American edition, which apparently differs from the English edition. I haven't found out what those differences are, I suspect few people have read both. A fantasy involving magic, mysterious orientals and suchlike. I think this is Hind's first book.


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GOSS, Charles Frederic. The Redemption of David Corson. Indianapolis, Bowen-Merrill 1900. Octavo publisher's red cloth blocked in black and gilt (a little marked). Quite a good copy. Au$50

First edition and apparently a runaway best seller with a dozen further editions in quick time. Mystical with enough fantasy to have earned a spot in Bleiler but I can't see many other reasons for consideration.


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AUBREY, Frank [ie Francis Henry Atkins]. A Queen of Atlantis. A romance of the Caribbean Sea. Philadelphia, Lippincott 1900. Octavo publisher's gilt decorated blue cloth (light signs of use); eight plates by D. Murray Smith. A touch of browning at the very beginning; quite a good copy. Au$185

First American edition, using the London sheets. Most desirable, all the expected thrills of an Atlantean thriller plus some: flying damsels; immortals; a satisfying variety of monsters including the "frightful shape, with its maddening leer and its blood-curdling scream" that welcomes us to the book, towering over the insensate maiden in the frontispiece; giant cuttle or devil-fish; even a vampire.


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GRIFFITH, George. Brothers of the Chain. London, White 1900. Octavo publisher's grained cloth blocked in gilt and black. A rather good, bright copy of a book that usually hasn't aged gracefully. Au$325

First edition, second issue with a cancel title; copies are known to exist with the title dated 1899, but not many. The colonial edition though is dated 1899. One of Griffith's baroque thrillers of particular interest to us in the Pacific. "In the triple-walled fastness of the Central Prison on Ile Nou, in New Caledonia there exists, so those who should know, say, the head centre of the most mysterious and the most terrible secret society in which men, or rather fiends in human form, ever bound themselves together." This is not from the novel but from Griffin's Pearson's Weekly article - Griffin building a buttress of supposed fact to support his fiction. The book itself leaps around the world, from Park Lane and Paris to the seas off north Australia and New Caledonia.
Trove finds no copies much to my surprise. His non-fiction follow-up on the convicts of New Caledonia, In an Unknown Prison Land (1901), is well represented.


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WALSH, George E. The Mysterious Burglar. New York, Buckles 1901. Octavo, excellent in publisher's illustrated green cloth. Au$100

First edition. A working burglar falls in with a mysterious gentleman burglar and becomes determined to unravel his secret.


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TAYLOR, William Alexander. Intermere. Columbus, XX. Century Pub. Co. 1901-1902. Octavo publisher's grey cloth; 148pp, frontispiece portrait. An inserted publisher's card advertising the book has made a faint brown patch on the title but this copy is pretty well as new. Au$250

First edition. An Antarctic lost race race utopian thriller. Again a ship, or in this case yacht, is enveloped in fog; comes a mighty storm and the narrator finds himself in an unknown land. Intermere is populated by a physically, mentally, scientifically and socially advanced race. The book exists in a plethora of different coloured cloths but I don't know of any, and don't see any reason to look for, issue points.


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DANIELS, Heber K. Dol Shackfield, a novel. London, F.V. White 1901. Octavo publisher's decorated blue cloth blocked in black. Light signs of use, an attractive copy. Au$125

First edition of a melocomic crime thriller so far unknown to Hubin. The heroine could kindly be labelled irrepressible and so she is to the extent that you might wish her secret husband did succeed in murdering her.


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HUME, Fergus. The Crimson Cryptogram. A Detective Story. NY, New Amsterdam 1902. Octavo publisher's cloth (spine a bit rubbed). Quite a good copy. Au$90

First American edition, the London edition appeared in 1900. Is it an unlikely coincidence that young doctor Ellis happens to be discussing Moxton and his wife the moment his first ever patient rings the bell: Mrs Moxton to announce that her husband has been murdered? Coincidence schmoincidence, such things are beneath notice. Is it any more likely that characters in film and tv still - after years of mockery - always find a parking space right outside their destination?


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BOOTHBY, Guy. The Kidnapped President. London, Ward Lock 1902. Octavo navy cloth blocked in red and gilt (a little rubbed; a splodge on the back cover); four plates by Stanley L. Wood. Old and unneccesary tape mark at the end of the publisher's list; a decent second hand copy with Ron E. Graham's (Virgil Finlay) bookplate. Au$30

First edition.


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