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Book Description

FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED BY WHEATLEY. Ribbon-tied 4to dossier, ff. [136], incl. blood-stained textile extract, hair sample and a match + b/w plates. Buff card wrappers printed in blue and red, seal to rear crudely opened. Grubby, a little wrinkled, spine ends and edges creased and dog-eared, commensurate with its age. Inscribed in slightly faded and smudged blue pen to back wrapper: “For/ Girl Friday/ With the best of good/ wishes/ Dennis Wheatley”. Else, internally clean and tidy. An interesting association copy of Wheatley’s first case file experiment with good friend, furrier and Canaletto-expert Joseph Gluckstein Links.
Dealer Notes
Murder in Miami was the first outing in Wheatley and Links’ novel crime series, with titles presented as case files and including testimonies, police reports, photographs, and so-called pieces of evidence like hair or pills. Readers were invited to peruse the evidence and solve the mystery, with the sealed answer provided to the rear. Wheatley’s publishers’, Hutchinson, had needed to be convinced about the new format, which was costly (it apparently employed 40 women to cut swatches of cloth, spray perfume on mock letters and tear up photographs during production), with Wheatley and Links agreeing to no royalties for the first 10,000 copies sold, and one penny per copy after that. Bookshops were initially resistant to stock them, with Wheatley doing much wining and dining of booksellers to change minds; he convinced Selfridges to take 1000 signed copies. Their efforts paid off with over 200,000 copies selling in Britain in its first year (Maher, 2012). Four dossiers were eventually published, withWho Killed Robert Prentice? (which included scented writing paper and a ripped photograph that readers must be reassemble), The Malinsay Massacre, and Herewith The Clues! following in short succession (1937-39). Hutchinson reissued the dossiers between 1979-1982, with less success.
“Girl Friday” was Louise ‘Diddi’ Ivatts, paternal aunt of Leeds-born actor Paul Ivatts, who appeared in Yorkshire-set British television favouritea, such as Heartbeat and Creatures Great and Small. Louise likely met Wheatley in London, where she lived and worked: perhaps she was employed by Hutchinson or Carmen Links ... a second puzzle for the reader of this copy.
Author WHEATLEY, Dennis; LINKS, J. G.
Date n.d. [1936]
Publisher London: Hutchinson & Co. Ltd/ Crime Book Society
Condition Very good

Price: £175.00

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