Sunday, October 2, 2016

Late Summer Acquisition Madness, part 1

Looking over Tracy's post at Bitter Tea and Mystery about her book finds from the Planned Parenthood Sale she attended got me thinking of the bags of books I acquired over the summer. Here's a collection of what I picked up in a midsummer trip to Nashville a while ago. This is a mix of hardcovers with jackets, one vintage book from 1919, and several vintage paperbacks.

The hardcover mysteries were all purchased at BookMan BookWoman and were on sale for $9.95 each. I could easily have spent an awful lot of money there, but I decided to restrain myself and be selective. Wild Justice (reviewed here) was also purchased with this lot. The paperbacks (shown first) all came from the Rhino Books location in the Lipscomb University neighborhood. An impressive but small vintage and collectible paperback section at that store, but on ridiculously high shelves that challenged my stretching abilities (I couldn't find a step stool1) The other Rhino Books location was closed the day we were book hunting. If ever in Nashville I highly recommend you visit these two used bookstores. Both are general used bookstores with quite a variety of fiction and non-fiction in all categories.





Above is the frontispiece from the US first edition of Something Doing (1919) by Varick Vanardy, a thriller featuring master criminal Crewe, "the Two-Faced Man." My copy has no jacket and a boring typographic cover so opted for the inside illustration by George W. Gage instead which was used to adorn the original DJ.


The next two books I bought at the Lake Forest Public Library book sale held every September. I thought I'd add them into the mix because they were rather exciting finds for me.


This is a sequel to Murder in a Nunnery which I reviewed back in 2013. I've been looking for the second title ever since. Couldn't pass up this copy (one buck!) in the scarce dust jacket even if it's chipped and torn.


Unnatural Causes, the third book in the Adam Dalgliesh series, is a rather scarce 1st American edition. The copy I found is in superior condition, with only minor creasing to the bottom of the excellent dust jacket. I got it for a mere $20. Can't help but brag about the steals I encounter in my book collecting.

Next week I'll post the books I picked up at an earlier trip to Omaha and the remainder of the books from the Lake Forest sale.

13 comments:

  1. I tracked down Alan Green's What a Body! a little while ago and am eyeing it up as a potential read in the near future; I didn't realise he'd written a second book...have you already read it, or is it a new one to you? If the former, is it any good?

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    1. WHAT A BODY! is fun if you like wiseacre American humor. It's all about entertainment industry people in the late 1940s which is not appealing to everyone. Not only is it a locked room mystery, but it has a very clever impossible crime problem about the victim's pajama top not showing a bullet entry and yet he was shot in the chest. It won the Edgar for "Best First Mystery" in 1950. Haven't read THEY DIED LAUGHING (with another locked room crime), but I'm sure I'll enjoy it just a much. That one is all about the TV biz.

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    2. I second John's comment: What a Body! is an amusing and lighthearted mystery novel, but the nature of the crime is very clever. A famous health guru is hit by a bullet that was shot from an inexplicable angle and left the victim's pajama in tact.

      Green basically created a one-of-a-kind locked room scenario with a tailor made solution that only really makes sense in the events describe in the book. However, I've read They Died Laughing is not half as good What a Body!

      By the way, nice book haul, John!

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    3. Awesome, I shall get to it as soon as possible then and it can be next week's review! Many thanks!

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  2. John, that is all just amazing. I agree, that edition of Unnatural Causes is a great find. I will have to see if I can find a copy of that edition of Over My Dead Body by Stout. I have several paperback editions but I don't think that is one of them.

    Now I really want to visit Nashville. Both of those book stores look wonderful.

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    1. I can't resist setting aside one morning or afternoon on any of our vacations to check out the used bookstores. I manage to visit two or three bookstores for every city we travel to. There's also a wonderful antiquarian store in Franklin, TN called Landmark Booksellers. Heavy on history more than anything else, especially Civil War history related to the South and Tennessee. All the vintage mysteries were gone and only contemporary crime fiction was for sale.

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  3. Interesting Cock Robin logo on the spine of Midsummer Malice. Lots of neat finds. Well done, John.

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    1. Is that a hint to resume my "Impressive Imprints" series? Cock Robin Mystery line is one I was planning on covering. As the weather gets colder and wetter out here I'll be doing more on the blog on the weekends. Stay tuned...

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  4. Barring Kane, Stout, and James I haven't even heard of these authors. Looking forward to your reviews John.

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    1. Jonathan Stagge has been discussed here many times, Neer. And if you haven't read my post on Eric Shepherd's Murder in a Nunnery you ought to. I very much enjoyed that book. I hope the sequel will be as good.

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  5. Oh, I am envious! I live in an area with hardly any used bookstores, but I did live in the past where there were many, so I miss all the fun of browsing and buying. Well, I had fun vicariously through your posting. Of course, I bet my old eyes could not handle the "fine print" of the old books; alas, I must rely upon Kindle and large print books. In any case, I enjoyed discovering your blog, I look forward to future visits.
    All the best from a new crime fiction blogger, Lillian B.
    http://crimefictions.blogspot.com/

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  6. John, I'd have picked up most of these books and especially "They Died laughing" by Alan Green. I rarely come across such paperbacks and hardbacks at book exhibitions. Subsequent reprints don't have the same look and feel about them. I'm not very keen about Book Club editions though I have bought some over the years.

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  7. Well done John - as always, I am in awe and very envious!

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