Malice Aforethought : the story of a commonplace crime

Price: 385.00 USD

New York: Harper & Brothers, 1931. First Edition (so stated) of this classic that "Sinclair Lewis thought indispensible to an understanding of the genre." (Catalogue of Crime) 8vo: [8],290pp. Publisher's black cloth, front cover and spine lettered in red, without the scarce dust jacket. About Fine (nearly invisible expert repair to small puncture on spine), with the seal at rear opened and removed, leaving strip of residue on rear free end paper. (Harper Brothers introduced in 1929 an unusual concept for its crime series. Each publication had a certain portion of the mystery hidden from the reader with green sealing sheets at a climactic point in the story. The charm was in trying to solve the mystery without breaking the seal and consulting the ending.) Listed on the British-based Crime Writers' Association Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time and the Mystery Writers of America Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time. Catalogue of Crime 1865. Cox's other pen names were Anthony Berkeley and A. Monmouth Platts. In 1930, he founded the legendary Detection Club in London, along with Agatha Christie, Freeman Wills Crofts, and other established mystery writers. "Arguably, Berkeley's greatest novel was written as Francis Iles and was the first of three novels under that name. Malice Aforethought, published in 1931, is a masterpiece of golden age crime fiction. Despite knowing the identity of the killer from the outset the reader is held from start to finish, and it rightly secured Berkeley's place as a leading light in the genre." (Classic Crime Fiction) Malice Aforethought is an "early and prominent example of the 'inverted detective story,' invented by R. Austin Freeman some years earlier. The murderer's identity is revealed in the first line of the novel, which gives the reader insight into the workings of his mind as his plans progress. The story is loosely based on the real-life case of Herbert Armstrong [the only solicitor in the history of the United Kingdom to have been hanged for murder], with elements of Doctor Crippen [an American homeopath, ear and eye specialist and medicine dispenser, hanged in Pentonville Prison for the murder of his wife Cora Henrietta Crippen]." (Wikipedia) N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. First Printing.


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