AbeBooks' Reading Copy » crime http://www.abebooks.com/blog AbeBooks book blog Tue, 25 Nov 2014 22:02:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 Signed copy of Robert Galbraith’s Silkworm sells for $1,720 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/06/20/signed-copy-of-robert-galbraiths-silkworm-sells-for-1720/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/06/20/signed-copy-of-robert-galbraiths-silkworm-sells-for-1720/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 13:42:39 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21245 One day, that’s all it took for The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith to become a collectible book. Yesterday, the day of the novel’s release, a signed copy of The Silkworm written by JK Rowling under the Galbraith pen name sold for $1,720 on AbeBooks.

The book was sold shortly after being listed for sale on the marketplace. It had been signed on the title page by ‘Robert Galbraith’ with a JK Rowling hologram attached to the opposite page. It appears a small number of signed copies were distributed to certain bookstores in the UK.

The Silkworm is Rowling’s second novel writing as Galbraith. The book is a crime mystery starring Cormoran Strike – a one-legged ex-military policeman. The sale confirms that the Rowling magic has not dimmed and that book collectors are still interested in anything that carries her signature. There are currently five signed copies for sale on AbeBooks ranging from $1,600 to $2,100 in price.

Yesterday, AbeBooks also sold a first edition of The Cuckoo’s Calling – the first Robert Galbraith novel – for $1,206. The book was not signed. It appears only a small number of first editions of The Cuckoo’s Calling were printed, perhaps 1,500.

The most expensive Rowling book to ever sell on AbeBooks was a rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which sold for $37,000 in 2005.

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Writer and convicted bank robber Stephen Reid wins 2013 Victoria Book Prize http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/11/15/writer-and-convicted-bank-robber-stephen-reid-wins-2013-victoria-book-prize/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/11/15/writer-and-convicted-bank-robber-stephen-reid-wins-2013-victoria-book-prize/#comments Fri, 15 Nov 2013 20:24:48 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=20128 a-crowbar-in-the-buddhist-garden

Stephen Reid, Canada’s most notorious bank robber, is the winner of the 2013 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden: Writing from Prison. The book is a collection of unflinching, harrowing essays that detail Reid’s experiences as an addict, criminal, writer, and prison inmate.

Reid’s first book, the acclaimed novel Jackrabbit Parole, was written while he was serving 21 years for bank robbery at Kent Institution in Agassiz, B.C. The book was published in 1986. The same year, while still at Kent, he married fellow writer Susan Musgrave, who we interviewed in 2011. Reid was granted parole in 1987.

Reid is currently serving an 18 year sentence at William Head correctional instititution for a 1999 bank robbery in Victoria, B.C. The robbery was followed by a police chase through Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park, during which shots were fired.

The Victoria Butler Book Prize, worth $5000 CAN, was awarded at a gala event on October 16, in Victoria. Reid was unable to attend.

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More on The Cuckoo’s Calling – Signed First Sells for $4,453 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/07/18/more-on-the-cuckoos-calling-signed-first-sells-for-4453/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/07/18/more-on-the-cuckoos-calling-signed-first-sells-for-4453/#comments Thu, 18 Jul 2013 18:38:50 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=19425 CuckoosCallingCoverMore news around The Cuckoo’s Calling and JK Rowling‘s (Robert Galbraith’s) recent marketing brilliance.

The most expensive copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling that we at AbeBooks have sold on the marketplace this week was a signed first edition that went for $4,453 / £2,950. The signature was Robert Galbraith (we wondered – would a copy signed by Rowling’s hand as Galbraith be worth more, less, or the same as a copy signed by Rowling’s hand as Rowling?).

As mentioned previously, before the news that previously-unknown-ex-British-army-officer-and-debut-novelist Robert Galbraith was actually JK Rowling, Galbraith’s book had sold just 1500 copies since its April publication. And amid excitement, gesticulation and speculation, others have reported that number (sales) may actually be closer to 500, and that 1500 is actually the number of first editions published in the novel’s first print run. Even that seemingly tiny number would be thrice that of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, whose first run was a very modest 500 copies. And we all know how that went.

Unsurprisingly, industry types all over book-related social media are speculating about all kinds of numbers – including the number 300,000, which is rumored to be the reprint run that publisher Little, Brown have now ordered.

What we can speak to with certainty is the number of copies of Cuckoo’s Calling that have been flying off the virtual shelves here at AbeBooks. It is worth noting that we had not sold a single copy of the book before the weekend, and it is a very different story now.

Among the more interesting sales were two unsigned first editions, which sold for $907 each on Wednesday, as well as the above-mentioned signed copy at four-and-a-half grand. As of the writing of this post, there is only one signed copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling left, currently offered at $6,188 / £3,950.

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Breaking News: JK Rowling Actually a Man Named Robert Galbraith http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/07/15/breaking-news-jk-rowling-actually-a-man-named-robert-galbraith/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/07/15/breaking-news-jk-rowling-actually-a-man-named-robert-galbraith/#comments Mon, 15 Jul 2013 17:38:02 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=19397 cuckoos-calling-galbraith-rowling

All right, that post headling might have been a bit misleading, but I thought it was funny. JK Rowling is not actually a man. What she very well might be is a genius. And not just the sort we already knew about – the imaginative, creative writing genius who created Quidditch and butterbeer and Hogwarts – but a marketing genius, as well.

Back in April 2013, a crime novel called The Cuckoo’s Calling hit the shelves. Released as a debut from a male, first-time novelist named Robert Galbraith, the detective story is a dark one about the mystery-shrouded demise of a supermodel who plummeted to her death from a balcony.

Believing it to have been penned by previously-unknown ex-British army officer Galbraith, critics virtually unanimously praised The Cuckoo’s Calling, with some likening it to the works of Ruth Rendell and PD James (interesting that both of those writers are also women – perhaps something in the style?).

The jig began to be up when a Sunday Times of London writer read the novel, then speculated via Twitter that the book was far too good to be the work of who it claimed. Again, perhaps something in the style? Regardless, he began his own detective work, and it was soon revealed that the book’s author was indeed none other than blockbuster powerhouse Rowling, who briefly lamented:

I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer, because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.

So why do I think she’s a genius? In short, because not only does this type of fun mystery send her skyrocketing back to the top of all the news outlets, but because of the way she went about the whole thing:

1) Had she published the book under her own name, the preconceived notions that surround her fame as the Harry Potter creator would certainly have created expectations and even bias in the minds of every critic. This way, she was able to have her writing judged on its own merits, without any of the complications that come attached to being a star of Rowling’s caliber.

2) The Cuckoo’s Calling had only sold 1500 copies in the UK since its April publication, but guess what happened when the news hit yesterday? You’ve got it. It’s shot to the top of everything everywhere as Rowling fans rejoiced and scrambled to get their hands on a copy.

Clever girl, Joanne.

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Stories of the Notorious http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/05/31/stories-of-the-notorious/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/05/31/stories-of-the-notorious/#comments Fri, 31 May 2013 18:46:30 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=19231

People have a grim fascination with shocking stories – and the more outrageous, the better. From gambling and gunmen to insider trading and infidelity, we find it difficult to turn away from a spectacle. The publishing industry has always appreciated the value of guilty pleasures, as has the news media. These books about the darker aspects of human life (and death) satisfy morbid curiosity, and many have become collectible.

With that in mind, while attempting to remain within the bounds of good taste, AbeBooks presents books and ephemera showcasing the notorious, infamous and scandalous. Enjoy!

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Print Copies Only: Stephen King’s “Joyland” Not for E-Readers http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/05/30/print-copies-only-stephen-kings-joyland-not-for-e-readers/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/05/30/print-copies-only-stephen-kings-joyland-not-for-e-readers/#comments Thu, 30 May 2013 17:01:47 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=19227 Joyland-Stephen-King

An interesting decision (and something of an about-face from a decade ago) from Stephen King recently. The incredibly prolific novelist and master of the macabre announced that his newest novel, Joyland, will be available in print only for the foreseeable future. He has not released the rights to a digital copy, and claims he has no plans to do so.

It’s a surprising move from King, and something of a 180° – he was one of the first proponents of e-books, championing the technology by making his novel “Riding the Bullet” available as an e-book via Simon & Schuster in 2000. He also introduced Amazon’s “Kindle 2″ alongside founder & CEO Jeff Bezos, in 2009.

This time King has decided to throw his support behind brick-and-mortar booksellers. “I have no plans for a digital version,” King told the Journal. “In the meantime, let people stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore rather than a digital one.”

While this may be bad news for horror fans used to receiving their chills and thrills instantaneously with the click of a button, there is good news: the print copy will of course still be available from online retailers, so they won’t actually have to leave the house and go to a bookstore.

…but it might be an adventure!

via NYDailynews

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Depression Era Pulp from Phoenix Press http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/04/10/depression-era-pulp-from-phoenix-press/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/04/10/depression-era-pulp-from-phoenix-press/#comments Wed, 10 Apr 2013 15:50:09 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=18850 d-cyclops

At the height of the Great Depression, New York’s Phoenix Press was churning out pulp fiction as fast as it could print the books. Murder, mayhem, mysteries and molls – you will find them all in this selection of classic pulp literature, worth exploring for the remarkable vintage cover design as well as the stories.

The times were hard but at least the books were entertaining. Check out this collection of classic pulp from Phoenix Press.

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Police Magazine from 1930s France http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/04/05/police-magazine-from-1930s-france/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/04/05/police-magazine-from-1930s-france/#comments Fri, 05 Apr 2013 15:50:03 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=18830

Today I came across this collection of magazines from 1930s France called Police Magazine. We have quite a number of them for sale on the site, happily with images to peruse. From what I can tell, the publication ran from 1931 until 1937. I’ve found little information about it, but I think the magazine was a crime-fiction rag with stories, some continued week after week. I’ve included a selection of the covers below, along with a link to the listings. If anybody has more information about this publication, we’d love to know it and flesh this out – please leave a comment!

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Fantastic Vintage Book Find of the Day: Poison Case No. 10 by Louis Cornell http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/12/19/fantastic-vintage-book-find-of-the-day-poison-case-no-10-by-louis-cornell/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/12/19/fantastic-vintage-book-find-of-the-day-poison-case-no-10-by-louis-cornell/#comments Wed, 19 Dec 2012 16:40:56 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=17999 Today’s gorgeous book find of the day is from 1931: Poison Case No. 10 by Louis Cornell.

I couldn’t find out much information on Louis Cornell, and he seems to have had a very brief writing career. He also seems to have had some dark proclivities – here’s another one, Murder Case No 33.

No word on what happened to Poison Cases 1-9 and Murder Cases 1-32.

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Great Gumshoes: A Guide to Fictional Detectives http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/11/21/great-gumshoes-a-guide-to-fictional-detectives/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/11/21/great-gumshoes-a-guide-to-fictional-detectives/#comments Wed, 21 Nov 2012 17:23:00 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=17800 Gumshoes, flatfoots, private eyes, bloodhounds, hawkshaws, sleuths… whatever you call them, detectives make great reading, and everyone loves detective stories.

From forensic medical examiners to little old lady spies, from amateur teen sleuths to the grittiest of private dicks, the list of beloved recurring characters in fiction dedicated to the art of solving crimes is a long one. We’ve put together a guide to some of the best snoops out there, to help give you a clue. Roderick Alleyn, Miss Marple, Lord Peter Wimsey, Mrs. Pollifax….tell us, what fictional literary detective did we miss?

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