The A.S.F. / The Story of a Great Conspiracy (FIRST PRINTING, IN AN EARLY ORIGINAL JACKET): ... The A.S.F. / The Story of a Great Conspiracy (FIRST PRINTING, IN AN EARLY ORIGINAL JACKET): ... The A.S.F. / The Story of a Great Conspiracy (FIRST PRINTING, IN AN EARLY ORIGINAL JACKET): ... The A.S.F. / The Story of a Great Conspiracy (FIRST PRINTING, IN AN EARLY ORIGINAL JACKET): ...

The A.S.F. / The Story of a Great Conspiracy (FIRST PRINTING, IN AN EARLY ORIGINAL JACKET)

Rhode, John

Published by Geoffrey Bles, London, 1924
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Cat's Curiosities (Pahrump, NV, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Major Cecil Street wrote detective fiction under the pseudonyms John Rhode and Miles Burton. "Rhode" gave us Dr. Lancelot Priestley solving some 77 crimes, mostly by sheer brainpower, whereas "Burton" gave us the rather more energetic exploits of Detective Desmond Merrion. But before any of that, his first published book was "A.S.F.," the tale of a criminal mastermind expanding the illicit cocaine traffic in Britain. "It was the curious episode of the Folangue pottery which gave Frank Clements a clue to the mystery." Post-war jacketed copies are common, as are jacketless pre-war printings, though even those dated 1924 usually identify themselves as the discounted "Popular Edition." This copy states "First published February 1924," with no mention of the Popular Edition nor of any later printings (as stipulated by the publisher's 1937 statement.) Thus, the first, and one which will close its own boards and text block, near fine, not having been repaired or needing any repairs, with some fading of the bold red cloth to two small corners of the rear board near head and tail of spine (where presumably some sunlight slipped past the jacket.) The original (that is to say, not some modern photocopy) jacket "good" with closed tears of 1/2-inch and 1-and-1/4-inch to bottom of front panel (causing some visible white diagonal creases.) However, while book came to us in this snug-fitting jacket, jacket rear panel advertises 10 John Rhode Bles Mystery Novels, through "Pinehurst" and "Cranberry Hall," both 1930; jacket rear flap advertises seven Bles novels by Ngaio March, through "Artists in Crime" and "Death in White Tie" (both 1938), and rear panel also advertises Anny Hocking's "The Wicked Flee" (1940.) We will thus presume jacket was printed 1940 or shortly after. We have found no evidence Bles reprinted this title until 1945, so whether this jacket was married by a previous owner, or whether the publisher was still selling off the 1924 first printing in later jackets such as this one circa 1940, we do not know. At any rate, R.B. Russell in the 2010 Eighth Edition of his "Guide to First Edition Prices" valued this book in pounds sterling at L200 jacketless, and at L2,250 ($3,500?) in a jacket "very good for its age," whatever that may mean. We have discounted substantially from that stated value in light of this jacket grading "good only," as well as the fact that jacket was obviously printed some years later than the book, albeit by the original publisher. 312 pp. Here reduced from $2,000. Bookseller Inventory # 004873

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The A.S.F. / The Story of a Great Conspiracy...

Publisher: Geoffrey Bles, London

Publication Date: 1924

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Good

Edition: 1st Edition

Store Description

Eclectic used and out-of-print collectable condition books and records in every genre. Cat's Curiosities closed our brick-and-mortar location in Las Vegas in late 2016, and is now an Internet-only seller, specializing in Native American; Nevada & The West; Free-market & Austrian Economics; Music & Show Business; Vintage vinyl LP records (many signed); century-old juvenile series books; Physics & Electrical Engineering, Religion & Occult.

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