Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Hello, All,
Here’s another edition of FYI. I hope that this information is useful and interesting to you.

Buckingham Books

Buckingham Books is a haven for the crime-fiction collector, and from time to time, I get Emails from them letting me know about some of what they have available. Below are their latest offerings. If you are interested in any of these sets, here’s the contact information you need:

Nancy Anderson

Buckingham Books, ABAA
8058 Stone Bridge Road
Greencastle, PA 17225 USA
(717) 597-5657

Stanley Ellin

Stanley Ellin (1916-1986) was an Edgar-Award winning American crime novelist, but he was perhaps best known for his short stories. The following collection of Ellin’s works is now available at Buckingham Books.

NOTE: There’s a description of each book next to it.

1. ELLIN, STANLEY. THE WINTER AFTER THIS SUMMER. New York: Random House, [1960]. First edition. Former owner’s name in ink on front fly leaf else fine in moderately worn dust jacket. Story takes its name from the Greek writer Thucydides, who wrote, " When the winter after this summer is over, the twenty-first year of this war will be completed." A story of people who speak the same language and are full of the need to understand one another, but are regularly at each other's throats in a blind fury of ignorance.

2. ELLIN, STANLEY. THE BLESSINGTON METHOD AND OTHER STRANGE TALES. New York: Random House, [1964]. First edition. Small star stamped to rear fly leaf else fine in lightly worn, price clipped dust jacket. The Blessington Method, was the 1956 Edgar Award winner for Best Short Story. It originally appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. 2oth Century Crime and Mystery Writers says, "Again many of the 10 stories deserve special mention. You Can't Be A Little Girl All Your Life, is the story of a rape, with the identity of the rapist revealed only at the end. It is one of Ellin's few attempts at a whodunit in the short form, and one of the best stories in the volume. The Day Of The Bullet tells of the murder of a Brooklyn rackets boss, with a flashback to an incident in his boyhood. The Nine-To-Five Man is a memorable tale of a typical working day in the life of a man who just happens to be a professional arsonist. And The Question is also about a professional man--an executioner who must face his son's question about the work he does." A lot of good reading.

3. ELLIN, STANLEY. HOUSE OF CARDS. New York: Random House, [1967]. First edition. Fine in price-clipped dust jacket with light wear to the extremities and along with a crease to the front flap fold. A mansion stands in the heart of fashionable Paris inhabited by the decadent members of a dying aristocratic family who share a deadly secret they must keep or perish. Most in danger is the young son of Colonel de Villemont and his violently neurotic wife, Anne, who knows just one thing --- her son needs a protector! Enter Reno Davis, ex-prize-fighter, would-be writer, self-exiled American down on his luck in Paris. Suddenly, Davis is plunged into a world of family secrets -- secrets that MUST be kept!

4. ELLIN, STANLEY. THE VALENTINE ESTATE. New York: Random House, [1968]. First edition. Fine in fine dust jacket. The girl from Boston asked Chris, whom she had never met, "Will you marry me if I give you $50,000.00?" The marriage could be quickly annulled, but now she needed a husband in order to collect the million-dollar Valentine estate. No problem at all, but after the wedding things began to quickly go bad for Chris.

5. ELLIN, STANLEY. THE BIND. New York: Random House, [1970]. First edition. Fine in dust jacket with one 3/4" closed tear to top of back panel and minor wear to spine ends. Only a few days after his huge insurance policy went into affect, a man was found dead in his smashed automobile. He was rich, happily married, and had everything to live for...surely the crash was an accident, or was it?

6. ELLIN, STANLEY. MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL. New York: Random House, [1972]. First edition. Signed by the author. Remainder mark to bottom edges else fine in dust jacket. The victim of a bullet lies on Peter Hibben's bathroom floor in his New York apartment. He desperately hopes that the bizarre events that transpire in the next sixty minutes are a nightmare, but he learns again and again that they are not.

7. ELLIN, STANLEY. STRONGHOLD. New York: Random House, [1974]. First edition. Signed by the author. Fine in dust jacket with minimal wear to the extremities. A recently released convict recruits three other case-hardened followers, to drive to a small town in upstate New York, where the town banker and his family are to be taken as hostages. Their aim is to claim a four-million dollar ransom and arrange for transportation out of the country.

8. ELLIN, STANLEY. THE LUXEMBOURG RUN. New York: Random House, [1977]. First edition. Signed by the author. Fine in dust jacket with one small closed tear to toe of spine else fine in dust jacket. A young man with a troubled past is left for dead by the syndicate; a death he escapes without their knowing. He begins a plan of vengeance against each of the three bosses that with slow and deadly finality will drive each of them to ruin and ultimate death.

9. ELLIN, STANLEY. THE SPECIALTY OF THE HOUSE AND OTHER STORIES. THE COMPLETE MYSTERY TALES, 1948 - 1978. New York: The Mysterious Press, 1979. First edition. Inscribed by the author. Fine in dust jacket with minimal wear to the extremities. Ellin's first collection of short stories. The title story is about a New York restaurant with a "special" treat for gourmets. "The Cat's Paw" is a variation on the situation in Doyle's "The Red-Headed League." "The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby" is about a wife-murderer who thinks he has the formula for the perfect crime. "The Moment of Decision" is a riddle story about a magician and, according to many people, comes VERY close to equaling "The Specialty of the House" in its impact. This collection was hailed by Julian Symons as "the finest collection of stories in the crime form published in the past half century." Highly recommended!

10. ELLIN, STANLEY. STAR LIGHT STAR BRIGHT. New York: Random House, [1979]. First edition. Signed by the author. Remainder mark to bottom edges else fine in dust jacket with one small closed tear to front panel. Billionaire Andrew Quist has seven guests staying with him at his estate -- all of them strangers and all of them involved in one way or another in the making of a movie. Then one of the guests receives a series of written death threats, the last message advising the precise time of his impending murder. PI John Milano has only two days in which to identify the would-be murderer.

11. ELLIN, STANLEY. THE DARK FANTASTIC. New York: The Mysterious Press, [1983]. First trade edition. Signed by the author. Fine in dust jacket with light wear to spine ends and corners. Charles Witter Kirwan is sick and dying. His great pride is the old crumbling mansion that he lives in. He would do absolutely anything to preserve it. He owns an apartment building next door...he hates the filthy, slow-paying and no-paying tenants with a passion. So he decides instead of waiting until his illness consumes him; he'll solve both problems by blowing up the apartment building...himself inside.

12. ELLIN, STANLEY. VERY OLD MONEY. New York: Arbor House, [1985]. First edition. Presentation inscription by the author. Fine in fine dust jacket. A young married couple unable to find work as school teachers take a job as live-in servants to a wealthy family. Slowly they become aware that seventy year-old Margaret Durie, blind since her eighteenth year, is, for her own unexplained reasons, enlisting them as her accomplices in a subtly designed series
Total for the 12-book set: US$250.00

Robert Crais

Buckingham Books also has available some valuable Robert Crais editions. Crais is, as you may know, the creator of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. As you’ll see, one of these books is signed, and the other is Crais’ first book.

NOTE: There’s a description of each book next to it.

1. CRAIS, ROBERT. THE MONKEY'S RAINCOAT. New York: Doubleday, [1993]. First hard cover edition. Fine in fine dust jacket. Author's first book. Introduces Elvis Cole, Viet Nam vet, ex-security guard turned private investigator. Ellen Lang hires Elvis to find her missing husband, Mort, who's disappeared with their son. Cole soon discovers that Mort's girlfriend is missing as well, and that his business partners in the film business are a bit sleazy, but he is caught by surprise when this suddenly becomes a murder case. Coles investigation leads him from corrupt film moguls to the top of the narcotics trade. Fine unread copy.

2. CRAIS, ROBERT. THE FORGOTTEN MAN. New York: Doubleday, [2005]. First edition. Signed. Fine in fine dust jacket. Early one morning, Elvis Cole receives the phone call he's been waiting for all of his life from the LAPD about an unidentified body found in a seedy Los Angeles alley. When he arrives at the scene, he's told that before the man died, he said he was Elvis's father. Haunted all of his life about his father, he turns to the one person who can help him navigate his past, his longtime partner, Joe Pike. As the two men launch an investigation into the dead man's background, Elvis struggles with wanting to believe he's found his father at last while allowing his suspicions to hold him back. With each clue they uncover, a troubling picture emerges about who the dead man might have been and the horrible secret he had been guarding. As Elvis and Joe approach the true identity of the dead man, they have no way of knowing they've awakened a sleeping monster. Shamus award nominee.

The price for these books as a set is US$225.00

William D’Andrea

Buckingham Books also has an interesting run of first-edition books by Edgar-Award winning author William D’Andrea, creator of Matt Cobb and Niccolo Benedetti.

Note: There’s a description of each book next to it.

1. DeANDREA, WILLIAM L. KILLED IN THE RATINGS. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, [1978]. First edition. Small remainder mark else fine in dust jacket with very light wear to the spine end. Inscribed by the author. The story of a network executive's attempt to protect his daughter, of a woman's attempt to muder the man she hired to guarantee her husband's success, and of a complex of network men and women who have conspired with the Mafia to rig the television ratings system in a massive display of ruthlessness, ambition and greed. Matt Cobb unwittingly becomes the key figure in exposing the people and plans behind the rigging of the ratings system. Edgar Award winner.

2. DeANDREA, WILLIAM L. KILLED WITH A PASSION. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1983. First edition. Fine in dust jacket lightly sunned on the spine and with very minor wear to top front panel. Inscribed by the author. Matt Cobb, head of Special Projects for the Network, travels to his old alma mater in upstate New York where socialite Debbie Whitten is getting married, much to the dismay of Dan Morris, Cobb's college roommate. Dan confides in Cobb that he will stop Debbie's marriage at any cost and shortly thereafter, Debbie is found brutally murdered. Dan is arrested, and no one believes in his innocence ... except Cobb. Crime Club Title.

3. DeANDREA, WILLIAM L. KILLED ON THE ICE. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1984. First edition. Fine in fine dust jacket. When a famous psychiatrist is brutally stabbed to death at an ice skating rink in midtown Manhattan, it seems that many people had reason to want the meddlesome doctor dead. Matt Cobb investigates. Crime Club Title.

4. DeANDREA, WILLIAM L. KILLED IN PARADISE. New York: The Mysterious Press, [1988]. First edition. Fine in fine dust jacket. The mystery writers aboard the S.S. Carribean Comet are a mixed bag ... Philip DeGrave and Nicola Andrews are old friends of Matt Cobb, network vice president and chief troubleshooter for the Network, who is also aboard for the cruise. The current kingpin of crime fiction, Lee H. Schaeffer, is no less than obnoxious. Alcoholic action-adventure writer Mike Ryerson seems to be on the wagon and Althea Nell Furst, author of romantic suspense novels, appears as sweet and innocent as any gray-haired lady in harlequin spectacles. The cruise is going perfectly but when the chef's set of knives vanish, Matt Cobb realizes that there are some real-life mysteries aboard. Especially when real-life people begin to disappear!

5. DeANDREA, WILLIAM L. KILLED ON THE ROCKS. New York: The Mysterious Press, [1990]. First edition. Fine in dust jacket. G.B. Dost, an eccentric Montana millionaire and corporate raider, is planning a takeover of the Network, which employs Matt Cobb as head of Special Projects. Cobb and a group of lawyers and stockholders travel to the Adirondacks to prenegotiate the deal. A heavy snowstorm strikes the first night of the meeting, stranding everyone. The next morning, the millionaire is found dead on the crest of the new-fallen snow, dozens of yards from the house, and with no footprints leading up to or away from his body!

6. DeANDREA, WILLIAM L. THE WEREWOLF MURDERS. New York: Doubleday, [1992]. First edition. Fine in fine dust jacket. Mont-St.-Denis, in the French Alps is the location of the first Olympique Scientifique Internationale, a yearlong conclave of the world's greatist scientists, gathered together to anticipate the new century. After a few months and some encouraging discoveries, rationality and order are torn apart by a vicious murder ... The head of the optical astronomy section is draped dead across the eternal flame in the town square while his colleague, with his face clawed and bloody, staggers into police headquarters with wild tales about an unrecognizable attacker. One month later, the killer strikes again ... this time during a full moon. Professor Niccolo Benedetti is sumoned to restore sanity and order .... and to stop the Werewolf of Mont-St.-Denis!

7. DeANDREA, WILLIAM L. THE MANX MURDERS. New York: Otto Penzler Books, [1994]. First edition. Fine in dust jacket. In his lifelong study of the nature and causes of human evil, Professor Niccolo Benedetti doesn't concern himself with trifles. So when the U.S. government wants him to resolve a feaud between elderly twin millionaires, he refuses .... at first. He thinks the bird-loving Clyde and cat-loving Henry are two simpletons unworthy of his talents. However, he becomes intrigued when he learns that, by mysterious means, all the birds have inexplicably vanished from Clyde's nature preserve.

8. DeANDREA, WILLIAM L. KILLED IN FRINGE TIME. New York: Simon & Schuster, [1995]. First edition. Fine in dust jacket. It's Friday afternoon and Matt Cobb, network vice-president in charge of special projects, is working diligently at his desk when Richard Bentyne burst into his office. In the late-night talk-show wars, Bentyne is a ruthless samurai whose whopping forty-five-million-dollar contract is shadowed only by the size of his ego. The network brought him on board to battle Letterman and Leno, and he has come to ask Cobb to go to Kennedy International to pick up his secret weapon - the "mountain man." Clement Bates, the ultrawealthy and intensely eccentric mountain hermit, hasn't set foot on civilized soil in thirty-five years and is making his first public appearance on Bentyne's show. America, however, never gets to see Bates's debut. Television's favorite talk-show host has been canceled - forever - and Cobb's newest special project is to find the killer and protect the Network.

9. DeANDREA, WILLIAM L. KILLED IN THE FOG. [New York]: Simon & Schuster, [1996]. First edition. Fine in dust jacket. Matt Cobb, the house detective for an American TV giant known as the Network, flees the odious charms of the media biz for a vacation in England. While there, he does a simple favor for Lady Pam Arking, the head of a European TV network .... he delivers an envelope to an associate outside the local Planet Hollywood. Directly thereafter, shots ring out, the recipient of his package is dead, and Cobb finds himself in jail for murder. It's a race against time for Cobb to clear his name.

10. DeANDREA, WILLIAM L. THE FATAL ELIXIR. New York: Walker and Company, [1997]. First edition. Fine in dust jacket. Order has been restored in the Wyoming frontier town of Le Four since the arrival of Lobo Blacke and his assistant/biographer Quinn Booker. Blacke is paralyzed from the waist down courtesy of a back-shooter, but with Booker doing the legwork, they manage to keep the bad guys off the street. Then Dr. Herkimer's medicine show comes to town, complete with a dancing Egyptian princess and a cure-all tonic called Ozono. When the cure-all turns into a kill-all, Blacke and Booker save Herkimer from an angry lynch mob and then set out to determine who is really behind the fatal elixir.

The price for this set of books is US$150.00

Interview With Sue Grafton

Chris Well, whose writer’s blog I’m featuring this week, has posted a very interesting interview with Sue Grafton. In the interview, she discusses, among other things, her newest Kinsey Millhone novel, U is for Undertow.

Chris’ blog also includes several selections of his own flash fiction, as well as other free online reads.


  1. Hi Margot,
    You've done such an impressive job describing each of these fine books; they sound so intriguing. Thanks for compiling this list and sharing it!

  2. Thanks so much for the list! I'm liking your FYI feature.

    I'm checking out the link to Chris' site..thanks!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  3. Kathleen - Thanks very much! I can't really take credit for the book descriptions though, as they were given to me. Still, I'm glad you find them interesting. I only wish I had the space and the means to have those wonderful collections.

    Elizabeth - Thanks! I'm glad you're finding the FYI feature interesting. You're going to like Chris' site, I think. It's a very informative site and he puts a lot of work into it.

  4. Those collector's sets sound NICE! Thanks also for plugging my blog, Margot!

  5. Chris - I know what you mean about those sets; wish I had the space and the means for them! And it's my pleasure to let folks know about your blog and your writing : ).

  6. Margot, I love your FYI post. You always have such great information, along with wonderful new blogs to check out. Thanks.

  7. Mason - Thanks for your kind words : ). That's very nice of you! I enjoy passing things along, and it makes me happy to know they're of interest to others.