RARA-AVIS: Latest Finds

From: Kent Morgan (tkmorgan@shaw.ca)
Date: 14 Feb 2009

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    This is too good not to mention on a quiet Saturday. Late yesterday afternoon I received a call from a book, music and collectible dealer friend, who isn't very interested in older mystery paperbacks. He was at an estate sale that hadn't advertised books and saw a bunch of old PBs. Two authors he mentioned were Erle Stanley Gardner and Ed McBain, which didn't excite me. I asked the price and he said 25 cents each. He said he thought it would be worth the trip so I put on my winter boots and went out in the Manitoba winter. The condo was less than 10 minutes from my house.


    When I arrived, I told the estate dealer, who I knew casually, why I was there and he directed me to one room. I asked the price and he said five for a dollar. A table was covered with PBs going back to the 1940s and I quickly started making piles of five. Once I had an idea about what was there, I said, "what if I take them all?" He said give me 10 bucks, which I immediately did. I filled two boxes and here are some of the authors included in the haul.


    Eric Ambler, Edward Aarons, H.C. Bailey, Bill Ballinger, Ben Benson, Nicholas Blake, Edgar Box, Carter Brown, John Dickson Carr, Peter Cheyney, Jonathan Craig, Robert Crouse, Thomas Dewey, Robert Dietrich, John Gonzales, Brett Halliday, Geoffrey Household, Roy Huggins, Frank and Henry Kane, Myrick Land, Edwin Lanham, both MacDonalds, Dan Marlowe, Harold Masur, Harry Olesker, Elliot Paul, Richard Prather, Queen, John Rhode, Craig Rice, Edwin Rolfe and Lester Fuller, David St. John, Spillane, Stout, Richard Telfair, Arthur Train, S.S. Van Dine and Don Von Elsner.


    Lots of great cover art and most of the books are in nice condition for their age. Also hauled away a few hardcovers by Carr, Halliday, Rice and Stout and eight magazines including two Manhunts from 1965 and the May 1946 Rex Stout Mystery Quarterly with Chandler's essay, The Simple Art of Murder as part of the deal. Another interesting magazine dated October 1937 is the vol. 1, no. 7 issue of For Men Only, which is a publication new to me. In total, I have just under 150 items. It's going to be a fun day.


    Kent Morgan

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