Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Q Patrick Rarity Unearthed

This morning when I checked my email I got an alert than one of my "want list" books was available for purchase. This happens all too rarely. Last year I got one of these email alerts and I wrote about it on this blog because the price of the book was gasp inducing. As I've said before, when I get one of these emails I cross my fingers that I can afford the book. This morning I think I managed quite a coup in book acquisition. Here's the notice I received:

Item Status: Confirmed
Title: Danger Next Door
Author: Patrick, Q. (Richard Wilson Webb and Hugh Callingham Wheeler)
Quantity: 1
Book Description: Mysterious happenings have the girl next door frightened and in need of help. Gently bumped with a tape shadow to the front board, foxing to the end papers and edges of the text block. Binding square and solid. Jacket rubbed with long tears, internal and external tape repair. 2 loss to the spine heel, 1/2 to the head, in Brodart. A scarce title by the authors who also wrote under the names Patrick Quentin and Jonathan Stagge.
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good
Book Price: US$ 100.00

Danger Next Door!  The most elusive book in the entire output of Richard Wilson Webb and Hugh Wheeler. I've never seen a copy for sale in the nearly eighteen years I've been selling books. Nor have I seen one in the four decades I've been buying vintage mystery novels as an incurable collector and fan. This was the most exciting purchase I've made in a very long time. I feel like a little kid and I can't wait for the book to arrive and soak in its pages.

A review on this rarity will definitely be appearing in February. Stay tuned, gang!

25 comments:

  1. Loving that cover, perhaps you'll review that book once you've done the Quentin. But looking forward to Danger Next Door! too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only used that DJ photo as an illustration for the post. I don't own that book and had never heard of "Trevor Burgess" until yesterday. Turns out that name is one of the many pseudonyms used by British novelist Elleston Trevor who wrote (among hundreds of titles) The Flight of the Phoenix and the Quiller spy novels as "Adam Hall." You ought to track down a copy of The Mystery of the Missing Book and review it yourself, Moira. It'll be easier for you to find than for me since it's one of Elleston's three juvenile mysteries written as "Trevor Burgess" that were published only in the UK.

      Delete
    2. I have actually ordered it, damn you! Never going to get the TBR pile down this way...

      Delete
    3. Aha! you mean the Trevor Burgess book. I guess -- as many people have told me in the past -- I really am in league with the Devil. ;^)

      When I saw this comment on my iPhone, I thought: "Impossible! there are zero copies for sale of Danger Next Door." Now I see the context.

      Delete
  2. John, I mentioned last year on my blog that I have a copy of this title, the Cassell first, with jacket. It took me years to find too, as you can imagine. Which edition do you have? Maybe we can scan both jackets for our blogs. It is incredibly rare, but not as good as contemporary Stagges and Quentins, imo, but that's so often the way with rarities, I think. It will be interesting to get your take.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm.... I don't remember reading that post, Curt. I'll have to look it up.

      I only go bought it this morning. Should be here by next week. The seller lives in Minnesota and -- here's a Keeler-like bit of "co-inky-dink" for you -- is the son of a man who I sold mysteries to many years ago and who I later met at Bouchercon when it was held in Chicago! I'll take a photo of the DJ, of course, as soon as it arrives. With all the repairs and the chips on the spine panel it may not be pretty. I'm very happy to have found a copy, damaged DJ or not!

      Delete
    2. I think I commented about it on one of my blog posts, I'll have to check. It wasn't a blog post though. If you have the American edition I'd love to see what the jacket looks like. I have the Cassell and it's...odd. But then so is the book.

      Delete
    3. http://thepassingtramp.blogspot.com/2016/04/final-fright-three-fears-1949-by.html

      There you go, John, scroll down the comments. I never got around to reviewing the book, however. It felt more like a Webb book to me, I think Wheeler was really much more interested in the Quentins at that point.

      Delete
  3. You paid 100 dollars for the book ? You must be pretty rich, eh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a matter of fact, Santosh, I am pretty rich. But I'm not talking about money when I say that about myself. :^D

      Delete
  4. CONGRATULATIONS!

    It does seem odd that the listing has no mention of edition, but perhaps there was just one? I look forward to your review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Abebooks.com listings the publisher and publication date are separate from the book description. in this case the seller didn't re-state that info in the description area. So the edition data didn't appear in the confirmation of sale. The original listing told me everything. I bought a copy of the original UK first (Cassell, 1951) with the damaged DJ as noted above.

      Delete
    2. Oh, it's the Cassell too, I see. It was published in the US wasn't it? I've only ever seen a copy of this come up one other time. It is rare, but there are some other very rare books by this team as well.

      Delete
  5. With dust jacket! Well done, John!

    ReplyDelete
  6. How very exciting, John! Looking forward to 'seeing' the book and the review!

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Danger Next Door" was published in 1952 (albeit dated 1951) UK only (no US edition, but is was translated in some European countries, such as Italy and Sweden). The book was based on a novelette appeared in May 1937 in "Detective Story" magazine and then expanded several years later either by Webb or Wheeler. The plotline is pure Webb, and in those years it was him who plotted all short stories stories and novels of the duo. A strange but fascinating book, maybe a bit below the usual Quentin-Patrick-Stagge standards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mauro, for all the extra details. I knew there was no US edition from the data in Hubin. I think the fact there is only one edition and no reprints or reissues of this book is why it's one of the rarest titles from the Q Patrick/Patrick Quentin multi-partnered writing team. Even a lesser Webb/Wheeler mystery novel is good in my book! I'm sure to find something in it to fascinate me and write about.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the background information, Mauro. Yes, it does feel a Webb novelette.

      Delete
  8. I think (and hope) that you'll like it, John. A bit pulpish, maybe, but with a lot of strange fascination among its pages. And with some wacky characters furthermore.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The Italian translation is named Soluzione Estrema (Extreme Solutions). And you know what ?
    I have been able to get an Italian copy !
    I will give my opinion on the book when you review it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You read Italian?! Will wonders never cease. Enjoy your multilingual reading experience.

      Delete
  10. Congratulations, John! I know the feeling and the excitement though I have never bought anything as rare and vintage as this.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have since finished the book. It is quite good with a really creepy ending. Somewhat wacky.
    I'll comment further when you review the book.

    ReplyDelete

Comment Approval is turned on for this blog. I review all comments prior to publishing them.