Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1974. First Edition. Hardcover. First printing, octavo size, 192 pp. Fine / very good +. Item #20100705
Robert Brown Parker (1932-2010) bequeathed to us many of our favourite mystery/detective stories; forty novels written about Spenser, the "the wise-cracking, street-smart Boston private-eye"; nine novels featuring Jesse Stone; and six with Sunny Randall.
This novel, "The Godwulf Manuscript", was his debut novel and the one to introduce Spenser to the world. The plot revolves around a stolen illuminated manuscript, hence the stylized "G" on the front of the dust jacket. It was favorably reviewed, with one reviewing stating: "Ah, so Philip Marlowe failed to take precautions; Spenser is obviously his natural son and this is one delightful book."
___DESCRIPTION: .Full brown linen cloth over boards, a debossed stylized "G" in a darker brown stamped onto the front board, gilt lettering and brown decorations on the spine, top edge stained red, tan endpapers, publisher's device for "Midnight Novel of Suspense" on the title page, stated First Printing on the copyright page; octavo size (8 1/2" by 5 3/4"), pagination: [i-vi] 1-186. The dust jacket shows the original price of $5.95, front panel with the illuminated initial "G" inset with a vignette of two men and a woman, black and red lettering, same illuminated "G" on the spine with black lettering, front flap a summary of the book and the review quoted above (by George V. Higgins), short author bio on the back flap, black-and-white reproduction of a photograph of Parker on the back panel.
___CONDITION: Volume fine, with clean boards, straight corners absolutely without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; clean, crisp, and as new. The unclipped dust jacket better than very good, and could likely be deemed near fine; the red colour in the illuminated "G" on both the front and spine bright and unfaded, mostly clean with light spots of soil on the white background, and extremely minor edgewear - overall a lovely example of this first edition.
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