The Inscribed Dedication Copy of A. A. Fair's (Erle Stanley Gardner's) Mystery, You Can Die Laughing
[Erle Stanley Gardner]. A. A. Fair, pseudonym. You Can
Die Laughing. New York: William Morrow, 1957. First
edition. Dedication copy; inscribed by Fair (Gardner) to the
book's dedicatee, Percy A. Lainson, warden of the Iowa State Prison
at Fort Madison: "To my friend / Percy A. Lainson / with all the
love[?] / in the world. / Yours / A. A. Fair / and / Erle Stanley
Gardner". Inscribed on the front free endpaper. Octavo. [viii],
214, [2, blank] pages. Publisher's red paper over boards, spine
lettered in black, later (possibly book club) jacket. Jacket spine
a bit browned and chipped, some rubbing to jacket extremities, book
spine a bit sunned, some rubbing and mild soiling to binding.
Overall, a very good copy. Housed in a custom-made half black
morocco clamshell case.
In this book, Gardner has written a long, two-page foreword, all about his friend, Percy Lainson, extolling his virtues (a combination of charity toward those inmates who want to reform, and a toughness towards those who don't), and stating that good wardens, like Lainson, are necessary for a successful penal system.
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