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    Clayton Rawson. Death from a Top Hat. A Merlini Mystery. Illustrated. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1938. First edition of the author's first novel. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: "For John Rigali / with all best wishes / from Clayton Rawson / and The Great Merlini! / 3-28-45." Octavo. [viii], [1]-256 pages. With inserted frontispiece and a photographic plate. Publisher's full blue cloth, front board and spine stamped in black. In the publisher's dust jacket. Cloth spine toned and rubbed at edges. Boards rubbed and toned at edges, a few small paint spots on the bottom portion of the front board. Some toning, moderate soiling to endleaves (soiling not affecting the inscription). Bookplate on the front pastedown. Text slightly toned. Jacket a bit toned and rubbed, with some minor occasional thumbsoiling. A near fine copy, better than usually seen. A Haycraft Queen Cornerstone.

    More Information: Clayton Rawson (1906-1971) was an amateur stage magician as well as a novelist and editor. He was one of the four founding members of the Mystery Writers of America, the organization which presents the prestigious Edgar Awards annually for achievement in mystery fiction. He wrote their first slogan: "Crime doesn't pay – enough." He was the editor of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine from 1963 until his death in 1971.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2020
    15th-16th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 315

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