Hard Cover. London: Victor Gollancz, 1962. First English Edition. Near Fine / Dust Jacket Included.
First British edition, first printing. Publisher's red cloth, lettered in gilt to spine; in the original bright yellow dust jacket lettered in purple and black. A near fine copy with upper corners bumped; in a very good dust jacket with some wear and toning to extremities, rough one-inch tear to top edge of front fold. Overall, a nice copy, from the personal library of Marshall Efron. This book is a collection of 16 crime fiction stories that were first printed in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine throughout 1961. It includes works by Arthur C. Clarke, Elaine Slater, and Stanley Ellin, among others, and highlights Dashiell Hammet's "A Man Named Thin," which appeared for the first time in Ellery Queen in the previous March, though it was allegedly penned much earlier. As the editors write in their blurb accompanying the story, the original typescript, titled "A Figure of Incongruity," preceded even The Maltese Falcon (1930) and remained unpublished inadvertently until bought by Ellery Queen. Marshall Efron (b. 1938) is an American actor, humorist, and author associated with the art and literary scene in San Francisco and New York, particularly the Beat community. Most famous for his satirical television show on PBS, The Great American Dream Machine (1971-1972), and his radio shows on WBAI and KPFK, Efron also worked as a clerk at City Lights Books in San Francisco, a bookstore and publishing house founded by Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1953 that served as a creative hub for writers of the Beat generation. Well known among the community, Efron remained friends with Ferlinghetti and other writers like Allen Ginsberg and Dylan Thomas throughout his career.