I recently scoured the Internet in hopes of finding some lovely list that would tell me what authors in the mystery genre would be good ones to seek out and collect. After searching for an undisclosed amount of time (too long to admit), this is what I found:
- There is no such list on the Internet
- The guys over at Book-Collecting-Tips have a short (but interesting) list of authors they are collecting.
- There's a slew of forum posts over at LibraryThing with individuals piping up to let everyone know what their signed first is worth.
- A couple of sites list their (sometimes signed) first editions for sale;
- There are multiple mentions of Firsts, the Book Collector's Magazine (10 issues = $40).
After, we'll just say, an hour of searching through all of the gobbledy-gook, I was hard pressed to find an even semi-QUINTESSENTIAL list. So, I decided to cobble together what I found in order to create a stop-gap until someone (anyone other than me) comes up with THE list of hypermodern mystery collectibles. (& hopefully when they do they'll send it to me).
All prices listed are for first edition books in fine condition, with dust jackets. The authors' first books will (more than likely) be the most valuable, and (as always) a signed book will garner a higher price.
The Contenders are listed in somewhat alphabetical order - (although, no guarantees). Click on the links to see how the books fare at abebooks.com. Remember, this is for Hypermodern books, so the likes of Agatha Christie, Edgar Allen Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, etc. won't be found here.
Death of a Gossip, M.C. Beaton. (St. Martin's Press New York 1985)
When a famous gossip columnist is murdered at the local fishing school, no one is ready to talk. It's up to Hamish Macbeth, with the inspiring assistance of the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, to sniff out the right rat amid all the cunning anglers with secrets to hide. But someone has baited a hook for him ...
First edition $90 - $130 (unsigned); $150 - $400 (signed)
The Black Echo, Michael Connelly (Headline: London, 1992 AND Little Brown: New York, 1992)
Connelly transcends the standard L.A. police procedural with this original and eminently authentic first novel, featuring Hieronymus (aka Harry) Bosch, a former hero cop exiled to the small-time Beverly Hills force.
US edition: up to $95 - $400 (unsigned); $500 - $2,100 (signed)
UK edition: up to $3,700 (unsigned); up to $6,000 (signed) *Extremely Rare*
Denver cop and rare book collector Cliff Janeway is introduced in this engrossing whodunit from two-time Edgar nominee Dunning. [PW]
Up to $850 (unsigned); up to $2,200 (signed)
A Is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone Mysteries), Sue Grafton (Holt,Rinehart,Winston, New York, 1982)
A tough-talking former cop, private investigator Kinsey Millhone has set up a modest detective agency in a quiet corner of Santa Teresa, California. A twice-divorced loner with few personal possessions and fewer personal attachments, she’s got a soft spot for underdogs and lost causes.
Up to $3,000 (unsigned); up to $8,500 (signed)
March Violets, Philip Kerr (Viking: London, 1989)
Bernhard Gunther is a hard-boiled Berlin detective hired by a wealthy industrialist to find the murderer of his daughter and son-in-law, killed during the robbery of a priceless diamond necklace. [PW]
First UK edition: up to $250 (unsigned); up to $550 (signed)
When legendary German conductor Helmut Wellauer is found dead in his dressing room two acts into a performance of La Traviata , police commissario Guido Brunetti is called in. Among those who might have provided the cyanide poison that killed the maestro, immediate suspects include the vaunted conductor's coolly indifferent young wife and those many in the music industry who are offended by his homophobia. [PW]
US first edition: $75 - $325 (unsigned); $350 - $650 (signed)
UK first edition: Up to $450 (unsigned); up to $520 (signed)
The investigation of a series of murders of wealthy, elderly women from the Gramercy Park area intensifies when Louis Markowitz, the head of the NYPD Special Crimes Section, is found dead with the third victim. Kathleen Mallory, his adopted daughter and a policewoman assigned to office duty, is beautiful, intelligent, fiercely independent, and obsessed with finding the killer. [Library Journal]
US first edition: $75 - $100 (signed or unsigned)
UK first edition: $80 - $165 (signed or unsigned)
Labels: Carol OConnell, collectible, Crais, Dick Francis, Donna Leon, Ellis Peters, Evanovich, Grafton, Hillerman, Hypermodern, John Dunning, Laurie King, mystery