First edition, first printing. Publisher's original blue cloth with red titles to the upper board and spine, in the C. Morse illustrated dustwrapper. An excellent near fine copy, the binding square and firm with a little bumping at the head of the spine, the cloth remains fresh and without fading. The contents with the original owner's name and date in ink to the front endpaper, and a few foxing spots to the text block edge are otherwise clean and fresh throughout. The rear endpaper has a vertical production crease. Complete with the rare pictorial dustwrapper which has a few nicks to the extremities and a closed tear with associated creasing to the bottom right of the upper panel. Correctly priced 7/6 net to the spine below the colour portrait of Hercule Poirot. A stellar example.
On the rare occasion complete examples of this early Hercule Poirot title appear in commerce, they do so in a defective or heavily restored and repaired dustwrapper. This example, which remains without loss or repair is nothing short of exceptional. The dustwrapper illustration by C. Morse (pseudonym of Solomon Van Abbe) is a classic of the genre and along with the Ellen Edwards' The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd, the most widely reproduced artworks of Agatha Christie's early novels. Whilst a Poirot novel, it is also notable for containing the first description of St Mary Mead, later home to Miss Marple. Provenance: Ann Herd (purchased new on 4th April 1928); Joseph T. Shaw (editor of Black Mask Magazine and publisher of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler amongst others); Swann Galleries, New York (sold 14th April 2005); Private UK collection. (Hubin).
Stock code: 17684