Friday, 29 April 2011
This is my all-time favourite Three Investigators story, by my all-time favourite Three Investigators author, in my all-time favourite Three Investigators format with my all-time favourite Three Investigators cover art = my all-time favourite Three Investigators book! Nectar!
A very nice small hardback Talking Skull. Some minor bumping to edges does not detract from what is a really nice cover. The hardback collection is coming together quite nicely.
Thursday, 21 April 2011
These can be split roughly into three groups. Books 1-16 and 18 will be the easiest to find in this edition. Most of these had more than one print run and they should be relatively easy to find. Books 17, 19 -23 are in the second group. Of these, only Phantom Lake and Monster Mountain had more than one printing. My experience is that these show up occasionally, but not as often as the earlier titles. Books numbered 24 to 28 fall into the most difficult to find category. If you manage to find one of these with its dustjacket that is not an ex-library book, you should be kicking your height. Of these titles, I have only seen one Death Trap Mine (and that was in appalling condition), two Dancing Devils (both in poor condition), two Headless Horses (one I bought myself new, the other a poor ex-library copy), One Magic Circle (again a poor ex-lib copy) and one Deadly Double, again a poor ex-lib version.
Books numbered #1-18 should be easy enough to come across, as several of the earlier titles had multiple reprints. Books numbered 19-24 fall into the rare category, as these only had one printing and are generally difficult to find. I would put them on par with some of the later large hardbacks to find, especially Monster Mountain, Haunted Mirror, Invisible Dog and Death Trap Mine. I think I have only ever seen one or two at most of these editions.
These should all be very easy to find, with the possible exception of the first Vanishing Treasure imprint, which featured the cover with the boy brandishing a knife.
Again, these are in plentiful supply, even the last one in this set, Shark Reef shows up frequently.
This is where you will start finding difficulty in obtaining some titles. You may find, as I did, that many of these will be available as ex library copies. The last few titles in this format are not so easy to come by, with Smashing Glass, in my experience, the hardest of the lot to find.
You may find these among the hardest to find. My old collection included several of these as ex-library books. You will probably find some of the later titles quite difficult to find, particularly Missing Mermaid, Two Toed Pigeon, Creep Show Crooks and Wrecker’s Rock, although none of them are anything like as common as paperback editions 1 and 2.
Being the last imprint before the series went officially out of print, these books were heavily remaindered in book outlets such as Bargain Books and BookWorld. For some reason, I found many of these titles difficult to track down, but when I did find them, they were generally in very good condition. In fact, back when I was putting my last collection together, you could still find these in bookshops such as Waterstones, and I remember getting a brand new copy of Haunted Mirror in a bookshop in London to complete my set.
Three Investigators Omnibuses
You should not find much difficulty in adding any of these to your collection, beware though, as they are frequently in poor and well read condition. The Diamond editions were heavily remaindered through Bargain Books etc.
The early titles are fairly plentiful, the later ones slightly less so, however you should not experience much trouble in putting together a complete set quite quickly. The Crimebusters omnibuses are ten a penny. Don’t buy unless it is in mint condition, as there will be a better copy along soon enough. I suppose the true purist will want Mulberry and Diamond imprints in his collection.
It doesn’t mention if it is a hardback or paperback, just that it is in VG condition. Now folks, as far as I am aware, the only omnibus edition that features these titles is not a paperback, but the frankly fantastic sumptuous hardback edition that was published by Collins as a store exclusive for Marks and Spencer. An absolutely super book, this, with dustjacket and properly stitched spine. Also, much better paper stock than any of the other books in the series. It is also the only hardback Three Investigators book to be published after the last of the original series, The Deadly Double, a decade earlier. Anyway, I have bought it and am awaiting its arrival. After my recent purchases, fuck knows what will arrive. As ever, fellow bloggers, you will be the first to know!
A nice little Diamond omnibus. It got me wondering just what else is lurking in that garage. I seem to vaguely remember having at least one large hardback left over from my previous collection, possibly Crooked Cat or Shrinking House. I think I may have a really good root through the boxes next weekend, which is of course a bank holiday and what better a way to spend it than adding a large hardback to the collection.
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
And there we have it folks, the two hardback Phantom Lakes were in fact not. Back to the old drawing board, that hardback Phantom Lake must be there somewhere…
It just goes to show how utterly useless some of these book dealers are on the web. The old saying, “they couldn’t run a bath” appears applicable here. Anyway, I emailed the Abebooks seller and asked for a refund. Here is his reply:So fair enough. After all, I didn’t check with him that it was a hardback before I bought it, so at least I got my money back. The other one that is on its way is definitely a hardback, as I asked the seller before I placed my order, so fingers crossed for that one.
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
On the trail of a decent bookcase, I also went to the antique centre at Garrion Bridge. They didn’t have anything decent either, so I nipped down to the Clydeside Antiques centre. They did have exactly the bookcase I was after, but it had a big sticker on it declaring it had been “SOLD”. So I had a sniff around and I found this:
A Three Investigators Sized bookcase if ever I saw one. Complete with classy glass doors. And at only £35, surely the best bargain I’ve found since I started this collection. It smells a bit like old furniture, which goes well with my Three Investigators books, which smell a bit like old Three Investigators books. I reckon it will hold a full set of hardbacks and about a third of the set of paperbacks, so I will probably need something else at some point, but this will do for now. I actually bought a cheap bookcase for £20 in Argos last year for my flat. It’s shelves are already buckling under the strain. This one has been kicking around since the 1930s by the looks of things, so I know what was the better deal.
Monday, 11 April 2011
but the auction listing details show it as a Hardcover:
Well, folks, it was fairly obvious what needed to be done. At the price of £2.70 including postage, if the book was in paperback, it probably wasn’t worth it. If, however, it was a hardback, then the old saying, “BITE HIS FUCKING HAND OFF” springs to mind. Really, £2.70 for any hardback, in almost any condition, is a bargain, but a hardcover Phantom Lake?? My god, it wouldn’t get any better than that.
So I emailed the seller and he replied that it was in fact a hardback. I immediately “bought it now” and am currently awaiting its arrival.
I then had a trawl through Abebooks and found another interesting listing. Co-incidentally, another Phantom Lake in hardback, offered at a sale price of 63p plus postage (a complete rip-off at £3.30). The publisher was listed as “HarperCollins”, however That can’t be right as it was, of course, Collins that published these books, HarperCollins didn’t exist until the after the Three Investigators hardbacks had all been published. It’s this kind of thing that makes you worry a wee bit that the seller doesn’t have a fucking clue. Anyway, I bought this book as well, not knowing if it was a large or small hardback. It could even have a dustjacket for all I know, I suppose I will find out soon enough, as will you, dear bloggers. So that’s the situation I find myself in, folks. Two Phantom Lakes are winging my way, and I won’t know what editions they are until they arrive. The ideal scenario, is of course, one large hardback with a dustjacket (hey you never know) and one small one, but frankly I’ll be happy with whatever turns up, even if I have to stick one as a doubler on to eBay. In my experience, the small hardback Phantom Lake is a much rarer beast than the large one, even though the large one normally commands a higher price. When did you last see a small hardback Phantom Lake? Hmmm? I think I’ve only ever seen one in my whole life.
Sorry to keep you all in suspense guys, I know you are all choking to find out about these books, obviously you will be the first to know what happens when they arrive. WATCH THIS SPACE!