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VILLER, Frederick. [Christian Sparre?]. - The Black Tortoise : being the strange story of old Frick's Diamond.

London, Heinemann 1901. Octavo publisher's illustrated tan cloth blocked in black, white and green. Rear endpaper removed but a nice fresh copy. ¶ First English edition of an early piece of Nordic noir - only the rude would call it Norwegian wood. I think this is the second book of Inspector Monk, published in Norwegian in 1898, and the only one translated into English then and maybe still. I was going to ask how it is that rich tiresome old farts like Frick always have a lovely daughter but I remember that I have a lovely daughter without being rich. Anyway, she's his niece. Still it's a troublesome family for Monk to marry into. He's going to spend the rest of his life recovering that damn Black Tortoise. Only a few chapters in it's already been stolen three times. Then there's the indefinably sinister young Australian: the son of Frick's old friend and rescuer from the Victorian gold fields. Frick's house is named Ballarat in honour of his halcyon days when he spent three years as "sherriff" of Ballarat and made the first part of his fortune. There's no murder but two suicides help balance the score. The binding is so much like William Nicholson, who designed Heinemann's logo and was published by Heinemann, that I'm near convinced.
AUD 275.00 [Appr.: EURO 176 US$ 190.32 | £UK 158 | JP¥ 24967] Book number 10978

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