rare 1930 1st edition The Hand Of Power Edgar Wallace Mystery League art deco

rare 1930 1st edition The Hand Of Power Edgar Wallace Mystery League art deco

Regular price $49.95
This is a first edition title in a beautiful black silk cloth hardcover with bright green decoration and title/spine. Dust jacket missing. 

First American edition, preceded by UK first. Very scarce. 319 pages. This was the first book published by The Mystery League, originally sold only through United Cigar Stores and affiliates.  In the original advertising for this series, this was said: "The Mystery League, Inc. , is a publishing house formed after many months of careful study, through the co-operation of the United Cigar Stores Company of America and affiliated companies to supply the self-evident, nation-wide demand for the best in books of mystery and detection, at a price never before attempted in publishing history for NOT REPRINTS, BUT NEW WORKS NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED IN THIS COUNTRY."

The Hand of Power is a tale about the sale of a desk designed by a butler who murdered his wife.  Edgar Wallace was born in London, England in 1875. He received his early education at St. Peter s School and the Board School, but after a frenetic teens involving a rash engagement and frequently changing employment circumstances, Wallace went into the military. He served in the Royal West Kent Regiment in England and then as part of the Medical Staff Corps stationed in South Africa. Whilst in the Balkans covering the Russo-Japanese War, Wallace found the inspiration for The Four Just Men, published in 1905. Over the rest of his life, Wallace produced some 173 books and wrote 17 plays. These were largely adventure narratives with elements of crime or mystery, and usually combined a bombastic sensationalism with hammy violence. 

Mystery League books were unique in that they were sold through United Cigar Stores and later, Whelan Drug Stores, instead of bookstores. Now noted for their dramatic period Art Deco style dust jackets, usually by artist Gene (Eugene) Thurston, who signed his covers as simply: 'Gene'. [unfortunately, this copy is lacking jacket and is priced accordingly.] First Edition.

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