New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1930. Second printing. A Fine copy of the book in an authentic, Near Fine (second printing) dust jacket. Jacket with very slight wear at the extremities and some rubbing along the flap folds. The jacket matches the first printing jacket exactly, with the exception that "Second Printing" appears at the lower edge of the front panel. If you see the appalling copy in jacket that sold at Swann in 2014 for $8,750, you'll notice that the lower third of the front panel is (conveniently?) absent, where any later printing statement would have appeared. We much prefer our honest, second printing copy in exceptional condition.
The second and arguably among the most famous of the Ellery Queen mysteries, it was hailed at its release as a stylish puzzle from the author who "took the intellectual game that was the formal detective novel to greater heights than any American writer" (The Weekly Standard). Set at French's department store in New York, where the year-round displays "show off the finest in fashion, art, and home decor, and where tourists and locals alike make a point of stopping to see what's on offer. One afternoon, as the board debates a merger upstairs, a salesgirl begins a demonstration in one of the windows, showing off French's new Murphy bed. A crowd gathers to watch the bed lowed from the wall with the touch of a single button. But as the bed opens, people run screaming. Out tumbles a woman -- crumpled, bloody, and dead. The victim was Mrs. French, wife of the company president, and finding her killer will turn the esteemed store upside down. Only one detective has the soft touch necessary -- debonair intellectual Ellery Queen" (Mysterious Press). (Item #4118)