A Study in Scarlet
Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1890.
Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1890. First American edition. First issue of Sherlock Holmes' debut in America, in the original, unrestored printed-paper wrappers (preceding the clothbound edition by 6 months). Spine mostly perished, chips missing from front and rear wrappers near the spine, and a number of short pinholes at the foredge of the pageblock. All of which is pardonable for a book which is never seen in the original wrappers at auction (only one rebound copy appears in either AE or ABPC). Copies of A Study in Scarlet's first appearance in Beeton's Christmas Annual appear in original wrappers, as do the first book appearance by Ward, Locke, London, both of which are six figure books in comparable condition to our copy. The impact of Sherlock Holmes on detective fiction can hardly be overstated. He is the original gentleman sleuth, using logical deduction, forensic science, fantastic disguises and of course, his famous magnifying glass to solve impenetrable mysteries, all during a time when the only way to convict a criminal was with a smoking gun. Holmes revolutionized, not only detective fiction, but also the approach and methods of modern detectives (for examples see the 2013 PBS broadcast: "How Sherlock Changed the World"). “Rightly elected to the number one slot as the most distinguished mystery fiction ever written, the Sherlock Holmes canon stands as the most consistently brilliant, original, important, and entertaining works of fiction ever produced” (The Crown Crime Companion’s Top 100 Mystery Novels, 21) Good (Item #972)