The Twopenny Box

NEWTON CHANCE, John. The Twopenny Box.

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NEWTON CHANCE, John. The Twopenny Box. London: Macdonald & Co., 1952.

8vo. Original black cloth, titled in yellow to spine, with illustrated dust jacket depicting a dead body being dragged away from behind a book stand; pp. 192; a clean, sound copy, retaining the dust wrapper, the front of which remains in jaunty harlequin, spine faded with some chipping at the top.
First edition of this bookstore murder mystery romp.
A darkly comic tale of booksellers, mild hysteria and seaside town drama in the scarce dust wrapper by Stein, an illustrator who worked on many crime fiction novels in the mid 20th century. Original examples of Stein's work (particularly for the more obscure novels) can be hard to track down.
Newton Chance (who also wrote as John Lymington) made a steady income from crime and science fiction novels hastily churned out month by month. As a result of his profligacy, some of his books are exceedingly rare, disappearing into the aether before anyone knew they were gone.