The Poisoned Chocolates Case. An Academic Detective Story - Anthony Berkeley 1929 - W. Collins Sons & Co Ltd, London - First Edition A rare near fine first edition of this highlight of 1920’s crime fiction, and according to Julian Symons in Bloody Murder, 'one of the most stunning trick stories in the history of detective fiction'.

Joan Bendix is killed by a poisoned box of liqueur chocolates that cannot have been intended for her to eat. The police investigation rapidly reaches a dead end. Chief Inspector Moresby calls on Roger Sheringham and his Crimes Circle – six amateur but intrepid detectives – to consider the case. The evidence is laid before the Circle and the members take it in turn to offer a solution. Each is more convincing than the last, slowly filling in the pieces of the puzzle, until the dazzling conclusion.

‘A notable tour de force with no less than six separate solutions, and a veritable textbook of the literature’. – Howard Haycraft,
Murder for Pleasure.
  'A master of the final twist' - Agatha Christie.

Anthony Berkeley (Anthony Berkeley Cox 1893-1971), who also wrote under the pseudonym ‘Francis Iles’, was a British crime writer and a leading member of the genre's Golden Age. Educated at Sherborne School and University College London, Berkeley served in the British army during WWI before becoming a journalist. His first novel, The Layton Court Murders, was published anonymously in 1925. It introduced Roger Sheringham, the amateur detective who features in many of the author's novels including the classic Poisoned Chocolates Case. In 1930, Berkeley founded the legendary Detection Club in London along with Agatha Christie, Freeman Wills Crofts and other established mystery writers. It was in 1938, under the pseudonym Francis Iles (which Berkeley also used for novels) that he took up work as a book reviewer for John O'London's Weekly and The Daily Telegraph. He later wrote for The Sunday Times in the mid 1940s, and then for The Guardian from the mid 1950s until 1970.

Provenance: Derek Marlowe (1938-96), English playwright, novelist, screenwriter and painter, who wrote a number of murder mystery screenplays.

References: Haycraft,
Murder for Pleasure, 144. Symons, Bloody Murder 107.

Octavo (19.2 x 12.8 cm) pp. [6] 242 [8 (publisher’s ads)]. In publisher’s black cloth, spine and front board lettered in orange.
  Condition: Near fine, very minor fading to spine, light markings to boards.   Ref: 109015   Price: HK$ 5,000