London: Chapman and Hall; W.R. Howell & Co., no date [circa 1890s]. [Crime Fiction] FINELY BOUND, a later edition in the same format as the first. Octavo (22 x 16cm), pp. xvi; 624 . With 40 engraved plates by Browne, including a frontispiece and vignette title page. Contemporary green half morocco with raised bands, gilt titles and decoration to spine, green cloth over boards, all edges gilt, and marbled endpapers. Very light occasional spotting; a little heavier to final leaves. Small oval ownership label to front pastedown dated 1897. Light rubbing to binding; spine sunned. Very good. Although many of Dickens most famous works are crawling with crime, it is just this title that can be firmly placed in the murder mystery category. 'Bleak House' is essentially a classic whodunit, professionally solved, which became only the second entry (after Poe's 'Tales') in the Haycraft-Queen cornerstone list of crime fiction. Dickens returned to crime fiction for his highly-rated final story, the 'Mystery of Edwin Drood' but this was unfinished and the case unsolved... Within 'Bleak House' the author experiments with dual narrators and the story ranges from the dark and filthy Victorian slums to the landed aristocracy; Inspector Bucket is one of the earliest detectives to appear in fiction and was probably based on C.K. Field of the recently formed Scotland Yard. An essential mystery novel first published in 1853. Item #57537
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