London: Collins, 1974. [Crime Thriller] INSCRIBED FIRST EDITION. Octavo (22 x 14cm), pp.384. INSCRIBED by the author in blue ink to distinctive bookplate on flyleaf: 'For Miss Eileen Cond | with the author's | gratitude and pride | in being included | in her formidable | collection of | contemporary literature | Berkely Mather | Brede, Sussex | 22 October 1974.' Publisher's red cloth with gilt titles to spine. A sketch-map to preliminaries. With the dust-jacket illustrated by Colin Backhouse, priced at £2.75. Miss Cond's usual exemplary condition, with a small blue ink date note to fly-leaf. Jacket with a few small rub marks. Fine. A scion of a famous military family posted to the north-west Indian frontier in 1924 slides first into disgrace, and later into a life of murder and crime in the jungles of the Decan. Based on a true story. This copy is fondly inscribed to a personal friend of the author, Eileen Cond, described in a subsequent letter as "my earliest aficionada." Well-known as a prominent collector of modern firsts, Miss Cond was also a correspondent of Ian Fleming, and the first Secretary to the James Bond Fan Club. During the 1950s, Miss Cond ran an 18th-century royal hunting lodge converted to country house hotel at Deer Park, Honiton, Devon (hence the bookplate design), with a select clientele. Item #59107
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