First edition of the author's first book. Inscribed presentation copy. Publisher's original red cloth with gilt titles to the spine, in dustwrapper. Illustrated throughout in black and white by John Woodgate. A near very good copy, the binding square and firm with some bumping at the extremities and mild sunning at the upper edge. The contents are entirely complete and without loose or torn pages. Light spotting to the endpapers and a slight rippling of the pages at the top edge. Complete with the rubbed and nicked dustwrapper which is chipped with loss at the head of the spine and has had several tape repairs to closed tears. Not price-clipped (3.95 to the front flap).

Inscribed by the author in blue ink on the front endpaper "To dearest Ma, / With very much love, / Anthony xxx / 18th September 1979". An important presentation copy from the author to his beloved mother. Horowitz has made no secret of the fact that his wealthy but largely unhappy and brutal childhood compelled him to write for children as it allowed him to relive the formative years he never had. His father, a businessman and political fixer, who despite a love of literature and assembling an extensive library himself, ridiculed the commercial viability of his son's desire to become a writer. Sadly he died [and with him the whereabouts of the family fortune, never to be recovered] the year before his son's first book was accepted for publication. Horowitz describes his mother as an extraordinary woman whom he adored, encouraging his interest in reading and writing, and in his teens introducing him to classic horror novels such as Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Since the publication of this first novel, Anthony Horowitz has gone on to become one of the UK's most successful and sought after genre novelists and screenwriters creating new adventures for Ian Fleming's James Bond, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and writing for Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot!

Stock code: 16275


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London: Arlington Books.


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