One part of my website (assuming such ever actually gets up and running) will be looks at rare books that pass through my hands. I’ve always loved such articles from others and will do this whenever possible. First up is Hide & Seek, the first Inspector Rebus novel, from my personal collection, which is now up for sale. (Yes, that’s a plug. I am a bookseller, after all. But in case I sell it quickly I wanted to take and post some photos while I could) This is the UK edition published by Barrie & Jenkins.

The covers are a bright red cloth. Unlike US editions, which since the 80’s have rarely sported whole cloth covers but instead have cloth backstraps with cardboard covers, UK hardback editions almost always are full cloth. Probably this reflects the higher relative cost of hardbacks in the UK. The paper used was quite cheap, it’s doubtful anyone saw the Rankin phenomenon coming, and so it has tended to tone at the edges, just as with this copy. Visible on the front cover, this copy has a scuff to the front but overall grades Very Good+ in Very Good+ Jacket. And while some might find that conservative, I’d rather grade too low than too high.

I love the rear flap photo, Rankin looks like he’s about 12.

Note that the paper is pretty white everywhere except the edges, quite typical of high acid papers.

Note also that the jacket is in mylar, so the reflections are mostly because of my poor camera skills and the shiny plastic. I scouted this book up last year around Memphis and highly doubt that I will ever come across another copy of the UK edition. So you might ask why sell it now? Because of the economy? Yes, but probably not for the reason you are thinking. Rare books have proven, over the centuries, to be one of the best possible investments. They routinely outperform the stock market. Therefore, for anyone looking for a safe haven for their funds, rare books have always been one excellent option. Or, put another way, it’s a good time to sell. Especially since Rankin has announced the publication of the last Rebus novel. This series has already joined the great UK detective series as a classic. Anybody looked at the price of Agatha Christie first editions lately? In time, Rankin’s stuff will skyrocket.

I’ll be posting this first at

Once my site is actually up and running I can knock off the commercial stuff here at my blog. In the meantime, sorry about that.