View Full Version : Ellery Queen - Bestseller Library

January 24th, 2004, 05:40 PM
I have a copy of Ellery Queen's "The Devil To Pay" softcover, identified as "Bestseller Library No. 8" published by the American Mercury, Inc. The only copyright date reads "Copyright 1937, 1938 by Frederick A. Stokes Company." Does the 1937, 1938 refer to the Frederick A. Stokes hardcover version, or was this Bestseller Library paperback actually from 1938?

This book has a green cover with a tan square in the middle, title on the square, and 25 cents near the bottom. No ISBN, no identifying numbers anywhere except the "Bestseller Library No. 8."

Thanks for your assistance.

January 24th, 2004, 08:34 PM
Yes, the hardcover edition was published by Stokes in 1938. I don't know when you the paperback edition you have was published but I would think it was after 1938.

January 25th, 2004, 09:16 AM
Thanks Dave.

This is what I find confusing - how can a book have no copyright date except one that references a different edition? Not only is there no other copyright, there are no dates anywhere in this publication. This book has an inside back page ad for other Mercury Books "twenty-five cent paper-covered books" and an order blank, but no dates.

Dr Sheppard
February 18th, 2004, 07:04 PM
The edition you have - the American Mercury - is a reprint of the 1938 Frederick Stokes 1st. The 1937 refers to the first magazine serialization of the story in "Cosmopoliton" in the December of that year. The 1938 refers to the date of first book publication in January 1938. Your copy would most probably date from around 1944 or thereabouts. Although not a 1st in the accepted sense, early paperback printings of Queen are still collected.

February 24th, 2004, 09:33 AM
Thank you for this detailed response!