New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1951. First Edition. Attractive copy of this collaborative novel, written by the Northern California chapter of the MWA, under the direction of Anthony Boucher. "Each author was to write a chapter for the book. As the book was handed off to the next author, the challenge was to use the material that had already been written and add to it in a meaningful way to continue the mystery...The book opens with a mysterious phone call announcing that Dr. Barratt's daughter Midge has been kidnapped and placed in a coffin. She has no more than five or six hours worth of air before she dies. Each chapter in the book is titled with the exact time, so the reader is constantly aware of how much time remains for Midge to live" (Marks, Jeffrey. Anthony Boucher: A Biobibliography, p.99). Basis for William Castle's 1958 film Macabre, starring William Prince. Hubin, p.127. Item #3750
First Printing. Octavo (19.75cm); patterned paper-covered boards; blue topstain; dustjacket; x,235,pp. Inscribed on the front endpaper "For Louise Hendershot - from Theo Durrant," and additionall signed by the following contributors: Terry Adler, Anthony Boucher, Eunice Mays Boyd, Allen Hymson, Cary Lucas, Dana Lyon, Lenore Glen Offord, Richard Shattuck, and William Worley. Hint of a forward lean, with some trivial wear to spine ends, else very Near Fine. Dustjacket is unclipped (priced $2.50), with gentle sunning to spine and a tiny nick to upper edge of rear panel; Near Fine. Laid into this copy is a typed postcard (dated March 20, 1951) from Anthony Boucher to the recipient of the book; 59 words, with author's holograph initials (in red pencil) above his printed address label; mild toning, postal markings on verso, else Near Fine.