London: Macmillan & Co., Limited, 1935. First Edition Thus. Attractive copy of Hilton's pseudonymous Golden Age whodunnit, his only foray into the mystery genre. Centered around the coincidence of two brothers who meet separate accidental deaths while attending the same boarding school, both within the same year. The headmaster solicits the help of Colin Revell, former student turned amateur sleuth, who together with a Scotland Yard detective, join forces to discover the culprit. "Colin Revell is thoroughly believable as the semi-unwilling (old boy) private detective at Oakington School; the school atmosphere is expertly rendered; the identity of the murderer comes as a lively surprise; and the motives stand up to scrutiny" (Barzun & Taylor 1767). The novel was first published under the pseudonym "Glen Trevor" (Ernest Benn, 1931), followed by a title change for the American edition published by Harcourt in 1933 (Was It Murder?). This edition was published after Benn transferred publishing rights to Macmillan in 1934, the first to appear in the UK using Hilton's name, with a newly-designed dustjacket. The true First in dustjacket is rare to the point of being unobtainable (the last copy sold at Parke Bernett in 1940), making this the earliest obtainable UK edition in a jacket. A scarce Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone title. Hubin, p.398. Item #4656
Octavo (18.75cm); green cloth, with titles stamped in gilt on spine; dustjacket; ,9-284,pp. Hint of discoloration to points at crown and along lower edge of spine, faint trace of foxing to text edges, else clean internally; Near Fine. Dustjacket with price sticker of 4/6 net on spine, lightly shelfworn and gently spine-sunned, with a few tiny tears; Very Good+.