John Gardner. Licence To Kill. Armchair Detective Library 1990. First Edition. Hard Cover. Fine / Fine. The printing history of this title is complex to say the least. There were intended to be three editions of this title, one of which would be printed in the UK and two in the USA. In the American editions these are an unidentified edition with the "14-5" ISBN, the "Collectors" edition with the "16-1" ISBN and the "Limited" edition with the "17-X" ISBN. The American editions have the "First Armchair Detective Library Edition: May 1990" statement with a 5 4 3 2 1 number line. There is also a mistake in the spelling of the title as being American they used "License" when it should have been "Licence" (as per the movie title). The American editions were issued without DJ's, the "Collector's" edition in blue boards and the "Limited" edition in red boards.
The UK printing carries the statement "First Armchair Detective Library Edition: April 1990" with the 5 4 3 2 1 number line. This however is a little confusing as apparently the US copies were printed first (even though they suggest they were printed a month later). Following the US print the spelling mistake was noticed and the title amended. The UK edition is thus correctly titled "Licence to Kill". The title page was apparently removed and an amended one tipped in. This also corrected the spelling mistake (the pre-title page still uses "License" as does John Gardners introduction!). This new title page contained all of the copyright information on the verso. The three states of the book are now identified as "Library Edition" with the "14-5" ISBN, "Trade" edition with the "16-1" ISBN and "Limited" edition with the "17-X" ISBN. Here then we can see that the "Collector's" edition has now been reclassified as the "Trade" edition. Hope all that makes sense!
This then is a first printing of the UK first edition (aka Library Edition) as indicated by the “First Armchair Detective Library Edition: April 1990” statement with full 54321 print line and “Printed in Great Britain” statement. Sharp clean black boards with gold blocking to spine, white endpapers. One verysmall bump to the tail of the spine. Stands reasonably square and appears to be unread. Internally clean if just a tad age discoloured, particularly on the top edge (otherwise would be a very fine copy). DJ is a wonderful example marred only by a small rub/laminate flaw? At the tail of the spine. It carries the 14-5 ISBN and as it was intended for distribution in the UK and USA by Severn House carries both the £12.95 and $18.95 prices. There was only a small print run and most of those went to libraries making this title extremely scarce and finding one in such collectable condition is very difficult. It comes housed in an aftermarket custom acrylic slipcase (please note that the slipcase has no warranty – I just put the book in it for safe keeping).
Category First Editions