Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Avenel Mystery Collections

Between 1979 and 1988 Avenel Publishing Company published a series of collected novels by some of the most famous mystery writers.  These collections were distributed by Crown Publishing. The dust jackets are glossy and in some cases dynamic, but the paper that they used for these collections frequently yellows or tans making them less attractive than they might be.  In very good to as new condition, these collections can be quite valuable especially if they are first printings.  Of the editions pictured, the most collectable are the Ian Fleming Bond and Rex Stout with copies in mint condition going for as much as one hundred dollars and more.  The Saint by Leslie Charteris is also quite collectable.  Recently I picked up copies of the Cain, Marquand, and Mickey Spillane books at Goodwill sales.  These collections contain some great novels that are very difficult finds. I always look for a complete numberline or in the case of these books a complete letter line which begins with an "A". and for dust jackets that are at least in very good condition.  Remember if a book has any water damage, it is probably beyond salvage no matter how well it might fit your collection.  I recently passed up the James Bond collection with staining on the bottom and some mildew even though the rest of the book looked to be okay.  Collectors should remember to be extremely critical before purchasing a book.  Look behind flaps for names, check for moisture wrinkles, and look for missing or trimmed pages.  These flaws detract from future value and should be noted before getting a book home.  Take your time looking over a book even though it appears to be a great find.

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