William F. Deeck

VACHELL Quinney's Adventures

HORACE ANNESLEY VACHELL – Quinney’s Adventures. George H. Doran, US, hardcover, 1924. Originally published in the UK: John Murray, hardcover, 1924.

   Joe Quinney is an earlier, more subdued version of Jonathan Gash’s Lovejoy. While Quinney has an eye for antiques, he hasn’t Lovejoy’s ability to identify them immediately. He also lacks Lovejoy’s ability not to make money. Well, for the most part. Occasionally Quinney has been fooled by some unscrupulous dealers.

   The 11 stories in this book deal with Quinney’s purchases of and investigations into antiques, including one locked room murder. They aren’t all mysteries, by any definition, and several deal with the genuine occult, if there is such a thing.

   Each story is interesting, but reading one after another probably would be too much of a reasonably good thing.

— From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 12, No. 3, Summer 1990.

Bibliographic Notes:   It’s hard to imagine that many browsers on the Internet are going to be Googling the author’s name and end up here. I’m sure his is a name long forgotten.

   Even so, you (as I) may be surprised to learn that Vachell has some 18 titles in Hubin, including one marginally criminous entry, one play, one collaboration with another author, and several story collections. Nor was the book Bill reviewed the only appearance of Joe Quinney. He showed up in one novel and three collections, including this one.

   Inexpensive copies (under $30) can be found on the Internet, but don’t count on the condition being more than Good, and the overseas postage fees may match the price of the book. If you’d prefer a copy in Nice condition with a Dust Jacket, such as the one shown, be prepared to spend $250 or so.