PRESENTATION FIRST EDITION OF BLACK MONEY, INSCRIBED PRIOR TO PUBLICATION BY ROSS MACDONALD
(MILLAR, Kenneth) MACDONALD, Ross. Black Money. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966. Octavo, original half brown cloth, original dust jacket. $2500.
First edition of the 13th novel in Macdonald's award-winning Lew Archer series, published under Kenneth Millar's best known pseudonym of Ross Macdonald, a scarce presentation copy inscribed by him as "Ken" prior to publication to his Santa Barbara friends and neighbors, "Xmas 1965 For Stretch and Pidge affectionately, Ken."
Black Money stands at a turning point in a group of Lew Archer novels, from Galton Case (1960) to Blue Hammer (1976), that Matthew Bruccoli highlights as Macdonald's defining "quest cycle… one of the splendid achievements in American fiction" (Nolan, Ross Macdonald, 411). Published the same year Paul Newman starred in Harper, the first film based on Macdonald's detective, Black Money "is a powerful novel, set against the backdrop of a millionaires' playground in southern California and peopled with unforgettable characters. While Archer's clients in this and other books are rich and powerful, Macdonald's characterization is perhaps at its most masterful when dealing with the little people, life's victims whose pathetic dreams are the fuel for tragedy" (Pronzini & Muller, 1001 Midnights). "First Edition" stated on copyright page. Bruccoli, Checklist, 43-44. Magill, 1135-40. Reilly, 987-89. Bruccoli & Layman, 243. Steinbrunner & Penzler, 262-63. Hubin II:I,527. Barzun & Taylor 2308. The recipients, Stretch and Pidge, were Macdonald's Santa Barbara friends and neighbors, and there is a character named Pidge in another Macdonald book.
Book fine; light edge-wear mainly to spine ends of colorful near-fine dust jacket.