Paris: Payot, 1964. First French Edition, and only edition to our knowledge. INSCRIBED on the front free endpaper by both authors to translator and French crime fiction scholar Igor B. Maslowsky and his wife. Very Good plus in photo illustrated wrappers, with the slightest lean and faint creasing in a couple of spots.
The great crime fiction team of Boileau and Narcejac--the novelists who penned the sources for "Diabolique" and "Vertigo"--switch to bibliomaniac non-fiction here to provide something of a French response to Haycraft and Queen's "Murder for Pleasure." The book carefully lays out a history of the detective novel from its origins to the early 1960s, covering a wide variety of topics but with an important inclusion: the advent of the French "Roman Policier." An index at the rear breaks down the key authors, divided into "precursors," British authors, American authors, French authors, suspense, "modern," espionage, and humor. An attractive copy of a title which has no English language counterpart. Books inscribed by both authors are very uncommon.