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Hi Everyone,

I have a book I need help on please.

On the cover:

Sherlock Holmes Detective Stories


Inside the boards are decorative endsheets as well as the flyleaf at each end.

Next is the contents page followed by a title page.

No publisher or copyright is on any page.

The cloth boards are navy with gold diamond shapes. 

There are 239 pages followed by one blank end sheet. 

There are no illustrations and no advertising at the end of the book. 


I sent a message to a noted antiquarian book seller and he suggests that:


I am not satisfied with that answer. I have done considerable online research on the title and author and as of now have nothing to tell me how old this book is and a publisher. 

I am working on adding pictures if needed.

Can anyone say more about this book? I thank you.

Views: 66


Replies to This Discussion

adding pictures


Inside, back cover is where (usually) a library, if owned by such, has its check-out pocket. A picture would be nice.

My opinion, book looks like one of a set, circa mid-century (20th). Value $1.00 USD due to condition, no ISBN,  and no dust cover.

Thanks Tom! Inside the back cover is the same decorative endsheets. No library check out pocket, no "officially removed" stamps. It sure could be part of a set. Wish I could find matching boards. 

Typed up a reply and it got deleted somehow so that longer story short:

No library affiliation.

Checked the spine with a magnifying glass and can barely read the word SEARS.

huh! so a new search now for this book and SEARS. I'd still like to know when it was published.  

So your missing the publishers and copyrights page? If you turn the front end papers over, does it look like one is torn out? Also check the title page carefully. Sometimes date/publisher are listed there.

I wrote to you above, before I saw your extra photos. I see why the "arse" bookseller said "pirated" He is assuming it never had a copyright. I'm doubtful of that. Chances are your book is a 1940's version. Because it has "acidic" paper pages. ( heavy brown/foxing to all papers). These were used during the WWII era and into the early 50's. Collectors don't want them because they are deteriorating themselves, sadly. I won't give up just yet though. Tell me if you can find anywhere a date, publisher or pages torn out?

Hi Vicki,

Sorry for the delay on my end. No missing or torn pages. Nothing other than the title on the title page. No publisher, no copyright dates. 

I'm happy to see Tom found a similar copy with very similar boards.

The visual difference is the blank area on the front board.  

Thank you!

Hi Kay, I would need to know publisher and year, if you would like me to try and find it. All sherlock Holmes books are "collectible" it's a matter of what year, and which publication that determines value. The "noted bookseller" you asked sounds like a arse to me!

I sell books online, so I do know something about them. Some people are unbelievable!

Although the front cover is slightly different I believe it's the same book, just a newer edition. In the link it shows an irl of "9 others" but only the one is shown. I presume yours is one of the others.

Editor (Lucas) and author (Doyle, Arthur Conan Lexow) shown. Year published 1920. Amazon has 5 used copies at $5.50 each.

https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3ALucas+%28ed.%29...  WHEN IT OPENS Left click on the book image and more info will show.

Elsewhere I saw "Sears" but I didn't copy it down. It WAS NOT Sears & Roebuck but rather a man's name.

Hello again Tom and thank you. The copy you found is very much like mine. The visual difference is the blank area on the front board. Sears - a man's name...or possibly a publisher? Interesting. So 1920 a possibility as well as Vicki's suggestion that it could be 1940's. 

Thanks very much!


Publisher: J.H. Sears & Company, New York, NY.

I googled, Sherlock Holmes "Sears"...many show Sears as the publisher, dates from 1919 to 1920, 1923. Values in range of $3.50 to $8.00.

Re: "Popular Classics", seems like copyrights expire every 70 years. If not renewed the name can be used by somebody else.

Info at the amazon link:

With the near match with the boards - this is the only likeness found so far!

  • Hardcover: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Popular Classics; 1st Thus (Copyright by Harper & Brothers) edition (1920)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000O5D5QM

I found a couple of problems with "popular classics" - Looks like that name goes with the reprint from 2007, by Penguin. It may be just an updated version of yours, but I can't find any old versions - 1920-40 under "popular classics". It's too late tonight (I'm waiting on some french bread I made to rise - UGH, taking forever - lol). Tomorrow I'll try and nail things down a bit more. Not giving up just yet!


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