Our second Westlake Score of the day, brought to you in conjunction with Westlake Week Mark II, is the first of a flurry of Westlake first editions I bought recently to feature hapless thief John Dortmunder:
That's the 1990 US Mysterious Press hardback first edition/printing of Drowned Hopes, the seventh Dortmunder novel, with a dustjacket design by Harold Nolan. After scoring a UK hardback first edition of the previous Dortmunder novel, Good Behaviour, I had to switch back to US first editions for this one, as there was no UK hardback of Drowned Hopes – nor indeed of the next couple of Dortmunders. Seems British Westlake fans were rather ill-served in the 1990s; must've been a bit frustrating for anyone in the UK trying to keep up with Dortmunder and crew's adventures. In fact I don't think Drowned Hopes saw publication in the UK until 2008, when Quercus issued it as a paperback (I may be wrong there though).
Anyway, unlike most of the second-hand books I buy, where I generally have little to no idea who might've owned a book previously, this time I know a bit of this book's history. According to the dealer I bought it from, it was part of a Westlake and wider crime/mystery collection assembled by American TV writer and producer Frank Lupo, creator of, amongst others, The A-Team. I only have the dealer's word on this of course, but this copy of Drowned Hopes is certainly in remarkably fine condition (and at over 400 pages, I think the longest Westlake novel I own). So if it did indeed belong to Mr. Lupo, all I can say is, thanks for keeping it in such great condition, Frank. And rest assured I'll look after it.