Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Hangman's Hands by Charles Wogan.

The Hangman's Hands by Charles Wogan.  Hardcover book published by John Long 1947 (first UK Edition),  224 pages.


I have no idea who Charles Wogan was (is?) and the quickest of searches of the interwebs doesn’t bring up any answers either. I’m fairly certain that the Charles Wogan that wrote this book wasn’t the Jacobite Soldier of Fortune or any other the other Charles Wogans that Google can point me too.  All of this makes it very hard to know what this book is all about other than it is a vintage crime book that has a modest on line value.  What I’m trying to say is that The Hangman’s Hands is a complete blank to me and by the looks of it, to the interwebs as well.

“Introducing Sebastian Stole.  An exciting story, introducing a detective who might have been a king.  Sebastian Stole has come to stay! The murder of Pierre, the waiter at Sebastian's club, who is found on his own hearthrug with his throat cut, calls for all Sebastian's ingenuity, brilliant reasoning, and cold persistance, before the crime is solved and the killer delivered into the 'Hangman's Hands.'”  

“Sebastian Stole has come to stay!” Mmmmm. Really? As far as I can tell this particular Mr Wogan only wrote one other book and I can’t see that either of his books did end up staying… unless of course the publisher is referring to the book staying on the Huc & Gabet shelves!!!  As I write all of this I keep thinking what if I’m very wrong and the book has an incredible cult following which will lead to irate Charles Wogan fans emailing me with abuse.  It’s one of those things where Charles Wogan could possibly be a nom de plume or the book was made into a film starring Humphrey Bogart or… who knows what.  In this instance I welcome any correspondence regarding my ill informed ramblings.  I would love to know the story… any story… about this book.  

I’ve had it for a few years now which means that I have been unable to sell it for a few years now.  Originally I picked it up as there was something about the dust jacket illustration that grabbed my attention (… the red lips, the black gloves, the mysterious eyes), also the fact that I hadn’t heard of the author and it was a vintage crime novel, for which I am aware there is a certain amount of interest, all of this helped me to take the plunge.

… and it hasn’t sold.  It’s not as if this is the only book I have that hasn’t sold… I’ve got a few others… I think what amazes me is that I have no idea at all about this book and the longer I have it, the more intrigued I am.  Help.

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