There can be few, if any, publishers as important and evocative in the world of detective
fiction as the 'Collins Crime Club'. It was launched on 6 May 1930 as
an imprint/extension of the Collins publishing house and remained active, albeit latterly less so,
until April 1994.
We always welcome correspondence and anecdotal information from anyone who used to work for, or was associated in any way with, this publisher. Please do get in touch
The first three titles to be published were The Noose by Philip Macdonald, Shock ! by Virgil Markham and The Bowery Street Murder by Willard K. Smith. The original idea, and subsequent marketing strategy, was to build a mailing list of members and keep them informed of the latest releases. All books urged readers to 'Join the Crime Club' as did dust jackets, wrap round bands and postcards laid inside the books.
We have a selection of these ephemeral items CCC Ephemera
It is a popular misconception that it was a 'book club' which supplied books directly at reduced rates. All books were available at normal retail outlets and public libraries. Readers were informed in advance via the quarterly magazine of the forthcoming titles for the next three months.
We have put an issue online so people can see one Crime Club Magazine
The magazine also included reviews, adverts and crosswords. We are keen to acquire copies of the newsletters
so please contact us at the link below should you have any you may consider selling.
All the titles were supposedly selected by a
'Panel of Experts' to ensure that the reader was only ever offered the finest titles !
Each month, one title was selected as the 'Book of the Month'.
The cachet of being a Collins Crime Club title is possibly greater now than it was then. Whilst many
of their authors are collected in their own right, many of their 'Second Division' authors
owe their present collectablility almost solely to their publisher.
A large part of the attraction for collectors is, of course, the superb dust jackets
which adorned so many of the earlier titles.
Collins Crime Club and the Collector
For in-depth issue points pertaining to specific books our bibliography section should be consulted. We have set out a rough 'rule of thumb' guide below.
We have uncovered a probable single exception to this rule, more details here
Also please note: After the Funeral by Agatha Christie is dated, but to the rear
Books should have Orange/Red cloth and black lettering - black or blue etc cloth = REPRINT.
Jackets that are unpriced are 'Colonial Editions' which were intended for India, New Zealand and Australia etc. Many of these have since found their way back to the UK.
If a dust jacket is price-clipped, attention should be paid to the chronology of the other titles advertised and their relation to the book's date.
We do accept, however, that there are people who may wish to dispose of their books and to that end we are always seeking to acquire pre 1945 CCC. Should you have any suitable books you would consider selling then please do not hesitate to contact us
Urgently wanted Collins Crime Club pre 1945
Text © 2004 R.D. Collins
Books Wanted Bibliographies DW Artists Home Page