Lot 308 of 364:
1st Japanese-American detective story writer  

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Lot closed - unsold
$300 - $500

First Japanese-American detective story writer - 3 novels

Ozaki, Milton K.

New York

Various publishers


  • The Cuckoo Clock / A Murder Mystery. (Ziff-Davis, 1946). (8vo), original gray cloth in dust jacket. First Edition. Dj chipped and worn.
  • A Fiend in Need / A Fingerprint Mystery (Ziff-Davis, 1947). (8vo), original blue cloth in worn and chipped dust jacket. First Edition. 
  • Case of the Deadly Kiss (Gold Medal paperback, 1957)  Original pictorial covers. Front cover creased.

Ozaki was the mixed-race son of a Japanese immigrant and his caucasian wife and was the first Nisei (as well as the first Asian) writer in the detective genre, producing 25 "cop-talk" whodunits by 1960.  The first two titles - his first books - were the only Ozaki mysteries published in hardcover.

The 1957 paperback was significant for introducing the character, Lt. Ken Koda (a “heavy-set, grey-haired, ruddy complexioned man”), probably the first literary Japanese-American Nisei police detective, although his ethnicity is never explicitly stated, only presumed from a common Japanese surname. While a Japanese-American detective appeared in a 1959 movie (based on a white director's script), the next Asian-American contributions to the literary detective genre did not appear for nearly three decades.

Lot Amendments

Very good.

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