Cleveland: The Arthur Westbrook Co., 1899. 3rd edition (cf. Johannsen 277-1/2DL for the 1882 1st edition). Not in Hubin. 29,  pp. Last 3 pp blank. Woodcut engraving to p. 1, duplicating wrapper design. 7-5/8" x 5-1/4". Color pictorial wrappers, stapled. Series advert rear wrapper. Nr Fine (paper beginning to yellow, as usual). Item #27087.2
The 'Denver Doll', our research indicates, has the distinction of being the one of the earliest female detective characters in US fiction. To quote Wheeler, " .. she was a splendid specimen of young womanhood.... It was no secret she was a detective; it was no secret she was a terror to. [sic]"
This 'Denver Doll' was a creation of the prolific dime novelist Edward L. Wheeler, and while she initially appeared in a November 1882 issue of Beadle & Adam's HALF-DIME LIBRARY series, it is apparent, despite the charm & competence imbued by Wheeler, the 'Denver Doll' failed to rouse the enthusiasm of the early 1880's dime novel customers & she quickly faded from the scene a few months later with the publication of the 4th series title [March 1883]. This quick public expiration has, in turn, contributed to the present scarcity of the 'Denver Doll' series titles, as well as her lack of notoriety in today's mystery-collector circles... in fact, many believe that the first female detective in US literature was Amelia Butterworth, who appeared much later in Anna Katherine Green's 1897 work, THAT AFFAIR NEXT DOOR (cf. Blain. FEMINIST COMPANION, p. 456).
This the last title in the Denver Doll series, which first appeared as DENVER DOLL'S DRIFT, with the action occuring in the Arkansas mining camp, "Freshet Flats". And while we readily admit that this is not the 1st edition of the work, given the extremely perishable nature of all dime novel publications, and the rarity of this particular title, any collector wishing to own such would be well served to consider this present copy for his, or her, collection.