BIGGLES TAKES THE CASE
Book First Published in March 1952 (*the second edition states the date as 3rd April 1952) - 189 pages
These stories were first published in various annuals and periodicals. I have noted below the original publication details.
The original first edition dust jacket showing the original price of 7/6
This contains nine short stories. They are all Air Police stories except for the last one, which is a Second World War story. These are as follows:-
SKYWAY ROBBERY (Pages 9 to 36)
Biggles helps the son of the Rajah of Malliapore recover their stolen family jewels in India.
This story was originally published in 'The Boy's Book of Adventure' 1950 (by Evans Brothers Ltd)
THE CASE OF THE UNKNOWN AIRCRAFT (Pages 39 to 56)
An unidentified aircraft has crashed in the Cairngorms and is found to be carrying Uranium.
This story was subsequently published in 'Adventure Stories for Boys' 1956 (by Odhams Books Ltd)
THE RENEGADE (Pages 59 to 82)
A villain is supplying arms in Malaya. Biggles parachutes in to blow up his supply dump.
This story was originally published in the DAILY MAIL Newspaper between Saturday 19th August 1950 and Monday 30th October 1950
BIGGLES BAITS THE TRAP (Pages 85 to 94)
Biggles pretends to steal some pearls in order to get a gang of thieves to steal them off him.
This story was originally published in 'The Wonder Book of Comics’ 1949 (by Odhams Press Ltd)
AFRICAN ASSIGNMENT (Pages 97 to 123)
A Mr. & Mrs. Steiner, under the pretext of making natural history films, are buying illicit diamonds.
This story was originally published in the DAILY MAIL Newspaper between Saturday 27th May 1950 and Saturday 5th August 1950
ALL IN THE DAY'S WORK (Pages 127 to 135)
Biggles and Ginger recover some stolen top secret Government documents after a long chase.
This story was subsequently published in 'The Children's Jolly Book’ 1952 (by Odhams Press Ltd)
Odhams had this story but delayed publishing it. This letter here sheds some light on the dates and says the story shouldn’t really have been published in this book before 1st September 1952.
THE CASE OF THE SECRET AEROFOIL (Pages 139 to 151)
What appears to be an accidental aircraft crash is actually a murder carried out by spies.
This story was originally published in 'The Ace Book of Comics’ 1951 (by Odhams Press Ltd) as "The New Aerofoil"
THE CASE OF THE MYSTERIOUS GUNSHOTS (Pages 155 to 173)
Someone has a novel way of poaching elephants, by using a plane to shoot them from the air.
This story was originally published (in an edited form) in 'The Golden Book of Comics’ 1950 (by Odhams Press Ltd)
THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE (Pages 177 to 189)
Wilkinson bets that his new pilot will shoot down more enemy planes than Biggles' new pilot.
This story was originally published in ‘The New Book of the Air’ 1935 as 'THE FLEDGLINGS', a WW1 story.
There were two editions of ‘The New Book of the Air’ and each edition had a different cover as shown above.
W. E. Johns later rewrote the story as a WW2 story and it is in this form that it is published in ‘Biggles Takes the Case’ as 'The Hare and the Tortoise'.
The Second World War version of the story was originally published in 'Every Boy's Annual' 1950 (by Juvenile Productions Ltd)
Biggles Takes the Case
Subtitle - Some problems solved by Air Detective-Inspector Bigglesworth, C.I.D., and his Air Police
Publication Details - published by Hodder & Stoughton
Click on the above to see it in more detail
One has the old H&S logo on the base of the spine (and was priced at 8/6) and one has the newer chess piece log on the spine (and was priced at 50p with the 8/6 clipped off)
But more importantly, the one with the chess piece logo features a list of Biggles book with a title that was never used. “COLD WORK FOR BIGGLES” can be seen at the bottom of the second column of titles.
The only difference between the two versions of the “third impression”, internally, is this book title. “Cold Work for Biggles” was actually published as “Biggles at World’s End” in December 1959.
The book priced “50p” is a post-decimalisation (1971) reprint, using the old, unamended, 1959 plates of the third impression. Originally, the plates must have been corrected to remove that title.