Textual notes for Death on the Black Sands

In Death on the Black Sands (following our policy in previous publications of Leo Bruce novels), we have, for the sake of consistency between texts, altered some spellings and punctuation:  “recognise” is (reluctantly) altered to “recognize” and “criticise” to “criticize”, “goodbye” is amended to “good-bye”, “’phone” is used for the shortened form of “telephone” instead of “phone”, “fingerprint” is unhyphenated, and the verb “show” has been modified to “shew”; furthermore, these additional changes occur:
“’Stroardinary”, (Chapter One, page 11), was altered slightly to “S’traordinary”;
the “’s” in “Tommy’s” (Ch. One, p. 9), the “’s” in “playa’s” (Ch. One, p. 16), and the “’s” in “she’s” (Ch. Eleven, p. 124) were unitalicised;

a comma was inserted after “forties” in “In his early forties he had lost his young wife in the last war” (Ch. Two, p. 18);
“your” in “I’m surprised your even suggesting it” was corrected to “you’re” (Ch. Two, p. 21);
gaspacho” (the Portuguese spelling) has been altered to “gazpacho” (the Spanish spelling) in “What a time you’d have in Spain learning to make gaspacho.” (Ch. Two, p. 22);

the “part of [Priggley’s] letter which interested” Carolus was indented (Ch. Two, pp. 23-24);
“mediaeval”, in “their almost mediaeval way of life there” (Ch. Two, p. 26), has been slightly altered, just because we can—and why not?—to “mediæval”;
“stories” in “the Imperatorio building [. . .] raised its twenty stories between barren rocky hills” (Ch. Three, p. 28) was corrected to “storeys”;
“whisky and soda” (Ch. Three, p. 33) was, for consistency’s sake, hyphenated;
a full stop replaced the eroteme in “We eat earlier for one thing?” (Ch. Four, p. 41) because, surely, it was not meant to be a question, and in “I’d like to know if anyone approached Devigne after you all had come in?” (Ch. Four, p. 47);
the space was removed from “table top” (Ch. Four, p. 44) to make one word;
the foreign phrase, “en bloc” (Ch. Five, p. 58) was italicised;
an Oxford comma was inserted after “braces” in “grey flannel trousers kept up by braces and black shoes” (Ch. Six, p. 64) lest anyone reading too casually should assume for a moment that the shoes helped keep up Mr. Pluggett’s trousers;
a full stop was inserted after “away” in “I dropped it in at Devigne’s flat straight away I thought that was the best thing to do” (Ch. Six, p. 70);
“its” in “Then it turned out its called ter-nearer” (Ch. Six, p. 73) was corrected to “it’s”;
“was” has been altered to the subjunctive “were” in “as though she was behind the commanding officer’s desk” (Ch. Seven, p. 80), in “If, however, to beat-up Carolus was Martin’s intention” (Ch. Eight, p. 85), in “It would […] be interesting to see whether he was in as good condition” (Ch. Eight, p. 86), in “Whether it were the depressing colour” (Ch. Twelve, p. 132), in “so if Gore-Bullar was correct” (Ch. Thirteen, p. 139), in “to see if he was being followed” (Ch. Thirteen, p. 145) wherein also “whether” replaced “if”, in “
Perhaps Jock Dribble was sleeping it off” (Ch. Fourteen, p. 148), and in “If there was one thing she disapproved of more strongly than murder” (Ch. Fifteen, p. 169);
“phony” (Ch. Seven, p. 82) was, for consistency’s sake, altered to “phoney”;
the space was removed from “girl friend” (Ch. Nine, p. 97) and from “girl friends” (Ch. Nineteen, p. 209), to make in each case one word;
“£75” (Ch. Nine, p. 97) was, for consistency’s sake, changed to “seventy-five pounds”, “£17,000” (Ch. Ten, p. 109) was changed to “seventeen thousand pounds” and “£20,000” (Ch. Nineteen, p. 211) was changed to “twenty thousand pounds”;
a comma was inserted after “Carolus” in “said Carolus but when he told the photographer” (Ch. Nine, p. 104);
“Colonels” in “to think all Colonels are fire-eaters” (Ch. Ten, p. 106) is uncapitalised;
“know” was changed to “knew” in “If you know how perfectly ridiculous it makes you look” (Ch. Eleven, p. 124);
superflous quotation marks before “But it wouldn’t be the same” within Daphne’s speech (Ch. Twelve, p. 135) were removed;
a dagger replaced the asterisk for the second footnote (Ch. Thirteen, p. 141);
“mail van” (Ch. Thirteen, p. 142) was hyphenated;
the space was removed from “street lamps” (Ch. Fourteen, p. 148) to make it one word;
a comma replaced the full stop after “Larner” in “He’s known here as Larner” (Ch. Fourteen, p. 157) in order to make “Carolus went on, watching closely” part of that sentence;
the French phrase “au revoir” (Ch. Fifteen, p. 161) was italicised;
the odd sentence “He had everywhere Switzerland, Beirut, all over the place” (Ch. Fifteen, p. 163) was, in order to make sense, slightly altered to “He had them everywhere—Switzerland, Beirut, all over the place”;
“shemmy” (Ch. Fifteen, p. 164) was altered to “chemmy”;
the elipsis of only two dots in “m . . mur . . .” (Ch. Sixteen, p. 180) was extended to three dots;
the full stop after “this” in “when he saw Carolus glance at this” (Ch. Seventeen, p. 182) was altered to a comma;
a comma was inserted after “No” in “No she’s in Beirut, I understand” (Ch. Seventeen, p. 183);
a stray, closing double quotation mark after Mr. Gorringer’s assessment that his alleged witticism was “not unworthy of Mrs. Gorringer at her lightest, I fancy” (Ch. Seventeen, p. 184), was removed;
“S’troardinary”, the vociferation of Col. Gore-Bullar (Ch. Nineteen, p. 210), was altered very slightly to “S’traordinary” in order to match the similar utterance of Jock Dribble, the former sergeant, earlier (Ch. One, p. 11) as well as that of Major Stour in Chapter Eleven of A Louse for the Hangman;
an inverted comma in “Sounds like it‘” (Ch. Nineteen, p. 213) was altered to a comma;
a comma was inserted after “Who”—which ought to be “Whom”, of course—in “Who then, did Killain attempt to murder?” (Ch. Twenty, p. 217); for the sake of consistency with other texts, hyphens were inserted in “whisky and soda” (Ch. Twenty, p. 218).
Page references are to the first (and, lamentably, the only) edition of Death on the Black Sands by Leo Bruce, published by W. H. Allen (London, 1966).
Thanks to Thorfinn, by the way, for doing most of the transcribing for all chapters of Death on the Black Sands.

On the title-page verso, below the copyright notice and publisher’s and printer’s imprints, is this notice:

All the characters in this
book are imaginary.
No reference is
to any living—
or dead—
There is no town
named Los Aburridos,
though there well might be
in the situation
created for it between
Torremolinos and Marbella.