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Harry Potter Book Accidentally Sold in NY

A drug store accidentally sold a copy of the latest Harry Potter (search) book to a woman ahead of Saturday's strict release time, but the customer said she will return it.

Mandy Muldoon said she was shopping with her 9-year-old son when she spotted a stack of the much-anticipated books on a shelf and purchased one. Christine Ekblom, a manager at the upstate New York pharmacy, said she believed it was the only copy sold.

"They were pulled off an hour after they were put on the shelves," Ekblom said. "It was a mistake."

The book, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (search)," has been shrouded in secrecy and its debut has been highly orchestrated to enable everyone — readers and reviewers, alike — to crack it open all at once. It's the sixth in J.K. Rowling's seven-book fantasy series on the young wizard.

Fourteen books were accidentally sold Thursday at a grocery store in Canada, but a judge ordered the customers not to talk about the book, copy it, sell it or even read it before its official release.

Muldoon's husband said the family would return the book to the publisher, though his stepson, Sylum Mastropaolo, admitted reading about two pages.

"We're going to do the right thing," Mike Muldoon said. "We don't want to ruin it for other kids and take away from the experience of everyone reading it together."

Kyle Good, a Scholastic (search) publishing spokeswoman, said the company was not aware of any other early sales in the United States. The company said Sylum would get a copy Saturday along with a gift pack.