The Crime Fighters

by W.O.G. Lofts and Derek Adley


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Page 3 Index Table-of-Contents
Detective Thaddeus Burr
Thad Burr appeared in several Aldine publications, all of which were reprints from America. He was created by Harold Payne (George C. Kelly) and first appeared in Beadle’s Dime Library. Stories included XX-A Fatal Clue and The Matchless Detective in Detective Tales and Detective Burr’s Spirit Chase in O’er Land and Sea. Other stories appeared in Aldine Half Holiday. Burr had a body of concentrated strength, a jolly face, and twinkling blue eyes.

Jacob Burrell
Burrell was featured in The Mystery of the Clasped Hands (1901) by Guy Boothby. He was an enthusiastic philatelist, with one of the world’s greatest collections, and most of his valuable stamps had come into his possession in the performance of his professional duties. Nearly every page in his stamp album had a story of its own to tell. His methods of detection were unorthodox, and he never followed the accustomed routine. He had a running feud with the official representatives of the law and refused to divulge for their benefit any information he gleaned. Detective Sergeant Gath was also featured with him in A Millionaire’s Love Story (1901).

Cecil Burton
An eminent private investigator of independent means, Cecil Burton was featured in The Somerville Case (1949) by James Corbett. Burton delighted in the study of criminology, and due to his distinctive past adventures he had entree into the highest police and Home Office circles. He was completely unassuming and detested publicity; he was a bachelor and neither possessed nor needed friends. Burton usually worked in conjunction with Detective Inspector Phillips of Scotland Yard, who was often sorely tried.

Dr. Clement Burton, M.D.
Dr. Burton was a tall, good-looking young man with curling chestnut hair, breezy whiskers and clear blue eyes. Though he was one of London’s most rising surgeons, his interests had long lain in the direction of law, ever since as a boy he had attended the assizes in the country town in which he lived. His detective exploits are recounted in A Silent Witness by Edmund Yates (1875).

Billy Buttons
This star page boy at the Astoria, then the latest and most luxurious hotel in London, was featured in a series of stories in Monster Comics in 1925. Billy Buttons was actually an assistant to John Perkins, the resident hotel detective, and his page boy uniform was a guise that made him less conspicuous as a detective, enabling him to keep an eye on suspicious characters.

Inspector Byrnes
He was featured in Aldine Detective Tales No.159.

Inspector Thomas Byrnes
Chief of Detectives of the New York Bureau, Insp. Thomas Byrnes was a powerfully built man, moving quickly and decisively when he did move, and also capable of remaining perfectly motionless. He looked younger than his years and his face showed intelligence. This cigar-smoking inspector, with keen powers of observation and remarkable self-control, was featured by Julian Hawthorne in A Tragic Mystery (1887), The Great Bank Robbery (1887), An American Penman (1887), Section 558 (1888) and Another’s Crime (1888).

Detective Inspector Thomas Cadover
He was a colleague of Michael Innes’ famous John Appleby, q.v., and worked in collaboration with him in a very short story, “The Key”, published in The Evening Standard Book of Detective Stories in 1950.

Jo Call
He was a dwarf, only four feet one-half inch tall, hailing from Richmond, Virginia, and assisted by Timothy Tuff. He appeared in Aldine Detective Tales in a reprint from America.

James Callaghan
A creation of G. R. Benson (later Lord Charnwood), James Callaghan was a great big-chested Irishman of the fair-haired type. He had a fresh coloured complexion, light blue eyes, a battered countenance, close-cut whiskers, a heavy moustache, and a great scar running across one cheekbone. All this plus a massive jaw gave him a very formidable appearance at first sight. Callaghan was also very friendly and plausible, a copious talker by fits and starts, with a great wealth of picturesque observations or inventions. At one time he had served in the army, and later in the Indian Civil Service, in which he seemed concerned with the suppression of crime. Subsequently he retired to England, where his adventures can be found in Tracks in the Snow (1906).

“Slim” Callaghan
Of Rupert Patrick Callaghan, Peter Cheyney wrote: “He was five feet ten and thin. He had seven pence halfpenny and a heavy smoker’s cough. His arms were a little too long for his height and his face was surprising. It was the sort of face you looked at twice in case you were mistaken the first time. His eyes were set wide apart over a long rather thin nose. They were a light turquoise in colour and seldom blinked. His face was long and his chin pointed. He was clean-shaven and women liked the shape of his mouth for reasons better known to themselves. Except for the face he looked like anyone else in London. His clothes were ordinary and decently kept. His shoes were bad and one of them needed mending. Callaghan was not inclined to consider such trifles. At the moment he was concerned with the matter of the office rent.”

Callaghan Private Investigations was located off Cursitor Street, near Chancery Lane. Callaghan had a secretary who was said to be Effie Perkins but was mostly referred to as Effie Thomson. Callaghan novels included The Urgent Hangman (1938), Dangerous Curves (1939), You Can’t Keep the Change (1940) and It Couldn’t Matter Less (1941).

Brock Callahan
Brock (“The Rock”) Callahan was a private eye from the American hard-boiled school. His opponents were hoodlums and Brock had to accept his share of beatings, but was not averse to doing a bit of killing himself-in self-defence, of course. William Campbell Gault featured him in The Convertible Hearse (1957), Vein of Violence (1961) and other novels.

Ronald Camberwell
In 1925 Camberwell entered into partnership with ex-Inspector William Chancy, formerly of Scotland Yard’s C.I.D., after they had successfully concluded their investigation of the Murder at Wrides Park (1931). Their business was known as Camberwell & Chancy-Private Enquiry Agents, with offices in Conduit St. Near New Bond Street, London. They had a clerk and a sharp-witted London lad named Chippendale. Camberwell had a bachelor flat above the business but his married partner lived elsewhere. Their creator was J. S. Fletcher, who also featured Camberwell in such novels as Murder in Four Degrees (1931), in which he relates the story, and Murder of the Ninth Baronet (1932).

Some confusion has been caused by Haycraft’s Murder for Pleasure giving Camberwell the christian name of Roger, but perusal of the English editions show they all name him Ronald.

Albert Campion
Margery Allingham described Campion in 1931 as fair-haired, with a lank immaculate form, surmounted by a pale face half obliterated by enormous framed spectacles. The general impression he created was that he was well bred and a trifle absent-minded. A final note of incongruity was struck by an old-fashioned deerstalker cap set jauntily on the top of the young man’s head.

By 1935 Allingham had warmed to her character. The sun had bleached his fair hair to whiteness, lending a physical distinction he had never before possessed. There were new lines in his overly thin face, and with their appearance some of his old misleading vacancy of expression had vanished. But nothing had altered the upward drift of his thin mouth nor the engaging astonishment that so often and so falsely appeared in his pale eyes.

Campion novels included The Crime at Black Dudley (1929; published in the U.S. as The Black Dudley Murder), The Tiger in the Smoke (1952) and Mystery Mile (1930). Some novels also featured Chief Inspector Charles Luke, q.v.; an example was The Tiger in the Smoke, which was successfully filmed.

Paul Cannon
Private detective Paul Cannon, who was a very heavy smoker, appeared in The Marvel No. 410.

Jane Carberry
She was a wealthy and fastidious society woman who became involved with crime and criminals. Unwavering in her belief and faith in her own convictions, she defied official obstruction and rejected police opinion in tracking down thieves. This won her acclaim from the chiefs of all police forces. The author Beryl Symons featured her in Jane Carberry: Detective (1940) and other novels.

Mick Cardby
The business of Cardby & Son, private detectives of Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, had been built up with the trust of both police and crooks. Mick Cardby was the younger and more prominent, but Cardby senior had spent twenty years in distinguished service at Scotland Yard, reaching the rank of chief inspector. This reputable pair was featured in Mick Cardby Works Overtime (1944) and numerous other novels.

Steve Carella
Ed McBain’s hero Steve Carella was from the 87th Precinct series, which told of hard-working cops on the beat and detectives on the prowl. Each of the policemen was sharply differentiated and indeed each was memorable in a certain way. Carella was a detective with a beautiful wife, a brunette who was both deaf and mute. He was a far more human character than the usual stereotype, and became the father of twins in ’Til Death (1961). So popular did the series become that a comic titled 87th Precinct was launched to portray their adventures.

James Carew
He was one of the detectives featured in Clues Ltd, the long-running series in Merry & Bright.

Granite Carfex
Stories about Carfex began in No. 2176 of Comic Cuts in January 1932. He had been sent to prison, charged with manslaughter for accidentally killing a man who had swindled unfortunate people out of their savings. Then, released and reformed, he was recognized as the greatest crook-taker the world had ever known. Carfex was tall and commanding, with an intellectual and powerful character and a handsome clear-cut face that could be as hard as stone. He could be grim, relentless and dauntless. His chauffeur Flint was also featured with him in the series.

Kenneth Carlisle
Carlisle, a screen star turned well known and famous (at least in some circles) private investigator, was created by Carolyn Wells. He had been a very popular movie actor but had become fed up with the adulation of the picture-loving public. He had a taste for crime investigation and so changed his career entirely. Carlisle had a dark lean face and dark, deep-set eyes. So powerful was his personality that by looking at a suspect from under his dark compelling eyebrows he could often bring about a confession obtainable in no other way. He was featured in Sleeping Dogs (1929), The Doorstep Murders (1930) and The Skeleton at the Feast (1931).

M. Carlton
M. Carlton was a barrister in the role of an investigator in Fergus Hume’s novel Madame Midas (1888).

Mr. Carmichael
Old Mr. Carmichael, as he was known, was a brilliant Chief of the Homicide Division, Los Angeles Police Force, retiring after 40 years of service. Like the more famous Ironside, he was unfortunately confined to a wheelchair, but he still had a trick up his sleeve and still assisted the department in their cases. Carmichael was featured in Murder Most Ingenious (1962) by Kip Chase.

Carnacki
This detective appeared in Carnacki the Ghost Finder by William Hope Hodgson in 1913. Carnacki lived at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, and only acted in cases that were psychic or supernatural in nature. When Carnacki appeared in Independent Television’s “The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes”, he was excellently portrayed by Donald Pleasance.

Simon Carne. See: Klimo.

Captain Carr
Carr, a flying ace of World War I, was featured in a serial, The Scarlet Man-Hunter,“ in Red Arrow in 1932. He was assisted by Dick Parkin.

Curtiss Carr
Curtiss Carr was a young aviator with a brilliant WWI record as an officer in the Flying Corps, and his exploits were emblazoned on the memory of every Briton throughout the world. He had then become known as The Flying Detective. The adventures of Carr and his guttersnipe assistant, the highly amusing Hunky Doray, were recounted for The Champion by Geoffrey Rayle and also by Earle Danesford.

Ken Carr
He was a cowboy detective with a horse called Fleetaway and an Indian assistant named Julep, a boy mantracker who never spoke a word unless he was spoken to. Ken Carr appeared in a series of stories entitled “The Cowboy ’Tec” in Funny Wonder in the early twenties.

Leslie Carr
This sleuth was a member of the detective club Clues Ltd, which appeared in Merry & Bright.

Rushton Carr
Six years after Rushton Carr resigned from the C.I.D., he was beginning to make headway in his determination to work on his own. Sergeant George Mansell, who was his personal assistant at the Yard, had resigned to go into partnership with him. Mansell was the brawn of the team, still a typical policeman, big and bulky, with large hands and feet and a round red face. Carr conceived and Mansell executed. They were created by Sexton Blake author Anthony Parsons and appeared in Death by the Nile (1955) and other novels.

Max Carrados
Wynn “Max” Carrados changed his name to simply Max to abide by the terms of a will through which he inherited a fortune from an American. Carrados became blind when a twig penetrated his eye while he was riding along a bridlepath through a wood. This accident led to amaurosis. He lived in a large house, “The Turrets,” in Richmond, Surrey, and ran a private enquiry agency, with a retired Scotland Yard man to do the outside work. Ernest Bramah, who was born Ernest Bramah Smith, featured the character in these collections of short stories: Max Carrados (1914), The Eyes of Max Carrados (1923) and Max Carrados Mysteries (1927). Carrados also appeared in a single story, “The Bunch of Violets,” in The Specimen Case (1924) and in the full-length novel, The Bravo of London (1934).

In 1971 Independent Television screened “The Missing Witness Sensation,” featuring Robert Stephens as the blind detective, in “The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes” series.

Captain Mike Carragher. See: Faithful Mike.

Cosmo Carrington
Carrington was a detective of the Southern Railway who was featured in Clues Ltd. in Merry & Bright.

Charles Carslake
Private detective Carslake had grey eyes, golden hair, and a hairless face. He admitted to being very effeminate, and could convincingly disguise himself as a woman. He appeared in Funny Cuts in 1907.

Chick Carter. See: Nick Carter.

Don Carter. See: The Shadow Squad.

Duff Carter
This London private detective was a rather slight man, almost dapper. Carter dressed very quietly and neatly. His face was commonplace, with his eyes, very large and blue, as his only handsome feature. They made him look very innocent and unsuspecting-utterly at variance with the idea of a detective. His voice was pitched low and very pleasant. Scotland Yard officers were jealous of his successes and did not like working with him. Frank Richards (of Billy Bunter fame) featured Duff Carter in The House of Fear in the 1940s.

Nick Carter
Nick Carter first appeared in Street & Smith’s New York Weekly for 18 September 1886 in a story entitled “The Old Detective’s Pupil” by John Russell Coryell. The old detective was Sim Carter and Nick Carter was his protégé. Nick’s mother had died when he was an infant and he lived with his father in Tenth Avenue. His father had ample means and had not been active in detective work for several years. He devoted himself solely to the task of preparing Nick with every bit of knowledge possible, to equip him to carry on as a detective with even greater success than he himself had had.

After a couple of stories by Coryell, many other authors contributed. Frederick Van Renssaelear Dey wrote Nick Carter stories for seventeen years, beginning with “Nick Carter, Detective,” and usually he wrote a 25,000 word story a week. After Dey came a string of successors, including Eugene T. Sawyer, Thomas C. Harbaugh, William Perry Brown, George Charles Jenks, Thomas W. Hanshew and Frederick W. Davis.

Nick Carter was remarkable because he was athletic and sincere, with none of the pretensions of Sherlock Holmes. He was not a poseur, and of course he would have nothing but contempt for a man like Holmes, who was so lacking in character as to smoke tobacco and inject himself with cocaine.

No man ever took the terrible beatings undergone by Nick Carter and survived to appear fresh and reasonably debonair a week later. He was of course a master of disguise and could transform himself in a moment from a labourer into a Prince of Japan.

We are told about his two assistants, Chickering (Chick) Carter, later Nick’s adopted son, and Patsy Murphy, but there were others. In 1915 he took up headquarters in Manchester, as described in Pearson’s Further Adventures of Nick Carter, and there he had only one assistant, Chick Wilson, known as Nipper. Later we heard of Patrick (Patsy) Garvan (who had somehow lost the name Murphy) as his second lieutenant in England.

Nick Carter was also well known on U.S. radio and television.

There was a period during which many Sexton Blake stories were reprinted in the U.S. as Nick Carter tales. Some of the Blakes were rewritten by Rev. Sam Spalding for the New Magnet Library, beginning with No. 850 and possibly earlier.

There were 1261 Nick Carter stories between 1892 and 1916 without missing a single week. Reprints were still being published in 1934. Later in the 1930s Carter appeared in new stories in the pulp magazines.

As indicated, Nick Carter first appeared in the New York Weekly in 1886 (a few serial stories). Then he appeared in the Nick Carter Library in the 1890s (282 issues), then changed to the Nick Carter Weekly until 1912 (819 issues), and then to New Nick Carter Stories (160 issues).

In 1895 Street & Smith issued the “thick size” Magnet Library, reprinting serials from the New York Weekly and single stories at three per volume. In England stories were reprinted by Newnes in the Nick Carter Weekly (7 issues, 1911-1912) and the Nick Carter Library (118 issues, 1918-1920)

Nick Carter was still going strong in the 1970s, but what a different Nick! In recent years fans of Sexton Blake have criticised his modernisation, but compared with the new Nick Carter, Blake was the essence of normality. The new Nick Carter yarns are anonymous and published with the blurb “out-Bonds James Bond”! Carter is described as America’s No. 1 espionage agent, known as N3, the top-ranking killmaster for AXE in a styling similar to “The Man from Uncle.” Sex is used in these stories as an added enticement but employed at times in the most sordid ways. Certainly any similarity between the new and old Nick Carter is purely coincidental. Modern stories included Eyes of the Tiger (1965), The Weapon of Night (1967), The Living Death (1969), The Human Time Bomb (1969) and The Cobra Kill (1969).

Slim Carter. See: Nick Carter.

Trim Carter
He was the son of Chick Carter, Nick Carter’s adopted son, and appeared in a number of detective stories in early American publications.

Inspector Carver
Carver was featured in The Clue of the New Pin (1923) by Edgar Wallace. He was a lanky man with a long nose, slow of speech and a poor conversationalist. Tall, lean, with a face to match that was all lines and furrows, he was apologetic in tone, which seemed to match his melancholy appearance. The novel was filmed in 1961 with Bernard Archard playing the part of Inspector Carver.

The Catalyst Club
George Dyer’s novel, The Catalyst Club (1936), states that “the club is a catalyst in crime, resolving criminal problems without itself being altered, just as a literal catalyst in chemistry.” It operated out of San Francisco and had six members: Person Drake, Leonard Sloat, Cyriak Brill-Jones, Theodore M. Lempereur, Newton Bulger and Dr. Alex McCarden.

Police Chief Catlin
Captain Catlin of the state police was a handsome, black haired, dark complexioned man with lean, well-proportioned features and a pair of grey-blue eyes that shone with good humour. A pair of black eyebrows matched his short clipped moustache above his wide and generous mouth. This straight-backed policeman appeared in Spider House (1932) by F. Van Wyck Mason.

“Lemmy” Caution
Lemuel H. (Lemmy) Caution was, according to Peter Cheyney, America’s ace private eye, with his wisecracks on dames, liquor, and kindred subjects. The Caution stories were told in first person in breakneck American slang. Lemmy was so tough he’d make the postman ring three times. Formerly a top guy in the FBI, Caution was later attached to the U.S. Army Intelligence in Paris, although he did spend a considerable time in England on his cases. Every clue that he found and discussed was at the disposal of his readers. He first appeared in This Man Is Dangerous (1936).

Hon. Eustace Cavendish. See: Chief Inspector William Beeke.

Lois Cayley
Lois Cayley, a young lady in the true sense of the word, attended the famous Girton School for Girls at Cambridge. There she was nicknamed “Brownie” by her schoolgirl friends, partly because of her dark complexion and partly because they could not understand her! She left school on the death of her stepfather, to whom she owed nothing except her poverty: apart from being a waster and a gambler, he forgot to pay her future school fees. In a series of short stories by Grant Allen, Lois Cayley proved herself a very able adventuress/detective. The stories first appeared in the Strand Magazine in 1898-9 under the title “Miss Cayley’s Adventures” and were collected under the same title in book form in 1899.

John Chadwick
Chadwick was a policeman turned private enquiry agent and was married to the very attractive Freda. He also had a hound named Montmorency that featured in a lot of his cases, such as Murder Was My Neighbour (1955). Other novels in the series by Guy Cobden were Murder for Her Birthday (1960) and Murder Inherited (1961).

Dick Challenger
This detective was twenty-seven, handsome, athletic in build, keen-eyed and firm of chin. He worked out of offices in Grafton Street, London, and appeared with his boy assistant in the Halfpenny Wonder in 1914 in an anonymous serial entitled “The Girl and the Gang; or, A Detective Love Story.”

Fred Chambers. See: Orson Oxx.

Peter Chambers
Chambers, New York’s most active private eye, was a thirty-five-year-old bachelor. He had an old and crotchety secretary, Miranda Foxworth, who was dour, sour, cynical, loyal and irreplaceable. The stories were related by Chambers himself, who was created by Henry Kane in his unique drum-throb style, intertwining sex with philosophy, humour and violence, and with a casual but keen appraisal of human nature. Chambers books included Death Is the Last Lover (1959, published in the U.K. as Nirvana Can Also Mean Death), Death of a Flack (1961) and Death of a Dastard (1962).

Augustus Champnell
The Honourable Augustus Champnell was a tall, well-built, good-looking young fellow with fair hair, a slight moustache, and a pair of blue eyes that were curiously keen. He was created by Richard Marsh and appeared in The Beetle (1897) and the short story collections The Seen and the Unseen (1900) and An Aristocratic Detective (1900).

Charlie Chan
Earl Derr Biggers was the creator of Sergeant, later Inspector, Charlie Chan of the Honolulu Detective Force. Chan was the father of eleven children, the eldest and most prominent being Henry Chan. Charlie Chan’s cheeks were as chubby as a baby’s, his skin ivory tinted, his black hair closely cropped, and his little black eyes-sometimes described as amber-were slating. He was plump, in fact very fat indeed, but he walked with the light dainty step of a woman, and he always bowed with extreme courtesy. This hard-working, patient, intelligent policeman lived in a bungalow that clung precariously to the side of Punchbowl Hill. He wore oriental dress at home but on duty the conventional garb of Los Angeles and Detroit. Chan was a great chess player and a student of English; he dragged his words painlessly from the poets and was careful to use nothing that savoured of “pidgin”, though his native tongue was pure Cantonese.

The Chan saga began with The House Without a Key (1925) and was followed by five other novels including The Chinese Parrot (1926) and Behind That Curtain (1928), all of which had previously been serialised in the Saturday Evening Post.

From these few novels came about forty films in which two actors immortalized the character. For instance, in Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo (1938) Chan was played by Werner Oland, while Sidney Toler took the role in Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1939), in Reno (1940) and in Panama (1940). In the middle forties Toler also appeared as Chan in a number of excitingly titled films, including The Chinese Cat, The Scarlet Clue, The Red Dragon, and The Shanghai Cobra.

After the War came the famous Charlie Chan TV series with J. Carrol Naish in the title role, while Roland Winters also appeared as Chan in films during the 1948-1952 period. Other actors who played the role in film included George Kuwa (the first Chan, in a 1926 serial), Kamiyama Sojin (1928) and E. L. Park (1929), but none played the part so convincingly and so like the character in the book than Warner Oland.

Inspector William Chancy. See: Ronald Camberwell.

Inspector Chard
Inspector Chard of the Poldew Police had great skill in reading a man’s face, which considerably aided his work. He appeared in The Vanishing of Tera (1900) by Fergus Hume.

Nick Charles
Nick Charles, whose name was originally Charalambides Nicholas, was created by Dashiell Hammett, who himself had Greek ancestry. Charles was a former Trans-American Detective Agency ace who carried on a detective practice for six years, until 1927, when his wife Nora inherited a lumber mill and narrow gauge railway. Then he decided to devote all his time to the management of these new acquisitions.

Nick and Nora were very popular on the large screen, where they were immortalized by William Powell and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man Goes Home (1945) and other films. The character also had a good run in a TV version in the U.S.

Nick Charles may possibly have acquired the nickname “The Thin Man” from his first case, in which he solved the mystery of a tall white-haired man who was one of the thinnest he had ever seen.


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