The Crime Fighters

by W.O.G. Lofts and Derek Adley


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Page 6 Index Table-of-Contents
Archer Dawe
He was introduced in The Adventures of Archer Dawe, Sleuth-Hound by J. S. Fletcher in 1909. Archer Dawe was a man of sixty, a little squat-figured man who dressed Sunday or weekday in rusty black and was never seen indoors or out without a very high-crowned wide-brimmed silk hat. He always wore old-fashioned stick-up collars and carried a large heavy umbrella whether the weather was wet or fine. His head wore what was more a mask than a face, with a high bulging forehead, a small nose, a straight hard line of mouth and a square chin. His study had shelves full of books on criminology and also held many gruesome objects, all ticketed or labelled, each one of which was a memento of some famous crime.

Chief Superintendent Peter Dawes
Peter Dawes of Scotland Yard was a comparatively young man, considering the important position he held. His department boasted-Peter himself did very little talking about his achievements-that he never once was baffled after he had picked up the trail. A clean shaven, youngish-looking man with grey hair at the temples, Dawes took a philosophical view of crimes and criminals, holding neither horror toward the former nor malice toward the latter. Dawes was featured in Four Square Jane (1929) by Edgar Wallace.

Patrick Dawlish
Author John Creasey, writing as Gordon Ashe, created ’Rock’ Dawlish, a very large man, six foot three inches in height with vast shoulders to match, and with an ease of movement which came from keeping physically fit. But for the broken nose, a legacy of his early enthusiasm for boxing, he would have been as handsome as he was massive, with his fair hair, clear blue and wide set eyes. In the first stories he lived as a bachelor in a flat in Brook Street; then, after a time, we were introduced to Felicity Deverall, his fiancée, and some stories later he was married to her. Shortly after their marriage Felicity persuaded him to buy a house near Haslemere in Surrey, where she thought he would settle down to fruit growing and pig farming. While he didn’t settle down they nevertheless stayed at Haslemere for some dozen or so books until in 1961 Dawlish was made Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Crime at Scotland Yard, and the house near Haslemere is sold.

This was with the forming of “The Crime Haters,” a most unlikely group of policemen and one which the author had a little difficulty in explaining why they and not the local police or Interpol should act at times. “The Crime Haters” was a kind of supra-national organization for the police forces of the world with a much wider range and with more authority than Interpol. In order for Dawlish to be the chief English representative he also had to be a senior police officer in the Metropolitan Force, which is why the Home Secretary granted him the position.

His close friend was Inspector Trivett, who was transferred to Scotland Yard from the Surrey Constabulary in the first Dawlish book. He subsequently became Chief Inspector and then Superintendent and a member of the Big Five at Scotland Yard. Throughout the years before “The Crime Haters,” Dawlish helped the police and was Trivett’s unofficial aide. In 1954, we were told that while he was an aide to Trivett he was an amateur sleuth that had gained his experience after a long spell with M.I.5. At this time he was a partner in Gales Antique shop in the West End. Apparently wealthy, Dawlish had a Rolls Bentley and was a member of the Carilon Club. Books about Dawlish include The Speaker (1939; published in the U.S. as The Croaker in 1973), Death on Demand (1939) and Terror by Day (1940).

Bob Dawson. See: Bob and Harry.

Dawson & Co.
A serial in Merry & Bright introduced Madge Dawson, a city typist, and a young journalist named Ted Wilson working together as detectives of sorts. Together they solved an important case and set up a detective agency called “Dawson & Co. Detectives” in a series which began in No. 633 in 1929, with Madge as the junior partner. They eventually married and dissolved the firm when they received a cheque for 10,000 pounds from a grateful client who was not only a Prince but a friend as well. The stories, a series of short complete episodes, ended in No. 652 with a fitting title: “The Last Case.”

Chief Inspector William Dawson
From the pen of Bennet Copplestone (Frederick Harcourt Kitchin) came Chief Inspector William Dawson of New Scotland Yard, previously a sergeant in the Royal Marine Light Infantry. Dawson was married and lived at Acacia Villas, Primrose Road, Tooting. He had a pair of unusually shaped ears, inherited from wolfish ancestors, and he had them surgically altered because they tended to give the game away when he was in disguise. Undisguised he was a well preserved man of forty-five with hair and moustache a pale sandy hue. He was featured in two books of short stories, The Lost Naval Papers (1917) and The Diversions of Dawson (1923).

Special Commissaire Saturnin Dax
Commissaire Saturnin Dax of the First Mobile Brigade, Judicial French Police, had offices at the Grande Maison. He was a big man with a bull neck and always carried a cane. We were also informed that he smoked cigarettes from a yellow packet. This familiar detective was created by Marten Cumberland and appeared in a large number of novels, including And Then Came Fear (1948), Attention! Saturnin Dax (1962) and The Dice Were Loaded (1965).

Mortimer Death
Death was part owner of The Enchanted Vale Crematorium. He was a short fat man with an extremely cheerful face, which did his business as a mortician practically no good at all. His interest in crime had been aroused by reading the Sherlock Holmes stories. Mortimer Death appeared in a series by Ken Crossen in Detective Fiction Weekly in the U.S.

Deathface the Detective
This character appeared in Aldine Half-Holiday No. 5 in a reprint from America. Deathface was so named because he had a face so white that it looked as if death had put its stamp there.

Judge Dee
Judge Dee was a bearded thirty-six-year-old serving as District Magistrate in Poo-Yang, a city in Kiangsu Province in China, and was later in charge of his second district, Han-Yuan. He could be described as a Chinese Sherlock Holmes, but this master detective of ancient China is a historical figure who lived in the seventh century A.D. and has been remembered for his exploits through thirteen centuries. Each Judge Dee mystery was based on three original Chinese plots, rewritten by Robert Van Gulik into one continuous story. Dee wore a magistrate’s green brocade robe and glossy black silk cap. He wore a thin goatee, long side whiskers and bushy eyebrows. Stories included The Chinese Bell Murders (1958), The Chinese Gold Murders (1959) and The Chinese Lake Murders (1960). These are strange stories, and in the vast realm of crime fiction there is nothing quite like them. Considered purely as mystery fiction the Judge Dee stories are excellent, but they are also something more. They are a poignant reminder of the marvellous civilisation that was China.

John Miles adapted the books for television, and Michael Goodliffe as Judge Dee was excellent. Dee was a powerful figure, dignified, subject to human doubts, courteous and compassionate, but at the same time ruthless in the fulfilment of his duty. He was a philosopher and a fighter, acutely conscious all the time that he represented the Chinese throne with its awe-inspiring dragon emblem and was responsible for upholding the law and protecting the people.

Malcolm Deen
He was a famous London detective who had an amusing boy assistant named Waxey Waller. Deen was a lone wolf, refusing ever to work with Scotland Yard or to collaborate with other detectives. He was well-dressed, smoked a pipe, and always carried a walking stick. Waxey Waller used to occupy his master’s chair when Deen was absent from the office, smoke his cigarettes and generally ape his master. Deen appeared in the Sparkler in 1931.

Carolus Deene
A lean muscular man of medium height, and in his forties, Carolus Deene was senior history master at Queen’s School, Newminster. His hobby was criminology and in the eyes of many he was an ace private detective. Deene had served with the commandos in World War II, during which time he had lost his wife. After inheriting a large income from his parents he started to teach history to keep his mind occupied, and in his capacity of detective had been astonishingly successful in solving a large number of cases. Deene drove a Bentley and kept a housekeeper named Mrs. Stick. His adventures can be found in Jack on the Gallows Tree (1960), Crack of Doom (1963), Death on Romney Marsh (1968) and other novels by Leo Bruce.

Mr. Evelyn De Havilland
De Havilland was introduced by John Newton Chance in Wheels in the Forest (1935) and also appeared in a number of subsequent novels. De Havilland was aged about thirty-two or three, was six foot three in height, had dark red hair and beard, both curly, and blue eyes.

Don Delver
He was a young detective who was aided in his work by an electric speedboat. Delver made his appearance in 1933 in a series entitled “Delver Sea Tec” in the comic Chips.

Dorcas Dene
She was featured in two case books, Dorcas Dene, Detective, First Series (1897) and Second Series (1898), written in a somewhat Holmesian vein by George R. Sims. Dorcas Dene, nee Lester, was a small part actress with a special bent toward impersonation. She had taken up this profession when her artist father died, leaving her and her mother a legacy of unpaid bills and a few unmarketable pictures. She married a young artist named Paul Dene, who was exceedingly promising, and they all moved to a house with a lovely garden in Oak Tree Road, St. John’s Wood, London. Then a terrible misfortunate occurred, as Paul had an illness and became blind, and was never able to paint again. Next door to them lived an ex-superintendent of police, a Mr. Johnson, who had been conducting a high-class enquiry business, and to make ends meet Dorcas became a lady detective. She was extremely attractive, with soft grey eyes. As a pet they had a big brindle bulldog whose name was Toddlekins.

The stories were told by a Mr. Saxon, Dramatist, who gave Dorcas Lester, as she was known then, her first part on the stage. Apart from Mr. Saxon as her Dr. Watson, she worked in great cooperation with the Yard. When Dorcas visited the Yard and sent her name to the chief officer on duty, she was instantly admitted. On another occasion we read this: “It isn’t usual,” the Superintendent said, “for our men to act under the orders of a private detective, even one so talented as Dorcas Dene, but under the circumstances I consent.” One Yard detective who was also very cooperative with her was Inspector Carr. The stories have their sentimentality, too, and on being presented with a jewelled gift, Sims wrote of her: “The one great drawback in her joy in possessing the beautiful diamond brooch is that poor Paul cannot see how beautiful it is. But somehow, when he turns it to the light, he stares at it with his poor sightless eyes and declares that really the stones must be very brilliant, for it doesn’t seem quite so dark when she holds them up before him.”

Denham
He was a private detective featured by Fergus Hume in The Lone Inn in 1894. The story, narrated by Denham himself, revealed little of his personality.

Drenton Denn
“The Adventures of Drenton Denn, Special Commissioner” was a series by F. M. White in the Strand Magazine in 1900. As was typical of his period, Denn, a newspaper reporter for the New York Post, wore a straw hat and a Norfolk jacket and his mouth was rarely without a cigar. His companion was a rough nomadic terrier called “Prince.”

Wat Denton
Wat Denton is believed to have made his first appearance in New York Weekly in 1892 in a story later reprinted in the Magnet Library as The Crime of a Countess by Nick Carter. Denton was aged twenty-five and looked like a young boy. The Magnet Library reprint, which later appeared in Aldine Detective Tales No. 153, told us that he was a pupil of Nick Carter and spoke Russian like a native.

Lucien Denzil
Denzil was a briefless barrister who so far departed from the traditions of his brethren of the Long Robe as to dwell outside the purlieus of the Temple. He occupied rooms in Geneva Square, Pimlico, and at twenty-five years of age was independent to the sum of 300 pounds a year. This barrister-detective appeared in The Silent House in Pimlico by Fergus Hume in 1899.

Department of Queer Complaints. See: Colonel March.

Department S
This was yet another mysterious crime fighting organisation with unfathomable roots, brought to us by Independent Television. Department S was created by Monty Berman and Dennis Spooner and featured dashing and now long-haired Peter Wyngarde as Jason King, crime- writer-cum-sleuth. Also in the cast were Joel Fabiani as Stewart Sullivan and Rosemary Nicols as Annabelle Hurst. Jason King, who became every woman’s heart throb, had the amusing knack of deduction by putting his own fictional hero into the problem at hand. Authors of the series included Philip Broadley, Leslie Darbon, Harry W. Junkin, Gerald Kelsey and Tony Williamson.

In 1971 Independent Television launched a new series entitled “Jason King”, centred on this character alone.

Steve Derrick
The Case of the Family Feud by E. W. Alais in the Union Jack in 1913 featured famous Steve Derrick, the American detective from New York who worked in conjunction with Sexton Blake on this case. Derrick was lithe and agile, with shrewd mouth and alert eyes; he had come into property in Maryland and had retired from the regular force to go into private practice.

Clive Derring
This cigar smoking detective, with keen eyes, was featured with his assistant Barry in an anonymous story in No. 7 of Cheer Boys Cheer. Derring also appeared in a series of short stories by Derek Duke in the Boy’s Herald in 1911.

Peter Dewin
Dewin was a tall, untidy and singularly good looking young man with a slight stoop and his hair brushed back. They said of him on the Post-Courier that he loved crime for crime’s sake, and that his idea of heaven was to wear plus-fours seven days a week and spend eternity investigating picturesque murders. This crime fighter appeared in The Feathered Serpent (1927) by Edgar Wallace.

Dial 999
This was a series screened by Independent Television in the late 1950s. It starred Robert Beatty as Detective Inspector Maguire of Scotland Yard.

Inspector Dibben
Inspector Dibben of Scotland Yard was a specialist in unusual cases. He was featured in a serial in the Rover in 1951 under the title “Vengeance with a Smile.”

Mark Dillon
This famous private detective of Chancery Lane was a little man with a very ugly face and enormous shoulders, and possessed with almost Herculean strength. When deep in thought he had the habit of sitting with the tips of his fingers of each hand together. Dillon was featured in “The Copper’s Mark,” a story in Marvel No. 264.

Mr. Walter Dimwood
Spare in stature, Mr. Walter Dimwood was a government detective with well brushed hair and sharp ferret like eyes. He appeared in “A Night of Alarm” by Alfred Judd in Cheer Boys Cheer No. 55.

Dirk the Dog Detective. See: Paul Sleuth.

Will Disher
Will Disher, a creation of Will Scott, was a giant of a man, vast and spacious, who wore a monocle in his right eye. He was an amusing detective, suave, amiable, unbelievably astute and incredibly bored at times. Disher stared with his inevitable monocle at what clues were available and usually with a weary gesture solved the mystery. He was described by his author as the world’s most famous detective, and appeared in The Black Stamp (1926; published in England as Disher-Detective), Shadows (1928), and The Mask (1929; published in England as The Man).

Francis Dix
Dix was a detective from Boston who worked with strange noiseless speed but unfortunately did not always enjoy good health. His work was always a strain on his nerves, and his doctors had forbidden him to take on new cases. He appeared in the 1890s in “The Long Arm” by Mary Eleanor Wilkins.

P.C. George Dixon
The original George Dixon was created by Ted Willis and portrayed by Jack Warner in a very famous Ealing Studios film, The Blue Lamp, in 1950. In this film Dixon was shot down and murdered by a hoodlum played by Dirk Bogarde.

However, the character of “Dixon of Dock Green”, once again played by Jack Warner, has become far more famous due to the long-running BBC-TV programme. This series consisted of stories of a London policeman portrayed with a great deal of warmth and feeling. In the early going the viewer was taken into George Dixon’s home, in which as a widower he lived with his daughter, Mary, who was married to Detective-Sergeant Andy Crawford of Dock Green C.I.D. Later in the series little was seen and heard of Mary, but Andy was ever present. Dixon’s immediate colleagues were P.C. Lauderdale, affectionately known as “Laudie,” Sergeant Grace Millard, and Sergeant Flint. Flint was in charge of the station office, but this position was eventually filled by George Dixon. In 1961 Ted Willis and Paul Graham produced a novel entitled Dixon of Dock Green, with all the familiar characters and settings. So well known did Jack Warner become as a figure of the law that he was actually used to give advice for the real police in adverts regarding road safety.

Detective Inspector Robert Dobson
Robert Dobson of the Criminal Investigation Department was a man of average height and build. He was also average in appearance and average in intellect, in fact, average in everything except his power of observation. His very normality was, after his faculty of observation, his most useful attribute, since it enabled him to deal with his fellow men without setting up those psychological complexes of fear, suspicion, and auto-pseudo-incrimination which the mysterious glances and cryptic utterances of the traditional sleuth must inevitably arouse. He appeared in a novel by Henry Wade, The Verdict of You All (1926).

Despard Dolland
He appeared in “Clues Ltd,” the Merry & Bright Detective Club series.

Don the Dog Detective. See: Rex Hart.

Dick Donovan
This detective, by the author of the same name (the pseudonym of J. E Muddock), appeared in the Strand Magazine and in a number of collections of short stories, including Tracked and Taken (1890), A Detective’s Triumphs (1891) and From Clue to Capture (1893).

“Dinkie” Doone. See: Dick Hart.

The Dormouse. See: Clive Conrad.

Captain Michael Dorn
Private detective and police confidant and one-time Deputy Commissioner of Police in India, Captain Michael Dorn was often called to Scotland Yard for consultation. This brilliant investigator assisted the Yard in the case of The Strange Countess (1925), and although his creator Edgar Wallace made him the lead in this novel very little personal detail about Dorn was given.

Horace Dorrington
Dorrington, aged about thirty-eight to forty, was tall, well built, and rather handsome, with a dark military moustache and penetrating eye. He was a private enquiry agent in the firm of Dorrington & Hicks of Bedford Street, Covent Garden, and appeared in The Dorrington Deed Box (1897) by Arthur Morrison. On a couple of occasions Dorrington, played by Peter Vaughan as less than a knight in shining armour, appeared in the ITV series “The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes.”

Daring Dave Dotson
He appeared in The Kentucky Detective in Aldine Detective Tales in a reprint from America.

Inspector Dove
The Inspector’s name was hardly in keeping with his personality, for he was a loud-talking man with a hasty temper, and his face would redden swiftly when he was enraged. He was also a very narrow-minded man who suspected everybody, and usually, because of his attitude, everybody put obstacles in his way. Dove was introduced in The Mystery of Landy Court (1894) by Fergus Hume, a novel which also featured Drage of Scotland Yard, who was called the Vidocq of London because his career followed the same lines as the great French detective. Drage made no bones about pointing out how Dove had blundered.

Chief Inspector Wilfred Dover
Dover was a big man of six foot two inches, weighing seventeen stone, a quarter of which was flabby flesh, including a large fat stomach. He usually wore a cheap blue serge suit and a shirt with a blue-striped collar which was almost hidden by folds of fat, with a thin cheap tie knotted under the lowest of his several chins. He also wore a long dark blue overcoat, bowler hat, and stout black boots. Dover’s eyes, snub nose and mouth were extraordinarily small in relation to the size of his face. His hair was thin and black, and he had a small black moustache of the Adolph Hitler variety. He was usually besieged by indigestion. Inspector Dover was the amusing detective creation of Joyce Porter, who featured him in Dover One (1964), Dover and the Unkindest Cut of All (1967), and other stories.

Dover’s assistant was Sergeant Charles Edward MacGregor, who was married, intelligent, efficient, courteous, sympathetic and extremely well dressed-exactly the opposite of his chief. MacGregor usually did all the work and Dover got the credit.

Mr. Dowker
Dowker, a private detective, was a long lean man, drab in colour. His hair was a neutral tint and thin, his eyes were a watery blue. His somewhat large mouth was drawn down at the corners, betokening a lackadaisical nature. He wore greyish clothes, always a little threadbare, and large thick-soled boots chosen for utility rather than for beauty. His headgear consisted of a sad-coloured soft hat, pulled well over his eyes, from under which his scanty hair hung in a depressing manner. His general appearance was dismal in the extreme, and he wore a beard that looked as if several tufts of straggly, never flourishing hair were planted in patches over his face. He never smiled, and frequently sighed, but according to the author Fergus Hume there was no cleverer detective in London-his appearance in relation to his brilliant mind was absolutely deceiving. Mr. Dowker appeared in The Piccadilly Puzzle (1899).

Doctor Downley
The sharp-faced Downley, doctor and detective, was a widower of about fifty years of age. He was highly intelligent and one of the most fashionable physicians in New York. He appeared in Aldine Detective Tales No. 219, The Magnate Detective, an American reprint.

Sidney Downs
Downs was reputed to be one of the shrewdest detectives on the Metropolitan Police Force of New York. He was about forty years of age, tall and broad shouldered and dark complected. Downs was featured in Plot and Counterplot in Aldine Detective Tales No. 225.

Drage. See: Inspector Dove.

Caleb Drage
Drage was one of Aldine’s most famous detectives, whose son Tom later joined him as a partner in his London office. The author, T. G. Dowling Maitland, featured him in Aldine Half Holiday and Diamond Library. Caleb Drage was admitted by the experts to be the finest private investigator since the days of Sherlock Holmes-at least thus said his creator.

Tom Drage. See: Caleb Drage.

Dragnet
This was a very popular American television series screened on Independent Television in the late fifties. It was introduced by the caption, “The events you are about to see are true; only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.” The regular policemen in the series were Sergeant Joe Friday and Office Frank Smith, who were played by Jack Webb and Ben Alexander, respectively. Webb also served as both producer and director of the series. One of several books based on the series was Richard Deming’s Dragnet: The Case of the Courteous Killer (1958).

The Reverend Allan Drake
When the Sunday Circle published the first story of this character on 30th March 1912, it was billed as an entirely new series of fascinating church mysteries. Rev. Allan Drake had been both a deep student and a first class athlete in his college years. Now about thirty years old, he had a broad chest, muscular arms, deep set thoughtful eyes, a square chin, and a determined mouth. Ten years earlier his parents had destined him for the church, and, not looking for “soft jobs,” he had taken up a curacy in one of the poorest parts of London. He had thrown himself into the work, and gained the affection of the crowd of humble people around him. Then, suddenly and without warning, he had broken down, and he had tramped the streets through all sorts of weather, never sparing himself. But even his robust frame could not stand the strain. His doctors had advised him to take a change to position where the work was lighter, but then an even worse fate had befallen him, for his voice started to cause him trouble. Gradually he had lost the use of his vocal cords and could no longer preach, only converse in very hoarse whispers.

This had not caused him financial worries, for he had a private fortune of his own. From then on he began a walking tour round England, visiting various parishes on his travels and devoting much of his time to the solving of mysteries at and around the churches of these parishes. At least 15 stories appeared in this series of complete yarns. All were published anonymously.

Derek Drake
Derek Drake was a famous private detective featured in Young Britain. The stories were written by E. Newton Bungay. Tom Topping and Pat Desmond were Drake’s two footballer assistants.

Dexter Drake
Drake had an apartment in East Fortieth Street, New York City, an apartment containing antique furniture and curios from all parts of the world. Probably Drake’s favourite item was an old Morris chair which he had in his college rooms twenty years earlier and with which he refused to part. Drake was a tall and slender, distinguished-looking man, with a dark aquiline face and bright black eyes with a kindly twinkle. He had the amazing trick of changing his appearance to look the double of almost anyone. Dexter Drake was a free-lance detective and often worked with regular detectives when they had a case that baffled them. His assistant Paul Howard related the stories, ten of which were contained in The C.I.D. of Dexter Drake (1929) by Elsa Barker.


Page 8 Index Table-of-Contents