The Crime Fighters

by W.O.G. Lofts and Derek Adley

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Page 7 Index Table-of-Contents
John Drake
It was stated earlier that secret service agents would only be included in this work when there was definite collaboration with police authorities, and arguably the inclusion of Dangerman (John Drake), made world famous by Patrick McGoohan on television, is a direct contradiction of that statement. But inevitably in a compilation of this nature instances arise that are so complex it is difficult to leave them out. The villains that John Drake faced were not only a risk to the security of England, but as they themselves represented no state in some cases they were a menace to law and order in any country.

This Special Agent, a tall man in his early thirties, had a round young-looking, clean-shaven face, grey eyes, and fair and unruly hair that was cut rather shorter than convention demanded. His chin had a slight cleft that was only noticeable when he smiled.

Apart from appearing on television in stories by David Stone, Ralph Smart, Philip Broadley and others, a series of John Drake novels was issued by a number of authors, including Departure Deferred and Storm Over Rockall (both 1965) by W. Howard Baker, The Exterminator (1966) by W. A. Ballinger, and No Way Out (1966) by Wilfred McNeilly.

Kerry Drake
When Alfred Andriola, who had been producing Charlie Chan in strip form for years, decided that he would create a comic strip of his own, the result was Kerry Drake, who made his first appearance in 1943. This was one of the best of the police strips because of accuracy in police techniques (and dialogue), and the adventures, closely related to real life, were always convincing. The draftsmanship of the Drake strip was more precise and linear than that of the Charlie Chan strip, and its dialogues were more restrained and had less humour. At this writing the adventures of the blond (almost white-haired) detective Kerry Drake are still flourishing, and are syndicated in newspapers and comic books throughout the world.

Paul Drake
He was proprietor of the Paul Drake Detective Agency and an ally of criminal lawyer Perry Mason, q.v., and so was featured in many of the Mason books by Erle Stanley Gardner. He bore no resemblance whatsoever to the popular conception of the private detective, which was perhaps why he was so successful. Drake was a tall man with a long neck that was thrust forward inquiringly, and with eyes that were protruding and glassy and hid a perpetual expression of droll humour. Nothing ever worried him: in his life murders were everyday occurrences, love nests were as common as motor cars, and hysterical clients merely part of an everyday routine. Paul Drake was played by the late William Hopper in the long-running TV series.

Dr. Dread
A series of complete stories about the doctor detective appeared in The Butterfly in the 1913-1916 period. In the course of his practice among all in the community, rich and poor, high or low, Dr. Dread dealt with many cases, some from the medical point of view only, others which led directly to the unravelling of a mystery. The chief writer of this series was H. Mansfield.

The Dreamer. See: Superintendent Donald Reamer.

Michael Dred
Dred was nearly forty years of age, of medium height, thin, with a large head thickly covered with short, brownish-black hair. He walked with a slight limp, the result of an accident during the course of his extensive travels. His face, sharp-featured and somewhat sallow of skin, expressed a strange mixture of watchfulness and keen intellectuality. His eyes were deep-set and piercing, his manners had the ease and never-failing graciousness of a perfect gentleman. Dred was world famous for his preternatural acuteness and success in the detection and investigation of crime. He was created by Robert and Marie Leighton and appeared in Michael Dred, Detective (1899), which was perhaps the first story to make a detective the murderer.

Duckworth Drew
Duckworth Drew, a creation of William Le Queux, appeared in Secrets of the Foreign Office in 1903. This Victorian detective lived at Guilford Street in Bloomsbury and was often engaged in espionage on behalf of his chief, the Marquis of Macclesfield. When engaged in this work, Drew would often use the guise of Monsieur Gustav Dreux, commercial traveller of Paris.

Nancy Drew
She was a vivacious, blonde, eighteen-year-old schoolgirl with keen blue eyes. She was the only daughter of Carson Drew, a lawyer who specialised in criminal and murder cases. Nancy had lost her mother when only a few years old, and had been brought up by their plump housekeeper, Mrs. Gruen. Nancy had taken a keen interest in her father’s work, and had frequently discussed unusual cases with him. After working with her father on several of them, she solved many mysteries working entirely on her own, mysteries which had baffled other skilled detectives. Nancy Drew was created by Carolyn Keene and featured in The Clue of the Crumbling Wall (1945) and many other novels.

Valerie Drew
Valerie Drew, schoolgirl detective, was slim and had attractive red-gold hair. She was not attached to any organization but was assisted by her clever alsatian Flash. Stories about Valerie appeared in several girl’s publications including Popular Book of Girl’s Stories, Schoolgirl’s Weekly, Schoolgirl, and Schoolgirl’s Own Library. One of the stories in the last of these was “Valerie’s World Wide Quest” by Isabel Norton. Stories also appeared under the name Adelie Ascott, and some were anonymous. Ascott was a pen-name of John William Bobin; it is not known whether Isabel Norton was the same author.

Detective Superintendent Michael Drexel
Michael Michael Drexel, created by Gray Usher, was successively Inspector and Superintendent at New Scotland Yard. His aide was Sergeant Tolt, and they appeared in Death in the Straw (1955), Death in the Bag (1958) and several other novels. He had a black moustache carefully trained in the style made famous by Ronald Colman. This very successful detective had previously served with the Armoured Corps.

Roger Drexel
Moina (1891; published in the U.S. as Moina; or, Against the Mighty) by Lawrence Lynch introduced Roger Drexel, attorney-at-law, a young man who had been brought up by his grandparents and who had inherited a fortune. Although he had studied law he chose not to practice at the bar, preferring to be a lion in high society. He was the owner of City Mansions, a huge business block, and yet he himself lived either in rooms or hotels, as his fancy or convenience dictated. He was also a brilliant amateur detective and helped the police to solve many crimes.

Sir Clinton Driffield
Driffield, a Chief Constable of the County, had trained himself to observe minutely without betraying the fact that he was doing so. He was a creation of Alfred Walter Stewart under the pseudonym of J. J. Connington and appeared in such books as The Case with Nine Solutions (1928) and Mystery at Lynden Sands (1928).

Dixon Druce
Dixon Druce was manager of Werner’s Agency, the Solveney Inquiry Agency for all British Trade. As a boy, he had attended Harrow School, leaving in 1879. He was unmarried, and his old friend was Eric Vandeleur, police surgeon for the Westminster District. Druce was featured in Independent Television’s series “The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes” and played by John Fraser.

Dixon Druce was created by Mrs. L. T. Meade, one of the most prolific of all writers of detective short stories in the 1890s. The stories about Druce first appeared in the Strand Magazine and were later collected in The Sorceress of the Strand (1903).

Bulldog Drummond
Captain Hugh Drummond, D.S.O. and M.C., represents a borderline case and is possibly best described as an adventurer. Late of His Majesty’s Royal Loamshires, this creation of Sapper (H. C. McNeile) was a vast individual with one of those phenomenally ugly faces which is rendered utterly pleasant by the extraordinary charm of its owner’s expression. No human being had ever been known to be angry with Drummond for along, for he was either moved to laughter by the perennial twinkle in the big man’s blue eyes or was stunned by a playful blow on the chest from a fist that rivalled a steam hammer. His good-natured expression gave a totally erroneous impression of easy-going laziness. Probably his greatest adventures can be found in the first four Bulldog Drummond books: Bulldog Drummond (1920), The Black Gang (1922), The Third Round (1924; published in the U.S. as Bulldog’s Drummond’s Third Round) and The Final Count (1926). These novels told of Drummond’s fight against Carl and Irma Peterson, ending with the death of Carl, with Irma continuing the fight through several more books. In the first book Drummond met Phyllis Benton, and in the second we found him married to her. Other books featuring Drummond were The Female of the Species (1928), Temple Tower (1929), The Return of Bulldog Drummond (1932; published in the U.S. as Bulldog Drummond Returns), Knock-Out (1933; published in the U.S. as Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back), Bulldog Drummond at Bay (1935) and Challenge (1937).

After Sapper’s death the Drummond stories were continued by Gerard Fairlie in Bulldog Drummond on Dartmoor (1938), Bulldog Drummond Attacks (1939), Captain Bulldog Drummond (1945), Bulldog Drummond Stands Fast (1947), Hands Off Bulldog Drummond (1949), Calling Bulldog Drummond (1951) and The Return of the Black Gang (1954).

The character of Bulldog Drummond appeared in many films, with John Howard frequently in the title role. Others who played Drummond included Ron Randell, John Lodge and Ronald Colman.

Jabez Duck
Middle-aged Jabez Duck and his sharp-tongued sister Georgina Duck lived in an eight-room house at Dalston, North London. Jabez had a highly polished face and was a clerk in legal offices off Russell Square. He eventually married, and his spinster sister, living opposite them, seemed to spend most of her time glaring at her sister-in-law, though the dislike seemed mutual. Jabez Duck eventually went into business on his own account as a private enquiry agent, as the story was told by G. R. Sims in Rogues and Vagabonds (1885).

Frank Dudley
This detective was created by Alfred Barnard in the early years of the twentieth century. He was a married man who smoked a briar pipe and made his home and headquarters at No.1 Bloomsbury. He was depicted as quite a master in the art of disguise; a familiar example of this in the stories is his appearance as Mrs. Grubber. Quite a number of stories featuring Dudley appeared in the Marvel, some of them anonymous, including “Frank Dudley’s Reward” (No. 109), “Sam Grier’s Sacrifice” (No. 118), “The Strange Case of Mr. Wrench” (No. 128), “The Man in Possession” (No. 132), “Frank Dudley, Detective” (No. 172) and “In Pursuit” (No. 196).

John Duff
John Duff was a large man, nearly six feet tall and weighing some two hundred pounds, mostly solid muscle. He had been an unsuccessful attorney, but then worked as a private detective. This psychoanalytic sleuth was featured in Detective Duff Unravels It by Harvey J. O’Higgins (1929).

Peter Duluth
Patrick Quentin’s Peter Duluth was a producer and playwright with a knack for deduction. He was thirty-six years of age and married to Iris. Duluth starred in a number of novels including Puzzle for Wantons (1945), Puzzle for Fiends (1946), and Run to Death (1948).

Detective Dunn
Detective Dan Dunn appeared in Aldine Diamond Library No. 83 in “Tracked Down”, and was also featured in Aldine Detective Tales No. 194, The Soft Hand Detective. He was an extremely handsome man, tall and athletic, with steel blue eyes. Dunn was built for activity: his movements were graceful, without any suspicion of effeminacy, thus earning him the nickname “The Velvet Detective.”

Detective Sergeant Peter Dunn
This titled member of the aristocracy-for he became Sir Peter Dunn-was featured in Sergeant Sir Peter (1932; later also published as Sergeant Dunn, C.I.D.) by Edgar Wallace. Peter Dunn had just returned from fighting the Germans in 1918 when he was faced with the fact that, now out of the army, he had no money and no profession. Although he had a rich grandfather and could have taken life easy, he felt he had to do something useful. So he joined the police force as an ordinary “copper”. After eight years he had reached the rank of detective-sergeant and was on familiar terms with the Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard. On the death of his grandfather he was left a quarter of a million pounds and a baronetcy, so obviously he couldn’t continue in the force as Sergeant Sir Peter and he passed to the reserve. From time to time he was called to New Scotland Yard to assist in certain investigations, receiving for his services fees which just about paid the license on his Rolls and left a little over for cigarettes. The narrative of the stories was concerned with this point in his life. Only the one book about his adventures was published, containing seven short stories and one longer tale.

Mr. Dunsmain
Dunsmain was an old lawyer, a bachelor, cold-blooded as a fish and dry as a ship’s biscuit. He was called “The Grey Man” because he was of that melancholy tint from head to foot, with his grey skin and eyes, his grey hair and side-whiskers, and his grey suit. He was also lean and sad, with a snappish temper-he was cold, grey and inhuman like the sea on a cloudy morning. This lawyer-cum-detective appeared in The Crime of the Crystal by Fergus Hume in 1901.

C. August Dupin
The detective story was born in April 1841, in the pages of Graham’s Magazine A Philadelphia Journal, with the publication of a short story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe. A sequel, “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” appeared in Snowden’s Ladies Companion in the issue for November and December 1842 and February 1843. “The Purloined Letter” was published in a Philadelphia Annual, The Gift, for the year 1845, and in that same year all three stories with others were brother together in a book simply called Tales. All three stories celebrated the exploits of the chevalier Auguste Dupin, who must be called the first fictional detective. The profession of detective had only just been invented, and until the creation of detectives obviously no stories about them were possible.

So far as England is concerned, the historical data are as follows. In 1829 Sir Robert Peel established the London Metropolitan Police Force in a building with a back door opening onto a spot called Scotland Yard, and in 1842 a detective branch was added, with headquarters in the Yard itself.

Poe’s Auguste Dupin was eccentric, analytic, and contemptuous of the police. He was in fact the forerunner of today’s amateur detective, and Poe’s “unbreakable alibi” and his disclosure of the most unlikely person as the murderer are still standard ingredients of detective fiction.

Dr. Duval
A series of complete stories featuring Dr. Duval, described as a wonderful doctor and detective, appeared in The Jester just after the First World War. The stories, published anonymously, were written by a number of authors, including Alec G. Pearson and W. B. Home-Gall. Although the stories themselves gave very little descriptive detail, Duval was usually pictured wearing evening dress, monocled, and smoking a cigarette, though he was also a pipe smoker. Apart from the name, Dr. Duval could have been any one of the other hundreds of detectives who operated in that period and about whom personal detail was completely lacking.

Inspector Paul Duval
Duval appeared in a 1960 Independent Television series entitled “Interpol Calling.” Charles Korwin played the lead, with direction by Charles Frend and production by Anthony Perry. Stories were written by David Chantler, John Kruse and others.

Natasha Du Vivian. See: Miriam Birdseye.

Ebenezer Dyer. See: Loveday Brooke.

Chief Detective Inspector Lathom Dynes
Helen Robertson’s chain-smoking Detective Inspector Lathom Dynes, who eventually reached the rank of Chief Inspector, had eyes that were sharp and shining, covered by heavy lids. He had a Terry Thomas gap between even white teeth, through which he spoke with a low, level voice. He was a policeman of intellectual pretensions who took the excitements of his life a little sadly. He and his assistant Detective Sergeant Talleyman appeared in such novels as Venice of the Black Sea (1956) and The Chinese Goose (1960; published in the U.S. as Swan Song). Dynes was also featured with Superintendent Barthelotte at times.

Mr. E.
Each week an advertisement appeared in three of the London daily papers: “Mr. E., the man of mystery, will help any man, woman or child who is in need of urgent or genuine assistance. No appointment can be granted unless a written statement is sent to the offices of the paper. Only cases of extreme urgency will be considered, and advice and help will be given free of charge.” Mr. E. was a complete man of mystery and possessed wonderful skill bordering on the supernatural. His consulting room was accessible only through a secret panel in a mystic house, so large that it could accommodate a hundred people with ease. Priceless pictures adorned the walls, wonderful sculptures stood upon richly carved pedestals, and Gobelin tapestries hung from the ceiling. Signs of enormous wealth and excellent taste were everywhere. Mr. E. sat on a curiously carved throne, wearing evening dress and a black cloak. He drove a magnificent car with frozen windows. He had a servant, a huge black Negro, and a Chinese assistant named Ling Su, who was the only person who knew his real name. Mr. E. was the subject of a long series of detective tales that appeared in Film Fun from 1926 to 1932.

Tom Ebeon
Ebeon appeared as The Celebrated Detective in Aldine Detective Tales, probably a reprint from America.

Inspector Edwards
He was featured in a mystery serial in the Wizard in 1948 under the title “It’s the Voice on the Wire.” Inspector Edwards was attached to the Skipness Police, investigating mysterious deaths, and he was assisted in this by an unknown helper who phoned him with suggestions of how the murder was done. His identity was never revealed.

Jane Amanda Edwards
Jane Amanda Edwards, fat and fortyish, was a spinster, shrewd of mind and sharp-tongued. She lived in an old rambling frame house in Rockport, a town in the American Midwest. She had a sister Annie, a brother Arthur, and an old friend in Lieutenant George Hammond of the Rockport Police Department. Like her contemporaries, she had the knack of becoming involved in crime. Charlotte Murray Russell featured her in Death of an Eloquent Man (1936) and eleven other novels.

Lady Kate Edwards. See: Lady Kate.

Montague Egg
Montague Egg combined his aptitude for sleuthing with his regular job as wine and spirit salesman extraordinary for Plummet & Rose, Wines & Spirits, Piccadilly. He made his appearance in several Dorothy L. Sayers short stories, including “Bitter Almonds” and “Sleuths on the Scent.”

Sergeant Elk
Cigar-smoking Detective-Sergeant Elk of the C.I.D. was one of the policemen featured in White Face (1930) by Edgar Wallace. He was incorrigible but he was also invaluable. There was some kink in his mind, which originally prevented his passing the test, which would have raised him to the dignity of Inspector. Elk also appeared in other books, including The Fellowship of the Frog (1925), which was filmed on several occasions. The famous cockney actor Gordon Harker played the part of Elk in the 1937 version entitled The Frog.

There was no detective in the world who looked less like a police officer, and a clever police officer at that, than Elk. He was tall and thin, and a slight stoop accentuated his weediness. His clothes seemed ill fitting and rather hung upon his frame. His dark, cadaverous face was set permanently in an expression of the deepest gloom, and few had ever seen him smile. His superiors found him generally a depressing influence, for his outlook on life was prejudiced and apparently embittered by his failure at first to secure promotion. Faulty education stood in his way here. Ten times he had come up for examination and ten times he had failed—and invariably on the same subject—history. But Elk confessed that promotion would be an embarrassment to a man of his limited educational attainments. In time, however, Elk was promoted to Inspector, and as such he appeared, still melancholy, in The Joker (1926), The Twister (1928) and The India-Rubber Men (1929).

Superintendent Roger Ellerdine
Detective Superintendent Ellerdine of Scotland Yard’s C.I.D. and his inseparable and faithful henchman, Detective Sergeant “Cherry” Blossom, were featured by Cecil M. Wills in such novels as The Clue of the Golden Ear-Ring (1950) and Mere Murder (1958).

Fred Ellis
He was featured in Aldine Tip-Top Tales No.168 in a story entitled “The Valet Detective.”

Dr. Robert Ellis
Robert Ellis M.D. was a tall young man, clean limbed and sufficiently good looking. He was an eye specialist and the deducer in Fergus Hume’s The Crimson Cryptogram in 1900.

Dr. Malcolm Elving
This doctor/detective was featured in Merry & Bright’s “Clues Ltd.”

H. Emp
Sydney Horler introduced this character in Master of Venom (1949) and also featured him in Murderer at Large (1952). An advertisement appeared in the personal column in London’s most widely read newspaper, The Daily Banner:

If blackmailed, threatened with murder, or even bored, come and see me. I am London’s newest, brightest and best crime investigator. A private enquiry service deluxe. No money back, but results guaranteed. Entirely and always at your service. H. Emp. 1a, Beak Street, W.1.

This opening or theme was also used in a similar way in the first of the Bulldog Drummond books. H. Emp was an enormous man—he must have weighed at least 18 stone. He was six feet six inches tall, and although a barrel of a man most of his bulk was muscle, not fat. He was nicknamed “Rope” and had a secretary named Ermyntrude Pitt.

Ebenezer Entwhistle. See: Old Ebbie.

Inspector Lewis Erskine. See: the F.B.I.

Homer Evans
Evans first appeared in The Mysterious Mickey Finn (1939) by Elliot Paul, and was described as a fair-haired and pleasant young man with a sensitive and saturnine face. He was a private detective but could also be described as a Saint type of adventurer. Evans travelled extensively in France, and while living there he could write and paint with the skill of the best of the Paris writers and artists. Other Homer Evans books included Hugger-Mugger in the Louvre (1940) and The Black Gardenia ( 1952). To some extent the Evans novels have an accent on humour.

The Expert. See: Dr. John Hardy.

Hank Fairbanks and Emma Marsh
Henry (Hank) Fairbanks and Emma Marsh were creations of Elizabeth Dean and featured in Murder Is a Collector’s Item (1939). Hank should have graduated from Harvard, gone into business and developed an appreciative taste in antiques, but instead he graduated cum laude after showing an undue interest in ethnology and spending his spare time in police courts. Then he spent practically all his time sitting musing in an antique shop and living on a small allowance from his uncle. Emma worked in that antique shop (J. Graham’s, in the greater Boston area), had rather large but shapely feet, and was more or less Hank’s girl friend. She was continually pointing out to Hank that he was carrying on like a spineless sponger and insisting that it was about time he got down to earning his own living. Brown-haired Emma was twenty-six and considered herself a mere lass. The pair also appeared in Murder Is a Serious Business (1940), with Hank as proprietor of Fairbanks Inc., Investigators.

Daisy Fairfax
Daisy Fairfax was a very attractive girl detective attached to Slater’s Detective Agency. She was featured in stories in The Marvel in 1897.

Harry Fairfax. See: Bob and Harry.

Dr. Augustus Fairweather. See: Inspector Mince.

Faithful Mike
He was also known as Captain Mike and appeared in Aldine Detective Tales No. 116 entitled The Irish Detective. His name was actually Captain Mike Carragher, and he was a man of about fifty, of medium height, well knit and indicative of great strength and activity. His hair was silver white, and he wore and imperial beard and moustache. Not a wrinkle marred his handsome face, which was set off by a pair of clear blue eyes. Captain Mike of Kentucky was usually accompanied by a massive, fierce-looking bloodhound.

Falcon, whose full name was Onanta (Swooping Falcon), was the son of Nibowaka (the Wise), Chief of Sinawaa, who was killed in France in 1915. Falcon was an expatriate American Indian who operated a private detective agency in Hastings Place off Fleet Street, London, with a small blonde secretary named Miss Mitt. He was seventeen at the end of the first world War, in which he had enlisted but not seen active service. Falcon carried a quill-embroidered satchel which contained all his detective gear. John Crozier featured him in his novels Murder in Public (1934) and Kidnapped Again (1935).

The Falcon
The Falcon, created by Drexel Drake, had a long square-cut face which had the appearance of a sallow, immobile mask. The length of the face was accentuated by a tall forehead and long square chin. He had close-knitted black eyebrows and a looped nose, a wide thin mouth, dark wavy hair, and steel-blue eyes. This G-Man and his friend and assistant Sarge, a huge man with thick lips, were in league against the underworld in The Falcon’s Prey (1936), The Falcon Cuts In (1937) and The Falcon Meets a Lady (1938).

Flash Falcon
He appeared in Flash Falcon, the Society Detective in Aldine Detective Tales, which was in all probability an American reprint.

Martin and Richard Fane
The Fanes, the creations of John Creasey under his pen name Michael Halliday, operated the Prince Inquiry Agency. The agency took its name from that of a character created by the Fane’s father, a well-known writer of thrillers. Martin, aged twenty-six and a year older than Richard, was the larger of the two, six foot two, massive and easy going. His hair was straight and brushed flat off a broad forehead, his face was strong and handsome, and his eyes grey and calm. His family nickname was “Scoop.” Richard, two inches shorter, was lean and willowy. His figure was made for clothes, and he looked good in whatever he wore. He had enormous blue eyes in a face no one thought to call handsome but which had remarkable charm. His complexion was fresh and healthy looking and his hair light brown, inclined to curl and seldom appearing untidy. His ears that stuck out somehow added to his charm. The two brothers did not look remotely alike. The same schools, the same home training, similar habits and allied professions gave them nothing in common temperamentally or in character. Commencing from an amateur beginning when both worked in Fleet Street, the two set up as professional detectives with an office in Quill House in the Strand. Barbara Morrison, Martin’s fiancée, also worked at the agency, and the brothers’ parents Evelyn and Jonathan, who lived in Dorset, also got frequent mention. The Fanes appeared in four novels: Take a Body (1951), The Lame Dog Murder (1952), Murder in the Stars (1953) and Man on the Run (1953).

Page 9 Index Table-of-Contents