The Crime Fighters

by W.O.G. Lofts and Derek Adley

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Page 8 Index Table-of-Contents
Wilson Fane
Wilson Fane was one of the many detectives who appeared in “Clues Ltd” in Merry & Bright.

Octavius Fanks
He was another of Fergus Hume’s creations, appearing in Monsieur Judas (1891), The Chinese Jar (1893; published in the U.S. as The Secret of the Chinese Jar) and The Carbuncle Clue (1896). He was an expert detective at Scotland Yard who followed his profession as one who was particularly adapted to it by nature. He came from a good family, and actually led a double existence, for, unwilling to cut himself off from the station of life to which he was entitled by virtue of birth, he became known in clubland as Octavius Rixton, idler and man about town. Not a soul ever guessed that the two characters were the same.

Professor Kate Fansler
Kate Fansler, Professor of English Literature at a large metropolitan university, was an avid reader of detective stories. She appeared in a series of novels by Amanda Cross, beginning with In the Last Analysis (1964).

John Farrel. See: Calvin Saunders.

Peter Farrell
Hal Wilton, otherwise Frank S. Pepper, wrote short weekly episodes about private detective Peter Farrell for the boy’s paper Triumph prior to WWII. Farrell was famed for his unusual methods. He employed a solemn-faced valet named Jelks, who also acted as his assistant and who despite his slim and gentle appearance was as tough as nails.

Farringdon, the super sleuth, appeared in the short-lived Jack’s Paper in the early twenties. His rooms and home were at an old-fashioned house in Grosvenor Gardens—quite a dignified place, not far from Buckingham Palace. Farringdon’s claim to fame was that he had never lost a case, though few fictional characters ever did so. The stories were credited to Jack Wylde (almost certainly a pseudonym) and also featured Farringdon’s friend, dapper little Inspector Caird.

Inspector Faske
In 1885 Major Arthur Griffiths published a novel entitled Fast and Loose that introduced Inspector Faske of the Criminal Investigation Department of Scotland Yard. Faske walked with a soft, stealthy air, as of a cat about to make a spring, with always a feline glitter in his blue-green eyes. His grey mustachios, brushed out straight, might have belonged to a veteran mouser accustomed to pounce promptly on its prey, and his bushy white eyebrows and very white teeth reinforced the impression. He always wore his hat loosely on his head, so that it rocked from side to side when he walked.

Fenlock Fawn
Described as America’s foremost investigator, this tall detective from New York was featured with Sexton Blake in several Union Jack stories. The creator and author of the first stories such as “The Rival Detectives” (1907), “The Yellow Cord” (1909) and “Sexton Blake—Bandsman” was William Murray Graydon. Later another author, John Bobin, continued with the character in “The Commerce Destroyer” (1914) and “The Case of the Cinema Star” (1916). Graydon also featured him in the Sexton Blake Library in 1917.

The F.B.I.
A top American television show, the F.B.I. featured real life stories with fictitious names and places (not an original idea but a fairly popular one). The key character was Inspector Lewis (Lou) Erskine, portrayed by Efrem Zimbalist Jr., who was selected and greatly approved for the role by J. Edgar Hoover. Erskine was a handsome, middle-aged detective, a determined mantracker, and like his contemporaries a very handy gunslinger. A large number of writers, including Gerald Sanforth, supplied the stories.

Captain Jim Featherstone
Commissioner Captain James Lamotte Featherstone of Scotland Yard, head of H Bureau, was an immaculate, good-looking young man, who at thirty was older than his pink, boyish face suggested. This son of an attaché of the British Embassy in Washington appeared in The Green Archer (1923) by Edgar Wallace.

Dr. Gideon Fell
This erudite sleuth, with his twenty-stone vast bulk, was from the pen of John Dickson Carr and appeared in a number of novels including The Arabian Nights Murder (1936), The Sleeping Sphinx (1947), In Spite of Thunder (1960) and Panic in Box C (1966). Dr. Fell had a red face, a big mop of grey streaked hair, several chins, and small eyes that always seemed to twinkle behind eyeglasses on a broad black ribbon. He was a cigar smoker and normally carried a cane.

Chief Fellows
Chief Fred C. Fellows of the Stockford, Connecticut Police was a wry character with a nice line in apt anecdotes. He was also a mild, brave, peaceable and intelligent chap, and Hillary Waugh featured him in Sleep Long, My Love (1959), Road Block (1960), Death and Circumstance (1963), and other novels.

Professor Gervase Fen
Gervase Fen, an amateur detective, was the Professor of English Languages and Literature in the University of Oxford. He was created by Edmund Crispin and featured in such novels as The Moving Toyshop (1946) and Buried for Pleasure (1948). Fen was a tall lean man with a ruddy and clean-shaven face, and with brown hair which stood up mutinously in spikes at the crown of his head.

Dave Fenner
Dave Fenner, private investigator, and secretary Paula Dolan first appeared in James Hadley Chase’s famous No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1939), in which they assisted Chief of Police Charles Brennan in the case of the kidnapping of the notorious Miss Blandish. Fenner later starred in Twelve Chinks and a Woman (1940; published in the U.S. in 1950 as Twelve Chinamen and a Woman and also published as The Doll’s Bad News) but not the Miss Blandish sequel, The Flesh of the Orchid (1948).

Clive Fenton
Fenton was one of the detectives that belonged to The Sleuth Club, known as “Clues Ltd”, in Merry & Bright.

Dr. Leslie Ferguson
Leslie Ferguson, the doctor detective, was featured in Clues Ltd in Merry & Bright.

Bill Fern. See: Chief Inspector Dennis Quil.

Frank Ferrars
Frank Ferrars, a private detective operating in Chicago, was a product of Victorian author Lawrence L. Lynch, who featured him in Shadowed by Three (1879) and The Last Stroke (1896). Ferrars was a man of medium height and square English build who, when he found an unusual case, cared for no others and seldom slept until he had thought out some plan of action, adopted some theory, evolved a possibility—or, as he whimsically termed it, developed a “stepping stone” toward clearer knowledge.

Mr. Ferrett. See: Allan Jeffrey.

Frank Ferrett
Frank Ferrett is recorded as saying that he started business as a private detective simply and solely because he could not afford big game shooting. As a born hunter he therefore decided to do the next best thing and track down men for profit. He was a tall spare man just over six feet, with a closely cropped head of hair and a rather ragged moustache which barely concealed an old scar, a relic of a knife stab. Ferrett had shrewd eyes with a comical twinkle and a rare but infectious grin. His loose, baggy, and very much worn out shooting jacket concealed a ripple of firm shoulder muscles whenever he moved. He had a snug little office on the third floor of an old house in Adelphi Street in the Strand, London. He was featured in a story in the Union Jack in 1904, “Frank Ferrett, Detective.” The author was wrongly given as Cecil Hayter but other tales which featured the same detective in the Marvel and Detective Library were correctly credited to Alec G. Pearson.

Martin Fetter
Martin Motley Fetter, aged about thirty, was a man of medium height and magnificent physique. His face was clear cut and powerful, with thin lips. His body was hairless, his skin pink and smooth as unblemished satin, under which great muscles writhed like live snakes at every movement. He was in fact a California billionaire whose wife and child had been murdered by a gang of criminals. On that day he swore he would become the most dreaded detective the world had ever known. He studied every aspect of crime, and spent a month at nearly every job imaginable: car conductor, janitor, cowboy, actor, pianist, dustman, tramp, chauffeur. He did this to obtain insight into the ways and lives of people. He had an assistant named Frank Storm, a queer specimen of humanity who was only a boy in years but whose ferret-like face had the preternatural sharpness of an old man. Fetter had rooms in Baker Street, London, not far from where the mythical Sherlock Holmes had made his bow to the world of fiction. Fetter was featured in Nugget Library No. 22, The Man of Dread, by Rex Arnold.

Maurice P. Fielding
He was another detective featured in “Clues Ltd” in Merry & Bright.

Detective Inspector Septimus Finch
Septimus Finch of New Scotland Yard was large and bland, with a look of benign disinterest. His walk was deceptively lazy and his voice was as small and soft as a woman’s. Accompanied by his sergeant, Archie Slater, he appeared in all of Margaret Erskine’s mystery novels, including The Disappearing Bridegroom (1950; published in the U.S. as The Silver Ladies), The House of the Enchantress (1959; published in the U.S. as A Graveyard Plot) and The House in Belmont Square (1963; published in the U.S. as No. 9 Belmont Square).

Ian Firth
Ian Firth, private inquiry agent and tennis star, was a lean man, contrasting sharply with his round Welsh partner and assistant, John Smith. The two had served together in the police forces of Her Majesty’s possessions in Africa, and on release had set up their own detective agency. Since then they had struggled along, sometimes on the verge of bankruptcy, sometimes riding high and dangerously into the world of international crime. Typical novels in the series by Ludovic Peters were Tarakian (1963), Two Sets to Murder (1963) and Out by the River (1964).

Horne Fisher
Fisher was a young man with an aquiline profile, bald brow, and heavy eyelids. He looked lazy and ceaselessly produced seemingly inane chatter, he claimed to know too much to really know anything, and he was regarded as the fool of the famous and titled Fisher family. Horne Fisher was a creation of G. K. Chesterton, who featured him in stories in The Man Who Knew Too Much in 1922.

Dr. Fitzbrown. See: Mr. Pitt.

Inspector Fix
Inspector Fix played a fairly prominent part in Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days, published in 1873. Fix was one of the immortal band of slightly stupid but well-meaning policemen. He was a small, spare man with a nervous face, who would contract his eyebrows with remarkable persistence. Under his long eyelashes shone very bright eyes, the brilliancy of which he could suppress at will. Fix was one of the detectives that was sent to various seaports after a robbery of the Bank of England. He was bent upon arresting Phileas Fogg for the crime, and in fact did in the end imprison him, only sheepishly to have to release him after the real criminal was apprehended. Around the World in Eighty Days was filmed with a superb star cast, including David Niven as Fogg, Noel Coward, Frank Sinatra and Charles Boyer.

Superintendent Flagg
John Cassells’ Flagg was in turn Inspector, Chief Inspector and then Superintendent of Scotland Yard, and his assistant Sergeant Noel Newall made the progression to Inspector. Flagg was a large man, broad of shoulder and overpoweringly stout. At Scotland Yard he was something of an institution, and few could remember a time when he had not been there in his comfortable office, a cigar in his mouth and a sneer of condemnation of the world in general on his lips. His colleague Newall, alternately called “Know All” and “Knew All”, was a lean, thoughtful chap with a phenomenal memory, who in his youth had been billed as a sort of memory man. They appeared together in a large number of novels, including Case for Inspector Flagg (1954), Enter Superintendent Flagg (1959), The Brothers of Benevolence (1962) and Blackfingers (1966).

Greg Flamm
He was a private detective whose first assignment was in 1962 and entitled But Not for Love, followed by others including That Feeds on Men in 1963. Flamm was styled in the Chandler tradition with plenty of hot action, hard liquor and the usual element of sex. His author was Ivor Wilson.

Phil Flash
Phil Flash possessed a rubber face which could be altered at will to resemble anyone, and at the same time he was able to assume the voice of his subject. He was featured in an independent series in Merry & Bright and also in their “Clues Ltd.”

Detective Joe Fleet
Detective Joseph Fleet of Scotland Yard had a pleasant face that also expressed determination. He was medium in proportions, with heavy black whiskers. His eyes were small and keen and darted in every direction, showing that he was not a man to be trifled with. Although he liked to be called Joe or Joe Fleet, the title of mister annoyed him. He was featured in Aldine Detective Tales No. 218, Detective Fleet of London.

He was a young private detective who specialized in divorce cases, though he himself was married with four children. Fletcher was featured in A Splendid Sin by Grant Allen in 1896.

Johnny Fletcher
Irresponsible, light-hearted Johnny Fletcher and his partner Sam Cragg, an amusing pair of seedy book salesmen, were nearly always hard up and owing the rent or a hotel bill. They had a habit of getting involved in crime mysteries which they usually brought to a satisfactory conclusion. Frank Gruber featured the pair in The French Key (1941) and other novels.

Adam Flint
Detective Adam Flint, played by Paul Burke, was the central character in an American television series entitled “Naked City,” which was a popular show but rather a stereotype of the usual American imports. The accent was more on the physical aspects of crime than on the deduction aspects.

Peter Flint
Peter Flint, aided and abetted by his youthful assistant, Jack Nugget, made his debut in novel form in “Peter Flint and the Skeleton Gang”, published in No. 280 of the Nugget Library. Flint’s official police partner was the harassed Inspector Bigham, who when baffled on a case would invariably call on Flint for help. Peter Flint had a rather outspoken manner with Bigham, as this typical dialogue shows:

“You’re a fool and fathead,” said Peter Flint. “Nature obviously intended you to be a dustman, or something in the navvy line, my dear fellow. You are absolutely incapable of connected thought.”

Flint’s assistant, Jack Nugget, differed from other youthful stooges by providing a good deal of comic relief with his screwball inventions. And although Flint regarded the Nugget inventions with a somewhat jaundiced eye at times, some were instrumental in solving a case. Flint and Nugget had a comparatively short and sweet life, and perhaps they left no mark on crime fiction, but several reasons could be given for this. The Great War finished so many periodicals and also claimed Flint’s creator, Stephen H. Agnew, who was a good writer. The stories were great and exciting reading, and perhaps could be thought of as part of the real blood and thunder category and tradition. Peter Flint also appeared in several comic papers in the James Henderson group, including Comic Life, but mainly in serial form.

M. Flocan
M. Flocan, the Chef de la Surete, was an elderly man who lived in the Rue Desarcs not far from the Prefecture. He wore a tight frock coat and immaculate white tie, and was altogether a very precise and natty little personage. He had a quiet and unpretentious demeanour, with a mild, thoughtful face in which two small ferrety eyes blinked and twinkled behind gold-rimmed glasses. But when things went wrong, or when he had to deal with fools, or when the scent was keen or the enemy near, he would become as fierce and eager as any terrier. Flocan appeared in The Rome Express by Major Arthur Griffiths (1896).

John Flood
He was a river detective who appeared in The Wonder in the 1912 period. He had a suite of three rooms situated underneath a small warehouse he owned, and beneath the wharf was a stone wall with a secret door which only he knew how to open. Flood possessed a good private income and was in the position to take up any case that took his fancy. He had no connection with Scotland Yard, although the Yard often requested his services. In appearance he was very much the sailor, with a bronzed, clean-shaven face. His companion was a black cat named Solomon, which travelled with him on his motor launch “Vigilant.”

Adam Flute
Flute joined his virtually retired Uncle Leopard as assistant private investigator to run the business from his flat, a six room affair on the top floor of Porchester Court, a block of flats in Bayswater Road, overlooking London’s Hyde Park. Flute was in his middle thirties, his hair was of an indefinite colour, and he had brown eyes. He also had a good jaw which a lot of people enjoyed hitting, and he had a fair amount of muscle here and there. He was an off-beat private eye, who usually found the glamorous side of the profession more fascinating than tedious deduction. He appeared in a half dozen novels by Droo Launey, including The New Shining White Murder in 1962.

Fred Flyer
Fred Flyer appeared in a story entitled “The Reporter Detective” in No. 51 of Aldine Tip-Top Tales. This may have been a reprint of a story of this title from America by Donald J. McKenzie in Street & Smith’s Magnet Library #119 (1899).

Superintendent Folly
The creation of John Creasey writing under the pen name Jeremy York. In his eating habits Folly was a glutton like Bully Bunter. He was an ever-hungry fat man, a huge person, with a long, regular, heavy-jowled face, its paleness heightened by thick black eyebrows. His head seemed to taper off to a rounded point at the top of his sleek, glistening black hair. He had a tiny mouth which seemed all the smaller because he was fat everywhere, but nowhere more so than at the waist. From there his figure tapered to small, well-shod feet. Despite his voracious appetite he was a brilliant master of deduction, and his adventures can be found in Let’s Kill Uncle Lionel (1947), The Gallows Are Waiting (1949), and other novels.

Solange Fontaine. See: Solange.

Chief Inspector Ford
Mrs. Zenith Jones Brown, writing as David Frome, told about Chief Inspector Ford in Scotland Yard Can Wait (1933; published in England in 1934 as That’s Your Man, Inspector). It is interesting to note that for her detective she used the name of the man she married in 1918—Ford K. Brown.

Brad Ford
Ford was a British private eye who, throughout his adventures, strived hard to equal Philip Marlowe’s biting wit, and at times nearly made it. “I always find the taste of blood revolting, especially when it’s mine,” quips Ford. His background was that of being a wartime intelligence agent. Hank Hobson was his creator, and he appeared in five novels including The Big Twist and The Mission House Murder, both in 1959.

Kenyon Ford
Maxwell Scott, the creator of Kenyon Ford, also created the more famous Nelson Lee, and chose to mould his new hero as a near replica of Lee. When W. M. Maas, a former Harmsworth editor, joined the firm of C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. he wrote to Scott indicating that he was bringing out a new boy’s paper to be called The Big Budget and was especially anxious that he (Scott) should invent another detective character along the lines of the popular Nelson Lee. Scott therefore produced “Kenyon Ford, the up-to-date detective,” and from June 19th to December 23rd, 1897, six stories featuring this wonderful hero were published. Kenyon Ford was later to appear in The Boy’s Friend Library No. 416, The Seven Stars, in which he strangely was now back with the firm whose Nelson Lee he had set out to rival.

Simon Forsyth
Forsyth was a detective who was introduced in “Clues Ltd” in Merry & Bright.

Dr. Reginald Fortune
H(enry) C(hristopher) Bailey, who created this very famous and popular character and featured him in a fair selection of novels and short stories, provided few intimate details about his sleuth. We are able to learn that Fortune was plump and had a decidedly prosperous appearance. He was a Home Office medical expert and normally became involved in his cases through his contact and friendship with Lomas of the C.I.D. He first appeared in Call Mr. Fortune in 1920.

Temple Fortune
This private investigator was tall, with the broad shoulders and slender waist of an athlete. His dark brown hair was going slightly grey at the temples, adding distinction to his appearance and matching the grey of his bold eyes. Tough and ruthless and formerly a star agent of M.I.5, he had offices in New Square, London, and was a member of the Legal and Medical Club. His method was to write out all the known evidence on foolscap before deciding what action to take. T. C. H. Jacobs, otherwise Jacques Pendower, featured Temple Fortune in over 20 novels, including Murder Market in 1962.

Andrew Foster
The first issue of the Halfpenny Surprise in 1894 featured Andrew Foster in an anonymous story entitled “Who Killed Trueman.” Foster was a special detective employed by a firm of solicitors. He was a good looking man of about forty, with a pair of keen steely eyes and a firm resolute mouth which denoted grim determination.

The Four Adjusters. See: Daphne Wrayne.

The Four Just Men
These were probably the best known of Edgar Wallace’s crime fighters, but the name is something of a misnomer because for the greater part of their career they numbered only three, George Manfred, Leon Gonsalez and Raymond Poiccart. The fourth man, Thery, or Saimont, appeared in the first book and was enlisted purely for the job of destroying an evil politician. Thery, a very ugly man with bat-shaped ears, fat cheeks, shaggy eyebrows and a white scar on his chin, bungled a device intended to kill his objective and was instead himself killed. From then on, while mention was made of his name, the organization was in fact The Three Just Men.

George Manfred, the appointed leader, was known in London as Senor Fuentes, an eminent writer on criminology who had made his home in Spain for many years. He was a tall handsome man with the face of a politician and the shoulder of an athlete, and he was always extremely well dressed. Leon Gonsalez, a Spaniard, was a thin faced, eager man with big shell-rimmed glasses. The third member, Raymond Poiccart, was rather stout and somewhat saturnine. He was a gentleman who seldom left his garden in Cordobo.

In their early days they waged war against great world war criminals and evil politicians; they pitted their strength, their cunning, and their wonderful intellects against the most powerful organisations of the underworld, and dealt death to the breakers of the unwritten laws. In later stories we find Manfred living in a small house in Curzon Street, operating the Triangle Detective Agency, with Poiccart assuming the pretence as his butler and Gonsalez as his chauffeur. Prior to this Manfred had declared, “No, we are not detectives—we are interested in crime. I think we have the best and most thorough record of the unconvicted class of any in the world.” This was before the setting up of the Triangle Detective Agency, and whereas they had previously been spoken of as a criminal organization and rewards were offered for their arrest, now they had become a respectable institution, an exclusive detective agency.

Books of their adventures include The Four Just Men (1905), The Council of Justice (1908), The Just Men of Cordova (1917), The Law of the Four Just Men (1921; published in the U.S. in 1933 as Again the Three Just Men), The Three Just Men (1925) and Again the Three Just Men (1928; published in the U.S. in 1931 as The Law of the Three Just Men). In the late 1950s a fairly entertaining television series appeared, based loosely on the Four Just Men. It starred Jack Hawkins, Richard Conte, Victoria Desica, and other well known stars.

Farrel Fox
He was a detective from the pages of Aldine Tip Top Tales, a man of many faces also known as “Farrel the Fox.”

Gordon Fox
William Murray Graydon, author of a great many Sexton Blake yarns, created Gordon Fox and featured him in a novel entitled Gordon Fox, Detective in Boy’s Friend Library No. 81 in 1909. Fox also appeared in many other Amalgamated Press boy’s papers, including Dreadnought, Boys’ Herald, and Detective Library.

Nick Fox
Nick Fox appeared in Aldine Detective Tales No. 31, entitled The Demon Detective.

Tecumseh Fox
This detective was about thirty-seven years of age and came from the pen of Rex Stout, the creator of Nero Wolfe. Fox’s name was apt, for at first sight he seemed to walk like a fox, with quick light steps, and he had a slightly pointed face and brown eyes. He never achieved the same fame as his author’s other detective, but still was an interesting character. He appeared in several novels including Double for Death (1939).

Detective Inspector Andrew Frampton
Frampton and his shadow, Sergeant Frank Arnold, appeared in some 50 novels by T. Arthur Plummer. Frampton was a man of medium height and slight build, with a face that would have gone unnoticed anywhere in a crowd—until he smiled. It wasn’t the smile itself that changed him, but it brought into prominence a pair of astounding blue eyes.

Ken Franklin
Independent Television screened a series in the early sixties entitled “International Detective.” Arthur Fleming starred as Ken Franklin of the Burns Detective Agency, with the stories based on true events from the files of the world’s largest detective agency.

Miss Arabella Frant
Diana Fearon’s Arabella Frant was an artist, five foot nothing and stocky. She had pep and punch, a lively taste in clothes, and a cheerful cocky face, round and pink and adorned with large circular dark-rimmed glasses. Her close-cropped grey-brown hair stood straight on end all over her head. She appeared in such books as Murder-on-Thames (1960).

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