Sexton Blake Bibliography: 1925

Publishing: Halfway through the year, the first series of the Sexton Blake Library comes to an end and the second series begins. Imported crime fiction from America — which is of quite a different nature to its English equivalent — is rising in popularity at this time and making inroads on British sales. For the first time, UNION JACK sales begin to drop.

THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 1)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 537 · 19/9/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Between Ourselves (ed.); The New House at St. Frank's! by Edwy Searles Brooks; The St. Frank's League (ed.)

Notes: While travelling back to London on his motorbike, Tinker stops off at Calcroft School to visit some old chums. When he leaves, he doesn't get far before three masked foreigners attempt to kidnap him. When they inspect their captive, they realise they've got the wrong boy and let him go before escaping in a car. Back at Baker Street, Tinker tells Sexton Blake about his adventure. Later, while the detective is out, a boy from the school comes visiting. He is accompanied by a servant called Blimp who introduces his master as 'The King'.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 2)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 538 · 26/9/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Between Ourselves (ed.); The Rival House Captains or, the Food Crank by Edwy Searles Brooks; The St. Frank's League (ed.)

Notes: Tinker's visitor is King Peter of Carlovia, a tiny Balkan country. Having been educated at Calcroft, Peter is now returning to rule his troubled kingdom and wants Tinker to accompany him in the role of protector, advisor and friend. Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has asked Sexton Blake to go to Carlovia to assess the situation there.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 3)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)
No cover image at present

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 539 · 3/10/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Between Ourselves (ed.); Prisoner of the Priory by Edwy Searles Brooks; The St. Frank's League (ed.)

Notes: My copy of this issue is lacking a cover. The detective and his assistant set off with Peter and Blimp; Blake disguised as the King's schoolmaster. In Carlovia, a wild, mountainous land, they journey to the town of Livnar where they meet Peter's sister, Celia, and Oscar Sarjo, the Prime Minister.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 4)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 540 · 10/10/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Between Ourselves (ed.); Fullwood's Uphill Fight! by Edwy Searles Brooks; The Stamp Collector by Fred J. Melville; The St. Frank's League (ed.)

Notes: The group makes the risky journey up to Shalvola, the King's mountain castle. En route, they narrowly escape an attack by Rivastoff, a brigand and smuggler. Once safe in the castle, the King makes Blimp a Captain and asks him to train the Royal Guard. Blake and Tinker are introduced to Prince Darro, Peter's cousin. Meanwhile, Blimp catches Rivastoff and brings him before the King who sentences him to death.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 5)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 541 · 17/10/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Between Ourselves (ed.); His Cousin's Dishonour by Edwy Searles Brooks; The Stamp Collector by Fred J. Melville; The St. Frank's League (ed.)

Notes: Celia intervenes and stops the execution of Rivastoff, begging the King to imprison him instead. Peter agrees and grants a reprieve. Blake, meanwhile, visits the town of Kamfak where he finds that most of the upper classes habitually wear masks. Johann Veilburg of the police explains that this is because no-one is safe; assassinations are frequent, so people prefer to keep their identity hidden. The detective next visits the prime minister, who is suspicious of his presence in Carlovia.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 6)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 542 · 24/10/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Between Ourselves (ed.); The Schoolboy Magican by Edwy Searles Brooks; The Stamp Collector by Fred J. Melville; The St. Frank's League (ed.)

Notes: Blake finds Johann Veilburg searching through his luggage. Apparently, in Carlovia's atmosphere of paranoia, suspicions are rife. The detective starts to wonder whether his disguise has been pierced. The King's arrival in Carlovia is now celebrated with a royal procession. Tinker notes that portraits of Peter are none too accurate and that he, himself, bears quite a resemblance to the boy King.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 7)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 543 · 31/10/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Between Ourselves (ed.); The Mystery of Study 20 by Edwy Searles Brooks; The Stamp Collector by Fred J. Melville; The St. Frank's League (ed.)

Notes: During the evening celebrations, Tinker slips out into the town without a pass and has a run in with the police. Thrown into a cell, he meets an American captive called Clodie. Clodie came to Carlovia intending to marry Celia, even though he's only ever seen her in a photograph. He and Tinker make an escape and hide out in a hotel. However, the police have followed and lay seige to their room. Helped by a cloaked stranger, they manage to get away.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 8)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 544 · 7/11/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Between Ourselves (ed.); The Thirteen Club by Edwy Searles Brooks; The Stamp Collector by Fred J. Melville; The St. Frank's League (ed.)

Notes: The stranger is also an escaped prisoner — none other than Rivastoff. The brigand reveals that he is not an enemy of the King but of those who plot against him. Tinker gets a message to Blimp who comes to escort him and his friends back to the royal palace. Johann Veilburg has Clodie ejected from the country but Rivastoff, who hasn't been recognised due to his mask, manages to escape. Sexton Blake is concerned that King Peter is signing the papers put before him by Sarjo without properly reading them first. He asks Tinker to keep an eye on the prime minister while he, Blake, disappears on a mission of his own.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 9)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 545 · 14/11/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Between Ourselves (ed.); The Unknown Hand or, the Mystery of the Cabinet by Edwy Searles Brooks; The Stamp Collector by Fred J. Melville; The St. Frank's League (ed.)

Notes: Tinker accompanies the King on a boar hunt. During their return journey, as they pass through the town, a shot is fired at the King, hitting one of his guardsmen. The King goes to his aid, witnessed by the townspeople who cheer him on. Tinker suspects that the assassination attempt was planned by Sarjo.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 10)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 546 · 21/11/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Between Ourselves (ed.); The Haunted Form-Room or, the Fanatics of East House by Edwy Searles Brooks; The St. Frank's League (ed.)

Notes: King Peter, Tinker, Darro and Sarjo attend the theatre. Celia avoids Darro, knowing that he wants to marry her. The audience, who have read of Peter's bravery the night before, greet the King with rapturous applause. Tinker receives a note supposedly from Blake but obviously forged. It asks him to meet 'Blake' on the cathedral steps. Tinker suspects that an attempt is to be made on his life, arranged by Sarjo and Darro. On the way out of the theatre, he bumps into Blake who determines to reconnoitre the area. He does so and finds Veilburg lurking about. By confronting the police official, Blake is worried that he has broken his cover and raised suspicions about his own identity. Later, the detective reveals to Celia that he believes that Sarjo and his ministers are in cahoots with Darro to overthrow the King.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 11)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 547 · 28/11/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Sexton Blake sneaks into Sarjo's quarters and opens the safe. He takes some papers but is interrupted when the prime minister's secretary approaches the room. Hidden but trapped, the detective seems certain to be caught. Fortunately, though, Celia saw him enter the room and now provides a distraction. Escaping, Blake goes to the princess and thanks her. Next, he visits Rivastoff and reveals what he has learned: that Veilberg is carrying incriminating documents to a meeting with Darro, the Prince. Blake vows to lay his hands on those documents.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 12)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 548 · 5/12/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: The Schoolboy Conspirators by Edwy Searles Brooks.

Notes: Blake and Rivastoff ambush Veilburg's bodyguards and disarm them. They then take the documents from the police chief and leave him tied to a tree in the pouring rain. Back in the palace, Blake examines the papers. One appears to be a straightforward order for a tax on wine; a proposed new law which awaits the King's signature. But with simple chemical treatment, the surface ink disappears and new writing appears: an order to put to death all the people who stand in the way of Sarjo and his cohorts.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 13)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 549 · 12/12/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Blake and Tinker warn King Peter to carefully scrutinize every document set before him prior to signing anything. They also ask Celia to help, reading the documents whenever she can. Meanwhile, the American, Arthur P. Clodie, returns to Carlovia having purchased a fortune's worth of state bonds.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 14)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 550 · 19/12/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Between Ourselves (ed.); The Uninvited Guests by Edwy Searles Brooks; The St. Frank's League (ed.)

Notes: Celia intercepts a document which proves to be an exact copy of the one Blake took from Veilburg. Tinker shows it to the King, revealing the hidden orders beneath the vanishing ink. He then rides a horse through the town and fakes a fall. The next day the newspapers report that the King's friend is laid up with an injury but, in fact, from this point on Tinker is disguised as King Peter while the real King remains in hiding.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CITY OF MASKS; OR, THE CASE OF THE BOY KING
(part 15)
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE NELSON LEE LIBRARY · Issue 551 · 26/12/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: In the guise of King Peter, Tinker attends a council meeting. His enemies wait for him to sign the order for a new wine tax, which is in reality a death warrant against all the King's supporters. Tinker refuses and, as his enemies lose patience, has them arrested by Blimp. The roundup includes Prince Darro, prime minister Sarjo and Veilburg. Blake disguises his voice, rings Veilburg's deputy, and gives him the signal to begin the revolution.

Serial Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE MYSTERY OF THE LOST BATTLESHIP
by Anon. (W. W. Sayer)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 363 · Jan. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features Granite Grant and Mlle. Julie. This was reprinted as THE HAVANA MYSTERY in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 504 (1935).

Unrated


THE CROOK OF MAYFAIR
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 364 · Jan. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


HIS FATHER'S CRIME
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 365 · Jan. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE MYSTERY OF THE SEINE
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 366 · Jan. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features the Three Musketeers.

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE RED CREMONAS
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 367 · Feb. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: "The Crook and the Cremona" (article)

Notes: Story features the Gilbert and Eileen Hale.

Unrated


THE SECRET OF THE MANSIONS
by Anon. (William J. Bayfield)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 368 · Feb. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Justice Delayed (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


MISSING IN MEXICO; OR, THE CASE OF THE LIVING DEAD
by Anon. (J. N. Pentelow)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 369 · Feb. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE AMAZING AFFAIR OF THE RENEGADE PRINCE
by Anon. (George N. Philips)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 370 · Feb. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features Zenith the Albino.

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE PINK MACAW
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 371 · Mar. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Animal Assassins (article)

Notes: My copy is missing its cover. Some years ago, after escaping from Devil's Island and making his fortune in diamonds, John Hasford — aka the Black Eagle — and a young companion tried to sign aboard a vessel captained by Barnfield Gore (aka Bully Blood). However, the brutal sailor took exception to a pink macaw owned by Hasford's friend and tried to kill it. The situation escalated and led to the young man being tortured to death. Hasford escaped with the bird and vowed revenge. Years later, Gore has become a wealthy shipping line owner. Unbeknown to him, his managing clerk, David Burr, is actually the Black Eagle. Gore is invited to an evening of gambling — all attendees are masked, so he doesn't realise that the host is Burr/Hasford. This also prevents Hasford from noticing that Sexton Blake is among the guests. The Black Eagle surreptitiously drops a slow-acting poison into Gore's wine. Then the macaw, which has been looked after by Hasford since the death of its original owner, appears and attacks the ex-sailor. Gore flees, leaving Blake feeling very curious about the evening's events. The next day, Detective-Inspector Thomas alerts Blake to a murder. A sailor has been killed — his throat torn out — and his dying words were "the pink macaw". Blake investigates and finds that the dead man used to sail with Bully Blood. He then realises that Blood and Gore are one and the same man. However, his interest in the matter is interrupted when he is called to Paris on another case. While he's away, the poison dropped into Gore's wine causes the ex-sailor to fall seriously ill. He hands over full control of his shipping business to Burr/Hasford, who proceeds to sell all its assets. After Gore is informed by Hasford that he has been ruined and poisoned, he calls Sexton Blake and confesses to his sinful past. Vowing to repent, he asks the detective to help him. Blake agrees and sets Tinker to guard the ailing man. The detective then starts shadowing the Black Eagle and intercepts him as the villain sends the macaw through the window of Gore's home. While Tinker fights desperately with the vicious bird — eventually killing it — Blake engages in a ferocious tussle with Hasford. After a sequence of battles, Hasford submits and hands Blake the antidote to the poison. Blake banishes him from England.

Rating: ★★★★★


BY ORDER OF THE SOVIET; OR, THE CASE OF THE RUSSIAN TRADE SPY
by Anon. (F. A. Symonds)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 372 · Mar. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Bolshevik Russia Today (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE CLUE OF THE CLOAK-ROOM TICKET
by Anon. (R. C. Armour)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 373 · Mar. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Railway Crooks (article)

Notes: Story features Dr. Ferraro.

Unrated


THE NIGHT WATCH; OR, THE CASE OF THE YELLOW INGOTS
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 374 · Mar. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Supermen of Crookdom (article)

Notes: Story features Waldo the Wonder-Man. This was reprinted as IN THE NIGHT WATCH in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 744 (1941).

Unrated


THE RIDDLE OF THE REGISTRY OFFICE; OR, THE CASE OF THE UNDESIRABLE ALIEN
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 375 · Apr. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Artist Forgers (article)

Notes: Story features Gilbert and Eileen Hale.

Unrated


HELD IN TRUST
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 376 · Apr. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Harry Trew's Benefit by Anon.; Defaulting Trustees (article).

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE SECRET OF THIRTY YEARS
by Anon. (W. W. Sayer)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 377 · Apr. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: The Submarine Cable (article)

Notes: Story features Granite Grant and Mlle. Julie. This was reprinted as THE SECRET OF THE GOLD LOCKET in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 483 (1935).

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE GOLDEN STOOL
by Anon. (F. A. Symonds)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 378 · Apr. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Ashanti and the Golden Stool (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


LIMITED LIABILITY; OR, THE CASE OF THE NEW SHAREHOLDER
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 379 · May 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


BY ORDER OF THE KING
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 380 · May 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Unknown

Notes: This case takes Blake to Abyssinia and features Basil Wicketshaw.

Unrated


THE MYSTERY OF THE POT-BANK
by Anon. (William J. Bayfield)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 381 · May 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE TRAINER'S SECRET
by Anon. (Arthur Steffens)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 1st series · Issue 382 · May 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Unknown

Notes: 'A fascinating story of the Derby.' This is the final issue in the 1st series of the SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY.

Unrated


THE SECRET OF THE COCONUT GROVES
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 1 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Copra (article)

Notes: Story features Dr. Huxton Rymer and Mary Trent. This is the first issue of the 2nd series of the SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY.

Unrated


THE ADVENTURE OF THE ANNAMESE PRINCE
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 2 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Sexton Blake in French Indo-China.

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE DEPORTED ALIENS
by Anon. (William J. Bayfield)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 3 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE YELLOW CAT; OR, THE CASE OF THE MYSTERIOUS NIGHT CLUB
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 4 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Night Clubs (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE MYSTERY OF THE PLATINUM NUGGET
by Anon. (W. W. Sayer)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 5 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features Granite Grant. This was reprinted as THE SOHO CAFE CRIME in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 508 (1935).

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE NAWAB'S SON
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 6 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features Basil Wicketshaw.

Unrated


THE ADVENTURE OF THE EGYPTIAN STUDENT
by Anon. (R. C. Armour)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 7 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features Dr. Ferraro.

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE TEN DIAMONDS
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 8 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features Dr. Huxton Rymer and Mary Trent.

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE MAN WHO NEVER SLEPT
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 9 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Tragic Sleep (article)

Notes: Notes: Millionaire Earle Latham is an insomniac. He quite simply never sleeps at all. According to a Harley Street doctor, he has a form of shell-shock after serving in the war and won't recover. He is given, at most, six months to live. Latham resigns himself to his fate and wonders how to spend his last days. When he gets home, inspiration strikes in the form of a rather inept first-time burglar. This is Kennedy King, a young man who's fallen on hard times after his invention — a sort of neon light — was stolen by an unscrupulous businessman. Latham catches King breaking into his apartment and recognises that he's a fundamentally decent sort. An idea quickly forms. He strikes a deal with King, paying him to exchange names on the understanding that King — now called Latham — will travel abroad for the next half year. From that moment on, the insomniac millionaire embarks on a life of crime. But he doesn't steal for profit; instead he becomes a sort of Robin Hood figure, performing daring heists against those who don't deserve their riches and giving the profits to good causes. Initially, Latham — in the guise of Kennedy King — is a fascinating character who's rather reminiscent of Zenith the Albino. His daring is equally as breathtaking and his character has the same quality of haunted sadness about it. And like Zenith, he manages to run rings around Blake on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, the story starts to get very unconvincing when all the protagonists resort to disguise as their main tool for crime or crime-busting. It's unbelievable that after just one meeting Latham could pass himself off as Blake with such skill that even Tinker is fooled! When the real Kennedy King is captured by bandits in Spain, Latham goes to his aid but ends up a prisoner as well. Blake eventually rescues them both. The trouble is, this leaves behind what had been the central theme at the start: a good man driven to reckless deeds by his bizarre ailment. All of that is virtually forgotten. In fact, Latham simply announces at one point that he has slept and his insomnia seems to have cured itself. Story features Splash Page.

Trivia: This was reprinted under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 568 (1937). The review is based on a reading of that issue.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


THE AFFAIR OF THE PHANTOM CAR
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 10 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE HUNCHBACK OF HATTON GARDEN
by Anon. (H. Gregory Hill)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 11 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features Gunga Dass.

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE SOCIETY BLACKMAILER
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 12 · 31/8/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Unknown

Notes: This was anthologised in THE SEXTON BLAKE CASEBOOK (1987).

Unrated


THE MYSTERY OF THE SWANLEY VIADUCT
by Anon. (George N. Philips)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 13 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features Zenith the Albino. This was reprinted with the same title as SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 582 (1937)

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE BOGUS BRIDE
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 14 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features Gilbert and Eileen Hale.

Unrated


THE CRUMBLEROCK CRIME
by Anon. (W. J. Bayfield)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 15 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE CLUE OF THE FOUR WIGS
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 16 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features Dr. Huxton Rymer.

Unrated


ON THE NIGHT EXPRESS
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 17 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Partnerships in Crime (article)

Notes: Story features Gilbert and Eileen Hale.

Unrated


THE ADVENTURE OF THE ALBANIAN AVENGER
by Anon. (W. W. Sayer)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 18 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features Granite Grant and Mlle. Julie. This was reprinted as THE MYSTERY OF THE ALBANIAN AVENGER in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 512 (1936).

Unrated


THE GREAT CANAL PLOT
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 19 · 31/10/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: The Suez Canal (article)

Notes: In Cairo, Madam Goupolis reports to Prince Menes the events recounted in THE MONTE CARLO MYSTERY (UNION JACK issue 1,122, 1925). The Black Eagle is now in Cairo, as is Mathew Cardolak and The Three Musketeers, Prince Wu Ling and George Marsden Plummer. All these have been gathered by Madam Goupolis on behalf of the White Flag Society to plot a great coup against Britain. However, as Wu Ling says to his sidekick, San, they all have their own motives. When Goupolis dines with The Black Eagle that night, they see Tinker in the restaurant. He is ill; his arm in a sling, several bones healing, and his breathing affected after a rib punctured his lung. This, though, is a ruse; in fact he is in perfect health and working with Sexton Blake (disguised as a beggar) to counter the machinations of the White Flag Society. The duo also have Secret Service agents Mossop and Malone on their side. When Blake discovers that the society aims to assassinate an English official named Lushington, he passes the information to Malone, who is able to save the Englishman and capture the assassins. Blake and Tinker then leave for Alexandria, where the super-crooks are gathering on Cardolak's yacht, The Sultan. Blake watches as they board the vessel then, with Tinker and under the cover of a sea mist, he rows out and eavesdrops on their meeting. Narrowly escaping capture, the detectives return to Cairo and Malone later brings them word that the criminal gang is also heading back to that city. Blake reveals that Menes has gathered the master-crooks in order to carry out a plan to blow up the Suez Canal. Plummer, meanwhile, is acting as emissary between Menes and Abdel Krim, their aim being to establish a North African empire to push the European countries back across the Mediterranean. While The Sultan sails to Tangier to pick up a shipment of a new type of bomb, Blake heads to El Adid oasis in the desert, where Plummer has his camp. Tinker returns to his hotel where he and Mossop find themselves held at gunpoint by The Black Eagle. However, they manage to overpower the crook and hold him prisoner. They then trick Madam Goupolis and capture her too. Tinker summons Malone, who takes charge of the crooks and transfers them to a place of safekeeping. The young detective and the Secret Service agent then ride out to meet Blake and find him with a bound and gagged Plummer. With Blake's oldest enemy defeated, they now turn their attention to the rest. Blake sends for Alan Rayne who arrives in Alexandria with two planes fitted with bombs. With these, they intercept The Sultan and drop two warning bombs near her. A number of her crew and passengers take to the lifeboats. The planes then return and bomb the yacht. Her cargo explodes, tearing her to pieces. Cardolak and the Three Musketeers either die in the blast or escape in one of the lifeboats. Wu Ling, who wasn't aboard, is protected by diplomatic immunity. The Egyptian authorites dare not prosecute Prince Menes and he arranges for Goupolis, The Black Eagle and Plummer to break out of prison. Blake has foiled the plot ... but his enemies remain at liberty.

Trivia: Madam Goupolis reports to Menes that The Black Eagle successfully murdered the man he came to Cairo to kill — Jean Poiret. However, in THE MONTE CARLO MYSTERY this man is referred to as Jules Vabour. George Marsden Plummer has, by this point in his long career, been the right-hand man of Abdel Krim — The Lion of the Rif — for eight years. Wu Ling, Blake reveals, was the real power behind Sun-Yat-Sen. This tale was reprinted under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 590 (1937). It was also published as a non-Blake book entitled BOTTOM OF SUEZ with the names of the characters changed.

Rating: ★★★★★


THE CASE OF THE TWO SCAPEGRACES
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 20 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


UNDER THE EAGLE'S WING
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 21 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features The Black Eagle.

Unrated


THE AFFAIR OF THE DIAMOND STAR
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 22 · Nov. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Jewel Frauds (article)

Notes: Story features Gilbert and Eileen Hale.

Unrated


BLACK CARGO
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 23 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER
by Anon. (W. J. Bayfield)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 24 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE CHINESE PEARLS
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)
No cover image at present

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 25 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: A South Seas adventure rather than a detective story, this is well written and well paced as only Teed at his best could do. Under terrible torture two Europeans refuse to tell their Chinese pirate captors the location of a string of pearls created from oyster beds discovered by their partner, a well-respected Chinese merchant met in Australia and who was mysteriously killed almost as soon the two men put to sea. So mutilated is the survivor that he barely has time to tell his story before he dies. Blake by chance learns of this and realises the dead man is the brother of someone who commissioned him to find the man. Blake vows to bring the torturers to justice. Meanwhile Huxton Rymer accepts a job captaining an old bucket with a cargo of arms destined for the same pirate who apparently tortured the white men. This part of the story involves an attempted mutiny and a plot dovetailng with Blake's attempt to find and punish the pirates who tortured the whites. Various threads come together in Pandang, the pirate HQ, involving a series of further coincidences which are nonetheless well set up. The finale sees virtue triumphant and the Chinese and European relatives of the murdered men given fair shares in the pearls and pearl beds. Most of the Chinese characters are well defined and shown to be men of honour (including the pirate chief, who is compared to Drake or Morgan). Europeans are both courageous and vicious and although on one level they are stereotypes they are by no means shown as being 'all the same'—except for Eurasians who are invariably cunning and cowardly. Despite these attitudes common to the time, Teed clearly admires Chinese culture. It's an excellent tale and it would probably get five stars if it weren't for the intrusive stereotyping of Eurasians which isn't always apparent in Blake stories.
— REVIEW BY MICHAEL MOORCOCK

Rating: ★★★★☆


THE BARTON MANOR MYSTERY! OR, THE CURSE OF THE SANTYRES
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 26 · Dec. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Unknown

Notes: My copy is missing its cover. Story features Splash Page. This was reprinted as THE CURSE OF THE SANTYRES in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 576 (1937).

Unrated


THE PRIEST'S SECRET
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 27 · Dec. 1925 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Christmas Tragedies (article)

Notes: This was rewritten in 1936 by Allen Maxwell (William J. Bayfield) and published under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 555.

Unrated


THE LEGACY OF DOOM
by Anon. (E. J. Murray)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 28 · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: The Actor-Fighter by Anon.; Strange Wills (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE GHOST RAISERS
by Anon. (J. N. Pentelow)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,108 · 3/1/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: F.B.H. (cover) and Val Reading (interior)

Other content: The Mystery of the Marshes by H. W. Twyman; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE AFFAIR OF THE TARTAN BOX
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,109 · 10/1/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: J. H. Valda

Other content: The Mystery of the Marshes by H. W. Twyman; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Mlle. Yvonne Cartier. It was reprinted in an abridged form as THE TARTAN BOX in the second SEXTON BLAKE ANNUAL (1940).

Unrated


THE TREASURE OF TORTOISE ISLAND
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,110 · 17/1/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Mystery of the Marshes by H. W. Twyman; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Dr. Huxton Rymer and Marie Galante.

Trivia: This was anthologised in SEXTON BLAKE WINS (1986).

Unrated


THE HOUSE OF THE HOROSCOPE
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,111 · 24/1/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: J. H. Valda

Other content: The Mystery of the Marshes by H. W. Twyman; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE ADVENTURE OF THE BLUE BOWL
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,112 · 31/1/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Mystery of the Marshes by H. W. Twyman; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Mlle. Yvonne Cartier and Prince Menes.

Unrated


THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,113 · 7/2/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Mystery of the Marshes by H. W. Twyman; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Mlle. Yvonne Cartier and Prince Menes.

Unrated


THE CRIME OF STANLEY TRAIL
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,114 · 14/2/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: J. H. Valda

Other content: The Mystery of the Marshes by H. W. Twyman; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE SEVENTH KEY
by Anon. (W. W. Sayer)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,115 · 21/2/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker (cover) and H. M. Lewis (interior)

Other content: The Mystery of the Marshes by H. W. Twyman; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Granite Grant.

Unrated


ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY
by Anon. (George N. Philips)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,116 · 28/2/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: J. H. Valda

Other content: The Mystery of the Marshes by H. W. Twyman; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Zenith the Albino.

Unrated


FOUND — AND LOST!
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,117 · 7/3/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Mystery of the Marshes by H. W. Twyman; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: This is a part of the Criminals' Confederation story arc and features Mr Reece and Dirk Dolland.

Unrated


THE AFFAIR OF THE ROMAN RELICS
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,118 · 14/3/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Mystery of the Marshes by H. W. Twyman; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Waldo the Wonder-Man.

Unrated


REECE'S REPUBLIC
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,119 · 21/3/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Mystery of the Marshes by H. W. Twyman; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: This is a part of the Criminals' Confederation story arc and features Mr Reece. It's also the first episode in the Reece's Republic sequence, which continues with CONDEMNED TO THE MINES! (issue 1,125) and YELLOW VENGEANCE! (issue 1,127).

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE LIVING HEAD
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,120 · 28/3/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Val Reading

Other content: The Mystery of the Marshes by H. W. Twyman; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Dr. Huxton Rymer.

Unrated


THE AFFAIR OF THE EMPRESS' LITTLE FINGER
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,121 · 4/4/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker (cover) and J. H. Valda (interior)

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Dr. Huxton Rymer.

Unrated


THE MONTE CARLO MYSTERY
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,122 · 11/4/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: F. B. H. (cover) and Jones (interior)

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: In Monte Carlo, Madam Goupolis commissions The Black Eagle (aka John Hasford aka David Stone) to kill a Russian — Prince Boris Parvenov — in return for information about Jules Vabour; a man Hasford has been hunting for many years. Vabour was once a governor at Devil's Island and had treated Hasford extremely badly. He then became a banker but absconded with millions while under Goupolis' spell — which is how she knows his whereabouts. Hasford agrees but when he carries out the assassination, he breaks the neck of the wrong man, and this is witnessed by Parvenov, who then disfigures the victim's face to make it unrecognisable, plants his papers on the body, and thus fakes his own death. While taking a holiday — driving the Grey Panther along the Riviera — Sexton Blake reads the reported death of Parvenov but then receives a visit from a lowly tramp who claims to be the real prince. Blake has met Parvenov before and recognises him. The prince asks him to prove that the murdered man in Monte Carlo was an impostor — his ne'er-do-well half-brother. Blake agrees to do this. Upon examining the body of the murdered man, the detective realises that it is not Parvenov's half-brother but someone else. He also recognises the handywork of the Black Eagle. He sets Tinker to shadow the fake prince's butler and the lad, with help from Joe Morris (see THE LATIN QUARTER MYSTERIES, UNION JACK issue 1,100, 1924), discovers that the impostor is alive and living under a disguise. Meanwhile, Blake falls in with a crowd of gamblers that includes Hasford and Madam Goupolis and they all go to a private party. Here, Goupolis is startled by a face at the window. Blake and Hasford chase the intruder but the detective twists his ankle. Hasford races past and attacks the mystery man and they both topple into a ravine. When Blake gets to the bottom, he finds that the intruder, now dead, was the fake prince. Hasford, though, has escaped. Goupolis is arrested, confesses and is extradited. The man murdered by mistake is revealed to have been a messenger from a Turkish group to which the fake prince owed money. The Black Eagle and his brother head to Egypt for an appointment with Vabour.

Trivia: The Grey Panther is a seven-seater car.

Rating: ★★★★★


WHO IS THE MAN?
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,123 · 18/4/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: In an unusual experiment, the solution to this story was left for readers to provide. A ten pound prize was offered to the reader who, in the opinion of the Editor, best followed up the clues, described the methodology of the crime, and correctly identified the villain. The winner is announced in issue 1,131.

Unrated


THE DISGUISE OF DOOM
by Anon. (N. Wood-Smith)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,124 · 25/4/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker (cover) and Val Reading (interior)

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


CONDEMNED TO THE MINES!
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,125 · 2/5/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Part of the Criminals' Confederation series, this features Mr Reece. It's also the second episode in the Reece's Republic sequence which began with REECE'S REPUBLIC (issue 1,119) and continues in YELLOW VENGEANCE! (issue 1,127).

Unrated


THE MYSTERY OF THE MODEL
by Anon. (R. C. Armour)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,126 · 9/5/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: J. H. Valda

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


YELLOW VENGEANCE!
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,127 · 16/5/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: This is part of the Criminals' Confederation story arc and it features Mr Reece and Dirk Dolland. It's also the third episode in the Reece's Republic sequence which began with REECE'S REPUBLIC (issue 1,119) and continued in CONDEMNED TO THE MINES! (issue 1,125).

Unrated


A PROBLEM OF PROOF
by Anon. (George N. Philips)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,128 · 23/5/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker (cover) and J. H. Valda (interior)

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: The cover of this issue is a beautiful iconic portrait of Sexton Blake in full Sherlock Holmes mode. The story features Zenith the Albino.

Unrated


THE MAN WHO WON THE 'CALCUTTA'
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,129 · 30/5/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Dr. Huxton Rymer.

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE WANDERING JEW
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,130 · 6/6/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Sexton BlakeNotes: In Jerusalem, currently a hotbed of discontent, Derek "Splash" Page — reporter and secret service agent — witnesses the arrival in the city of Mathias, the fabled Wandering Jew, whose appearance augurs the end of the world. When, a few days later, he encounters Sexton Blake and Tinker in Cairo, where they've stopped off en route home from India, he tells them about the mounting tensions in the region and of his conviction that someone is purposely inciting it. The trio travels back to Jerusalem where, on the evening of their arrival, Mathias appears again and almost sparks a riot before slipping away. A few hours later, a ragged minstrel serenades Blake from below his balcony and surreptitiously delivers the Secret Service sign of distress. An arrow, shot from the darkness, strikes him in the chest. Blake rushes down in time to hear his dying words: "Watch for Solomon's Quarries—Beware of Delilah and the Axe!" Back in the hotel, Blake is visited by Miss Della D. Ware, an American girl who claims that her aunt and cousin have been abducted in Jericho and are being held for ransom. After she departs, Blake informs his companions that her story was a lie designed to get the criminologist out of the city ... and that she might be the "Delilah" of the warning. On the following day, Tinker meets a clergyman from Iceland, Rev. Hamar, whose first name is Axel ... the Axe? Blake has found in the dead minstrel's wallet a card bearing the design of a serpent eating its tail and the message: "April 9, noon, the triumph of the serpent." The symbol, the detective observes, is often used to represent atheism. Tinker saw the same design tattooed on Axel Hamar's wrist. Blake observes that Russia is the only atheist power in the world. That night, Blake and Splash visit Solomon's Quarries beneath the city where they encounter an American who holds them at gunpoint until Blake turns the tables. With the thug secured, the two men are able to examine the caves ... and they discover a huge bomb. In the meantime, Tinker breaks into Della Ware's hotel room and discovers evidence that the girl is actually Sonia Della Petrova, a notorious agitator, spy, adventuress, and member of the Russian Secret Police. Blake and Splash exit the quarry, hand their prisoner over to British troops, and return to the hotel where Tinker tells them what he has discovered. The next day — the 9th — the trio sets off for Jericho ostensibly to investigate "Della Ware's" kidnapping case ... except Blake comes sneaking back to Jerusalem disguised as an ancient sheikh. Not long after he leaves them, Splash and Tinker are captured by Arabs and promised death by torture. Axel Hamar and Sonia Petrova go to the gate of the quarries where the button that will set off the bomb is located. They are confident that the explosion will incite a new world war from which Russia will emerge as the ruling power. However, when the button is pressed, there is no detonation. Instead, Blake and British troops pounce on the couple and arrest them. A posse of soldiers are dispatched to rescue Tinker and Splash, and the adventure ends with the British Empire in firm control.

Trivia: The central notion that justifies imperialism is that you, the imperialist, are superior. Everyone else is unwashed, unintelligent, and untrustworthy, and they should be grateful that you're gifting them with your civilised values. It's utter nonsense, of course, but in 1925, when this story was written, the notion was accepted by the vast majority of Britishers without the slightest question. Certainly, Gwyn Evans had no doubts about it when he wrote this yarn, so right from the outset there's a hefty dose of racism and liberal use of the "N-word." It's not in any way malicious but it still makes for uncomfortable reading in these (supposedly) more enlightened times.

This is Derek "Splash" Page's debut, though he has apparently encountered Blake during previous (unpublished) adventures.

An abridged version of this was reprinted in the SEXTON BLAKE ANNUAL 1941.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ There's some beautifully descriptive writing here but the plot is full of holes; who was the Wandering Jew and what became of him; why were characters (not mentioned in the review) introduced only to vanish without having served any purpose? And, of course, this is — inevitably given the subject matter and year of publication — just too racist to be in any way enjoyable, no matter how much you're able to contextualise it.


THE PAUPER OF PENGARTH CASTLE
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,131 · 13/6/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker (cover) and A. Jones (interior)

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: First of a two-part story featuring Waldo the Wonder-Man. The winner of the WHO'S THE MAN? competition (in issue 1,123) is announced in this issue. The solution is described by Sexton Blake. No readers submitted a correct solution but two identified the villain correctly and the £10 prize money was split between them.

This was anthologised in CRIME AT CHRISTMAS (1974).

Unrated


THE CURSE OF PENGARTH CASTLE
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,132 · 20/6/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker (cover) and A. Jones (interior)

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Second of a two-part story featuring Waldo the Wonder-Man. This was anthologised in CRIME AT CHRISTMAS (1974).

Unrated


INTO THE UNKNOWN
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,133 · 27/6/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: This is part of the Criminals' Confederation story arc. It takes place in South America and features Mr Reece and Dirk Dolland.

Unrated


THE AFFAIR OF THE GOLD FILLED TOOTH
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,134 · 4/7/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: J. H. Valda

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE GREAT STADIUM SENSATION
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,135 · 11/7/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Waldo the Wonder-Man.

Unrated


THE CLUE OF THE SHEFFIELD SAMPLER
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,136 · 18/7/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE YELLOW CITY
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,137 · 25/7/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Part of the Criminals' Confederation story arc, this features Mr Reece.

Unrated


THE LIFT-SHAFT MYSTERY
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,138 · 1/8/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: J. H. Valda

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF THE MANTEL REGISTER GRATE
by Anon. (George N. Philips)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,139 · 8/8/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Zenith the Albino.

Unrated


THE ADVENTURE OF THE ENGINEER'S BLUE-PRINT
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,140 · 15/8/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: J. H. Valda

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Gilbert and Eileen Hale.

Unrated


THE KIDNAPPED CORRESPONDENT
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,141 · 22/8/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features George Marsden Plummer and Dr. Huxton Rymer.

Unrated


THE NEGATIVE ALIBI
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,142 · 29/8/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE GREAT WAXWORKS MYSTERY
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,143 · 5/9/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: J. H. Valda

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


BLACKMAIL!
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,144 · 12/9/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE AFFAIR OF THE WALNUT DESK
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,145 · 19/9/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE SCARECROW CLUE
by Anon. (F. W. Young)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,146 · 26/9/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker (cover) & Unknown (interior)

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE ADVENTURE OF THE FIVE GIANTS
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,147 · 3/10/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: A friend of Sexton Blake's, Hong-Lo-Soo, visits the detective and draws his attention to a newspaper article in which is described the discovery of five giant skeletons in Mexico. The Chinaman believes that they are the bones of legendary warriors from his country who are said to have sailed to the West in possession of five great jewels. He wants Blake to find these gems — which are probably buried near the skeletons — and bring them, and the bones, back to London. He has chosen the detective for this job because he knows that Mathew Cardolak has commissioned The Three Musketeers to do the same. Blake and Tinker travel to Mexico and begin their expedition. En route to the cave where the giants were found, they fight off attacks by a bandit named Sancho Monteja who, they discover, has been employed by the Musketeers to stop them. The criminals then send an envoy to bribe Blake's guard, Jose, into betrayal, but Blake overhears their conversation and challenges Jose to a duel. The two men fight with knives and, though Jose is reputed to be the best knifeman in Mexico, Blake beats and disarms him. His guide then reveals that he had never intended to accept the bribe and has, in fact, planned to fool the Musketeers into parting with a great deal of money for nothing. Blake apologises to him and the two men become firm friends. The detective, disguising himself as a Mexican and taking Jose's identity, travels back along the trail until he reaches the Three Musketeers' camp. He receives from them the money owed to Jose, even though no betrayal has taken place. When he leaves, he sends a note back to them revealing his true identity. Any further action is prevented by a massive earthquake. Not knowing whether the Musketeers have survived, Blake and co. continue to the caves where they find the skeletons and the jewels.

Trivia: The Musketeers make a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance.

Rating: ★★★★☆


THE GREEN ROSE
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,148 · 10/10/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Story features Mlle. Yvonne Cartier.

Unrated


TINKER'S SECRET
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,149 · 17/10/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini; Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: During his boyhood, when he was a homeless waif who got by on his wits and by selling newspapers, Tinker witnessed a young girl being taught the art of pickpocketing by her elder sister. Now, years later, this girl reappears in the form of a dancer known as Nirvana — the latest sensation among the theatre set. After seeing her perform, Tinker and Sexton Blake attend a charity ball hosted by the Duchess of Rayland. Nirvana dances for the guests but, while she does so, the Duchess's diamond necklace goes missing. Later that night, Tinker discovers the pendant from the necklace in his pocket. He realises that Nirvana must have slipped the necklace into his jacket before she, along with the other guests, was searched. Afterwards she had retrieved it but the pendant had broken off. Without revealing any of this to Sexton Blake, Tinker visits the dancer at her hotel and pleads with her to return the stolen item. For a moment it seems that she might repent but, just then, her sister, Marie, enters the room in the company of a criminal named Flash Brady. Nirvana lets loose a mocking laugh and Tinker, realising that she is beyond his help, overpowers Brady and forces them to hand over the necklace. He returns this anonymously to the Duchess.

Rating: ★★★★★


THE LOYALTY OF NIRVANA
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,150 · 24/10/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: With counterfeit currency flooding the country, Tinker is given the task to backtrack the movements of a five pound note. The trail leads him to a country manor where a French Countess lives. However, when he catches sight of her, the young detective recognises her as Marie, Nirvana's wicked sister. He races back to London where, hesitantly, he reveals to Sexton Blake his past history with Nirvana (see previous issue). Blake is sympathetic and they return to the manor to investigate. After a run-in with a thug who's guarding the entrance to a cave beneath the house, they establish that the two girls, with Flash Brady, a foreign forger and a crook named Phillipe the Fox, are running the counterfeit operation. With help from Detective-Inspector Thomas of Scotland Yard, they mount a police raid. Tinker helps Nirvana to escape and pleads with her to accept help from Sexton Blake. She is on the point of accepting when Marie and Phillipe appear and knock the lad unconscious. Nirvana holds them at gunpoint and threatens that she will only rejoin them if they first allow her to fetch Blake to help Tinker. The deal is struck, Blake comes to his assistant's aid, and Nirvana slips away to rejoin her sister.

Trivia: My copy of this issue is wrongly dated 1924 on the front cover.

Rating: ★★★★★


THE MILLION-POUND 'DOUBLE'
by Anon. (S. G. Shaw)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,151 · 31/10/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: J. H. Valda

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF THE WILLOW-PATTERN PLATE
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,152 · 7/11/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE SIGN OF THE SARACEN
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,153 · 14/11/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


BURIED ALIVE
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,154 · 21/11/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: This is a part of the Criminals' Confederation story arc.

Unrated


HOMEWARD BOUND
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,155 · 28/11/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: This is a part of the Criminals' Confederation story arc.

Unrated


VENDETTA!
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,156 · 5/12/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: At the behest of his American agent, Bryant Kennedy, Sexton Blake travels to Sicily to protect the elderly Signor Enrico Bellomo, who is caught up in a generations-old feud between rival branches of his family. The signor's relatives have all been murdered with the exception of his grandchild who has been kidnapped. His rivals have informed him that the child will be raised to hate him and trained to kill him. One night Tinker goes for a swim and rescues a young girl who has been stricken with cramps after swimming too far from the shore. She turns out to be Nirvana, which suggests to Blake that she, her sister Marie, and their criminal cohorts Philippe the Fox and Flash Brady are involved in the feud. In this he is correct, for Philippe the Fox is also Carlo Bellomo, the signor's sworn foe. When an attempt is made on the old man's life by a mysterious ape-like creature, the detective deduces that the enemy forces are gathered at a cottage to the north. Led by the attacker's tracks, he follows the deformed creature through an underground passage to a cave where a local witch is guarding the signor's grandson. The baby is not her only ward: she also stands watch over another child who has been made to look exactly like her captive. Blake overpowers the ape-like brute — which proves to be the witch's son — and achieves mastery over the old woman by giving a sign known only to practitioners of black magic. At a final confrontation with Philippe the Fox, the detective's counter attack, supported by the witch, completely undermines the criminal's plans. Philippe and his cohorts beat a hasty retreat but not before Tinker is able to share a tender moment with Nirvana.

Trivia: Sexton Blake had been initiated 'years ago' in the ways of black magic. This took place in the desert in Egypt.

Rating: ★★★★☇


THE MYSTERY OF MRS. BARDELL'S XMAS PUDDING
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,157 · 12/12/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Xmas Round Table (ed.); Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Detective-Inspector Coutts and Splash Page have both been invited to Sexton Blake's Baker Street home for the festive season. They arrive on the evening of Christmas Eve in time to witness Mrs. Bardell informing the detective that the Christmas pudding she had made for her sister, Mary Ann Cluppins has been stolen. Mary runs a lodging house on Rice Street in Pimlico. One of her tenants is an old sailor named 'Roarin' Bill Barnes. This man, reports Blake's landlady, is furious that the pudding has gone missing and is insisting that it be returned. Later in the evening, Mrs. Bardell telephones from her sister's to tell Blake that Barnes has been found stabbed. The detective, with Coutts, Splash and Tinker, rushes to Mrs. Cluppins house where he finds the sailor seriously wounded with a knife in his back. He learns that the man has been acting as if afraid for the past two weeks since receiving a letter warning him that 'the Mexes' are after him. While Blake investigates the sailor's room, Tinker and Splash discover that the pudding was pinched by a young lad named Ginger Brown. They use Pedro to trace the boy who is playing with his gang, the 'Pimlico Pirates'. They retrieve the pudding and make the gang a Christmas gift of two pound notes. Returning to Mrs. Cluppins, Tinker and the rest tuck into the pudding but find nothing in it. By this time, Blake has discovered clues leading to a Mexican named Fernandez. He tracks him to a bar and, after a fight, hands him over to the police. The next day Christmas is celebrated at Baker Street and Blake reveals the motive for Fernandez's attempted murder of Roarin' Bill Barnes ... and the secret of Mrs. Bardell's Christmas pudding.

Trivia: Tinker's age is given as seventeen. It is revealed that he was a member of a criminal East End gang in his boyhood.

This was anthologised in CRIME AT CHRISTMAS (1974).

Rating: ★★★★★ An absolutely wonderful tale so packed with Christmas cheer that it gladdens the heart and raises a lump to the throat. The scenes involving Ginger Brown and the Pimlico Pirates are particlarly good.


LANDED AT LAST!
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,158 · 19/12/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: This is part of the Criminals' Confederation story arc and features Professor Reece.

Unrated


NIRVANA'S SECRET
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,159 · 26/12/1925 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Christmas-week Round Table (ed.); Detective Magazine Supplement.

Notes: Accepting a dancing engagement, Nirvana returns to London where she is watched each night at the theatre by Tinker. While he frets over her failure to contact him, Nirvana hires a private detective named Graham to help her track down her mother. When the old woman is found in a terrible state of poverty and health, Nirvana is enraged at her sister Marie, whom she holds responsible. However, she cannot confront her due to the presence of Flash Brady and Philippe the Fox. Meanwhile, Sexton Blake attends the scene of a burglary just outside of Rugby where a country house was broken into and valuable jewellery taken. Fingerprints suggest that the culprit was a young crook named Sid 'The Tango Kid' Hooper, so Tinker disguises himself as a small-time thief and mixes with the criminal element of London's East End in the hope that he'll pick up Hooper's trail. He gains entry to an exclusive club which is frequented by a number of criminals and there recognises one of Sexton Blake's agents, known only as No. X231, who informs him that Hooper is present. It turns out that The Tango Kid is in the company of Flash Brady and Philippe the Fox. Tinker follows them to Marie's house and eavesdrops but has to make a fast getaway when he's spotted. When he reports their conversation to Blake, the detective begins to suspect that the evidence against Hooper is all wrong. The police, though, have no such doubts and Detective-Inspector Thomas arrests The Tango Kid only to have him slip through his fingers and race away. Blake visits Marie and tells her that he means to uncover her friends' game. Nirvana approaches Tinker, tells him that The Tango Kid is her long lost brother, and takes him to visit her mother. The woman's situation has been transformed; no longer living in poverty, she is comfortable and regaining health. While they are there, The Tango Kid arrives and attacks Tinker, thinking him an enemy. Tinker overpowers him and Nirvana reveals to Hooper that she is his sister. He agrees to allow Tinker to take him to Sexton Blake. The Baker Street detective diciphers the clues and concludes that The Tango Kid has been framed for the Rugby burglary by Marie, Philippe the Fox and Flash Brady. He offers the crook the opportunity to go straight, with a job, and Nirvana's brother eagerly accepts. The condition, though, is that Nirvana returns the stolen jewels. She does so ... but she pays a price, though the tale ends before we are told more.

Rating: ★★★★★