Sexton Blake Bibliography: 1932

Publishing: Starting in February, the UNION JACK challenged a number of its Blake authors to write 'Proud Tram' stories. Gwyn Evans, Donald Stuart, Gilbert Chester (H. H. Clifford Gibbons), Anthony Skene (George N. Philips), G. H. Teed and Robert Murray (Robert Murray Graydon) were each given the same ending to the tale: Sexton Blake unconscious on top of a tram car in a north London tram depot, a broken window, a rolled up banner on the floor and a fireman's helmet. Each was asked to write the story leading up to this scenario. Graydon had to drop out due to illness and was replaced at the eleventh hour by Edwy Searles Brooks who, in the readers' opinion, went on the write the best tale.

In November, a similar experiment began. This time, in THE NEXT MOVE serial, G. H. Teed, Gwyn Evans, Robert Murray Graydon and Anthony Skene (George N. Philips) each took turns writing an instalment, creating bizarre situations for the others to explain. This was far less successful.

Though this is all good fun, the advent of such gimmicks gives further evidence that sales of the UNION JACK were beginning to drop.

Blake: The League of Onion Men arrive to cause merry chaos!

CROOK HOUSE
by Anthony Skene (George N. Philips)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 317 · Jan. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Clue of the Poisoned Film by Anon.; The Gambler's Victim (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE TOWN HALL CRIME
by Allan Blair (William J. Bayfield)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 318 · Jan. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE CHINATOWN MYSTERY
by G. H. Teed

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 319 · Jan. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Haunts of Chinatown (article)

Notes: Story features Dr. Huxton Rymer and Mary Trent. This was reprinted in DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 265 as LIMEHOUSE LOOT (1938).

Unrated


THE MASKED SLAYER
by Rex Hardinge

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 320 · Jan. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Secret of the Tunnel by Anon.; Betting Tricksters (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


SINISTER CASTLE
by Gwyn Evans

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 321 · Feb. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Hotel Detectives (article); The Phantom 'Plane by Anon.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


DEAD MAN'S SECRET
by Donald Stuart

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 322 · Feb. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE MYSTERY OF THE RAJAH'S JEWELS
by Paul Urquhart (L. L. Day Black)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 323 · Feb. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE RACKETEER'S WILL
by William P. Vickery

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 324 · Feb. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE GREAT DUMPING MYSTERY
by Warwick Jardine (Francis Warwick)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 325 · Mar. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Smugglers' Stratagems (article)

Notes: This was reprinted in DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 328 as THE WHISTLER! (1939).

Unrated


THE PALAIS DE DANSE TRAGEDY
by Gilbert Chester (H. H. C. Gibbons)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 326 · Mar. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Dance Hall Crimes (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE CONSULTING ROOM CRIME
by Mark Osborne (John W. Bobin)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 327 · Mar. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: This was reprinted as THE CONSULTING ROOM MYSTERY in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 726 (1940).

Unrated


MURDER IN THE AIR
by Coutts Brisbane (R. C. Armour)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 328 · Mar. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Clue of the Hatband (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE CUP FINAL CRIME
by Lester Bidston

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 329 · Apr. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Clue of the Shoes (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE WAITING ROOM MYSTERY
by Allan Blair (William J. Bayfield)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 330 · Apr. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Sleuths of the Railway (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE FATAL MASCOT
by Anthony Skene (George N. Philips)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 331 · Apr. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Story features Zenith the Albino.

Unrated


THE SECRET OF THE AFRICAN TRADER
by Rex Hardinge

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 332 · Apr. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE CROOK OF SHANGHAI
by G. H. Teed

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 333 · May 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE SQUEALER'S SECRET
by Donald Stuart

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 334 · May 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Killer of Cairo (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


DOOMED MEN
by Warwick Jardine (F. Warwick)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 335 · May 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: This was reprinted under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 740 (1941).

Unrated


THE BROOKLANDS MYSTERY
by Paul Urquhart (L. L. Day Black)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 336 · May 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE KENNELS CRIME
by Mark Osborne (John W. Bobin)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 337 · Jun. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Crooks of the Kennels (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE SECRET OF THE FARM
by Gilbert Chester (H. H. C. Gibbons)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 338 · Jun. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE MURDER ON THE MOOR
by Walter Edwards (Walter Shute)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 339 · Jun. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE FATAL TALISMAN
by Coutts Brisbane (R. C. Armour)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 340 · Jun. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Tokens of Tragedy (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE EMBANKMENT CRIME
by Donald Stuart

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 341 · Jul. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Held to Ransom (article); The Gasometer Gang by Anon.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE MILL OF FEAR
by Lester Bidston

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 342 · Jul. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE HOUSE OF CELLARS
by G. H. Teed

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 343 · Jul. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE GHOST TRAIL
by L. C. Douthwaite

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 344 · Jul. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: This was reprinted as THE RIDDLE OF THE YUKON in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 738 (1941).

Unrated


GREEN MASK
by Anthony Skene (George N. Philips)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 345 · Aug. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE POLICE BOAT MYSTERY
by Allan Blair (William J. Bayfield)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 346 · Aug. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE CRUISE OF TERROR
by Stanton Hope

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 347 · Aug. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Sea Tragedies (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE BUNGALOW CRIME
by Paul Urquhart (L. L. Day Black)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 348 · Aug. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Stolen Human Beings (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


CROOK'S LOOT
by Warwick Jardine (F. Warwick)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 349 · Sep. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE CASE OF THE MISSING ESTATE AGENT
by Donald Stuart

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 350 · Sep. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Yarmouth Mystery (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE STUDIO CRIME
by Gilbert Chester (H. H. C. Gibbons)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 351 · Sep. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE MAN FROM DARTMOOR
by Gwyn Evans

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 352 · Sep. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE PHANTOM OF THE CREEK
by G. H. Teed

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 353 · Oct. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Cottage Crimes (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


PRESUMED DEAD
by Paul Urquhart (L. L. Day Black)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 354 · Oct. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE MYSTERY OF THE REUNION DINNER
by Rex Hardinge

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 355 · Oct. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Ex-Service Men Swindles (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE RED STILETTO
by Anthony Skene (George N. Philips)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 356 · Oct. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: When Convicts Take French Leave (article)

Notes: This was reprinted under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 3rd series issue 4 (1941).

Unrated


THE GREAT WAXWORKS CRIME
by Gwyn Evans

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 357 · Nov. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


DEAD MAN'S BAY
by Mark Osborne (John W. Bobin)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 358 · Nov. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Secret of the Creek (article)

Notes: Story features Aubrey Dexter. This was rewritten as THE RIDDLE OF DEAD MAN'S BAY in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 734 (1940).

Unrated


THE NIGHT SAFE MYSTERY
by Lewis Carlton

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 359 · Nov. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Bank Robbers (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE LINCOLN'S INN TRAGEDY
by Allan Blair (William J. Bayfield)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 360 · Nov. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE MURDER ON THE BROADS
by Gilbert Chester (H. H. C. Gibbons)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 361 · Dec. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE CROOK OF MONTE CARLO
by G. H. Teed

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 362 · Dec. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Hermit's Secret by Anon.; Kingdoms of Crime (article)

Notes: Story features Dr Huxton Rymer and Mary Trent.

Unrated


THE SECRET OF SEVEN
by Donald Stuart

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 363 · Dec. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE TRAFALGAR SQUARE MYSTERY
by Coutts Brisbane (R. C. Armour)

THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 364 · Dec. 1932 · Amalgamated Press · 4d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Crooks of the Sea (article)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


CONFEDERATION CALLING
by Robert Murray (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,472 · 2/1/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Lives Between by Phyllis Lewis.

Notes: Sexton Blake uses a wireless to contact the Criminals' Confederation. Pretending to be Mr Reece, he learns that at least one member of the villainous union is located in the village of Dalling on the East Coast, where he and Detective-Inspector Coutts had been the previous night. Blake and Coutts return to the village and discover that the body of Diamond Joe has been stolen from the shed where it had lain pending the inquest. Sir Philip Champion, who had been appointed to take charge of the proceedings, invites the two detectives to Dalling Hall. There he traps them and reveals that he is a high ranking officer in the Confederation (Reece's superior). He drugs Blake and Coutts and, placing them in their car, sends it careening off a cliff. Fortunately they are thrown clear just before the vehicle crashes to the rocks below. After they call up reinforcements, a cordon of police is thrown around Dalling Hall but Champion, together with new recruits for the Confederation and Mr Reece, who has escaped from police custody, makes a dash through a secret tunnel and escapes on a yacht. Blake is left with nothing but a letter which reveals that Reece has captured Tinker who will be held hostage at the Criminals' Confederation headquarters. He will be unharmed providing Blake gives up his quest to bring the villainous organisation to justice.

Trivia: Sexton Blake's telephone number is 0022 Regent.

This is a reprint of UNION JACK issue 807 TRACKED BY WIRELESS (1919). The review is based on a reading of that issue.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


DEATH OVER AFRICA
by Rex Hardinge

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,473 · 9/1/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Recieved; The Lives Between by Phyllis Lewis.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


PLANNED FROM PARIS
by G. H. Teed

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,474 · 16/1/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Recieved; The Lives Between by Phyllis Lewis.

Notes: Story features Mlle. Roxane.

Unrated


THE TREE OF EVIL
by Rex Hardinge

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,475 · 23/1/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Lives Between by Phyllis Lewis.

Notes: Story features Sir Richard Losely and Lobangu.

Unrated


REECE'S RECRUIT
by Robert Murray (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,476 · 30/1/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Lives Between by Phyllis Lewis.

Notes: After six months on the Continent, Dirk Dolland returns to England. En route from Dover to London by rail, he meets Detective-Inspector Anstey of Scotland Yard who asks him if he would mind delivering a note to Sexton Blake. Dolland agrees though he feels strangely mistrustful of the police officer. When he arrives home, he discovers that Blake has been calling for him every day for the past six weeks. He rushes over to Baker Street where he discovers that Tinker has been kidnapped by the Criminals' Confederation and has been missing for two months. Blake and Detective-Inspector Coutts tell him the history of the villainous organisation and ask him to help infiltrate it by pretending that he's back in business as a cracksman. Dolland agrees and The Bat is reborn. Suddenly he remembers the note given him by Anstey. It proves to be from Tinker, who writes to say he is in good health. Blake realises that Anstey is, in fact, Sir Philip Champion. A few days later London is in uproar after a daring jewel robbery by The Bat. Dolland seeks refuge in a hideaway owned by a Chinaman and quickly finds himself confronted by Detective-Inspector Anstey who reveals his true identity. Dolland is enrolled in the Confederation and taken aboard a cargo ship named the Jessamine to embark on a ten-day sea voyage. At its end, the Jessamine is approached by a large liner and the passengers transfer aboard. The Liberty is the floating headquarters of the Criminals' Confederation. Learning that the President — whose identity remains unknown to Dolland — and Mr Reece are away for a fortnight, The Bat settles into his new cabin only to find himself alerted by a tapping at the porthole. It's Tinker! Learning the position of the ship from the lad, Dolland breaks into the wireless room and sends a message. It's picked up by a nearby vessel, relayed to the Admiralty and from there to Sexton Blake. The Admiralty loans the detective a torpedo boat and Blake and Coutts set off to hunt the Liberty. Four days later, Dolland overhears a wireless message which informs the Confederation ship that there is a spy on board. During the night, he and Tinker make a quick getaway in a small boat and are picked up by Blake. The Liberty slips away in the darkness.

Trivia: This is a reprint of UNION JACK issue 808 HELD AS HOSTAGE! (1919). The review is based on a reading of that issue.

Rating: ★★★★☆


AERIAL GOLD!
by Gilbert Chester (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,477 · 6/2/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


LOST IN THE LEGION
by G. H. Teed

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,478 · 13/2/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received; Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: Story features Mlle. Roxane.

Unrated


WRY HOUSE
by Anthony Skene (George N. Philips)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,479 · 20/2/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


WIND BLOWN BLACKMAIL
by Robert Murray (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,480 · 27/2/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: Sir Philip Champion meets three businessmen — Lord Garrock, Thomas White and Sir Dutton Sykes — in an office and blackmails them into providing coal, shipping and financial services to the Criminals' Confederation. They each put their signature to a contract but as they open the door to leave a draught blows the document out of the window. In the street below, a young clerk is seen to pick up and read the paper before suddenly dropping dead. A crowd gathers and among the throng is Sexton Blake. He ascertains that the clerk has been shot through the heart. When he recovers a fragment of the paper, most of which has been snatched by somebody else, from the corpse's hand, a shot is fired at him too. It comes from the block on the other side of the street and there, in a window, the detective sees Champion. Blake, Tinker and Inspector Carver rush in to apprehend the villain but find no trace of him. They do, however, encounter Garrock who, unknown to them, has been forced to provide Champion with a hiding place. That night, Blake is awoken by a telephone call from someone named Raymond Caxton who claims to be in danger from Champion and the Confederation. The call ends with a scream. The detective rushes around to the man's flat and finds him unconscious with a broken skull. Blake calls Detective-Inspector Coutts for assistance but while he is waiting for the Yard man to arrive, someone else turns up — Dirk Dolland! The Bat reveals that he has been hired by a Sir Dutton to recover the contract. Lord Garrock is the next unexpected arrival and he tells the detective the full story. Blake finds evidence that Thomas White had been in the apartment before Caxton, who had taken the contract from the dead clerk and intended to use it for blackmail, was assaulted probably by Champion. Believing that White might have gained possession of the document, the men rush to his home and arrive in time to hear a gunshot. Champion flees as they enter having shot White in the arm... but too late, White has burned the contract and the Confederation has suffered another setback.

Trivia: This is a reprint of UNION JACK issue 812 THE WHITE LINER (1919). The review is based on a reading of that issue.

Rating: ★★★★★


THE LEAGUE OF THE ONION MEN
by Gwyn Evans

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,481 · 5/3/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: Mr. Platter treats his wife to dinner at the posh Porchester Hotel to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, their meal is interrupted by the arrival of a rough-looking onion-seller who babbles at them in his incoherent Bretony tongue before being ejected by the hotel staff. At a nearby table, Sexton Blake has been dining with Splash Page. From what little he understood of the onion man's language, he has gathered that Platter was being warned about a robbery at his home. There was also something about 'Bluebeard's key', though Platter has no idea what this might mean. After summoning Tinker, Blake takes the Platters home in the Grey Panther. There, they disturb an intruder — another onion man — who makes off. Blake finds, among the Platters' dead son's war souvenirs, a large iron key. He asks to borrow it. That night, the League of the Onion Men meet and the traitor in their midst, who tried to warn the Platters, is killed by Jules 'the Slider'. The latter then burgles the Platters' house, knocks out, Mr Platter and, after a fruitless search for the key, makes off and runs straight into the arms of a suspicious bobbie. The next morning, Blake returns from an inspection of the traitor's body and hears reports that a police constable has been attacked and left in a critical condition. He also finds that onion men have been trying to get into his Baker Street home ... but couldn't get past Mrs. Bardell! Detective-Inspector Coutts visits and tells Blake about the robbery at the Platter residence. Then a French diplomat and a Secret Service agent call on the detective. They reveal that the French Royalist movement, headed by M. le Duc de Bretaigne, is causing trouble in that country. The Royalists are searching for five keys — taken as souvenirs by Tommies during the war — that can open a chest said to contain the crown jewels of France. Blake is commissioned to find these artifacts before agents of the Royalists do. Before beginning his quest, the detective disguises himself as an onion seller and infiltrates the league, leading a police raid and capturing, among the rest, Jules the Slider.

Trivia: There's a mention of Mrs. Bardell's sister Mary Ann Cluppins during the course of this story.

Rating: ★★★★★ An excellent and fascinating story that sets up a situation you can't help but want to see resolved in issues to come.


THE SECRET
by G. H. Teed

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,482 · 12/3/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: H. Radcliffe Wilson

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE MYSTERY OF BLUEBEARD'S KEY
by Gwyn Evans

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,483 · 19/3/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: Splash Page is travelling through a snowstorm in Wales when his car breaks down. He takes refuge at Sir Hugo Watcyn's mansion. However, all is not well at the Watcyn residence. — in the evening, a haunting scream is heard, and in the morning one of the League of Onion Men burgles the house, stealing the key to the vaults before making away on skis. Splash calls Sexton Blake with the news that the onion men have been active and the detective immediately packs a bag and heads for Wales. Later, in a pub, Splash hears the druidic folklore connected with the area and how a poetry competition will soon be held in which the competitors are challenged to write about the legend of King Arthur's cave in Snowdonia — a cave that can only be opened with a golden key. Back in Baker Street, the notorious French criminal Aristide Dupin, disguised as Sexton Blake, enters the consulting room and pockets the first key of Bluebeard which Blake had recovered in THE LEAGUE OF THE ONION MEN (issue 1,481). Meanwwhile, the chief of the onion men, Sebastien Quirot hosts a meeting of the league in a druidic stone circle. He discovers that the key stolen from Sir Hugo is not the right one. The meeting is spied on by a young local poet named Lemuel. Blake arrives at Port Armon and visits Sir Hugo only to find him unconscious on the floor. As he examines the prone form, a scream rips through the night ... just like the one Splash had heard. The detective discovers a secret passage from which the screams have issued. In it, he finds a manacled and emaciated man. This, it turns out, is the real Sir Hugo. He has been held captive while two criminals — posing as him and the butler — have enjoyed his wealth. But the villains fell out and one attacked the other. The false butler is quickly caught and confesses all. That evening, in the pub, Lemuel tells Splash about the meeting of the onion men he had spied on. He also produces the second of Bluebeard's keys, which he has owned all along. A heavily disguised Aristide Dupin arrives in the town in search of the aforesaid item. Blake, however, pierces the disguise and manages to steal back the first key.

Trivia: According to her sister, Mary Ann Cluppins, Mrs Bardell's first name is Maria. Blake and Tinker use the code-word 'Zone' in their communications as proof of authenticity. Among Blake's many achievements, he is 'an authority on Tudor and Elizabethan wood-carving'.

Rating: ★★★★☆ Despite a slightly fragmented plot, it all comes together nicely at the end. The introduction of Aristide Dupin adds an intriguing twist, though it's a shame the author couldn't call him Arséne Lupin, since he's obviously beased entirely on Maurice Leblanc's famous creation.


ENTER THE PRESIDENT
by H. W. Twyman

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,484 · 26/3/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: Dirk Dolland, also known as The Bat is enjoying a game of billiards in his club with a new acquaintance when Sexton Blake walks in. The detective immediately recognises Dolland's companion as a disguised Sir Philip Champion and arrests him. That evening a nondescript little man who calls himself John Smith visits Baker Street and, to Blake's astonishment, announces that he is president of the Criminals' Confederation. Holding the detective at gunpoint, he complains that his plans have been interfered with once too often and Blake's hounding of the organisation must cease immediately. He then asserts that Champion will be free within twenty-four hours and his escape will be aided by Blake. He also declares that a million pounds in English sovereigns will be stolen that night. He then leaves the house and eludes pursuit. Next morning, Detective-Inspector Coutts informs Blake that a million in gold bullion has gone missing en route to Southampton. Furthermore, Champion has declared that he wants to turn King's evidence against the Confederation. The criminal promises to lead Blake and the police to the location of the Liberty — the Confederation's ship and HQ. Sexton Blake consults his friend Richard Test and borrows his steam yacht which has been fitted out with guns. He, Tinker, Coutts and Dolland escort a securely manacled Champion aboard and set sail for the South Atlantic. Nine days later, as they approach the area where the Liberty had last been spotted, Blake suddenly finds himself confronted by a well-armed John Smith. The president has been hiding in the hold, where the stolen gold is also secretly stored. To the detective's dismay, it turns out that the whole crew are Confederation men. Blake, Tinker and Coutts are put aboard a life boat and set adrift. Dolland remains a prisoner of the Confederation; he is to be tried and executed for his betrayal of the organisation. The tale ends with Blake & co. being picked up by an American cruiser.

Trivia: This is a reprint of UNION JACK issue 816 THE STOLEN YACHT (1919). The review is based on a reading of that issue.

Rating: ★★★★★


THE PROUD TRAM MYSTERY
by Gilbert Chester (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,485 · 2/4/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker (cover) and Glossop (interior)

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene

Notes: This is the first of the Proud Tram stories. It features Gilbert and Eileen Hale.

Unrated


THE CROOK CRUSADERS
by Anthony Skene (George N. Philips)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,486 · 9/4/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: From Information Received (article); Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: The second Proud Tram story. It features Zenith the Albino.

Unrated


REVOLT!
by G. H. Teed

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,487 · 16/4/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received; Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene

Notes: The third Proud Tram story. It features Mlle. Roxane.

Unrated


THE WITCHES' MOON
by Donald Stuart

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,488 · 23/4/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: The fourth Proud Tram story.

Unrated


FEAR HAUNTED!
by Gwyn Evans

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,489 · 30/4/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: The fifth Proud Tram story. In Sheffield, hen-pecked husband, Mr. Alfred Proud, returns home in a state of high inebriation and fierce temper after being rejected by his girlfriend. His shrew of a wife drives him into an uncontrollable rage with her sharp tongue to the point where he beats her to death with a foot-long iron key. This was a souvenir he had picked up in France during the war. In the morning, he bundles the body into his motorcycle's sidecar, drives out to the moor, and hides the corpse in a disused gravel pit. He buries the murder weapon in his back garden. The next day he is visited by Rateau, from The League of the Onion Men, who has come searching for the key. Proud sends him packing ... then packs himself off to London to 'disappear'. In Baker Street, Sexton Blake receives a visit from Miss Dulac. She spins a yarn about a burglary committed by a strange 'toad man'. Blake promises to investigate but, after Miss Dulac leaves, he reveals to Tinker that he has deduced that she and her story were both fake. Meanwhile, Alfred Proud, having secured a job as an actor, finds himself involved in an industrial dispute and is forced to go on strike. As he can't afford to lose what small wage he earns, he has stolen a fireman's helmet from the theatre props department with the intention of pawning it. He leaves home with the helmet under one arm and a rolled protest banner under the other. On the way out he is given a message sent by an onion man claiming knowledge of the key and demanding a meeting. Even worse, the evening papers carry a headline about the body of a murdered woman being found. At Blake's house, Miss Dulac — who is, in fact, the niece of Sebastien Quirot, the leader of the Onion Men — gains access to the consulting room and starts searching for the two keys Blake has in his possession. Tinker, though, is still at home and chases her off. Blake follows her and is led to Sebastien Quirot who he then trails to the fateful meeting between Rateau and Proud. The latter is convinced that the onion man knows he is a murderer and is sent into a panic when he is given just twenty-four hours to produce the key ... or else! Proud leaves and boards a tram, surreptitiously followed by Blake and Rateau. They are the only passengers. Blake approaches Proud, who, thinking he has been caught by the police, has a fatal heart attack. Rateau knocks Blake unconscious and leaves the vehicle. When Blake and the body of Proud are found, the evidence quickly exposes the murder and the third key is recovered and given to the detective.

Trivia: Tinker is still described as a 'youngster' but, when standing before Miss Dulac, he looks 'down' at her. It would seem, then, that he has grown quite a bit since his earliest appearances.

Rating: ★★★★★ This has to be one of the best Blake stories ever written. Focusing primarily on the guilt-ridden, alcohol-addicted and fearful Mr. Proud, it is awe-inspiringly powerful and fantastically entertaining.


THE MYSTERY OF BLIND LUKE
by Edwy Searles Brooks

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,490 · 7/5/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received; Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: The sixth Proud Tram story. It features Waldo the Wonder-Man.

Unrated


THE MONKEY MEN
by Rex Hardinge

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,491 · 14/5/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received; Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


DIRK DOLLAND'S ORDEAL
by Robert Murray (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,492 · 21/5/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: Having been abandoned at sea by the Criminals' Confederation, Sexton Blake and his companions are picked up by the crew of The Florence Gray and made guests of Captain Rawling. After explaining the reason for their plight, Blake learns that Rawling suspects that his passenger, Mr Piper, might be a member of the nefarious organisation. The Captain claims to have been duped into delivering this man to the Liberty and he is very loathe to do so now that he realises the truth. Piper is made a prisoner and The Florence Gray continues its mission with Blake now in charge. The detective and his friends remain in hiding while Rawling sails alongside the Liberty and informs Sir Philip Champion that Piper was killed in an accident. Champion believes this and orders Rawling to weigh anchor until morning. During the night, Blake and Tinker swim across to The Speedy where it lies tethered to the criminals' liner. Finding it empty, Blake sends his assistant back to fetch Detective-Inspector Coutts and Richard Test from the The Florence Gray. They recapture the yacht while Blake boards the Confederation HQ. He arrives in time to witness the trial of Dirk Dolland, who is sentenced to death for betraying the villainous organisation. Piper escapes and arrives at the end of the trial to inform Mr John Smith, Champion and Mr. Reece that Blake is aboard. In the ensuing confusion, the detective rescues Dolland and they swim back to The Speedy which then opens fire on the liner, destroying its wireless equipment before making a getaway.

Trivia: This is a reprint of UNION JACK issue 820 DIRK DOLLAND'S ORDEAL (1919). The review is based on a reading of that issue.

Rating: ★★★★★


THE PLAGUE OF THE ONION MEN
by Gwyn Evans

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,493 · 28/5/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: Splash Page discovers that the fourth key of Bluebeard is hidden in the vaults of a church in Melvis Parva, a little village in Kent. Sebastien Quirot, leader of The League of the Onion Men, has also heard this information and the village is now over-run with onion sellers, fighting among themselves for the reward offered by M. le Duc de Bretaigne to the man who recovers the key. De Bretaigne, meanwhile, pays a visit to Sexton Blake. The detective is having serious difficulties with Mrs. Bardell, who is being distracted by the amorous advances of Frenchman Hercule Bolo, the proprietor of a new local bakery. But Blake's day gets much worse after he turns down de Bretaigne's offer to buy the keys in his possession. The Royalist leaves ... and immediately afterwards Blake collapses. Before losing consciousness, he orders Splash and Tinker to investigate Melvis Para. While Blake is taken to hospital with suspected poisoning, his two 'deputies' drive to the near-rioting Kent village. There they find Mr. Vernon Freeman — the archeologist who found the key in the church vaults — in a state of seige with onion men swarming around his grounds and Quirot holding him at gunpoint. Splash attacks but Quirot is too strong and makes off with the key only to be stopped and held at gunpoint by ... Sexton Blake! After the leader of the onion men is handed over to the police, the key is examined and turns out to be a fake. The whole business has been a red herring planned by the wily Aristide Dupin. While Blake and the onion men have been in Melvis Parva, he, in his 'Hercule Bolo' disguise, has been allowed into the Baker Street house by Mrs. Bardell and has stolen the three real keys. These he offers to de Bretaigne — and to the Royalist's enemies — for three hundred thousand francs.

Trivia: In her basement domain at the Baker Street house, Mrs. Bardell keeps a cat named Tibbles. When exiting the house, Madame Tussaud's is to the right, just around the corner. The house is some 200 yards away from Sligo Street.

This was anthologised in SEXTON BLAKE: STAR OF UNION JACK AND DETECTIVE WEEKLY(1972).

Rating: ★★★★★ Another excellent tale of the onion men and one notable for the fact that Mrs. Bardell features quite heavily.


SEXTON BLAKE IN MANCHURIA
by G.H. Teed

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,494 · 4/6/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: Story features Wu Ling.

Unrated


ARMS TO WU LING
by G.H. Teed

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,495 · 11/6/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham; Five Dead Men by Anthony Skene.

Notes: Story features Wu Ling and Mlle. Roxane.

Unrated


THE DIAMOND OF DISASTER
by Robert Murray (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,496 · 18/6/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: The Cope Diamond has an evil reputation. Everyone who has ever owned it has died in tragic circumstances. The American multi-millionaire, Gregory V. Canning, has no fear of superstition, though, and purchases the gem at an auction, much to the disgust of his rival, Jerome Saker, who wanted the stone himself. So Saker makes a wager with Canning: if disaster strikes within six months, Canning will guarantee to sell the diamond to Saker at a fraction of the price he himself paid for it. With that, the men go their separate ways, Canning to take his consumptive son on a sea voyage. Within days, the millionaire is back in port, his yacht docked in Southampton, after his boy's death aboard ship. Meanwhile, another vessel has arrived home: the Speedy, owned by Richard Test and with Sexton Blake, Tinker, Detective-Inspector Coutts and Dirk Dolland aboard. All have returned after their battle at sea with the Criminals' Confederation. Coutts heads off to London while the rest seek recuperation in a local hotel. There, Blake is astonished to find himself spied upon by John Smith, the Confederation President and a man he had thought lost at sea. That night, Blake goes to bed wondering whether he can believe the evidence of his own eyes. Dirk Dolland also has a restless night. He has heard that the Cope Diamond is aboard Canning's yacht and cannot resist the temptation. Giving in to his criminal tendencies, he leaves the hotel, rows out to the vessel, and sneaks on board. There he witnesses an argument between Smith and a man he takes to be Canning. The millionaire is overcome by means of a gas pistol and Smith callously tosses him overboard. Dolland rescues the unconscious man and takes him ashore where he is met by Blake. Followed by a team of policemen, they lead a raid on the yacht only to find that Smith has vanished. However, locked in a room, they discover a man who claims to be the real Canning. Having been freed, he says he will remain on the yacht while his rescuers head back to find out who the man Smith threw overboard really is. He turns out to be Jerome Saker, who explains that he had visited the yacht to buy the diamond but had found only Smith there. When he describes Canning, Blake realises that the man they had discovered on the yacht isn't the millionaire. Racing to the quayside, he sees that the yacht has gone; he's been fooled by the Confederation!

Trivia: This is a reprint of UNION JACK issue 824 THE DIAMOND OF DISASTER (1919). The review is based on a reading of that issue.

Rating: ★★★★☆


THE BLOOD BROTHERS OF NAN-HU
by G. H. Teed

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,497 · 25/6/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: Story features Wu Ling and Mlle. Roxane.

Unrated


THE FIFTH KEY
by Gwyn Evans

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,498 · 2/7/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: Sexton Blake and Tinker have just returned from a brief holiday on the Yorkshire Moors. Scanning the papers, Blake spots a picture of an ironmonger shop that has made the news after being hit by lightning. Above the shop's door hangs a key — one of the Bluebeard keys sought after by the League of the Onion Men. The picture has also been seen by Aristide Dupin who, like Blake, decides to investigate. However, before either can get there, a horde of onion men descend on the shop and cause chaos. Jean Rateau gets into a fight and is arrested while another of the onion men — La Belette — manages to secure, and make off with, the key. While Detective-Inspector Coutts is investigating, Blake arrives, shortly followed by Dupin. The two men arrange a challenge: if Blake finds the remaining two keys and the hiding place where Dupin has secured the other three, then Dupin will accept defeat. If, on the other hand, Dupin finds the last two keys, Blake will give up the case. La Belette takes the key he has recovered to Sebastien Quirot, the leader of the onion men, who sets off to take it to M. le Duc de Bretaigne. On the way there, an ice-cream seller's tricycle collides with him and in the ensuing confusion the key is lost. The ice-cream boy turns out to be Tinker in disguise ... and the key is now his! Quirot is taken away by the police. Meanwhile, a government diplomat informs de Bretaigne that he must leave the country within 24 hours. Sexton Blake's investigations lead him to another ironmonger shop, this one owned by the son of the proprietor of the lightning-struck premises. There he finds and purchases the fifth key. Aristide Dupin's three keys come to light when a small boy's kite becomes entangled with a statue in London's Victoria Gardens. The stylish French thief had hidden them there but now they fall into Blake's hands and Dupin graciously concedes defeat. The saga of the League of the Onion Men is at an end.

Rating: ★★★★☇ A superb finish to one of Sexton Blake's great cases. It all wraps up rather too conveniently but, nevertheless, the highest standards of writing are maintained and the series finale is as good as the opening issue.


"ONCE A CROOK—"
by Edwy Searles Brooks

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,499 · 9/7/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: Story features Waldo the Wonder-Man.

Unrated


VOLCANO ISLAND
by Robert Murray (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,500 · 16/7/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: Part of the Criminals' Confederation story arc. This is a rehash of UNION JACK issue 829 SINISTER ISLAND and UNION JACK issue 830 THE MAN FROM THE SEA (both 1919). See those issues for the story review.

Unrated


WALDO'S WAY OUT
by Edwy Searles Brooks

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,501 · 23/7/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: Story features Waldo the Wonder-Man.

Unrated


THE LIGHTNING MURDERS
by Strawford Webber (D. W. Pile)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,502 · 30/7/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Joseph Walker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


HONOLULU LURE
by G. H. Teed

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,503 · 6/8/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Alfred Sindall

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: Story features George Marsden Plummer.

Unrated


THE TRAIL IN THE SAND
by Robert Murray (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,504 · 13/8/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: Part of the Criminals' Confederation story arc. This is a rehash of UNION JACK issue 838 THE TRAIL IN THE SAND and issue 841 MR. SMITH OF LONDON (both 1919). See those issues for the story review.

Unrated


THE RAIN MAKER
by Anthony Skene (George N. Philips)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,505 · 20/8/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Cecil Glossop

Other content: From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: Story features Zenith the Albino.

Unrated


THE CRIME OF THE CREEK
by G. H. Teed

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,506 · 27/8/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


RED SAND
by Edwy Searles Brooks

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,507 · 3/9/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: Story features Waldo the Wonder-Man.

Unrated


THE SQUEALER
by Robert Murray (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,508 · 10/9/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: A Criminals' Confederation story. This is a rehash of UNION JACK issue 858 THE INFORMER and issue 860 THE HIDDEN HEADQUARTERS (both 1920). See those issues for the story review.

Unrated


THE DEATH INSURANCE POLICY
by Gilbert Chester (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,509 · 17/9/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE GOLD MAKER
by Anthony Skene (George N. Philips)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,510 · 24/9/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Lang

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: Story features Zenith the Albino.

Unrated


THE GHOST HOLE
by Rex Hardinge

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,511 · 1/10/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: Story features Sir Richard Losely and Lobangu.

Unrated


THE FOUR GUESTS MYSTERY
by Robert Murray (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,512 · 8/10/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

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

Unrated


CROOKS DIVIDED
by Robert Murray (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,513 · 15/10/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: Part of the Criminals' Confederation story arc. This is a rehash of UNION JACK issue 868 THE NEW PRESIDENT and issue 869 DIRK DOLLAND'S DILEMMA (both 1920). See those issues for the story review.

Unrated


THE MOTOR SHOW MYSTERY
by Stawford Webber (D. W. Pile)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,514 · 22/10/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


CROOKS CARGO
by David Macluire

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,515 · 29/10/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article); The Gyrth Chalice Mystery by Margery Allingham.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE'S UNDERSTUDY
by Edwy Searles Brooks

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,516 · 5/11/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: From Information Received (article)

Notes: Story features Waldo the Wonder-Man.

Unrated



Plus:
THE NEXT MOVE (part 1)
by G. H. Teed

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Notes: At two in the morning, an electric alarm arouses escaped-convict Morgan Gilson from sleep, warning him that an intruder is on the stairs of his house in Petty France, Westminster. Gilson is expecting this raid. The intruder is caught in a trap at the top of the stairs. Without a word, Gilson gags and handcuffs him and carries him down a flight of steps concealed behind the range in the basement. A tunnel takes him to the bank of an underground stream. Dumping his prisoner in a punt, Gilson steers the craft through a cavern-like opening and leaves the bound man in a cellar built into the tunnel wall. He then climbs a well-like shaft and emerges in a courtyard at the back of a house. This is but a shell of a building, measuring six feet from front to back. Passing through the dummy house, Gilson gains the street and hurries to Baker Street where he consults Sexton Blake. Like Gilson, Blake has also been expecting the raid. He and Tinker follow Gilson back to the dummy house and down to the cell. Here they find that the prisoner has gone. The three make their way up to Gilson's house. In the kitchen, they discover a dead monkey. On the stairs is the unconscious form of Mademoiselle Roxane. Suddenly shots are fired at the detective!

Trivia: This series was written by four of the top Sexton Blake writers: G. H. Teed, Gwyn Evans, Robert Murray Graydon and Anthony Skene (George N. Philips). Each took turns writing an instalment, creating bizarre situations for the others to explain. Teed begins the tale in typically atmospheric style.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE WAR MEMORIAL MURDERS
by Rex Hardinge

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,517 · 12/11/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article).

Notes: None at present.

Unrated



Plus:
THE NEXT MOVE (part 2)
by Gwyn Evans

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Notes: Hit in the shoulder by a bullet, Sexton Blake collapses into Tinker's arms. In the ensuing confusion, whoever fired the shot escapes and Mademoiselle Roxane disappears. Tinker suggests calling the police but Gilson and a strange old hag of a housekeeper — known as 'Ma Gilson' — won't hear of it. Gilson is then dumbfounded to discover that his parrot, Anastasia, has been stolen ... and with it, his 'combinations'. Later, Splash Page receives a dead parrot in the post. Around its neck is a note, which reads: "Sorry Miss, wrong number!" Intrigued, Page takes the bird to Baker Street where Sexton Blake is in consultation with Gilson. The reporter and Gilson recognise each other — Gilson with alarm — but neither says anything about this to Blake. Suddenly, a man appears in the doorway of the Consulting Room. "Give me back my parrot!" he says. "I am Robinson Crusoe!"

Trivia: Gwyn Evans takes over the story and introduces an atmosphere of near hysteria! Some of the material established here is either ignored or altered by subsequent writers. For example, Blake's bullet wound is quickly forgotten and the recognition between Page and Gilson is transferred to Gilson and Dirk Dolland.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE SHADOW
by Robert Murray (Robert Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,518 · 19/11/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article).

Notes: Sexton Blake, Tinker and Detective-Inspector Coutts visit Mr John Smith in Pentonville Prison and are informed by the former head of the Criminals' Confederation that Villiers, the organisation's crooked lawyer, has absconded with close on a million pounds. He tells Blake that a message will soon be delivered to Baker Street and it will reveal the whereabouts of Villiers. That evening, Blake receives a call from Sir Philip Champion who warns him that Villiers has just entered the Baker Street house. Indeed, the crook has, and appears in the Consulting Room brandishing a pistol. He demands that Blake disguises him and drives him to an airfield from which he intends to escape to France. However, Mr Reece arrives and shoots Villiers dead. He is about to serve Blake the same treatment when he is brought down by Pedro. Captured, he tells the detective to beware of 'The Shadow'. Some days later, Smith and Reece both receive long prison sentences and in court Reece repeats the threat. That afternoon, Mademoiselle Celeste calls Blake and reveals that she too has been promised the vengeance of The Shadow. While the detective drives to her apartment, Celeste finds herself confronted by a weird twisted shadow that inexplicably disappears upon Blake's arrival. Finding no clue, Blake returns to Baker Street where, late at night, he receives a message from Coutts informing him that the judge who convicted Smith and Reece has been murdered. At the scene of the crime, "The Shadow has avenged" has been written on a mirror and the only opening into the room through which the killer could have passed suggests that the villain is freakishly small, though fiendishly strong. That night, Blake himself is attacked in his bedroom. He manages to survive but doesn't catch sight of his assailant, who escapes in the dark. Next morning, Coutts and Blake decide to visit John Smith in prison but when they get there they find that he's been strangled to death by the Shadow. Later the same day, Champion telephones the detective again and warns him that Reece is about to escape from Pentonville. Blake races back to the prison but too late; in the midst of a pre-arranged riot, Reece has been sprung!

Trivia: This is a rehash of UNION JACK issue 873 THE MAN WHO DIED and issue 876 THE SHADOW (both 1920). See those issues for the story reviews.

Rating: ★★★★★



Plus:
THE NEXT MOVE (part 3)
by Gwyn Evans

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Notes: 'Robinson Crusoe' turns out to be Dirk Dolland who is staying at Sexton Blake's house because of his knowledge of the identity of a mysterious Mr Brank, the same individual who is threatening Gilson. Stutz, Gilson's escaped prisoner, is delivered to Baker Street dead in a coffin. This is his punishment for blundering. Suspecting that Gilson is concealing something, Blake, Tinker and Splash Page follow him to Hamright's livestock shop. They lose track of Gilson but find Hamright murdered. Beside him is a gramophone, still running though it has no record on it. On the wall is the imprint of a hand with a thumb and five fingers. Another alarm takes them back to Gilson's house. They find Detective-Inspector Coutts unconscious in the hall. Through a secret panel they catch a glimpse of Pedro with Mademoiselle Roxane's hand in his mouth. A shriek of fear sends Blake and Co. back to the top of the stairs.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


SUSPENDED FROM DUTY
by Gwyn Evans

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,519 · 26/11/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article).

Notes: Recently promoted Detective-Inspector Grimley has been given the task, by Sir Henry Fairfax, of watching over London's West End nightclubs. In one of these, the Puce Lobster, he is observed by Derek 'Splash' Page mingling with various socialites, including a petty crook named Baltimore Smith and his girlfriend, Meg Brady. Grimley then has a private meeting with the club's owner, Lady Melisande, and willingly takes a bribe to turn a blind eye to the 'goings-on' at the club. However, when Detective-Inspector Coutts leads a raid on the premises, Grimley realises that he must take action to protect this source of income. The next day, Sir Henry receives a letter from Lady Melisande in which Coutts is accused of blackmailing her. Banknotes found in his pocket — planted there by Grimley — support her statement. Coutts is suspended from duty. Meanwhile, his wife, Jane, keeps secret from him the fact that her nephew, Harry Lawson, has run up gambling debts and has got in with the wrong crowd. In desperation, she decides to ask Sexton Blake for help but when she arrives at Baker Street the detective and his assistant are out. Meeting Mrs Bardell for the first time, she soon finds herself pouring out her troubles to that worthy woman. Mrs Bardell decides to loan her the £30 requested by Harry — keeping it a private matter 'of housekeeping' between them. While this is happening, Coutts is wandering the streets of the capital in a state of shock. When he sees his nephew in conversation with a petty crook named Benny Silver, he follows them to a notorious club that is frequented by the Contrini Gang. He drags the youngster out. One of the gang, 'Whoosis' Wally, telephones Grimley and is told to follow Coutts. Grimley informs Sir Henry that Coutts is frequently seen with the gang. A week later, various socialites from the Puce Lobster club gather at the home of explorer Gillie Carew for a party. A fight erupts between Carew and the Hon. Ivor Trelawney. Carew is later found murdered and Trelawney's girlfriend, Monica Travers, is accused. Splash Page takes this news to Sexton Blake, who is in the middle of hearing about Detective-Inspector Coutts's troubles. He informs them that Grimley is on the case. Blake goes to the crime scene in time to witness Grimley arresting Miss Travers. The Yard man also arrests Baltimore Smith for possession of a firearm. After examining the crime scene and observing the depth to which a sprig of parsley has sunk into a block of butter, Blake forms his own ideas about the death of Carew and passes this information to Coutts. He then receives a visit from Meg Brady who is furious that Grimley has arrested Smith. In revenge, she spills the beans about all the bribes the Detective-Inspector has received and reveals that she overheard him plotting with Lady Melisande to frame Coutts. That evening Coutts is attacked by 'Whoosis' Wally but overpowers him and frog-marches him to a police station. The next morning, at Scotland Yard, he uses Blake's information to prove that no murder actually took place — the parsley being the key evidence for this — and exposes Grimley's crimes. Grimley is arrested.

Trivia: Detective-Inspector Coutts lives in a suburban villa named Meriden, Oxley Avenue, S.W. and takes great pride in his garden, which he works on when not on duty. He is married to Jane, a 'Shropshire lass', who he met when she was a lady's maid in Meriden Hall, Salop. They had a son, Tom, who was killed in the war. At the time of this case, Sexton Blake and Detective-Inspector Coutts have known each other for over twenty years. The cover illustration by Eric Parker features an excellent portrait of Inspector Coutts.

This was anthologised in THE CASEBOOK OF SEXTON BLAKE (2009).

Rating: ★★★★★



Plus:
THE NEXT MOVE (part 4)
by Anthony Skene (George N. Philips)

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Notes: In the hall below is Brank, the Doomsday Man, and Mrs Syms — aka 'Ma Gilson' — Gilson's deranged housekeeper. Brank is about to throw a gas bomb but Blake shoots it out of his hand. It smashes and the gas is released. Brank escapes while Blake drags Detective-Inspector Coutts clear of the fumes. It is too late for Ma Gilson, though — she dies. Blake takes Gilson to task and gets from him a broken gramaphone record that had been retrieved from Hamright's. It is the 'Spring Song' and the first few bars are very worn and scratched. Blake believes that birds — including Anatasia — have been trained to speak at the sound of the music. There are six, all trained by Brank to repeat the combination of a hidden safe — with Anastasia being the only one to have learned the complete formula. Blake and Co. return to Hamright's to try the record. A parrot starts to gabble meaningless words in response to the music. Then a shot rings out and the bird falls dead.

Trivia: The whole 'trained parrot' part of this story seems nonsensical and very confusing. For a start, if Brank trained the birds to remember the combination then he himself must know it — which in later instalments, he doesn't!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE HUNTED MAN
by Reid Whitly (R. C. Armour)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,520 · 3/12/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: From Information Received (article).

Notes: Another instance of inconsistant spelling of the author's pen name. Sometimes 'Reid Whitly', other times 'Reid Whitley'.

Unrated



Plus:
THE NEXT MOVE (part 5)
by G. H. Teed

Notes: A short gunfight ensues. Blake and Tinker drive the attacker — a man named Stiletti — into the shop's yard but when they follow there is no sign of him. A macaw in the shop begins squawking Brank's name and the phrase 'stop the water'. When Splash Page tries to halt the bird's racket, it attacks him and escapes from the shop. Blake finds that Gilson has also fled. Blake, Tinker and Splash return to Baker Street where Detective-Inspector Thomas is waiting. With Coutts hospitalised, Thomas is taking over and wants to know what is happening. Tinker notices that the body of Stutz has vanished. Then a phone call comes from Scotland Yard ... Dirk Dolland has been found in a coffin in a warehouse! Tinker, though, notices through the window that Dolland is arriving in the street below. Knowing that he will not want to be questioned by Thomas, he gestures to the ex-cracksman to make himself scarce. Dolland does so. Meanwhile, a woman named Madam Casanova receives a visit from Mademoiselle Roxane, who has with her the unconscious grey parrot thought to be Anastasia. Roxane explains that it was her maid, Anna, that Pedro had grabbed in the secret doorway. She was wearing a dress that used to belong to her mistress, thus confusing Sexton Blake. Now Roxane intends to revive the parrot and play it the Spring Song. Before she can do so, Gilson turns up and declares that Stiletti has tried to kill Anastasia. He also claims that he — Gilson — knew Dirk Dolland on Devil's Island. At that time, Gilson had been known as 'Robinson Crusoe'. He manages to mumble a bit more — something about a macaw — then drops unconscious to the floor.

Trivia: G. H. Teed, returning to the serial for the first time since he started it, does a pretty good job of tying up some of the many flailing loose ends! By this point, though, the story is full of plot holes and inconsistencies!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE MASKED CAROLLERS
by Gwyn Evans

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,521 · 10/12/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: Mrs Bardell's Own Round Table; From Information Received (article).

Notes: Story features Splash Page.

Unrated



Plus:
THE NEXT MOVE (part 6)
by Gwyn Evans

Notes: Mademoiselle Roxane summons Sexton Blake to Madam Casanova's flat in Petty France. He arrives with Tinker, Splash Page and Dirk Dolland. Dolland reveals that it was he who sent Detective-Inspector Thomas on a wild goose chase by phoning and claiming that 'Dolland has been found in a coffin'. He also reveals that it was he who removed the body of Stutz. A recap with further explanations follows. The story so far: Morgan Gilson, an escaped convict from Devil's Island, has sought the aid of Sexton Blake to protect him from a criminal leader, Mr Brank aka The Doomsday Man. Brank is out to get from Gilson the combination and whereabouts of a safe in which are hidden the proceeds of a colossal bank fraud carried out by Brank's gang, but for which Gilson was wrongfully imprisoned. Frimley, a member of the gang who had tried to double-cross Brank by hiding the money, made a dying confession to Gilson on Devil's Island, telling him the safe was somewhere in an underground waterway beneath a house in Petty France, London, and that the letters and numbers of the combination have been learned by a parrot named Anastasia. Moreover, in the safe are proofs of Gilson's innocence in the frauds. Brank and his agents — Stiletti, Stutz and La Rocque — followed Gilson to London and it was they who raided the Petty France house, which Gilson had taken over from Frimley's old housekeeper. They also approached Dirk Dolland to enlist his aid in opening the safe should they locate it. Dolland refused, and to avoid reprisals lodged temporarily with Sexton Blake. Dolland and Splash Page have thrown in their lot with Blake on Gilson's side against Brank. Mademoiselle Roxane has allied herself with Gilson, and during the raid by Brank's men on the house, she secured Anastasia. The parrot revealed its secret — the combination. The next step for the friends is to locate the safe. Now seated in the house of Madame Casanova, a friend of Roxane who is in their confidence, they are startled by a thunderous knocking announcing the arrival of the police, who both Gilson and Dolland wish to avoid.

Trivia: The recap at the start of this instalment clarifies the story which, up to this point, has been rather confusing. The instalment itself builds on the previous episode to finally provide something resembling a plot.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE SECRET PASSAGE MURDER
by Malcom Hincks (C. M. Hincks)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,522 · 17/12/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Xmas Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article).

Notes: None at present.

Unrated



Plus:
THE NEXT MOVE (part 7)
by Robert Murray (Robert Murray Graydon)

Notes: Gilson and Dirk Dolland hide in Madam Casanova's cellar while Detective-Inspector Thomas, with two constables, begins to search the house. Accidently activating a secret door mechanism, the two fugitives fall into a secret passage that leads to the waterways beneath Petty France. There they find a secret chamber and a passage, which they think may lead to Frimley's hidden safe. While exploring, they hear a fiendish chuckle ... and suddenly the chamber begins to flood! Meanwhile, up in the house, one of the police constables is found knocked cold ... and Anastasia has been stolen by Brank's men! Blake returns to Baker Street, having arranging to meet Mademoiselle Roxane later. However, on the way to the assignation, Roxane is kidnapped by Brank.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE CRIMSON SMILE
by Donald Stuart

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,523 · 24/12/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article).

Notes: None at present.

Unrated



Plus:
THE NEXT MOVE (part 8)
by Anthony Skene (George N. Philips)

Notes: Brank threatens to torture Mademoiselle Roxane unless she reveals the whereabouts of the safe and the combination to open it. When she resists, he reveals that the ugly and insane crone known as 'Ma Gilson' had once been a beauty until she found herself in a similar position to Roxane. Stiletti holds her still and she notices that his hands are five-fingered — meaning that it was he who murdered Hamright. Brank begins to cut her ear but is interrupted by the arrival of La Rocque, who informs the gangster that he has drowned Gilson and Dirk Dolland in the underground waterways. Brank is infuriated by this, as by flooding the chamber in which the two men had stood, La Rocque may have uncovered the hidden safe but had failed to check. The two men start to fight and Roxane takes the opportunity to start a fire before climbing out of the window and into the next room. Meanwhile, Sexton Blake has traced her to the house and arrives to find it burning. He enters and discovers La Rocque — mortally wounded with a dagger through his chest. Of Roxane, though, there is no trace. Having been informed by the dying La Rocque that Dolland and Gilson are dead, Blake goes to Gilson's house and there finds both men very much alive!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


MEN OF THE MASK
by Gilbert Chester (H. H. Clifford Gibbons)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,524 · 31/12/1932 · Amalgamated Press · 2d

Illustrator: Eric Parker

Other content: The Round Table (ed.); From Information Received (article).

Notes: None at present.

Unrated



Plus:
THE NEXT MOVE (part 9)
by G. H. Teed

Notes: In addition to Gilson and Dirk Dolland, Tinker and Splash Page are in Gilson's house. Gilson and Dolland explain that the flood had driven them up through an opening and into a part of the tunnel system that Gilson was familiar with. From there it had been easy to find their way back to the house. Blake realises that Brank and Stiletti may be trying to access the underground waterways via the dummy cottage. Believing that they are still holding Mademoiselle Roxane captive, he and his friends race to the peculiar premises and pass through it into the tunnels below. There they encounter the villains and a gun battle ensues. Amid the confusion, Roxane attempts to escape but is recaptured. The two parties then become separated and Blake and Co. get lost in the maze of passages. They come to a waterfall and the detective, reaching through the water, finds a stopcock which turns off the flow. There, in the wall beyond, they see the safe!

Trivia: G. H. Teed makes the effort to tie up a few more dangling loose ends. By this point in the serial, the plot has become much tighter!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆