Notes: Blake pursues Luke Rankin through the tunnel but is knocked flying when explosives, planted by the crooks, explode, blocking the route. The detective works out that the tunnel must emerge in the Wangonilla Valley on the other side of the mountain. He thinks the crooks will raid the Bellamy sheep station there for horses, so Blake and his party set off to intercept him. They ride hard and arrive in time to find Black Pete and his gang attacking the station. As they engage with the enemy, Luke Rankin breaks away. Sexton Blake chases after him.
Notes: As the natives lead their captives — Sexton Blake, Tinker and Hoo Sung — towards their village, Blake saves one of them from a poisonous snake. At the settlement, the saved man pleads for their lives but the chief is not sympathetic. His son is ill and dying and he believes that this is due to 'devils' brought by the white men. Blake discovers that the boy is suffering from appendicitis. He offers to 'cut the devil out'. If the patient is up and walking in a week, Blake and his friends will go free ... but the boy dies, so will the captives!
Notes: Sexton Blake and Hoo Sung drive the Rolling Sphere over the cliff, crashing down onto the submarine. Kyoto's men escape from the stricken craft, swim ashore, and start climbing a path to the cliff top — only to find Blake's allies, the natives, waiting at the top. With the enemy rounded up, Blake, Tinker and Hoo Sung return to headquarters, where Hoo Sung receives a message.
Notes: Ku Ling climbs out onto the idol's chin and attacks Sexton Blake, sending them both falling towards the ground fifty feet below. Hoo Sung deploys a net from the Rolling Sphere into which the two men plunge. They climb aboard the sphere and Blake orders Hoo Sung to destroy the idol to prove to the priests that it's a fake. This done, Blake then realises that he must recapture Kwang Chu.
Notes: None at present.
Notes: John Borden is on trial for the murder of a man in a small art gallery but his case is adjourned for a week after the evidence against him is destroyed — the car carrying it to court from Scotland Yard burst into flames. Unless it can be proved that this was an act of sabotage, Borden will go free. Superintendent Hall suspects a Canadian soldier named Matt Carren who, along with a girl named Helen Felton and the murder victim, Harry Winter, had been a legatee to a stranger's will. This man, Nathan Stoel, left them a letter which, it later turns out, details the secret of a certain painting he owns; Borden had stolen that letter from the solicitor's safe. When the solicitor commits suicide, Hall discovers that Sexton Blake is also investigating the case at Carren and Felton's request. Hall soon finds himself with Superintendent Venner trailing behind the detective as they hunt for the mysterious painting. Stoel's former partner, Jacques Dubal, is also after it and manages to get hold of it only to have it snatched away by Tinker. Blake photographs the picture, which is just as well, because when Hall and Venner are transporting it to Scotland Yard, it's stolen from them. With no evidence against him, Borden is released only to be gunned down by Dubal. With his dying breath, he tells Blake the secret of the painting, leading to a final confrontation in the war-shattered landscape of France ... ...
Rating: ★★★★☆ A gripping and tautly-plotted thriller. The narrative follows Superintendent Hall rather than Sexton Blake — and when the Baker Street detective first appears about a third of the way into the story, he does so in fine style.
Notes: A publisher asks Sexton Blake to read a manuscript by an amateur author named Walter Peakall. It is an unpublished crime story that tells of a series of robberies committed under the cover of red herrings. The first is a bank robbery — the safe being blown at the same time that a gas main is detonated. While the police and public are occupied with the burning gas pipe, the criminals escape with the loot from the bank. The second is the robbery of a fur warehouse — the red herring being an exploding garage. What is remarkable is that these first two of the five crimes described have actually happened — though after the story was written! Blake decides to interview the author and learns that he used to be in the Navy. With help from an agent named Charlie Sprake, Blake follows a trail of clues to another ex-serviceman, Ted Herring. Ted had read Peakall's manuscript and, after teaming up with fellow disgruntled veterans Bill Murdoch, Joe Bannester and Dandy Parks — and supported by his wife, Kitty — he had copied the crimes. Now, the gang is preparing for the third heist — the robbery of a diamond dealer. Blake discovers where the loot from the previous crimes is stored. He tricks Murdoch and Bannester into coming to Baker Street and reveals that he's onto their game. Meanwhile, Tinker and Sprake retrieve the stolen money and deliver it to the detective's consulting room. Confronted with this, both men resign themselves to their fate. However, Blake knows that at heart they are good men who have been treated unjustly by a country that seems ungrateful for their part in the war. He allows them to go free. He then sees to it that Herring, Kitty and Parks are all arrested on lesser charges — their responsibility for the thefts remaining secret. They all received fairly light sentences to, as Blake puts it, 'teach them a lesson'.
Trivia: Sexton Blake's address is given as 23a Baker Street.