Sexton Blake Bibliography: 1978

Publishing: The novelisation of a rather unimpressive BBC serial (scripted by Simon Raven, produced by Barry Letts, directed by Roger Tucker and starring Jeremy Clyde as the legendary detective) is published. Thirty-five years will pass before any further original Sexton Blake material (aside from fan fiction) is released.

Blake author Walter Tyrer dies aged 78.

by John Garforth

NOVEL · 1978 · Mirror Books · 75p

Illustrator: None

Other content: None

Notes: Dr. Pemberton of the Museum of Oriental Antiquities and Fauna visits Sexton Blake after the mummy of Tu Fu Edas is stolen. Somewhere on the body, there is rumoured to be a clue to the location of a great treasure. Further information is thought to be in scrolls which went missing at an earlier date. The top suspect is a Levantine millionaire called Hubba Pasha. Blake and Tinker visit him and inform him that whoever committed the crime made one mistake; they overlooked a mask associated with the mummy. Hubba intends to sacrifice a young girl called Zigiana to the deity Horozohorus and Blake meets this young woman as he leaves. Later, at the museum, Tinker keeps a lookout. One of Hubba's servants enters and steals the mask, throwing the lad into an alligator pit display in which there's a real alligator. Blake comes to the rescue. The following day, the detective tricks his way into the bank vault where Hubba has stored the missing scrolls. He photographs them and takes the copies to Professor Lurkov for translation. But the professor betrays him and tries to sell the translation to Hubba. He is killed by a mysterious poisonous wind and Hubba takes the scrolls and prepares to leave the country. To find out where he's going, Tinker infiltrates Hubba's entourage disguised as Zigiana while the latter, in turn, is rescued. He finds himself travelling to Greece and manages to get a message to Blake, who sets off in pursuit with Zigiana in tow. Tinker is exposed, the detective and the girl are captured, and all are set to be sacrificed to Horozohorus. But Blake barters for their lives after revealing that he knows the meaning of the translated scrolls and can demonstrate the instructions therein. Doing so, he reveals that the head of the mummy points the way to the treasure. The body must, therefore, be returned to its original resting place in Egypt. Hubba and his captives travel to the tomb, lay the mummy to rest, and follow the directions. It takes them to a cave where Blake finds a jewelled mask and hears the voice of Horozohorus begging to be set free. Hubba, on gaining the artifact, uses it to hypnotically control Tinker, commanding him to kill Blake and Zigiana. But Tinker breaks the spell, smashes the mask and kills Hubba Pasha. The deity is released.

Trivia: Blake is described as having 'arrogant features' and blue eyes (elsewhere in the saga they are grey).

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ Based on a BBC screenplay by Simon Raven, this is an awful novelisation of an awful TV series that totally misjudged the nature of the Blake phenomenon.