FRIENDS AND ENEMIES MINI-BIBLIOGRAPHY

by Mark Hodder

Sexton Blake had many friends and many enemies. Over the years, some of these became so popular with the readers that they were given their own stories and serials, starring without the great detective. This bibliography lists those stories alphabetically, first by the character's surname, secondly by the publication title and thirdly by date. Nelson Lee is not included because, though he was one of Blake's staunchest friends and allies, his stories were never an offshoot from the Blake saga but rather a series in their own right.

Captain Christmas


A GREAT DISCOVERY
by Stacey Blake
Captain Christmas

PENNY PICTORIAL · Issue 656 · 23/12/1911 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: A Page of Smiles; A Sure Proof by G. Roydon-Duff; A Plain Tale From Canada by Jack Whittington; The Palmist of Pimlico by E. Almaz Stout; Arnold's Great Day by A. M. Burrage; Thrillers! by T. C. Bridges; Banished From Home by Henry St. John Cooper; The Wonder City by F. St. Mars.

Notes: Captain Christmas is captain of The Hermes, a passenger liner which tours the edge of the Artic circle. When a man named Conyngham receives a wire from home to inform him that his family business has been forced into debt by swindlers, he tells his story to the Captain. With no money to his name, he feels he can no longer pursue a relationship with a fellow passenger, Miss Coleman. The ship reaches the ice and a number of people are rowed over to an iceberg. Among its ore deposits, Conyngham discovers a vein of gold. He later returns alone to collect the nuggets. Unfortunately, a storm hits the region. Christmas takes a boat and attempts to rescue the young man but they both end up stranded. They manage to weather the storm overnight and the next morning, The Hermes picks them up. Conyngham is reunited with Miss Coleman.

Trivia: Captain Christmas didn't appear in the Blake saga until 1927.

Rating: ★★★★☆


THE GREAT SUGAR PLOT
by Stacey Blake
Captain Christmas

PENNY PICTORIAL · Issue 799 · 19/9/1914 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Russian Avalanche by Foster Grange; Murderous Mines by W.G. Fitzgerald; The Truth by Owen Oliver; The War As Seen Through a Camera; The Day by En Avant; The Silver Lining by Leslie Thomas; The Defence of Mafeking by George Tighe; Red Treasure by Henry St. John Cooper.

Notes: Captain Christmas is in Havana arranging to transport a shipment of sugar to Britain. He is approached by a German named Foglemann who offers him two thousand pounds in return for allowing his ship — The Southwell — to be captured en route by the German navy. Foglemann intends to drive sugar prices up in order to make a vast profit. Christmas refuses and hands out a sound beating. Later, his first mate, Kyle, proposes to accept Foglemann's offer but then deliver the cargo anyway, thus causing the German to lose a fortune. Christmas agrees to the plan but after The Southwell sets sail he realises that he has a saboteur aboard. This man signals German ships which begin to close in during the night. Christmas lays a trap of mines but in the morning has to warn two ships away from them ... the British have arrived! The saboteur is caught and Foglemann suffers a massive loss.

Rating: ★★★★☆


GETTING EVEN
by Stacey Blake
Captain Christmas

PENNY PICTORIAL · Issue 801 · 3/10/1914 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The War As Seen Through a Camera; The Carsholt Murder Mystery by Cecil Hayter; The German Gibraltar by Foster Grange; The Amethyst Bracelet by Florence Gwynne Nixon; The Jungle War by Private T. Smith; The Day by En Avant; Red Treasure by Henry St. John Cooper; Our Bloodless Victory by H. R. Seaward.

Notes: Captain Christmas's ship — The Southwell — runs into a German mine off the west coast of Africa and is sunk. Christmas and his crew are picked up by a British destroyer — The Lively — which then begins hunting the enemy vessels responsible for laying the mines. It encounters a liner which has been captured by an enemy cruiser and so engages in a battle to rescue the stricken vessel. The fighting rages through the day and into the night. Then, under cover of darkness, Christmas and his crew row a boat towards the enemy ship while The Lively keeps it distracted. Boarding the vessel, Christmas and his men soon wrest control from the Germans and, when another enemy cruiser approaches, the newly commandeered ship joins with The Lively to sink it.

Rating: ★★★★☆


A MASTER STROKE
by Stacey Blake
Captain Christmas

PENNY PICTORIAL · Issue 843 · 24/7/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Great Test by Cynthia Bell; After the War by Patricia Pearson; Unfit for Service by Ivie Hertslet; War Questions Answered by The Man Behind the Scenes; The Silver Fisher by F. St. Mars; Our Oilfield War by Arthur Helston; Only Our Fun; Never Forget by Herbert Johnson; Broke in the war by Clifford Hosken; Into Temptation by E. Almaz Stout; Great Achievements by H. J. Shepstone; The Indian Box Mystery by Cecil Hayter; Men Who Are Making History by Aubrey Wilmer; The Man Who Mattered by M. Cumberland Brown; Should the Man of Forty Go First? by Bertha Harringay.

Notes: Captain Christmas is in New York when he reads in a newspaper that a friend has been captured by the Germans and faces death by firing squad. Upon learning that William, Crown Prince of Germany is also in the city, Christmas kidnaps him and sails in the Maid of Perth to the remote Gull Island, off Spain. Via telegraph, he communicates with Germany and bargains his friend's life for that of the Prince. In response, four U-boats arrive at the island but Christmas, predicting this, has set mines. Two of the submarines are destroyed. A third is sunk when a British battleship arrives on the scene. The fourth flees. The Prince is returned to New York and the Captain's friend is set free.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Sir Richard Losely and Lobangu


THROUGH UNKNOWN AFRICA
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Losely and Lobangu

THE BOYS' FRIEND LIBRARY · Issue unknown · Date unknown · Amalgamated Press · Price unknown

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: My copy of this is lacking the cover and the first and last pages.

Unrated  


IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD HUNTERS; OR, INTO THE UNKNOWN
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
Losely and Lobangu

UNION JACK · Issues 727 to 756 · 15/9/1917 to 6/4/1918 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: THE BOYS' FRIEND LIBRARY later published this story in a single volume. Sexton Blake and Tinker make an appearance in the final chapters.

Unrated  

Note: Sir Richard Losely and Lobangu also had independent adventures published in THE BOYS' REALM and CHEER BOYS CHEER, though I have no further details of these stories at present.

George Marsden Plummer


DETECTIVE-SERGEANT PLUMMER
by Anon. (Unknown)
George Marsden Plummer

UNION JACK · Issue 598 · 27/3/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: The Great Remount Swindle by Anon. (Andrew Murray)

Notes: This is the first of the independent Plummer tales, all of which covered events before those of THE MAN FROM SCOTLAND YARD. It was also printed in PLUCK issue 544 (3/4/1915). Detective-Sergeant George Marsden Plummer is in debt and is cursing the fate that keeps him from the riches that, he thinks, are rightfully his. When moneylender Isaac Cane calls round to demand the repayment of a £50 debt, Plummer loses control and attacks him. But the assault is interrupted by the arrival of the landlady. Cane gives him twenty-four hours to find a hundred pounds — if he doesn't, Cane will betray Plummer's situation to his superiors at Scotland Yard. Later, the Chief Commissioner gives Plummer the job of guarding precious stones which are on display at a social event hosted by Sir Bertram Clomax. An hour before Plummer is due, a fat bearded man arrives at the Clomax house, claiming to be the detective sent to guard the valuables. When Clomax shows him the stones, the Yard man chloroforms him and pockets some of the gems — he is, of course, George Marsden Plummer in disguise. Removing his false beard and padding, he makes himself up as Clomax and leaves the house. Later, he returns as himself; the man sent to guard the valuables. This obviously causes some confusion because, as far as the household is concerned, a man from Scotland Yard is already standing guard. Everyone rushes up to the display room where Sir Bertram is discovered tied up and gagged. The gems have gone. Days later, having sold the stolen stones, Plummer, in disguise again, is dining in great style. At the next table, three men are discussing the robbery. They feel sure the man responsible will soon be caught ... for they have heard that George Marsden Plummer is on the case.

Trivia: Plummer has the blood of a notorious highwayman in his veins.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


THE THIRD SHOT
by Anon. (Unknown)
George Marsden Plummer

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 545 · 10/4/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: The Mystery of Dr. Gaspard by Anon.; Jolly Dick Jolly by Reginald Wray; A Secret Foe by Anon.; The Conquest of London by John Tregellis.

Notes: Horace Newbolt, a rich and ruthless banker, has, for the past few years, had Lancelot Meeks in his power. He employs Meeks as a secretary and forger to help him cheat his wealthy clients. But when Meeks rebels, Newbolt shoots him dead and makes it appear that he acted in self-defence. Plummer arrives to investigate and quickly realises that he's dealing with cold-blooded murder. He investigates the banker's background and discovers that he is little more than a crook. When he confronts Newbolt with the evidence, the banker takes a suicide pill and falls dead. Plummer takes the opportunity to raid the banker's safe and finishes the case £1,000 richer.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


THE LAST CHANCE
by Anon. (Unknown)
George Marsden Plummer

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 547 · 24/4/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: The Case of the Food Blockade by Anon.; Andy Falls in Love by Edgar West; The Drugged Footballer by Paul Stewart; The Conquest of London by John Tregellis.

Notes: Mr. Herbert Wales of Wales & Fitzroy arrives at work only to discover that the safe has been robbed. After learning that his business partner has phoned in sick and has gone to the country for the day, Wales calls the police. Detective-sergeant Plummer arrives and quietly ascertains that Fitzroy has not only taken money from the safe but is currently at Epsom gambling the loot on a horse named Wild Thora. Plummer attends the race and watches the horse become the surprise winner. He then approaches Fitzroy, who has won £10,000, and escorts him home where he demands £3,000. For this, he says, he will find another criminal to charge with the theft. Fitzroy agrees. Plummer threatens a small-time crook with a charge of manslaughter unless he allows himself to be arrested for the lesser crime of the robbery. The crook takes the rap.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


THE SECRET OF THE PAID COMPANION
by Anon. (Unknown)
George Marsden Plummer

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 548 · 1/5/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: A Fight for Freedom by John Grenfell; The Case of the Stolen Passport by Anon.; For King and Country by Anon.

Notes: A man is found dead in bed by his paid companion, James Tensen. Though it seems that the cause was a drugs overdose, the local police inspector asks Scotland Yard to assist and Detective-Sergeant George Marsden Plummer is sent. Upon examining the corpse he discovers a tiny puncture above the heart — such as would be made by a hat pin. Observing a look of fear on Tensen's face, he immediately suspects the paid companion but can see no motive since the dead man's will leaves everything to charity. Plummer departs but, that evening, he shadows Tensen to an expensive London restaurant where the young man is observed sharing a meal with a notorious moneylender. The detective overhears their conversation and learns that Tensen is confident that a second will shall soon be discovered. Later that night, Plummer breaks into the dead man's house and conceals himself behind the curtains in the study. He watches as Tensen returns and takes the new will from the bureau. The fact that the paid companion knew about the document before the murder took place proves that he himself is the murderer. Plummer steps out and arrests him.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE ACCIDENTAL ANARCHIST
by Anon. (Unknown)
George Marsden Plummer

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 549 · 8/5/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: The Honour of a Soldier by Anon.; The Canker of Jealousy by Walter Edwards; The Hero of the Lighthouse by Anon.; The Conquest of London by John Tregellis.

Notes: A rich young dilettante named Stanley Welton joins an anarchist group, it being the fashionable thing to do. Pretty soon, he is in over his head, finding himself selected to assassinate a head of state. Unknown to him, the group has no real political agenda but is, in fact, a front for a couple of swindlers. There is no assassination planned ... instead, Stanley will be allowed to 'buy himself out' of the job, handing over thousands of pounds for nothing. Plummer, who is sent by Scotland Yard to investigate the group, discovers this plot and masquerades as one of the two villains. He receives the money and then sees to it that the real crooks are rounded up by the police.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


THE HOUSE OF TREASURE
by Anon. (Unknown)
George Marsden Plummer

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 550 · 15/5/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: The Affair of the Deserted House by W. A. Williamson; The Mysterious Master by Anon.; The Case of the Scarlet Brand by Anon.

Notes: Plummer is called in to investigate when a reclusive man dies after his houseboat plummets over a weir during a storm. The crooked detective discovers signs of violence and, upon closer examination of the body, finds a tattoo which suggests that the dead man is one of an infamous trio of American criminals. A secret storage area in the boat has been ransacked and Plummer realises that the other members of the gang had caught up with the third — the dead man — who had betrayed them and made off with their loot. Tracing the two, Plummer surreptitiously takes possession of a bag containing stolen jewels before then arresting the men.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE MEETING WITH MARSH
by Anon. (Unknown)
George Marsden Plummer

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 551 · 22/5/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Getting Them Out by Sidney Drew; His Word of Honour by Anon.; The Mysterious Master by Anon.; The Conquest of London by John Tregellis.

Notes: Plummer loses the fortune he has illegally amassed when his house burns to the ground. The next day, he's sent to investigate the theft of money and papers from the desk of John Marsh. Marsh explains that among his assets he has a gold mine in Africa that was recently inspected by a man named Keeler and found to be of considerable value — a fact that must be communicated to its shareholders. The report, however, was among the stolen papers and Keeler had died in a hotel just a few days ago, so can't support the assertion. Plummer asks to be left alone to investigate. In the grate of the fireplace, he finds fragments of burnt paper and is able to discern the words "impossible to advise on such a hopeless proposition." Later that day, Plummer visits the hotel where Keeler had been staying and afterwards enjoys an extremely lavish lunch before returning to Marsh's house. There, he reads to the financier the copy of the report he had found in Keeler's room. It is extremely unfavourable and he observes that Marsh should have more thoroughly burned his attempts to copy Keeler's handwriting, which were obviously preparatory to forging a less damning document. Plummer handcuffs Marsh. The financier offers half the profits in return for freedom and reveals that he has heard rumours concerning Plummer, adding, "A friend like myself would be very useful to you!" With his recent loss in mind, Plummer agrees to a payment of £5,000 for his silence ... 'and that is how Marsh and Plummer became partners that were to shock the world of law and order to its very depths.'

Trivia: Plummer speaks French fluently. Marsh's wife is named Julia, which at least matches the UNION JACK tales ... but in every other respect, this story is totally different to the first encounter recorded in THE MYSTERY OF ROOM 11 (UNION JACK issue 342, 1910).

Rating ★★★☆☆ Marsh is unbelievably careless in this story.


THE SCOTLAND YARD SCANDAL
by Anon. (Unknown)
George Marsden Plummer

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 552 · 29/5/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: In the Days of the Thundering Herd by Fenton Ash; A Bloodless Revolution by John Grenfell; Against Shield and Assegai by W. Murray Graydon; The Conquest of London by John Tregellis.

Notes: Plummer, who is continuing to blackmail John Marsh, is sent to a docked steamship. Scotland Yard has received information that a notorious anarchist, Antonio Vazi, is aboard it. He identifies the man but is puzzled when Vazi tells him that, for his own purposes, he himself sent the tip-off. Plummer then accepts a bribe of £600 to say nothing. After leaving the ship, he watches it, intending to follow Vazi. He sees his man enter a blind alley and is amazed when John Marsh exits it. Back at the Yard, Plummer's superior shows him a letter just received. It is from Vazi and exposes Plummer's acceptance of the hush money. Given the choice of being investigated or leaving the Force, Plummer indignantly hands in his resignation. It has been, he realises, a put-up job, and Marsh is responsible. With murder on his mind, he breaks into the financier's home. Marsh, however, has been expecting him and has a pistol levelled. He explains that he had to gain a hold over Plummer and that, now he has done so, the blackmailing will cease and they can work together as equal partners.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Note: An author named William Freeman may have written at least some of the Plummer stories for PLUCK.

Detective-Inspector Will Spearing


SPEARING P. C.
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 317 · 26/11/1910 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


BY AN UNSEEN HAND
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 366 · 4/11/1911 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: C. H. B.

Other content: Bugler Warton's Triumph by Anon.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE BLIND WITNESS
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 367 · 11/11/1911 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


BROUGHT TO BAY
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 423 · 7/12/1912 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: E. E. Briscoe

Other content: The Girl Sheriff by Reginald Wray; On Turpin's Highway by David Goodwin; Not Guilty by Henry St. John.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE MYSTERY OF THE GOLD TATTOO
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 438 · 22/3/1913 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Duke's Heir by Anon.; Behind Prison walls by Anon.; The Black Mask by David Goodwin.

Notes: The story features Hiram P. Blunderbuss.

Unrated  


THE STRANGE DISAPPEARANCE OF LORD EVERTON
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 460 · 23/8/1913 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: A Starting-Price Job by Anon.; The Convict's Century by Anon.; Guy of Greenwood by Morton Pike.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE PRESIDENT'S PERIL!
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 481 · 17/1/1914 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: B. H.

Other content: The Perils of the Sea by Anon.; Unknown story (page damaged); Gunfleet Jim by Anon.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE MYSTERY OF DR. GASPARD
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 545 · 10/4/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Gil

Other content: The Third Shot by Anon.; Jolly Dick Jolly by Reginald Wray; A Secret Foe by Anon.; The Conquest of London by John Tregellis.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE CASE OF THE FOOD BLOCKADE
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 547 · 24/4/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: E. E. Briscoe

Other content: The Last Chance by Anon.; Andy Falls in Love by Edgar West; The Drugged Footballer by Paul Stewart; The Conquest of London by John Tregellis.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE CASE OF THE STOLEN PASSPORT
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 548 · 1/5/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: E. E. Briscoe

Other content: A Fight for Freedom by John Grenfell; The Secret of the Paid Compainion by Anon.; For King and Country by Anon.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE HONOUR OF A SOLDIER
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 549 · 8/5/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: The Accidental Anarchist by Anon.; The Canker of Jealousy by Walter Edwards; The Hero of the Lighthouse by Anon.; The Conquest of London by John Tregellis.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE CASE OF THE SCARLET BRAND
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 550 · 15/5/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: The Affair of the Deserted House by W. A. Williamson; The Mysterious Master by Anon.; The House of Treasure by Anon.

Notes: Spearing fights a master criminal named Alpha O'Mega.

Unrated  


HIS WORD OF HONOUR
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 551 · 22/5/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Getting Them Out by Sidney Drew; The Meeting With Marsh by Anon.; The Mysterious Master by Anon.; The Conquest of London by John Tregellis.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE CLUE OF THE RED SPOT
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 552 · 5/6/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Arthur Jones

Other content: Not in Season by Sidney Drew; The Eyes of Ishtar by Anon.; The Conquest of London by John Tregellis.

Notes: The story features Alpha O'Mega.

Unrated  


THE MYSTERY OF THE HINDU TEMPLE
(part 1)
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 554 · 12/6/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Cap'n Tibbs — Coastguard by Horace J. Simpson; Andy and the Redskins by Edgar West; The Black Peril by Cecil Hayter; The Conquest of London by John Tregellis.

Notes: Diamond and antique dealer Sir Michael Carruthers, resident of Mighton village, finds one morning a veritable hoard of tradesmen calling at his home. Thinking that he's the victim of a practical joke, he calls the police. In response, Detective Spearing attends the scene. He explains that he's in Mighton to investigate an explosion which occurred on a railway embankment in the nearby village of Rydehurst. When he discovers that the orders were placed with the tradesmen from that same village, his suspicions are aroused. After questioning Sir Michael he learns that the diamond dealer had sent a valuable item — a carved model of an Indian temple — by rail to London and was due there to sell it to a millionaire named Hiram Clench this afternoon. Spearing realises that the recent events were all designed to prevent Carruthers from making that afternoon meeting. So he drives the dealer to London where they meet Clench only to discover that he's already handed a cheque over to a bogus Sir Michael and has received, in return, a fake version of the antique. Returning to Rydehurst, Spearing telephones Tinker and asks him to bring Pedro to the village (Sexton Blake is on business in Flanders). Next day, Blake's assistant arrives and puts the bloodhound on the scent. From a glove found at the explosion site, Pedro leads them to an empty house in the attic of which they find a half-finished model of the Indian temple. Spearing decides to place an advertisement in the papers offering to buy any model of Indian temples. However, before they can leave the attic, Tinker and the Yard Man find themselves confronted by a man with a gun.

Rating: ★★★★☆


THE MYSTERY OF THE HINDU TEMPLE
(part 2)
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 555 · 19/6/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: The Prize Ship by Anon.; Broncho Billy and the Rustlers by Edgar West;The Hidden Marksman by Anon.

Notes: Taking the gunman by surprise, Spearing and Tinker launch an attack upon him. Overpowered, the crook is tied up and, when three members of his gang are seen approaching the house, he's placed in a cupboard. Spearing tells Tinker to take Pedro some way up the lane and to wait there for the arrival of more policemen, which he then summons by telephone. After the lad has gone, the Scotland Yard man hides in the attic as the gang members arrive but is given away by his captive who yells a warning down to them. Spearing races down the ladder and conceals himself in a bedroom while the three newcomers pass by and climb up to the attic. He then darts out and removes the ladder, leaving them trapped. Tinker returns with the police and they mount an assault on the attic. While his henchmen are rounded up, the gang boss makes a break for it but Spearing sets off in hot pursuit and captures his man.

Rating: ★★★★☆


THE BRADPORT BANK ROBBERY
by Anon. (Unknown)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 595 · 25/3/1916 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Secret Lagoon by Philip McLeod; Charlie at the Show by Jack Lewis; Mystery Island by Hamilton Teed (featuring Huxton Rymer).

Notes: A fine thrilling yarn of Will Spearing, of the Criminal Investigation Department, New Scotland Yard. Showing how this popular detective investigated the mystery of a Zeppelin Raid, with surprising results, and unmasked a smug scoundrel.

Unrated  

Note: Suspected authors of the Spearing stories include Norman Goddard (his creator), W. W. Sayer, Ambrose Earle, Andrew Murray, H. Clarke Hook, Edwy Searles Brooks and William Murray Graydon. The latter introduced Laban Creed to the mini-saga, a criminal who also fought Sexton Blake. In Spearing's later appearances in PLUCK, Sexton Blake and Tinker make guest appearances (unfortunately I currently have no further details of these 'crossover' tales).

Will Spearing's adventures were reprinted in the Netherlands, beginning in 1913, in the magazine DE AVONTUREN VAN W. SPEARING, POLITIE-DETECTIEF. Thanks to Jess Nevins for drawing my attention to this.

Plummer and Spearing


THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY
by Anon. (Unknown)
Pluck

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 561 · 31/7/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Cap'n Tibbs Buys a Cow by Horace Simpson; By Pluck and Luck by Geoffrey Holt Schooling; The Outlaw's Bride by Jack W. Bobin; The Prairie Schooners by Henry St. John; The Boys' Social League (ed.).

Notes: There have been half a dozen big jewel robberies and, though most of the crooks responsible have been caught, the stolen goods are still missing. The assistant-commissioner of Scotland Yard points out to Detective-Sergeant William Spearing that in every case the accused men have been defended by an elderly solicitor named Elias Wragg. This man occupies a house that once belonged to Marchand, a notorious fence who was being investigated by Detective-Sergeant Plummer. The latter resigned in disgrace from the Force before issuing a report on the man. Wragg behaves in every way the same as Marchand had done, including that no one has ever been seen to visit him. Spearing begins to keep watch on Wragg's house, unaware that Plummer is also doing so. The master criminal has told his partner, John Marsh, that Wragg and Marchand are one and the same and that he intends to rob the house of the treasures within. Meanwhile, Wragg and his partner, Pat Keers, are packing in preparation for making a getaway. Spearing calls at the house and arrests Keers. Wragg has a heart attack and dies. Plummer, having fallen in with the cab driver who was on his way to pick up the two men, steals the cab and arrives in it, intent on claiming the loot. When he finds himself face to face with Spearing, he turns tail and runs. Spearing only later realises that he missed an opportunity to nab the greatest villain of the times.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Doctor Huxton Rymer


MYSTERY ISLAND
by Hamilton Teed (George Hamilton Teed)
Will Spearing

THE PLUCK LIBRARY · Issue 595 · 25/3/1916 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Secret Lagoon by Philip McLeod; Charlie at the Show by Jack Lewis; The Bradport Bank Robbery by Anon. (unknown) (featuring Will Spearing).

Notes: On Mystery Island Rymer and Ah Foo, together with the Kanaka crew of the Octopus, find an old galleon imbedded in the rock. A mad Spaniard appears, and Rymer fights a duel with him, and is afterwards attacked by black bushmen in the madman's service.

Unrated  

Mademoiselle Yvonne


THE LUST OF GOLD
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)
The Boys' Journal

THE BOYS' JOURNAL · Vol.III Issue 59 · 31/10/1914 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Val Reading

Other content: War to the Death by J. W. Bobin; The Bombardment of Rheims Cathedral by Reginald Thompson; A Chat With My Chums (ed.); The Mystery of the Diamond Belt by Anon.; The Mystery of Graghurst by John Michael.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE BUSHRANGER'S SECRET
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)
The Boys' Journal

THE BOYS' JOURNAL · Vol.III Issue 61 · 14/11/1914 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Val Reading

Other content: War to the Death by J. W. Bobin; Woodmen's Tents and Shelters; If Nelson Came to Life Again by R. G. Thompson; A Chat With My Chums (ed.); The Mystery of the Diamond Belt by Anon.; The Mystery of Graghurst by John Michael; A Race for an Island by Anon.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE PEARL OF SAMU
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)
The Boys' Journal

THE BOYS' JOURNAL · Vol.III Issue 64 · 05/12/1914 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Val Reading

Other content: Fish Fruit and Fowl by Jack Lewis; Through to Ladysmith by C. L. McCluer Stevens; Bonnie Prince Charlie by Anon.; The Mystery of the Diamond Belt by Anon.; The Mystery of Graghurst by John Michael.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE LONE HORSEMAN
(part 1)
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)
The Boys' Journal

THE BOYS' JOURNAL · Vol.III Issue 69 · 09/01/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Val Reading

Other content: Cock of the School by Reginald Wray; The Mystery of the Diamond Belt by Anon.; To the Editor (ed.): A Dead Man's Jest by Gordon Wallace; The Pay Thieves by Horace A. Woolley.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE LONE HORSEMAN
(part 2)
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)
The Boys' Journal

THE BOYS' JOURNAL · Vol.III Issue 70 · 16/01/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Val Reading

Other content: The Mystery of the Diamond Belt by Anon.; Cock of the School by Reginald Wray; Turned Down by Geoffrey Holt Schooling; To the Editor (ed.); Girls Worth Knowing by Gordon Wallace.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  


THE LONE HORSEMAN
(part 3)
by Anon. (G. H. Teed)
The Boys' Journal

THE BOYS' JOURNAL · Vol.III Issue 71 · 23/01/1915 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Val Reading

Other content: The White Deliverer by Edward C. Adams; "Baa-a-a-a-a-a!" by Anon.; The Coastguard's Secret by Lewis Hamilton; Boys and Modesty by Anon.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated  

Zenith the Albino


MONSIEUR ZENITH THE ALBINO
by Anthony Skene (George N. Philips)
Zenith

NOVEL · 2001 · Savoy Books · £22

Illustrator: F. W. Bennett; Arthur Jones; Eric Parker; Val Reading; J. H. Valda; John Coulthart; Kris Guidio.

Other content: Monsieur Zenith by Jack Adrian; The Serbian Count — The Prince of Ruins by Michael Moorcock; The Zenith Letter by Anthony Skene.

Notes: Originally published in 1936.

Unrated  


THE BLOOD OF OUR LAND
by Mark Hodder
ALL THE MANY ROOMS
by Paul Magrs
CURARE
by Michael Moorcock
THE ALBINO’S SHADOW
by George Mann
ZENITH’S END
by Stuart Douglas
Zenith Lives!

ZENITH LIVES! · 2012 · Obverse Books · Price varies

Illustrator: None

Other content: None

Notes: None at present.

Unrated