NIRVANA

by Mark Hodder

  • An introduction to this popular old character for the benefit of new readers.

Nirvana is young and beautiful but suffers from anxiety due to the influence of her wicked sister. Her significant others are: Marie (sister), Sid 'The Tango Kid' Hooper (brother), her mother, Flash Brady, Philippe the Fox (real name: Carlo Bellomo) ... and Tinker!

Nirvana

During his boyhood, when he was a homeless waif who survived on his wits and by selling newspapers, Tinker witnessed a young girl being taught the art of pickpocketing by her elder sister. The girl's name was Nirvana and some years later the two of them would meet again. By early adulthood, Nirvana had become a successful dancer, receiving much acclaim on the London stage. However, under the influence of her mercilessly evil sister, Marie, and two crooks, Flash Brady and Philippe the Fox, she found it difficult to remain on the right side of the law. Tinker, as he had done when they met as children, tried to exert a more positive influence and thus Nirvana found herself caught between two opposing forces.

As her story develops, Nirvana begins to learn more about her own family. Her mother has been left in direst poverty by Marie and is looked after by a brother whom, initially, Nirvana doesn't know she has. The truth comes out when, after discovering her mother on the brink of death, she discovers that it is because the young man who looks after her has been in prison. Sid 'The Tango Kid' Hooper was tempted into a life of crime by Marie and he paid the price. Not only did Marie refuse to help but, upon his release from prison, she tried to frame hime for a crime committed by Philippe the Fox. Nirvana, with help from Sexton Blake, prevents this and the detective gives Sid the opportunity to go straight, which he eagerly accepts. It would seem that Nirvana might have some family stability at last ... except, of course, that Marie intends otherwise ... ...

Chronology:

1. Tinker's Secret (UNION JACK issue 1,149, 1925)
Tinker discovers that Nirvana, a celebrated dancer, is the same girl he had saved from a life of crime when he was a boy. However, the girl remains under the influence of her wicked sister, Marie, and seems to be straying onto the wrong side of the law once again. When a duchess's diamond necklace goes missing, Tinker keeps the truth from Sexton Blake and deals with the situation himself. With Nirvana caught in the crossfire, he tackles Marie and forces the return of the jewellery.

2. The Loyalty of Nirvana (UNION JACK issue 1,150, 1925)
Counterfeit money is flooding the country and the trail leads back to Marie and Nirvana. Tinker reveals his past association with Nirvana to Sexton Blake and he agrees to try to help her. When the police raid the counterfeiters' base, Tinker helps Nirvana to escape. However, Marie, Philippe the Fox and Flash Brady attack the lad and knock him unconscious. Nirvana holds them at gunpoint until Sexton Blake can be summoned. She then leaves with them.

3. Vendetta! (UNION JACK issue 1,156, 1925)
Sexton Blake travels to Sicily to protect the elderly Signor Enrico Bellomo, who is caught up in a generations-old feud between rival branches of his family. It turns out that Philippe the Fox is also Carlo Bellomo, the signor's sworn foe. He, Flash Brady and Marie kidnap Enrico's grandchild and, of course, Nirvana finds herself entangled in their scheming. When Blake manages to save the day, Tinker and Nirvana share a tender moment before she once again joins her sister.

4. Nirvana's Secret (UNION JACK issue 1,159, 1925)
Nirvana discovers that her mother is still alive and living in the direst poverty thanks to Marie. In trying to save her, she is startled to find that she also has a brother, Sid 'The Tango Kid' Hooper, who has succumbed to the temptations of crime thanks to Marie's wicked influence. With help from Sexton Blake and Tinker, Nirvana improves her mother's lot and manages to put her brother on the straight and narrow path.

5. The Mystery of the Painted Slippers (UNION JACK issue 1,161, 1926)
Marie, Philippe the Fox and Flash Harry try to get hold of a pair of diamonds that have been hidden in the heels of a pair of slippers once worn by Marie Antoinette. Their agent bids for the relics at an auction but finds himself outdone by Sexton Blake, who takes the slippers home unaware of the furore surrounding them. An American collector named Mrs Huntington is also after the diamonds and has employed Doctor Huxton Rymer to help her. When she is killed by the men who stole the diamonds in the first place, Blake realises that something is afoot. Nirvana reveals the true story to him after Tinker is attacked and injured. With her help, Blake recovers the diamonds and reveals to the various parties that the gems are now in the hands of Scotland Yard. Marie and Co. and Rymer retreat, empty-handed.

6. Nirvana's Ordeal (UNION JACK issue 1,168, 1926)

7. The Mystery of Room No.7 (UNION JACK issue 1,198, 1926)

8. The Case of the Sheffield Ironmaster (UNION JACK issue 1,199, 1926)

9. The Affair of the Derelict Grange (UNION JACK issue 1,200, 1926)

10. The Mystery of the Venetian Palace (UNION JACK issue 1,201, 1926)

11. The Clue of the Two Straws (UNION JACK issue 1,202, 1926)

12. A Mystery of the Mountains (UNION JACK issue 1,203, 1926)

More to come ... ...