BIBLIOGRAPHY 1905

1904
Master List
1906
PUBLISHING

The man who commissioned the very first Sexton Blake story, Somers John Summers, dies aged just 29. UNION JACK becomes Sexton Blake's 'own paper' ... and the detective starts appearing in THE BOYS' FRIEND.
William Murray Graydon writes his first Sexton Blake tale. Graydon was born in America in 1864. He visited England with his wife and children about 1898 and, by the turn of the century, decided to stay. He was incredibly prolific and wrote for nearly every publishing firm of the time, using a dictaphone to record his stories. Graydon's most important contribution to the Blake saga was his invention of Mrs. Bardell and Pedro the Bloodhound. He also introduced Inspector Widgeon, Fenlock Fawn, Basil Wicketshaw, Cavendish Doyle, Laban Creed and Matthew Quin. His son, Robert, also became a Blake author, surpassing his father in both creativity and popularity. W. J. Graydon retired from writing in the early 1930s (his last Blake was published in '31) and died in 1946 aged 83.
BLAKE TRIVIA

The Blake household is expanded with the arrival of Pedro the Bloodhound and Mrs. Martha Bardell. The latter may have been inspired by Mrs Martha Bardell of Charles Dicken's PICKWICK PAPERS fame. Dickens introduced Mr. Pickwick's landlady like so: 'His landlady, Mrs. Bardell — the relict and sole executrix of a deceased custom-house officer — was a comely woman of bustling manners and agreeable appearance, with a natural genius for cooking, improved by study and long practice, into an exquisite talent.'
The detective finds an initially reluctant ally in Detective-Inspector Will Spearing (they would eventually become great friends).
In SEXTON BLAKE'S FIRST CASE we learn that Blake, at the age of 18, was working in a lawyer's office and living in lodgings on Doughty Street. After one of his first efforts as an investigator, he was rewarded with financial backing so he could go into business as Sexton Blake & Co. in offices in St. Martin's Lane, near Trafalgar Square.... the 'Co.' being his friend Will Bastable. Bastable appears to have dropped out of the partnership almost immediately though, as he is never mentioned again. It can be surmised that Blake's first case after starting this business was that recorded as HOW SEXTON BLAKE WON HIS SPURS (1896) ... a case he investigated for free to "test his mettle." If this is correct, FIRST CASE must have occurred at the end of 1878.
Blake receives a serious head injury during this adventure. In the future, he would usually recover from knocks with great rapidity, but on this occasion he is hospitalised and unconscious for a week.
The detective makes reference to a relative, Aunt Fannie, who has recently left him a legacy.
Also in FIRST CASE, Blake makes a comment that suggests he has studied the techniques of Monsieur Lecoq ... or might even have been trained by him (see the issue notes for further details).

ISSUES
NO COVER AS YET THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 230 · 4/11/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE SCHOOLMASTER DETECTIVE (Part 1)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: The Drudge of Draycott by Henry T. Johnson; Your Editor's Den (ed.); Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin; The Black House by Maxwell Scott; Champion of the World by Allan Blair; Redcastle & Co. by David Goodwin; Mysteria by Sidney Drew; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 231 · 11/11/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE SCHOOLMASTER DETECTIVE (Part 2)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin; The Black House by Maxwell Scott; Redcastle & Co. by David Goodwin; High Treason by William Murray Graydon; Mysteria by Sidney Drew; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
THE SCHOOLMASTER DETECTIVE THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 232 · 18/11/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE SCHOOLMASTER DETECTIVE (Part 3)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin; The Black House by Maxwell Scott; Redcastle & Co. by David Goodwin; Monarch of the Mat by Allan Blair; Mysteria by Sidney Drew; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
THE SCHOOLMASTER DETECTIVE THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 233 · 25/11/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE SCHOOLMASTER DETECTIVE (Part 4)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin; The Black House by Maxwell Scott; Redcastle & Co. by David Goodwin; The Hidden Voice by John Tregellis; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
THE SCHOOLMASTER DETECTIVE THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 234 · 2/12/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE SCHOOLMASTER DETECTIVE (Part 5)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin; The Black House by Maxwell Scott; Redcastle & Co. by David Goodwin; The Humiliation of the "Blags" by Allan Blair; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 235 · 9/12/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE SCHOOLMASTER DETECTIVE (Part 6)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin; The Black House by Maxwell Scott; Redcastle & Co. by David Goodwin; Vic the Ventriloquist by Mark Darran; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 236 · 16/12/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY (Part 1)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax) · Illustrator: Fred Bennet
THE SCHOOLMASTER DETECTIVE (Part 7)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax) · Illustrator: None
Other content: The Lost Heir by Henry St. John; Snowed Up by Allan Blair; The Luck of Gilbert Hamlyn by Herbert Maxwell; The Drudge of Draycott's Christmas by Henry T. Johnson; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin; The Black House by Maxwell Scott; Redcastle & Co. by David Goodwin; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook.
Notes: Double issue.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 237 · 23/12/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY (Part 2)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax) · Illustrator: Fred Bennett
Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Redcastle & Co. by David Goodwin; On the Tramp by Reginald Drew; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 238 · 30/12/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY (Part 3)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax) · Illustrator: Fred Bennett
Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Redcastle & Co. by David Goodwin; A Christmas Reconciliation by William Murray Graydon; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET THE JESTER · (issue ?) · April 1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
SEXTON BLAKE, DETECTIVE (part ?)
by Maxwell Scott (W. J. Lomax) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · New series · Issue 68 · 28/1/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
TRAPPED BY SEXTON BLAKE
by Arnold Davis (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: With the Colours by Reginald Wray; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
SEXTON BLAKE'S FIRST CASE UNION JACK · New series · Issue 69 · 4/2/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
SEXTON BLAKE'S FIRST CASE
by Anon. (William Stanhope Sprigg) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: With the Colours by Reginald Wray; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: Sexton Blake is around 18-years-old and working as a clerk in the Lincoln Inn Fields office of a lawyer named Etheridge Dowson. One night, he discovers a woman in a black mask breaking into the office safe. She knocks him unconscious. A week later he regains consciousness in hospital and is told by Dowson's daughter, Lais, who he is in love with, that the lawyer has gone missing. Blake suspects that one of Dowson's clients, Baron de Leonant, is involved in the crime. Leaving the hospital, and assisted by a fellow clerk named Will Bastable, he returns to the office to begin his investigation. He discovers that his employer has been kidnapped, that a document belonging to the Baron has been removed, and that the perpetrators of the crime have taken the train to Plymouth. He and Will set off for that town and follow clues which lead them to a theatre where an illusionist called Professor Silas performs a clairvoyant act with a ventriloquist dummy; a beautiful model of a young woman decorated in sculpted glass. But the two amateur detectives discover that the model is, in fact, a real woman ... the woman in the black mask! The show ends with Silas declaring that he is to give a private performance to Earl Essen, the notorious Admiral of the Fleet at Plymouth. Blake and Will go to Essen's mansion where they find a costume ball in progress. The Baron is there and they overhear him making arrangements for a secret meeting with the Earl and his daughter, Paula. Blake accosts the woman in the black mask who turns out to be Paula's cousin. She tries to trap him in a secret room but he escapes and spies on the meeting in a cavern beneath the mansion. He learns that his employer had intended to reveal to the police a document placed in his trust by the Baron on behalf of the Essen family. It is a confession by the Earl who, once a month, becomes criminally insane. The family, which includes Silas, are trying to hide the fact that this famous man is, in fact, a serial killer. After a thrilling chase, Blake and Will round up the criminals and set free Dowson. As a reward, the latter sets Blake up in business as a private investigator - Blake & Co. — in offices in St. Martin's Lane, near Trafalgar Square. Will Bastable becomes Blake's very first assistant.
Trivia: Young Blake is "shy in nature, and given more to books than to athletics." He lives in lodgings on Doughty Street and has a formidable landlady. Sherlock Holmes gets a mention in this story, though it isn't clear whether he's regarded as a real or fictional character. Blake makes reference to a relative, Aunt Fannie, who has recently left him a legacy. But by far the most interesting piece of information we get from this story comes at the end: Blake quotes his "great master, the Prince of Detectives" ... there follows a statement made by Monsieur Lecoq in the story Le Dossier no.113 which was written by Émile Gaboriau in 1867. This raises the question, was Blake inspired by the writings of Gaboriau or did he actually meet Lecoq?
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆ Blake's deductive methods are described in great detail during this tale and he can certainly rival Sherlock Holmes. As an 'origins' tale, this works quite well; it's just a shame it doesn't tell us anything about Blake's family background.
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · New series · Issue 71 · 18/2/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE CLUE OF THREE
by Anon. (E. J. Gannon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Streets of London By Max Hamilton; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · New series · Issue 73 · 1/4/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
FROM CLUE TO CLIMAX; OR, SEXTON BLAKE'S HARDEST CASE
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Streets of London By Max Hamilton; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: There's a surprising (and brief) appearance by Lais Dowson in this story. She was Sexton Blake's love interest in SEXTON BLAKE'S FIRST CASE (UNION JACK issue 69, see above).
Unrated
ON THE TRACK UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 3 Issue 77 · 1/4/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
ON THE TRACK
by Anon. (T. D. Maitland) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.); The Streets of London: The True Story of a Poor Boy by Max Hamilton.
Notes: "Help! Help!" Hearing this appeal, Cambridge student James Vane rushes to the rescue of a man who's been bound and thrown into a river. It turns out to be Sexton Blake. He'd been tracking a group of forgers known as The Southern Coining Gang but they'd got the better of him... and do so again, nearly drowning Blake and Vane in an old water mill. Making their escape, the two men join forces, along with Vane's brother Richard, to tackle the villains. After much detective work and more than a few lucky coincidences, the bad guys are caught and James goes on to lead the Cambridge boat team to victory over Oxford.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆ No sign of Tinker in this adventure; instead we get the plucky Jim Vane who, as Blake is quick to note, possesses plenty of "true grit." With the Oxford and Cambridge boat race as its backdrop, this tale inevitably strays into 'school yarn' territory, with a villainous pupil receiving multiple thrashings courtesy of the honourable Jim. This gives proceedings a nice upbeat atmosphere which makes up for the lack of any real action. It's much more of a straightforward investigation than most and could have been rather dull in the hands of another author. As it is the whole thing is a pleasant, if slightly over-long read, and one filled with so many utterances of "By Jove!" and "I say!" that it could almost be called 'Wodehouse-ian.'
SECRETS OF A GREAT CITY UNION JACK · New series · Issue 79 · 15/4/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
SECRETS OF A GREAT CITY
by Anon. (A. G. Pearson) · Illustrator: S. D.
Other content: The Streets of London: The True Story of a Poor Boy by Max Hamilton; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 13 as THE MYSTERY OF ROOM NO. 77 (1913).
Unrated
THE OCEAN DETECTIVE UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 4 Issue 81 · 29/4/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE OCEAN DETECTIVE
by Anon. (E. A. Treeton) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.); The Streets of London: The True Story of a Poor Boy by Max Hamilton.
Notes: Blake investigates the mystery of the Marie Celeste. Not the Marie Celeste — that mystery dates back to 1872 (and, incidentally, it passed almost without notice until being used as the basis of a fictional story by Arthur Conan Doyle published under the title "J. Habakuk Jepson's Statement" in 1884). In Blake's case, the Marie Celeste is a yacht that turns up in the Mediterranean fully rigged but completely crewless. Called upon to investigate, Blake discovers a connection with a group of men who are about to set sail for the South Sea Isles. Tinker gets a job as 'Boy' aboard their ship, while the detective, heavily disguised, signs on as a deck hand. During the long voyage, Blake comes under suspicion and barricades himself inside a cabin. Beseiged, he appears to have no way of escape, and holds fast until a massive storm nearly tears the ship apart. Forced into the open, he is captured and, after the storm abates, marooned on a small, barren atoll. Here, under a burning sun, he nearly dies of thirst and exposure before being rescued by a steam ship. After a characteristically quick recovery, he goes on to capture the gang and solve the mystery of the Marie Celeste.
Rating: ★★★★★☆ A superbly written and consistently thrilling adventure, this has a great deal to recommend it. Most notable of all, is the relationship between Blake and Tinker. The latter, 100% a cockney urchin, is wily, enthusiastic, intelligent and immensely likeable ... but he still feels like a new feature in Blake's life. There's a sense that the detective is constantly surprised by the lad's sharpness of wits and a real sense that the two companions are developing an intuitive and highly effective relationship. In fact, there's a foreshadowing of the Modesty Blaise/Willy Garvin team here, with secret hand signals and an understanding that borders on telepathy. Add to that a truly exciting adventure which mixes solid detective work with dramatic action, all tightly plotted and described with much style, and you have a winner.
THE TSAR'S DOUBLE UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 4 Issue 83 · 13/5/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE TSAR'S DOUBLE
by Anon. (Norman Goddard) · Illustrator: Harry Lane
Other content: The Streets of London by Max Hamilton; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
THE JUNGLE BOY UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 4 Issue 85 · 27/5/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE JUNGLE BOY; OR, SEXTON BLAKE'S ADVENTURES IN INDIA
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Streets of London by Max Hamilton; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: This was reprinted as a paperback novel by Wildside Press in 2007.
Unrated
FOES IN THE DARK UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 4 Issue 87 · 10/6/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
FOES IN THE DARK
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: , The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.); The Streets of London: The True Story of a Poor Boy by Max Hamilton.
Notes: A revolution is brewing in the Balkan state of Tourania. Sexton Blake is caught in the middle as two rival factions fight out their cause in London.
Trivia: At one point in this story, Blake dons a lightweight chain mail undershirt which can protect him against knives and bullets.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆ An over-long and fairly dull tale, this suffers from its London-bound setting and a plot reliant on wild coincidences. Things might have perked up had Blake packed a case and headed for Tourania but he never does. Also, he seems very much the victim of events rather than the driving force. Things happen around him — as well as 'offstage' — and he has to adapt; rarely does it feel like he's in control. Blake works independently throughout this story; Tinker is mentioned a few times but doesn't participate.
TWO ON A TRAIL UNION JACK · New series · Issue 89 · 24/6/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
TWO ON A TRAIL; OR, SEXTON BLAKE ON THE PLAINS
by Mark Darran (Norman Goddard) · Illustrator: Fred Holmes
Other content: Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter; The Streets of London by Max Hamilton; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
THE WARDER DETECTIVE UNION JACK · New series · Issue 91 · 8/7/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE WARDER DETECTIVE
by Anon. (E. A. Treeton) · Illustrator: R. J. Macdonald
Other content: Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · New series · Issue 93 · 22/7/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE ARMY DETECTIVE
by Anon. (A. G. Pearson) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
DETECTIVE AND FAKIR UNION JACK · New series · Issue 95 · 5/8/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
DETECTIVE AND FAKIR
by Arnold Davis (A. G. Pearson) · Illustrator: Fred Holmes
Other content: Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: From this issue onwards, Sexton Blake appears in every issue of UNION JACK.
Unrated
CHAMPION OF THE CHANNEL UNION JACK · New series · Issue 96 · 12/8/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
CHAMPION OF THE CHANNEL
by Arnold Davis (A. G. Pearson) · Illustrator: Harry Lane
Other content: Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY UNION JACK · New series · Issue 97 · 19/8/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: This story marks the first appearance of Mrs. Martha Bardell.
Unrated
THE RAILWAY DETECTIVE UNION JACK · New series · Issue 98 · 26/8/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE RAILWAY DETECTIVE
by Anon. (W. B. Home Gall) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
TRACKED ACROSS EUROPE> UNION JACK · New series · Issue 99 · 2/9/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
TRACKED ACROSS EUROPE
by Anon. (Edgar Pickering) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · New series · Issue 100 · 9/9/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE DOG DETECTIVE
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: An important issue as it marks the first appearance of Pedro the Bloodhound. Blake is visiting Inspector Widgeon when a scream rings out from a house nearby, which belongs to a Mr. Pringle. They rush to it and capture a young man as he tries to flee. They also catch sight of a young woman but she eludes them and disappears into the night. Inside the house they find a man who has been throttled to death. Their prisoner, Arthur Musgrave, denies all knowledge of the murder. Blake believes him but notes that he's hiding something. Musgrave struggles free and runs away. Further investigations are interrupted when a large bloodhound bursts into the house and whines in grief over the dead man. A small brass plate on its collar reveals that the dog's name is Pedro. Blake and Widgeon use the bloodhound to track the unknown killer but the man escapes them. After they have left, Rafael Calderon arrives at the house, telling the constable on guard that he had expected to meet a friend. He reveals that the victim is named Nugent and vows to help Blake. The next day, he sends Blake a note which explains that the murderers are named Carnforth and Jervis, both Americans. Tinker finds the house where the missing Mr. Pringle is hiding but by the time Blake and his assistant get there, the bird has flown. They track him with Pedro only to find that Pringle has climbed a tree and mysteriously vanished. Later, at the inquest into the murder, Blake accosts Jorking, a sailor, who tells the detective how four months ago his ship had picked up two marooned men and a bloodhound. One of the men was Nugent, the other was Rafael Calderon, the ex-President of a South American country who was deposed after a revolution. Nugent had fought at the ex-President's side, as had Jervis and Carnforth. Afterwards, the four men had used an ancient Spanish map to track down buried treasure in the Pacific. But Jervis and Carnforth had taken the loot and left their two companions castaway on an island. Blake realises that Carnforth and Pringle are one and the same man. He also learns that Carnforth/Pringle had escaped from the tree by means of a drifting hot air balloon which had broken from its moorings. Tracing this leads to the fugitive who is caught with his friend Jervis and arrested. As a gesture of thanks, Rafael Calderon gives Sexton Blake Pedro as a gift. This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 1 as THE CASE OF THE TREASURE HUNTERS (1912).
Trivia: At the beginning of this story we are informed that Blake has recently returned from Australia. My copy is missing its cover.
Rating: ★★★★☆☆ A nice debut for Pedro though the plot has the usual quota of unbelievable coincidences.
SEXTON BLAKE IN CHINA UNION JACK · New series · Issue 101 · 16/9/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
SEXTON BLAKE IN CHINA
by Anon. (Norman Goddard) · Illustrator: Vincent Daniel
Other content: Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
THE NAVY DETECTIVE UNION JACK · New series · Issue 102 · 23/9/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE NAVY DETECTIVE; OR, SEXTON BLAKE AFLOAT
by Anon. (A. G. Pearson) · Illustrator: W. M. B.
Other content: Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 14 as SEXTON BLAKE, MAN O' WAR'S MAN (1913).
Unrated
THE FIREMAN DETECTIVE UNION JACK · New series · Issue 103 · 30/9/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE FIREMAN DETECTIVE
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: R. MacDonald
Other content: Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 2 as SEXTON BLAKE, FIREFIGHTER (1905).
Unrated
TWICE AROUND THE WORLD UNION JACK · New series · Issue 104 · 7/10/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
TWICE AROUND THE WORLD
by Anon. (E. A. Treeton) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · New series · Issue 105 · 14/10/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
SEXTON BLAKE P. C.
by Anon. (Norman Goddard) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: This issue introduces Detective Will Spearing. Sexton Blake is feeling rather indignant after Scotland Yard's failure to acknowledge his contribution to crime fighting. The Yard is always happy to take the credit after he tips them off but is slow to thank him. Spearing is a prime example of this attitude, and Blake decides that it's time to teach him and his ilk a lesson. So he lays a bet that he can disappear in London after setting a £500 reward for his own capture. Spearing accepts the challenge. Blake hides ... by joining the police force! In disguise, he becomes 'Constable Brown' and rapidly achieves a string of successful arrests, practically clearing the local area of criminals. Finally, after successfully investigating a murder and catching the perpetrator, he is called to Scotland Yard and Spearing puts him onto the Blake case. The detective has been asked to hunt himself! 'P. C. Brown' makes a trail for Pedro to follow and reports to Spearing that he is on Blake's track. The Yard man accompanies him to Baker Street where they borrow the bloodhound. The trail leads to a pond. Spearing thinks the detective has committed suicide after failing over a case (which Blake finds vastly amusing) but when they drag the pond, instead of a body, they find a sack filled with loot from a recent robbery. The next day, 'Brown' visits a friend he has made in the force, Sergeant Lightening, and reveals his true identity. He arranges to meet Lightening at Spearing's office. There, as arranged, the sergeant exposes Blake in front of the inspector, much to the latter's chagrin. After an initial outburst, Spearing accepts his defeat in good humour and so begins his long and productive relationship with Sexton Blake. Lightening, meanwhile, gets the £500 reward and retires a happy man. This story was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 17 as £500 REWARD (1913).
Rating: ★★★★☆☆ This is a good-humoured and enjoyable tale, with Blake in a far less grumpy mood than is usual in Norman Goddard stories.
THE CAB DRIVER DETECTIVE UNION JACK · New series · Issue 107 · 28/10/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE CAB DRIVER DETECTIVE
by Anon. (W. B. Home Gall) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.); Trooper and Bushranger, or, The Last days of Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter.
Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 22 as THE MYSTERY CAB (1913).
Unrated
SEXTON BLAKE'S COUP UNION JACK · New series · Issue 108 · 4/11/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
SEXTON BLAKE'S COUP
by Anon. (Norman Goddard) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.); Trooper and Bushranger, or, The Last days of Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter.
Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 20 as A NARROW ESCAPE (1913).
Unrated
THE MECHANIC DETECTIVE UNION JACK · New series · Issue 109 · 11/11/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE MECHANIC DETECTIVE
by Anon. (Edgar Pickering) · Illustrator: Harry Lane and Fred Holmes
Other content: The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.); Trooper and Bushranger, or, The Last days of Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
THE JOCKEY DETECTIVE UNION JACK · New series · Issue 110 · 18/11/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE JOCKEY DETECTIVE
by Anon. (E. J. Gannon) · Illustrator: W. M. B.
Other content: The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.); Trooper and Bushranger, or, The Last days of Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter.
Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 18 as LORD VANCOURT'S LUCK (1913).
Unrated
THE ACTOR DETECTIVE UNION JACK · New series · Issue 111 · 25/11/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE ACTOR DETECTIVE
by Anon. (F. H. Evans) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Trooper and Bushranger, or, The Last days of Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
SEXTON BLAKE IN AFRICA UNION JACK · New series · Issue 112 · 2/12/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
SEXTON BLAKE IN AFRICA
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Fred Bennett
Other content: The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.); Trooper and Bushranger, or, The Last days of Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter.
Notes: This marks the first appearance in the Blake saga of Matthew Quin, 'Wild Beast Agent'. Outside of the Blake canon, the character dates back as far as May 1898. There's also an 1894 Graydon tale that, while not naming the principal character, has all the attributes of a Quin story. In the novel JUNGLES AND TRAITORS (GOOD NEWS, 1895; S&S ed. 1902; Shaw ed. UK 1905), Quin doesn't appear but his frequent assistant Carruthers does, as well as his arch enemy the Portuguese animal trapper Antonio Silva. There is also in this novel a panther-boy similar to the one in the Blake tale THE JUNGLE BOY (UNION JACK issue 85, 1905), although this one controls only one panther, and is a feral child as opposed to a teenager who took to the jungle. Thanks to Dr. Georges T. Dodds for this information.
Unrated
NO COVER AS YET UNION JACK · New series · Issue 113 · 9/12/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE POST OFFICE DETECTIVE
by Anon. (A. G. Pearson) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
SEXTON BLAKE'S CHRISTMAS UNION JACK · New series · Issue 114 · 16/12/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
SEXTON BLAKE'S CHRISTMAS
by Anon. (Norman Goddard) · Illustrator: W. Reading
Other content: Terror Island by John Stanton; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.); Trooper and Bushranger, or, The Last days of Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter.
Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 11 (Christmas edition) as THE ORDER OF RELEASE (1912).
Unrated
IN DOUBLE DISGUISE UNION JACK · New series · Issue 115 · 23/12/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
IN DOUBLE DISGUISE
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.); Trooper and Bushranger, or, The Last days of Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter.
Notes: 'A stirring Christmas adventure.' Richard Ferguson escapes from Dartmoor, where he is serving a sentence for the attempted murder of a solicitor, and makes his way to Baker Street. He pleads his innocence and asks Sexton Blake to help him. Blake learns that Ferguson has been cheated out of his inheritance by his cousin, Dalgety Hammond, who was assisted by a valet, Casimir Sang. Blake hires a cottage near the Ferguson estate, hides Ferguson and Tinker in a nearby lodge, and ingratiates himself with Hammond. He surmises that Hammond is keeping Sang prisoner somewhere to prevent him from revealing their deception. But the detective's opponent becomes suspicious and informs the authorities that Blake is harbouring the escaped prisoner. Inspector Harkness arrives on the scene and, together with most of the local populace, begins combing the district for the fugitive. Blake, meanwhile, has intercepted a message from Hammond to a ruffian in London. The detective disguises himself as this man and calls on Hammond where he finds himself hired to ... murder Sexton Blake! Unfortunately, his disguise is pierced and the detective is overpowered by Hammond and a man named Jarvis. Upon escaping, Blake follows Jarvis and is led to where Sang is being held prisoner. Sang confesses to assaulting the solicitor and helping Hammond to cheat Ferguson. Hammond arrives on the scene just as his confederates are arrested and, as he tries to escape, is brought down by Pedro. Ferguson, proved innocent, is freed and inherits all that is rightfully his.
Rating: ★★★★☆☆ This is a thoroughly entertaining tale of detection involving disguises, deceptions, clues and hot pursuits. Pedro plays a key role, Tinker is impressive and Blake is at his best; there's even an early appearance by Mrs. Bardell. Very satisfying!
THE RIVER POLICE DETECTIVE UNION JACK · New series · Issue 116 · 30/12/1905 · Amalgamated Press · 1d
THE RIVER POLICE DETECTIVE
by Anon. (Norman Goddard) · Illustrator: Harry Lane
Other content: The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.); Trooper and Bushranger, or, The Last days of Ned Kelly by Cecil Hayter; Caught and Tried by David Goodwin.
Notes: Story features Will Spearing.
Unrated



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