BIBLIOGRAPHY 1928

1927
Master List
1929
PUBLISHING

Author William Murray Graydon achieves a 'double' by having written 100 stories in the UNION JACK and 100 in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY.
Rex Hardinge makes his debut as a Blake author. Charles Wrexe Hardinge was born in India in 1904. He settled in England shortly before the First World War and later joined the army, only to be invalided out in the early 1920s. Hardinge then moved to South Africa where he worked on an orange plantation. That is where he wrote his first Sexton Blake story, which proved an instant hit. He carried on writing while travelling back to India then, around 1929, moved back to England to be a full-time author. He created Slim Corrigan and took over Sir Richard Losely and Lobangu after the death of Cecil Hayter. During the Second World War Hardinge was parachuted into China. His action-packed life continued into his later years, when he was in the news headlines after helping to capture an escaped convict on Dartmoor. He died in Dawlish, Devon, in October 1988.
BLAKE TRIVIA

THE MAN WHO WALKED BY NIGHT reinforces the fact that Blake lives on Baker Street West (rather than North, as is stated elsewhere). It also reveals that he has an African Agent named Frank Schulyer. In THE GREAT BUDGET CONSPIRACY, we learn that Mrs. Bardell has a sister named Mary Ann Cluppins, the widow of a water rate collector of Bermondsey, William Cluppins.

ISSUES
No cover as yet THE BOYS' REALM OF SPORT AND ADVENTURE · 3rd series · Issue 25 · 7/1/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE RIDDLE OF THE ROVERS (part 8)
by C. Malcom Hincks · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: My copy is missing all the pages apart from the Sexton Blake story.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE BOYS' REALM OF SPORT AND ADVENTURE · 3rd series · Issue 26 · 14/1/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE RIDDLE OF THE ROVERS (part 9)
by C. Malcom Hincks · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE BOYS' REALM OF SPORT AND ADVENTURE · 3rd series · Issue 27 · 21/1/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE RIDDLE OF THE ROVERS (part 10)
by C. Malcom Hincks · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: My copy is missing all the pages apart from the Sexton Blake story.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE BOYS' REALM OF SPORT AND ADVENTURE · 3rd series · Issue 28 · 28/1/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE RIDDLE OF THE ROVERS (part 11)
by C. Malcom Hincks · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: My copy is missing all the pages apart from the Sexton Blake story.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE BOYS' REALM OF SPORT AND ADVENTURE · 3rd series · Issue 29 · 4/2/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE RIDDLE OF THE ROVERS (part 12)
by C. Malcom Hincks · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: My copy is missing all the pages apart from the Sexton Blake story.
Unrated
The Box of Doom THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 125 · Jan. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE BOX OF DOOM
by Anon. (Donald Stuart) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Only a Pro by Anon.; Sealed Secrets (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Secret of the Two Blackmailed Men THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 126 · Jan. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE SECRET OF THE TWO BLACKMAILED MEN
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Mysterious Missing Missing
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Mystery of the Isle of Fortune THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 127 · Jan. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE MYSTERY OF THE ISLE OF FORTUNE
by Anon. (R. C. Armour) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Dr. Ferraro.
Unrated
The Case of the Portuguese Giantess THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 128 · Jan. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE CASE OF THE PORTUGUESE GIANTESS
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Racing for Wealth (article)
Notes: Story features George Marden Plummer and Vali Mata-Vali.
Unrated
The Adventure of the Bogus Sheik THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 129 · Feb. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE ADVENTURE OF THE BOGUS SHEIK
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Sheik At Home (article)
Notes: Story features George Marsden Plummer and Vali Mata-Vali.
Unrated
THE MYSTERY OF MONTE CARLO THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 130 · Feb. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE MYSTERY OF MONTE CARLO
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Casino, Monte Carlo (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Riddle of the West End Hairdresser THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 131 · Feb. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE RIDDLE OF THE WEST-END HAIRDRESSER
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Hoaxing Stunts (article)
Notes: Story features Gilbert and Eileen Hale. This was reprinted under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 672 (1939).
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 132 · Feb. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE SECRET OF THE MONASTERY
by Anon. (S. G. Shaw) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features The Moonslayer.
Unrated
The Case of the Mystery Champion THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 133 · Mar. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE CASE OF THE MYSTERY CHAMPION
by Anon. (Arthur Steffens) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Crooks of the Ring (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Victim of Black Magic THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 134 · Mar. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE VICTIM OF BLACK MAGIC
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Evil Eye (article)
Notes: Story features Dr. Huxton Rymer and Mary Trent.
Unrated
The Doctor Who Wouldn't Tell THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 135 · Mar. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE DOCTOR WHO WOULDN'T TELL
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Doctor's Dilemma (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Adventure of the Man on Bail THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 136 · Mar. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE ADVENTURE OF THE MAN ON BAIL
by Anon. (William J. Bayfield) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: On Bail (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Man From Australia THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 137 · Apr. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE MAN FROM AUSTRALIA
by Anon. (F. A. Symonds) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Diamond Cut Diamond (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Trail of the Poison Gang THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 138 · Apr. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE TRAIL OF THE POISON GANG
by Anon. (Lester Bidston) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Poison Crimes (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
No cover as yet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 139 · Apr. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE MYSTERY OF THE GOLDEN CHALICE
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Riddle of the Run-away Car THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 140 · Apr. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE RIDDLE OF THE RUN-AWAY CAR
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Car Thief (article)
Notes: Story features Gilbert and Eileen Hale.
Unrated
The Mystery of Mitcham Common THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 141 · May 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE MYSTERY OF MITCHAM COMMON
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans) · Illustrator: Unknown
THE FIGURE IN BLACK!
by Anon. (Unknown) · Illustrator: None
Other content: A Rogue's "Love" (article)
Notes: Main story features Splash Page.
Unrated
The Adventure of Speed Mad Camden THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 142 · May 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE ADVENTURE OF SPEED MAD CAMDEN
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
THE MISSING SECURITIES
by Anon. (Unknown) · Illustrator: None
Other content: Inventions Swindles (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Riddle of the Phantom Plague THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 143 · May 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE RIDDLE OF THE PHANTOM PLAGUE
by Anon. (Donald Stuart) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Case of the Bogus Monk THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 144 · May 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE CASE OF THE BOGUS MONK
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Capital Punishment (article)
Notes: Story features George Marsden Plummer. This was reprinted under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 687 (1939).
Unrated
The Case of the Rejuvenated Millionaire THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 145 · Jun. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE CASE OF THE REJUVENATED MILLIONAIRE
by Anon. (George N. Philips) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Miracles (article)
Notes: This was reprinted under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 692 (1939).
Unrated
The Monomark Mystery THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 146 · Jun. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE MONOMARK MYSTERY
by Anon. (Lewis Carlton) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Secret Correspondence (article)
Notes: 'Gripping Detective Adventure in London and the Chinese Dens of Liverpool.'
Unrated
The Rubber Smugglers THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 147 · Jun. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE RUBBER SMUGGLERS
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Rubber Ructions (article)
Notes: Story features George Marsden Plummer and Vali Mata-Vali. This was reprinted under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 693 (1939).
Unrated
The Riddle of Crocodile Creek THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 148 · Jun. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE RIDDLE OF CROCODILE CREEK
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Roaming Crooks (article)
Notes: 'Vivid Mystery and Stirring Adventure in London and the Nigerian Protectorate.'
Unrated
King of the Underworld THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 149 · Jul. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
KING OF THE UNDERWORLD
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Mechanical Crook-Catchers (article)
Notes: Story features Splash Page.
Unrated
The Secret of the Russian Refugees THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 150 · Jul. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE SECRET OF THE RUSSIAN REFUGEES
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Forged Passports (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
THE FUR RAIDERS THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 151 · Jul. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE FUR RAIDERS
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Hypnotist by Anon.; Fur Fakers and Thieves (article)
Notes: This was reprinted under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 700 (1939).
Unrated
The Mystery of Sherwood Towers THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 152 · Jul. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE MYSTERY OF SHERWOOD TOWERS
by Anon. (Donald Stuart) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Shadow of Death by Anon.; Solved After Many Years (article)
Notes: This was reprinted under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 714 (1940).
Unrated
The Adventure of the Voodoo Queen THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 153 · Aug. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE ADVENTURE OF THE VOODOO QUEEN
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Queen of Crooks (article)
Notes: Story features Dr. Huxton Rymer and Marie Galante.
Unrated
The Rogue of Afghanistan THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 154 · Aug. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE ROGUE OF AFGHANISTAN
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Keeping the Khyber Pass (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Case of the Shot P. C. THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 155 · Aug. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE MYSTERY OF THE SHOT P. C.
by Anon. (George N. Philips) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Police Perils (article)
Notes: Story features Zenith the Albino. This was reprinted as THE CASE OF THE SHOT P. C. which appeared in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 703 (1940).
Unrated
The Affair of the Crook Explorer THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 156 · Aug. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE AFFAIR OF THE CROOK EXPLORER
by Anon. (R. C. Armour) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Expedition Swindles (article)
Notes: Story features Dr. Ferraro.
Unrated
The Mystery of the Phantom Blackmailer THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 157 · Sep. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM BLACKMAILER
by Anon. (Donald Stuart) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Unknown
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Terror of Gold-Digger Creek THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 158 · Sep. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE TERROR OF GOLD-DIGGER CREEK
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Papuan Gold (article)
Notes: This was reprinted as THE MYSTERY OF GOLD DIGGER CREEK in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 707 (1940).
Unrated
The Riddle of the Million Pound Bet THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 159 · Sep. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE RIDDLE OF THE MILLION POUND BET
by Anon. (William J. Bayfield) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Fortunes From Betting (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Case of the Fatal Taxicab THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 160 · Sep. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE CASE OF THE FATAL TAXICAB
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Taxi-Cab Mysteries (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Crooks in Clover THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 161 · Oct. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
CROOKS IN CLOVER
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Luxury and Crime (article)
Notes: Story features George Marsden Plummer and Vali Mata-Vali.
Unrated
The Mystery of the Mandarin's Idol THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 162 · Oct. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE MYSTERY OF THE MANDARIN'S IDOL
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Genius Misdirected (article)
Notes: A petty thief accidently yanks a small brass idol from around the neck of an elderly oriental who, unknown to him, is in the employ of Dr Satira. He later sells it to a curio dealer named Thomas Riddle. When Satira visits Riddle and demands the idol, the shopkeeper denies all knowledge of it and threatens Satira with the police unless he leaves. Meanwhile, a young American named Des Dean aka The Jackdaw arrives in London for the first time and employs Parker, a pickpocket, as his valet. Dean tells his new employee that he has come with the intention of running rings around Detective-Inspector Coutts. He then goes out to explore London and sets eyes, for the first time in his career, on Sexton Blake. He also overhears a conversation through which he learns that Riddle has gained possession of a hundred thousand pounds worth of diamonds. That night, he breaks into Riddle's shop, cracks the safe and makes away with the jewels, incidentally taking the idol too. Minutes later, two of Satira's gang enter the shop and torture Riddle for the combination to the safe. He gives it but it no longer works, having been altered by Dean. Riddle's ordeal is ended when his assailants flee upon the arrival of Sexton Blake, Tinker and Coutts, who have received an anonymous tip-off over the telephone. Blake opens the emptied safe but Riddle pretends that nothing valuable has been stolen. The detective suspects that he's lying and later, at Scotland yard, this is made apparent when Coutts receives a note from 'The Jackdaw' in which the cracksman claims to have hauled in a hundred thousand pounds. Riddle comes clean about the diamonds and also mentions the missing idol. Clues then lead Sexton Blake to the man who had made the anonymous call; an art dealer who'd intended to steal the diamonds but had been forestalled by the arrival of Satira's thugs. Next day, Blake is visited by a Chinese youth; the grandson of a mandarin who had been murdered some years previously and who, it is rumoured, left a fortune behind him, though no trace of it was found subsequent to his demise. The youth reveals that a missing idol is the key to the whereabouts of the hidden treasure, which is rightfully his to claim. Remembering Riddle's mention of just such an artefact, Blake calls him only to find that the curio dealer has been knifed to death. Then Coutts arrives and announces that a man has been caught trying to sell one of the stolen diamonds to a fence. This man, it turns out, is Parker, and from him Blake makes the connection to Des Dean, whom he now realises is The Jayhawk. Upon arriving at Dean's flat, Blake finds Satira knocking at the door. The doctor departs and the detective sends Tinker to follow. In the flat, they discover Dean bound to a chair. Satira has taken the diamonds and idol. After Dean is taken into custody, Blake and Coutts follow Tinker to Satira's hotel room and arrest him. The diamonds and idol are recovered. Weeks later, after being extradited to America, Dean escapes.
Trivia: This story presents us with a couple of interesting conundrums. Though written two years after most of the other Satira tales (but one year before the final one), it actually tells of the doctor's first encounter with Sexton Blake, which ends with his arrest. However, in their next encounter (which, chronologically-speaking was the first story written), there is no recognition by either man that he has met the other before. As for Des Dean, it is blatantly obvious that he is actually Dirk Dolland, arriving in London from America for the first time. However, again, this doesn't tally with the events of the first Dolland story written.
Rating: ★★★★★★
The 'Flying-Squad' Tragedy THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 163 · Oct. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE 'FLYING-SQUAD' TRAGEDY
by Anon. (William J. Bayfield) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Flying Squad (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Case of the Jack of Clubs THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 164 · Oct. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE CASE OF THE JACK OF CLUBS
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Fatal Card (article)
Notes: Story features Splash Page. This was reprinted under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 728 (1940).
Unrated
The Eighth Millionaire THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 165 · Nov. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE EIGHTH MILLIONAIRE
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Greed of Gold by Anon.; The Men With Millions (article)
Notes: Story features George Marsden Plummer and Vali Mata-Vali. This was reprinted under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 718 (1940).
Unrated
The Mystery of the Masked Surgeon THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 166 · Nov. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE MYSTERY OF THE MASKED SURGEON
by Anon. (R. C. Armour) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Medical Rogues (article)
Notes: Story features Dr. Ferraro.
Unrated
The Secret of the Green Lagoon THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 167 · Nov. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE SECRET OF THE GREEN LAGOON
by Anon. (Andrew Murray) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Under the Sea (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Affair of the Rival Cinema Kings THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 168 · Nov. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE AFFAIR OF THE RIVAL CINEMA KINGS
by Anon. (Walter Shute) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Film War (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Deserter of the Foreign Legion THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 169 · Dec. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE DESERTER OF THE FOREIGN LEGION
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Foreign Legion (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Trail of Doom THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 170 · Dec. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE TRAIL OF DOOM
by Anon. (R. C. Armour) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Tragic Spells (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
THE CASE OF THE CRIMSON CONJURER THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 171 · Dec. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE CASE OF THE CRIMSON CONJURER
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Crook's Red Herring (article)
Notes: Harry 'Headline Hal' Haldane — reporter with the Daily Gazette — lives in a cheap boarding house with various members of the theatre set. When one of these, a man known as Cosmo, the Crimson Conjurer, is found in his locked room dead with a knife in his throat, Detective-Inspector Coutts is quickly on the scene, accompanied by Tinker. They call in Sexton Blake but his behaviour seems rather more eccentric than usual and he's dismissive of Tinker's theory that a man known as Metaxas, a Mexican knife thrower, is the killer. Tinker, however, learns that Metaxas lives in the boarding house to the rear in a room with a window directly opposite to Cosmo's. After an abrupt comment from Blake, he decides to investigate further on his own. The atmosphere between him and his 'guv'nor' steadily worsens — with the detective summarily dismissing Tinker's suggestions — then erupts into a terrible argument. Tinker storms out and declares that their partnership is over. Teaming up with Hal Haldane, he discovers that Metaxas has got a job at a circus and decides to get employment there himself in order to watch the man. Upon arrival he makes friends with a young girl named Lolita and is hired by the manager, Mr Moxer. He also quickly learns that Lolita's mother is terrified of Metaxas. Soon Tinker is joined by Hal who proceeds to ingratiate himself with Metaxas in order to learn more about him. Another addition to the circus arrives the next day in the form of Bert Nixon, one time member of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. The American cowboy and Mexican knife-thrower form an immediate dislike for one another. One afternoon, after the circus has moved to a new town, Tinker is walking in the nearby countryside when he is knocked unconscious by Metaxas, who leaves him tied and bound in an old barn, intending to do away with him after nightfall. However, it is not the Mexican who returns but a masked man who might, thinks Tinker, be Nixon. This man brags that he is the killer of Cosmos before setting fire to the barn, leaving Tinker there to die. The young detective manages to escape and, realising that his theory has been completely wrong, decides to get in touch with Blake ... only to find that the detective is not at home. After a another violent encounter with Metaxas and a confusing confrontation with Nixon, Tinker wakes the next morning in a complete quandary. Who is the killer and why is Mrs Duval so scared of the Mexican? The answers comes in a sequence of shocking revelations. Sexton Blake, it turns out, has been far closer than Tinker suspected ... and the killer is closer still! Detective-Inspector Coutts swoops in the nick of time, catching the criminal, and Blake and Tinker are reunited, putting their quarrel behind them.
Trivia: Detective-Inspector Coutts has 'rather prominent teeth'. Sexton Blake's handwriting is 'microscopic' and neat. This story was reprinted under the same title in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 2nd series issue 723 (1940).
Rating: ★★★★☆☆
The Riddle of the Garage' THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 2nd series · Issue 172 · Dec. 1928 · Amalgamated Press · 4d
THE RIDDLE OF THE GARAGE
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: The Motor Pest (article)
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Treasure of the 'Isabella' UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,264 · 7/1/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE TREASURE OF THE 'ISABELLA'
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: J. H. Valda
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Dead Man's Rock by Sir A. T. Quiller-Couch.
Notes: Story features George Marsden Plummer.
Unrated
The Black Cloud UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,265 · 14/1/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE BLACK CLOUD
by Anon. (Rex Hardinge) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Dead Man's Rock by Sir A. T. Quiller-Couch.
Notes: Story takes place in South Africa. This is Rex Hardinge's debut Sexton Blake novel. It was reprinted as THE CASE OF THE AFRICAN HOODOO in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 3rd series issue 283 (1953). It was also adapted as a non-Blake tale (he was replaced by Nelson Lee), retaining the original title, which appeared in THE BOYS' FRIEND LIBRARY second series issue 527 (1936).
Unrated
The Affair of the Bronze Mirror UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,266 · 21/1/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE AFFAIR OF THE BRONZE MIRROR
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks) · Illustrator: 'A. J.' (not A. Jones)
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Dead Man's Rock by Sir A. T. Quiller-Couch.
Notes: Story features Waldo the Wonder-Man.
Unrated
The Diamonds of Devil Pool UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,267 · 28/1/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE DIAMONDS OF DEVIL POOL
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks) · Illustrator: 'A. J.' (not A. Jones)
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Dead Man's Rock by Sir A. T. Quiller-Couch.
Notes: Story features Waldo the Wonder-Man and takes place in the Congo.
Unrated
Jungle Justice UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,268 · 4/2/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
JUNGLE JUSTICE
by Anon. (Edwy Searles Brooks) · Illustrator: Arthur Jones
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Dead Man's Rock by Sir A. T. Quiller-Couch.
Notes: Story features Waldo the Wonder Man.
Unrated
The Mystery of Manor Green UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,269 · 11/2/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE MYSTERY OF MANOR GREEN
by Anon. (Jack Lewis) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Silent House by John G. Brandon.
Notes: Free with this issue — a genuine Sheffield RAZOR-BLADE! (I wonder how many surviving copies of this issue are blood stained?).
Unrated
The Girl of Destiny UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,270 · 18/2/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE GIRL OF DESTINY
by Anon. (Jack Lewis) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Silent House by John G. Brandon.
Notes: Free with this issue — a genuine Sheffield RAZOR-BLADE! (Another one! A sinister plot to rid the nation of its fingers, perhaps?).
Unrated
The Captive of the Catacombs UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,271 · 25/2/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE CAPTIVE OF THE CATACOMBS
by Anon. (Jack Lewis) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Silent House by John G. Brandon.
Notes: The cover illustration for this issue is one of my all-time favourites, showing Sexton Blake at his most heroic and determined.
Unrated
The Coffee Stall Mystery UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,272 · 3/3/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE COFFEE STALL MYSTERY
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans) · Illustrator: J. H. Valda
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Silent House by John G. Brandon.
Notes: Story features Splash Page.
Unrated
Rogues Afloat UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,273 · 10/3/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
ROGUES AFLOAT
by Anon. (Stacey Blake) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Silent House by John G. Brandon.
Notes: A man named Leonard Knightsbridge sells shares in the Supradium Syndicate, a company formed to mine a valuable new resource — supradium — in the Antartic. He hires Captain Christmas to sail the company ship — The Wanderer — to the source of this newly discovered substance but, en route, Christmas discovers that the whole enterprise is a swindle. Knightsbridge and his cohorts intend to scupper the ship and lay low on tropical islands before eventually heading to South America to spend the money the public has invested in the company. Christmas tries to take over the ship, intending to force the criminals to mine the substance as they had promised, but he is drugged and captured. However, when a tornado strikes, the villains return captaincy of the ship to him, as he is the only man skilled enough to save it from the storm. Continuing south, they encounter a homeward bound whaler. Christmas takes this opportunity to send a letter to Sexton Blake. A crew member named Hockley also sends something — a package to his wife containing the crooks' loot which, after being confiscated by Christmas, Hockley had found. Blake receives the letter and, by accident, the package, which he X-rays. He and Tinker then sail south, catching up with Christmas in the Antarctic. The Captain has forced the villains to mine a great deal of supradium but, just as the detective arrives, Knightsbridge and his men escape and sail away in The Wanderer. Christmas, Blake and Tinker give chase in a motor boat and manage to re-take the ship but the supradium in the hold undergoes a chemical reaction which causes it to burn through the hull. The ship sinks, taking the criminals with it. Blake, Tinker and Captain Christmas manage to escape in a lifeboat and are rescued. Back in London, the detective returns the stolen money to those who invested, including his own housekeeper, Mrs Bardell.
Trivia: This was reprinted in DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 331 as THE GREAT GLACIER BAY PLOT (1927).
Rating: ★★★★☆☆
The Case of the Kaffir King UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,274 · 17/3/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE CASE OF THE KAFFIR KING
by Anon. (Stacey Blake) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Silent House by John G. Brandon.
Notes: Lloyd's underwriter Hubert Faversham has paid out thousands in insurance on a ship — the Kaffir King — which hit wreckage off West Africa. Captain Harmston and his crew — excepting the mate — had abandoned her and had been picked up by a passing vessel. Faversham has since learned that the Kaffir King survived, for she has been seen ashore along a muddy creek in Africa. He hires Captain Christmas to recover her. Christmas is given command of the Harvester but the Kaffir King's old skipper, Harmston, objects, insisting that he should be in charge of the expedition. Faversham refuses to change his mind and, the next morning, is found murdered. Christmas visits Sexton Blake and arrives at the same time as Faversham's daughter. They both urge the detective to investigate. He agrees to do so. Miss Faversham also asks Christmas to continue with the salvage expedition and, the next morning, she comes aboard the Harvester, announcing that she will make the voyage. The vessel sets sail but, in the Atlantic, as it passes the mouth of the Mediterranean, it is boarded and attacked by men from Harmston's ship, the Greek King. Christmas and his crew repel the invaders and the two ships separate and continue down the coast of Africa. Some days later, the Harvester reaches the creek and hits a sandbank while nosing into it. While waiting for the tide to rise, Captain Christmas goes ahead with a dozen men in a rowboat and discovers the Kaffir King. On the way back to his ship, he sees that the Greek King has arrived and his men raid the enemy vessel, holding its crew at bay while Christmas follows Harmston to the wreck. He overhears the villainous captain talking to a man who has lived on the Kaffir King for a year: Stockport — the lost mate! The survivor accuses Harmston of trying to murder him. When the captain denies this, Stockport shows him a skeleton with a knife in its ribs. This is the actual mate — and beneath the disguise the 'living Stockport' is actually Sexton Blake! The detective and Tinker had arrived some days previously by seaplane. Blake accuses Harmston of the murders of Faversham and Stockport. Harmston escapes by diving from the ship and makes his way inland through the jungle. That night, he leads an African tribe in an attack but Tinker scares them off with the seaplane and Harmston falls in battle, killed by a spear dropped by Miss Faversham.
Rating: ★★★★★☆
The Mississippi Mystery UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,275 · 24/3/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE MISSISSIPPI MYSTERY
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Silent House by John G. Brandon.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Case of the Grey Envelope UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,276 · 31/3/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE CASE OF THE GREY ENVELOPE
by Anon. (George N. Philips) · Illustrator: J. W. B.
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Silent House by John G. Brandon.
Notes: Story features Zenith the Albino. This was reprinted under the same title in DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 372 (1940).
Unrated
The Man Who Walked By Night UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,277 · 7/4/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE MAN WHO WALKED BY NIGHT
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; It's Not Impossible; Sexton Blake in the Films; The Silent House by John G. Brandon.
Notes: Professor Ian Craig is left hideously disfigured when a laboratory experiment explodes in his face. During his convalescence, his fiancee, Pamela Wynne, takes up with a rich playboy, the Hon. Hugo Fortesque. When she sees the ruins of Craig's face, she breaks off their engagement. Three months pass and Craig has adopted a solitary existence, living alone in a flat under the name of Mr. Mist. He only emerges from it on foggy nights and this arouses the interest of the occupants of the flat below, sophisticated con man Larry Lunn and his sister Sally. One night, Lunn's curiosity leads him to search Mist's room while the occupant is out. He is caught red-handed by Mist and falls under his power. Mist, who is permanently masked, has developed a technique whereby he can become invisible ("It is all a question of optics and wavelengths"). Days later, Derek 'Splash' Page visits Sexton Blake and tells him that a young society girl, Pamela Wynne, is being haunted; repeatedly hearing the voice of Ian Craig saying "Pamela, remember!" After the story is published, a seance is organised in the Albert Hall to prove the existence of ghosts, thus winning a huge cash prize offered by a research body. The event will be hosted by up-and-coming spiritualists Senor Juan Miraflores and Madame la Rue who are, in fact Larry and Sally Lunn. After learning their true identities, Blake attends the meeting and, along with the audience, is astonished to witness what seems to be real ghostly phenomenon (though, of course, it's actually Mr. Mist). He arrests Sally but her brother is rescued by Mist, who Blake now recognises as Ian Craig.
Trivia: Blake lives on Baker Street West. He has an African Agent named Frank Schulyer.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆ As the first of a sequence of stories concerning Mr Mist, this inevitably feels like an unfinished tale. Nevertheless, it's entertaining and the villain is excellent, being both a threatening and tragic figure.
The Phantom of Scotland Yard UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,278 · 14/4/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE PHANTOM OF SCOTLAND YARD
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Silent House by John G. Brandon.
Notes: This is a direct sequel to the foregoing story. Sally Lunn is charged and sent to Hollowville Gaol while her brother, Larry, disguises himself and goes on the run. He falls in with a dishonest American, Denver Dan, who is soon recruited by Mr. Mist. The latter, using the 'Invicta Ray' device he has invented to achieve invisibility, enters Hollowville and facilitates Sally's escape. She is eager to revenge herself on Detective-Inspector Coutts after he had recommended that bail be disallowed. So Mist leaves a letter in the chief of Scotland Yard's office which advises that Coutts has been seen frequenting a seedy nightclub. A detective is sent to keep tabs on Coutts and, sure enough, witnesses him in a drunken state attempting to bribe the nightclub owner. Sexton Blake, following clues, has also ended up in the club and watches the same disgraceful scenes. But instead of racing back to the Yard to report, as the detective does, he follows Coutts only to discover that the drunken officer is, in fact, a heavily disguised Denver Dan. This villain goes to a house where he meets up with the Lunns. Blake reports the address to the real Inspector Coutts who organises a raid, catches the criminals, and thus clears his name. Meanwhile, to prove that he's unbeaten, the invisible Mr Mist walks right into Scotland Yard and steals a valuable cigar box from beneath the Chief's nose.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆ A slower, slighter and less enjoyable tale than its predecessor.
The Adventure of the Gold bars UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,279 · 21/4/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE ADVENTURE OF THE GOLD BARS
by Anon. (Ladbroke Black) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Silent House by Anon.
Notes: Story features The Spider.
Unrated
The Great Budget Conspiracy UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,280 · 28/4/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE GREAT BUDGET CONSPIRACY
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Silent House by John G. Brandon.
Notes: The newspapers are making much of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Spenlow Chetwynd, who is preparing the budget, and his young wife, Patricia, who has earned some acclaim for the work she does for the poor. But Patricia is being blackmailed by an ex-lover, Rudolph Kent, who has possession of embarrassing letters she once wrote to him. A cocaine addict, Kent wants to know details of the budget in advance so he can make a killing on the stock market. Unknown to him, his victim was recently helped out of an awkward situation by Mr. Mist and she has communicated with the invisible criminal to ask for help. Her anonymous plea, in the newspaper personals, is spotted by Tinker who follows it up and discovers her identity. But before he can report to his Guv'nor, he is knocked unconscious by a villain named Skeleton Sims who had once been put in prison by Blake and who is out for revenge. Meanwhile, Patricia is contacted by Mr. Mist who promises to recover the letters. Sims is working for Kent and, at his command, injects the lad with a drug to kill him. A police raid arrives too late and Sexton Blake is shocked to receive a telephone call informing him that Tinker is dead. But this proves false; though in a deep coma, Tinker is still alive. After a long vigil at his bedside, the detective is rewarded — Tinker comes back from the brink and enters a delirium. His babbling is peppered with information about Patricia, the letters and Mr. Mist, giving Blake the clues he needs. As the lad slips into a healing sleep, Blake prepares to go into action.
Trivia: Mrs. Bardell has a sister named Mary Ann Cluppins, the widow of a water rate collector of Bermondsey, William Cluppins.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆ This is a bit disappointing as it takes time to set up the situation but doesn't deliver much excitement.
The Mystery of the Missing Mace UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,281 · 5/5/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING MACE
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Devil's Mantle by Frank L. Packard; The Silent House by John G. Brandon.
Notes: Mr Mist visits Rudolph Kent to recover the letters with which Kent has been blackmailing Patricia Chetwynd. He learns that Kent has given them to Skeleton Sims for safekeeping. Neither of them are aware that Sims has already been arrested and the letters, as yet unread, are in the hands of the police. Kent is busy organising investments based on the false information about the forthcoming budget given to him by Patricia. Mist must get his hands on the letters before the budget is presented to the country because when that happens, Kent will realise that he has been duped and will damage Patricia's reputation in revenge. When time runs out, Mist, cloaked by his invisibility rays, enters parliament and disrupts the House of Commons by stealing the mace. This delays the budget speech but it proves a bad move because, as he tries to escape, he falls into the hands of Sexton Blake. A fight ensues but Mist escapes with a daring leap into the Thames. Blake visits Patricia and hands her the letters which he has recovered from the police. Wisely, she burns them. When Rudolph Kent realises that the game is up, he attempts to flee in a stolen ambulance but is intercepted by Mr Mist who delivers him to the police. Finally, Mist informs Blake of the mace's whereabouts, abandons his villainous identity, and heads to Africa as plain Ian Craig, a scientist committed to doing good.
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆ An excellent end to the Mr Mist mini-saga, which gives the tragic criminal-hero a touching send-off.
The Affair of the Staggering Man UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,282 · 12/5/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE AFFAIR OF THE STAGGERING MAN
by Anon. (Ladbroke Black) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Devil's Mantle by Frank L. Packard; The Silent House by John G. Brandon.
Notes: Story features The Spider.
Unrated
Fraud UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,283 · 19/5/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
FRAUD
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans) · Illustrator: Kenneth Brookes
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Devil's Mantle by Frank L. Packard.
Notes: Story features Splash Page.
Trivia: This issue contains a large photograph of Mr. Langhorne Burton, an actor who played the role of Sexton Blake in a number of short movies. In the picture, he is posed holding the Sexton Blake bust, previously given away in the UNION JACK.
Unrated
Sunk Without Trace UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,284 · 26/5/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
SUNK WITHOUT TRACE
by Anon. (Ladbroke Black) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Devil's Mantle by Frank L. Packard.
Notes: Story features The Spider.
Unrated
The Victim of the Veldt UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,285 · 2/6/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE VICTIM OF THE VELDT
by Anon. (Rex Hardinge) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Devil's Mantle by Frank L. Packard; A Romance of Fleet Street — The Story of "Answers" (article)
Notes: This was reprinted in DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 320 THE PHANTOM OF THE VELDT (1939). It was also rewritten as THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 4th series issue 430 SAFARI WITH FEAR (1959).
Unrated
The Skeleton Clue UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,286 · 9/6/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE SKELETON CLUE
by Anon. (Ladbroke Black) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Devil's Mantle by Frank L. Packard.
Notes: Story features The Spider.
Unrated
The Carnation Wreath Mystery UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,287 · 16/6/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE CARNATION WREATH MYSTERY
by Anon. (C. M. Hincks) · Illustrator: J. H. Valda
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Devil's Mantle by Frank L. Packard.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Hunchback of Brotherhood Hall UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,288 · 23/6/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE HUNCHBACK OF BROTHERHOOD HALL
by Anon. (Arthur Paterson) · Illustrator: Val Reading
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Devil's Mantle by Frank L. Packard.
Notes: Brotherhood Hall in Pentonville is the meeting place for a large band of crooks led by the hunchback Krock Kelk. Kelk, a very accomplished gang leader in America, is now replicating his success in England. At the meeting, Kelk learns that many of the crooks in his charge have had their various schemes defeated by a man they've nicknamed 'The Joker' — aka Sexton Blake. Kelk decides that it's time Blake was dealt with. The next morning, the Baker Street detective receives three threatening letters from petty crooks he has encountered in the past. However, analysis suggests that these were all written by the same hand. He also receives a fourth letter, this from the wife of a forger named Sol Slesser, asking him to visit the crook as soon as possible. Before he can respond, Inspector Carew calls on him with an American detective named John Lakin. The two are working together to track down the origin of forged notes which are circulating on both sides of the Atlantic. Blake agrees to help. After they leave, he tells Tinker that the counterfeits have the stamp of Slesser about them. Later, Slesser is visited by his one-time partner, a huge brute named, Joe Brade, who had been presumed dead. When Kelk also arrives, he instructs Brade to kidnap Lakin and bring him to Brotherhood Hall. First, though, Kelk takes Brade to the hall to meet the gang of criminals. Brade purposely picks a fight with one, an ex-boxer named Sankey, and beats him. The defeated man is then ordered by Kelk to assist Brade. They go to look for Lakin but cannot find him so decide to hunt for Blake in Baker Street instead. When they force their way into the house, Mrs Bardell screams for the police and Sankey runs for it. Brade remains in the house and reveals that, beneath the disguise, he is Sexton Blake! Knowing that Kelk has set a trap for him, Blake purposely walks into it then fights his way out. Lakin arrives and leads the detective into another trap — and this time Blake finds himself strapped into an electric chair! Tinker comes to the rescue and the gang is rounded up — except for Kelk, who in his guise as Lakin, remains unsuspected.
Trivia: Mrs Bardell's sister, Mary Ann Cluppins receives a mention.
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆☆ A messily written and badly structured tale.
The Seven Sons of Cynos UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,289 · 30/6/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE SEVEN SONS OF CYNOS
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Devil's Mantle by Frank L. Packard.
Notes: Paul Cynos — Convict No. 1843 — correctly predicts that the new Home Secretary will release him from Parkmoor Prison on 23rd March, some nine months before the end of his sentence. Insisting that the sixteen years he has served were for a murder he didn't commit, Cynos vows revenge against all those who were involved in his conviction, particularly his former business partner, Jabez Knowland. Upon gaining his liberty, he is driven by his chauffeur to London and, on the way, gives a lift to Sexton Blake and Tinker, who are stranded after the Grey Panther broke down. Subsequently, Blake becomes interested in Cynos, especially as he himself had testified against him at the trial sixteen years ago. When Knowland calls Blake and asks him for protection, the detective learns that Cynos has sent a postcard to his one-time partner on the 23rd March every year, demanding payment for each year of lost freedom. The final card arrives while Blake is there, and it demands 'Payment in full!'. However, the detective takes a dislike to his prospective client, suspecting that he may have framed Cynos, and refuses to work for him. As he departs, he passes Knowland's secretary, Moya Grayle, who is reading something which shocks her so much that she faints into Blake's arms. She is taken off his hands by Knowland's son, Jack, a fine fellow who is secretly engaged to the young woman. Back at Baker Street, the detective discovers the paper Miss Grayles had been reading crumpled in his jacket. On it is a coat of arms — a wolf's head with the phrase, in latin, Man Preys On Man. This turns out to be the coat of arms of the Cynos family. Next morning, Detective-Inspector Coutts calls and reports that Knowland has gone missing. Jack also has news: Miss Grayle has vanished too, leaving a letter in which she breaks off their engagement. Thinking to search the house next door, the police discover that it is inhabited by the Home Secretary, John Selby Waite — the very man who released Cynos! Sexton Blake, upon learning that Cynos has seven sons and one daughter, realises that Moya Grayle is the latter. When she telephones him and asks him to warn Jack to be on his guard against some unspecified danger, Blake traces the call and sends Tinker to shadow the girl. His assistant sees her enter a car which is then driven to Cynos's estate. As Tinker is about to return to report to his guv'nor, the girl reappears and asks to be taken to Baker Street. There she reveals that she has discovered that she is Cynos's daughter and was forced by her father to break her engagement. Now she is rebelling against him. Events take a strange turn when Blake, Tinker and Coutts receive an invitation from Cynos. They go to his house and there find Jack, who has also been invited. The room in which they await their host suddenly sinks — it's a giant lift! Its door slides open to reveal a court room in which Jabez Knowland is on trial. Accused of the murder for which Cynos paid the penalty, he finally folds under the pressure and makes a full confession. Cynos then drives his guests to the Home Secretary's office where he presents the evidence of his innocence and Knowland's guilt. He is granted a full pardon. As they leave, Blake remains behind and reveals that he knows that the Home Secretary is the eldest son of the House of Cynos. He promises to keep quiet about the whole affair in the interests of justice. The next morning, John Selby Waite commits suicide to avoid any scandal. Knowland hangs himself in his prison cell. Jack and Miss Grayle marry. Cynos warns Blake not to interfere again.
Trivia: This was reprinted in DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 310 as SEXTON BLAKE VERSUS THE HOUSE OF CYNOS (1939).
Rating: ★★★★★★
Hands Up London UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,290 · 7/7/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
HANDS UP LONDON!
by Anon. (R. C. Armour) · Illustrator: J. H. Valda
Other content: Unknown
Notes: Story features Dr. Ferraro.
Unrated
The Legion of the Lost UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,291 · 14/7/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE LEGION OF THE LOST
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: This was reprinted in DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 338 as THE FORT OF LOST MEN (1939).
Unrated
The Man with the Burnt Arm UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,292 · 21/7/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE MAN WITH THE BURNT ARM
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons) · Illustrator: A. Jones
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Poison! UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,293 · 28/7/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
POISON!
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: This was reprinted in DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 319 as THE POISONER (1939).
Unrated
The Problem of the Purple Pierrots UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,294 · 4/10/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE PROBLEM OF THE PURPLE PIERROTS
by Anon. (C. M. Hincks) · Illustrator: Eric Parker (cover) and Harry Lane (interior)
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: Special seaside issue.
Unrated
The Bandit of the Bank UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,295 · 11/7/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE BANDIT OF THE BANK
by Anon. (Arthur Paterson) · Illustrator: Val Reading
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: Story features Krock Kelk.
Unrated
The Carrier Pigeon Conspiracy UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,296 · 18/7/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE CARRIER PIGEON CONSPIRACY
by Anon. (H. H. Clifford Gibbons) · Illustrator: Kenneth Brookes
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: Story features Gilbert and Eileen Hale. This was reprinted in DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 341 as THE CARRIER PIGEON PLOT (1939).
Unrated
A Million in Gold UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,297 · 25/7/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
A MILLION IN GOLD!
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: A "stool-pigeon" named Jordan Ames informs Sexton Blake that a great number of crooks are gathering in London for something big. Detective-Inspector Coutts ruminates that there's no current criminal big enough to lead a confederation of crooks the way Mr Reece and Dr Satira had done in the past. A taxi arrives at Baker Street: in it, Ames is dying from poisoning. With his last words, he cries "A wolf's head!" and claims that 'they' are after a million. Tinker recognises the wolf's head as being the coat of arms of Paul Cynos. That evening, Sexton Blake receives a letter requesting him to call upon Sir Harley James, the Governor of the National British Bank. At Sir Harley's house, the banker shows him a letter he has received from Cynos which demands one million in payment for the part Sir Harley played — as a key witness — in Cynos's trial. The banker reveals to Blake that a million in bullion is due to be transferred between two London banks, and he gives the detective complete responsibility for this task. When a wolf's head is seen floating outside the window, Blake realises that Cynos's agents have eavesdropped on the conversation. He updates Coutts with the latest information while being driven to inspect the banks. Cynos, though, strikes fast, and when the chauffeur collapses having been given a doped cigarette, Blake narrowly avoids a serious crash. At the bank that's due to receive the bullion, Blake meets Edgar Reid, the manager, and the chief clerk, Clayton. He quickly suspects the latter of being one of the sons of Cynos. The fortune is to be moved in a motor-pantechnicon. Blake hires six of them. Five of them are decoys, while the sixth is filled with the bullion by Scotland Yard men. Sexton Blake himself drives it to the bank and parks it in the covered yard. It is here that Cynos's gang strikes; Blake, Coutts and the Yard men are gassed into unconsciousness and the pantechnicon is driven away. Upon regaining consciousness, Blake reveals that the crooks have made off with dummy strongboxes; the real bullion is concealed in the lorry's false bottom. He has another trick up his sleeve too; one of the dummy strongboxes contains a smoke bomb which is set off by a timer. When smoke pours from a certain person's house, Blake swoops and arrests him — exposing another of Cynos's sons. Of Cynos himself, though, there is no sign; he has fooled them by having his brother, Maximus, impersonate him; ensuring that the police follow the wrong man!
Trivia: Detective-Inspector Coutts's brother-in-law, William Higgins, owns a removal firm. He refers to Coutts as 'Erb, which implies that Coutts's name is Herbert. Of course, this flies against the usual 'George'. This story was reprinted in DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 311 as PAUL CYNOS DEMANDS £1,000,000 RANSOM (1939).
Rating: ★★★★★☆
The Law of the Gun UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,298 · 1/9/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE LAW OF THE GUN
by Anon. (Arthur Paterson) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Affair of the Great Seal UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,299 · 8/9/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE AFFAIR OF THE GREAT SEAL
by Anon. (George N. Philips) · Illustrator: Kenneth Brookes
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Great Seal; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: Story features Zenith the Albino.
Unrated
The Strange Affair of the Rejuvenation Club UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,300 · 15/9/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF THE REJUVENATION CLUB
by Anon. (Ladbroke Black) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: This was reprinted in DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 345 as THE MAN WHO BOUGHT YOUTH (1939).
Unrated
Who was the Man on the Stairs? UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,301 · 22/9/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
WHO WAS THE MAN ON THE STAIRS?
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: Story features Splash Page. This was reprinted in DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 322 as THE MAN ON THE STAIRS (1939).
Unrated
The Adventure of the Apache Chief UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,302 · 29/9/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE ADVENTURE OF THE APACHE CHIEF
by Anon. (Arthur Paterson) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Double Identity UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,303 · 6/10/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
DOUBLE IDENTITY!
by Anon. (Arthur Paterson) · Illustrator: J. H. Valda (cover) and H. Lane (internal)
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Scourge of No Man's Land UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,304 · 13/10/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE SCOURGE OF NO MAN'S LAND
by Anon. (Arthur Paterson) · Illustrator: Val Reading
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: Story features Krock Kelk.
Unrated
Poisoned Blossoms UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,305 · 20/10/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
POISONED BLOSSOMS!
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: Sexton Blake and Tinker are on the track of a set of diamonds which were stolen in Japan while en route to Britain. They take passage aboard a ship, knowing that one of the passengers is the thief — but which one? Top of their list of suspects is a man named Casper Nigan, who they see paying court to another passenger, a young woman named June Severance, who is travelling with her mother. When the ship reaches the Hawaiian Islands, this group goes ashore, along with a missionary who Blake is convinced is actually an international jewel thief named Monte Bristow. They take a yacht to Hawaii itself, where Nigan has a sugar plantation. Blake and Tinker follow in another yacht and, on the island, witness Nigan trying to seduce Miss Severance. Blake puts a stop to this and Nigan flees with the stolen diamonds. The detective pursues him up the side of the volcano and succeeds in snatching the gems, though Nigan gets away. Some hours later, the villain communicates with Blake to demand the return of the diamonds in exchange for Miss Severance. The Baker Street man has no choice but to agree to this. The next day, Blake and Tinker disguise themselves as Chinamen and try to infiltrate the Nigan estate to regain the jewels but are caught by the crook and sentenced to death by hula-bani — a garland of flowers which are placed around the neck and kill through their poisoned scent. However, the hula girl who brings in the blossoms proves to be a disguised June Severance and she cuts them free. In the ensuing fight, Nigan is shot dead and Monte Bristow is captured. Blake entrusts the girl with the delivery of the jewels back to England.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆
The House of Fear UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,306 · 27/10/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE HOUSE OF FEAR
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: A. Jones
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: Story features George Marsden Plummer.
Unrated
The Adventure of the Gargoyle's Decoy UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,307 · 3/11/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE ADVENTURE OF THE GARGOYLE'S DECOY
by Anon. (George N. Philips) · Illustrator: Kenneth Brookes
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Sexton Blake, Lord Mayor UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,308 · 10/11/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
SEXTON BLAKE, LORD MAYOR
by Anon. (R. C. Armour) · Illustrator: H. M. Lewis
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Affair of the Six Ikons UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,309 · 17/11/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE AFFAIR OF THE SIX IKONS
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: Story features June Severance.
Unrated
The Problem of the Broken Stick UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,310 · 24/11/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE PROBLEM OF THE BROKEN STICK
by Anon. (George N. Philips) · Illustrator: J. H. Valda
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: Story features Zenith the Albino.
Unrated
The Case of the Scented Orchid UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,311 · 1/12/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE CASE OF THE SCENTED ORCHID
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Mystery of the Black Van UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,312 · 8/12/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE MYSTERY OF THE BLACK VAN
by Anon. (Robert Murray Graydon) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: Story features Paul Cynos. It was reprinted in DETECTIVE WEEKLY issue 313 THE BIG SMASH (1939).
Unrated
The Crime of the Christmas Tree UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,313 · 15/12/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE CRIME OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE
by Anon. (Gwyn Evans) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; Hercules Esq. by Gwyn Evans.
Notes: Lord Robin Huntingley forms The League of Robin Hood to punish those who profiteer from the hardships faced by ex-servicemen. He intends to extort money from these ne'er-do-wells in order to pay for Christmas dinners for down-and-outs. The mission begins in the parish of Shinwell where, in due course, an array of crooked landlords, magistrates and politicians are abducted to be confined in the cellar of Huntingley Manor where they are forced to chop wood to earn their meals. Detective-Inspector Coutts reports the kidnappings to Sexton Blake but the Baker Street sleuth isn't much interested ... he doesn't want to spend this Christmas fighting crime. Meanwhile, in Shinwell, Splash Page stumbles upon a fight between a friar and a huge thug. The friar wins the battle, drags his opponent into a waiting car, and is promptly driven away. But beneath the coat of the driver, Splash had spotted a Robin Hood costume, so he now gives chase. He is led to the Manor where he introduces himself to Lord Huntingley and is invited to join the League. He gladly does so, intrigued to witness the villainous prisoners paying good money to be excused their chores. But matters turn ugly when one of the prisoners, Jabez Bruff, is found stabbed to death. Page calls Sexton Blake who drives out to the manor in the Grey Panther. The detective immediately notices that Huntingley's knife is missing from his belt, though the lord pleads his innocence. Sexton Blake interrogates each of Huntingley's prisoners — and finds them all keen to avoid involvement in any kind of scandal; so much so that they offer generous payment if he would agree to extricate them. The police arrive and Blake reveals how Bruff died ... and a most unexpected explanation it is too! The League is disbanded, the poor receive a large donation, and Blake, Tinker, Page, Coutts and Huntingley and Co. enjoy a merry Christmas.
Trivia: Sexton Blake reveals that he can throw knives at a distance of thirty yards with deadly accuracy.
Rating: ★★★★☆☆
The Mystery of the Siping Vampire UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,314 · 22/12/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE MYSTERY OF THE SIPING VAMPIRE
by Anon. (John W. Bobin) · Illustrator: Kenneth Brookes
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Isle of Strife by Stacey Blake
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Case of the Captive Emperor UNION JACK · New series · Issue 1,315 · 29/12/1928 · Amalgamated Press · 2d
THE CASE OF THE CAPTIVE EMPEROR
by Anon. (George Hamilton Teed) · Illustrator: Eric Parker
Other content: Tinker's Notebook; The Isle of Strife by Stacey Blake
Notes: Story features June Severance.
Unrated



1927
Master List
1929






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