BIBLIOGRAPHY 1962

1961
Master List
1963
PUBLISHING

In December, the Sexton Blake Library adopts a new size, becoming closer in dimensions to a classic paperback (though still a pocket-book).

ISSUES
Face Value COLLECTORS' DIGEST ANNUAL · Issue 16 · Dec. 1962 · Privately published · 15'-
FACE VALUE; A TALE OF THE GREAT DETECTIVE
by Eric Fayne · Illustrator: None
Read it here
Other content: Numerous articles by enthusiasts of old story papers, including the Magnet, Nelson Lee, Boys' Own, etc.
Notes: An item of what might be termed 'fan fiction' but included for completion's sake. Sexton Blake is on a fishing holiday and is staying at the Greyhound Hotel. The manager expresses concern about a young American guest, who has arrived with no luggage other than a china ornament, a coat-hanger, and yesterday's newspaper. When the detective starts investigating, he discovers that the American is far less than he seems ...
Unrated (fan fiction will not be rated)
Terror Loch THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 491 · Jan. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
TERROR LOCH
by Wilfred McNeilly · Illustrator: Stefan Barany
Other content: None
Notes: This was extensively rewritten and published as a Richard Quintain novel, THE TREASURE SEEKERS by W. Howard Baker (Mayflower Books, 1970; reprinted by Five Star Books, 1972).
Unrated
Death on a High Note THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 492 · Jan. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
DEATH ON A HIGH NOTE
by Desmond Reid (V. J. Hanson, with revisions by Philip Chambers) · Illustrator: Stefan Barany
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Countdown for Murder THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 493 · Feb. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
COUNTDOWN FOR MURDER
by George Sydney (Sydney Bounds, revised by W. Howard Baker and George Paul Mann) · Illustrator: Longaron
Other content: None
Notes: When Britain sends astronaut Simon Rourke into space to deploy a communications device, the mission is aborted and he comes back dead — somehow shot through the neck. Eustace Craille sends Sexton Blake to investigate at the research station on Dartmoor. The detective drops Tinker and Paula Dane off at a nearby village before continuing on to the base. There he meets a group of people all of whom seem to have personal agendas of one sort or another. Tinker and Paula also meet some suspicious characters, including a redhead named Rita Randall and a foreign investor called Sprodt. A second murder at the base leads Blake to discover that the place is under surveillance via television cameras concealed among the rocks of the moor. This operation has been set up by Sprodt who is trying to steal the communications device and who uses Randall to get a security pass from the base's weak-willed security officer. He manages to get his hands on the device, unaware that Blake has swapped the real thing with a mock-up. When he discovers this, he kidnaps Paula and holds her for ransom. Blake and Tinker come to her rescue and foil Sprodt's schemes.
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆☆
Bargain in Blood THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 494 · Feb. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
BARGAIN IN BLOOD
by Arthur Maclean (George Paul Mann) · Illustrator: Camps
Other content: None
Notes: This story is told in first-person by Sexton Blake.
Unrated
Dead on Cue THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 495 · Mar. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
DEAD ON CUE
by Desmond Reid (Anthony Douse, with revisions by W. Howard Baker) · Illustrator: Stefan Barany
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Come Dark, Come Evil THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 496 · Mar. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
COME DARK, COME EVIL
by Wilfred McNeilly · Illustrator: M. Cortiella and Stefan Barany
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Death in Dockland THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 497 · Apr. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
DEATH IN DOCKLAND
by Desmond Reid (Gordon W. Sowman, with revisions by Philip Chambers) · Illustrator: Jean Chapman
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Torment was a Redhead THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 498 · Apr. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
TORMENT WAS A REDHEAD
by Richard Williams (Stephen Frances) · Illustrator: Jean Chapman
Other content: Mail Bag
Notes: Stephen Frances was better known by his pseudonym of Hank Janson.
Unrated
Spotlight on Murder THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 499 · May 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
SPOTLIGHT ON MURDER
by Martin Thomas (Thomas Martin) · Illustrator: Unknown
IN THE RED
by Jack Trevor Story
Other content: Mail Bag
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Somebody Wants Me Dead THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 500 · May 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
SOMEBODY WANTS ME DEAD
by Richard Williams (Stephen Frances) · Illustrator: Jose Cortiella
Other content: None
Notes: Author Harry Snogg is dreaming up a new escapade for his fictional detective, Ryley Steele, when he witnesses three bank robbers making a getaway. Slipping into the character of Steele, Snogg manages to catch one of the men. Detective-Inspector Coutts warns the amateur hero that his life may now be in danger from the remaining two gang members but Snogg, still in character, shrugs this off. The next day, while on his way to the offices of the Daily Post to be interviewed by Arthur 'Splash' Kirby, he narrowly avoids being pushed under a tube train and remains totally oblivious when a bullet flies past his head. A day later, Kirby's report strengthens Snogg's fantasy world by describing him as 'a real-life Ryley Steele'. Armed with a realistic-looking cap-firing toy gun and a pair of binoculars, he sets out to track down the bank robbers. He spots one of them watching his flat and follows him to a small house in a secluded street where he holds the criminal at bay with the toy gun. But when the police arrive they find that Harmand, as the 'robber' is called, has a cast-iron alibi. Snogg is reprimanded for impersonating a police officer and ordered to lie-low in his flat until the real criminals are caught. Blake, though, investigates Harmand and breaks his alibi. Harmand makes a run for it and gets away in a stolen sports car. Later, a safecracker named Patsy Sloane visits Blake's Berkeley Square offices but is stabbed in the back on the doorstep. He manages to write 'Watson ... Holmstaye ... Peaswich' before dying. This leads the detective to a man named Watson who denies all knowledge of Patsy Sloane. On the drive home, Blake's car is forced off the road into a flooded quarry. Trapped underwater in the vehicle, Blake only just manages to escape with his life. His opponents don't give up; in Berkeley Square he is shot at from the rooftops. Harry Snogg has similar problems; his flat is dynamited and he is chased by a gunman. Eventually Blake learns that there is to be another bank job. He catches the gang in the act and locks them in the vault, then sets off in pursuit of the mastermind behind the robberies ...
Trivia: The author, Stephen Frances, is better known as Hank Janson.
Rating: ★★★★☆☆
Caribbean Crisis THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 501 · Jun. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
CARIBBEAN CRISIS
by Desmond Reid (Michael Moorcock with James Cawthorn, with revisions by W. Howard Baker) · Illustrator: Camps
Other content: Mail Bag
Notes: This one begins with a classic 'murder in a locked room' scenario ... except the locked room is a bathysphere and the killing occurs seven hundred feet below sea level. It's a great start to the story, full of intriguing impossibilities and hints of something malignant in the ocean depths. But, surprisingly, the plot then takes off in a totally different direction and we don't return to the scene of the crime until the final chapter. This is actually a bit frustrating, as the underwater mystery is by far the most imaginative and fascinating part of the tale. When it's set aside in favour of a political theme, the mental readjustment required is a little too much ... it feels as if one book has been left unfinished and another started. Sexton Blake enters the situation at the behest of Eustace Craille. He is tasked to trace a missing person, obtain information about Communist spies and to judge how deeply the Communists have infiltrated a rebel movement on the island of Maliba. Blake adds an item of his own to this list: an investigation of the strange bathysphere murder. The latter has caught his attention after a newspaper reported it as 'a mystery worthy of a Holmes or a Blake'. On the island, a rebel group is preparing to oust the corrupt government but, unknown to them, they've been infiltrated by Communist spies. The moment the revolution is over, the Reds will take control. Blake has to discover who is working for who and stop the plot from succeeding. He also has to track down a Soviet master spy ... and that's a trail which, by coincidence, leads straight to the bathysphere.
Trivia: This was Michael Moorcock's first published novel. Something of a rarity, it's much sought after by Moorcock completists even though the author has pointed out on many occasions that the artist James Cawthorn more or less co-wrote it and the editor of the Sexton Blake Library (W. Howard Baker) made a lot of revisions. Despite all these other hands at work, you can still recognise Moorcock's influence in the tight plotting and interesting use of detective fiction clichés.
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆☆ The detective operates alone here, without Tinker. He's in his 'James Bond' phase ... something that's made even more apparent by the location. It doesn't really work. Blake seems too bland to carry the story and much of CARIBBEAN CRISIS feels like an exercise in plotting rather than an attempt to do anything really interesting with the character. There are plenty of surprises but they all come quite mechanically as experiments of form. As a Moorcock fan I was delighted to add this volume to my collection and found it interesting from the perspective of the author's development. But as a Sexton Blake fan it left me unmoved and, sadly, has to be consigned to the 'forgettable' category.
The Weak and The Strong THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 502 · Jun. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
THE WEAK AND THE STRONG
by Arthur Kent · Illustrator: Jean Chapman
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
High Summer Homicide THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 503 · Jul. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
HIGH SUMMER HOMICIDE
by Arthur Kirby as told to Richard Williams (Stephen Frances, with revisions by W. Howard Baker and George Paul Mann) · Illustrator: Camps
Other content: None
Notes: Stephen Frances was better known as Hank Janson. This story is recounted in first person by Arthur 'Splash' Kirby.
Unrated
Studio One Murder THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 504 · Jul. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
STUDIO ONE MURDER
by W. A. Ballinger (W. Howard Baker) · Illustrator: Henry Fox
Other content: Mail Bag
Notes: This was later extensively rewritten as a Richard Quintain novel entitled THE GIRL IN ASSES MILK by William Howard Baker (Mayflower Books, 1967; reprinted by Five Star Books, 1972).
Unrated
White Mercenary THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 505 · Aug. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
WHITE MERCENARY
by Peter Saxon (W. Howard Baker, based on a story by Sydney Bounds) · Illustrator: Henry Fox
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Reluctant Gunman THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 506 · Aug. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
THE RELUCTANT GUNMAN
by W. Howard Baker · Illustrator: Stefan Barany and Bruno Elettori
Other content: Mail Bag
Notes: This was extensively rewritten as a Richard Quintain novel entitled UNFRIENDLY PERSUASION by W. A. Ballinger (Consul 1964) and also featured in the first Quintain Omnibus, QUINTAIN STRIKES BACK (Howard Baker Books, 1968).
Unrated
Killer Pack THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 507 · Sep. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
KILLER PACK
by Wilfred McNeilly · Illustrator: Camps and Stefan Barany
Other content: A Case for Sexton Blake (article); Mail Bag
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Moscow Manhunt THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 508 · Sep. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
MOSCOW MANHUNT
by Philip Chambers · Illustrator: Camps and Stefan Barany
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Death and Little Girl Blue THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 509 · Oct. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
DEATH AND LITTLE GIRL BLUE
by V. J. Hanson · Illustrator: Cortiella and Stefan Barany
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Dangerous Playmate THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 510 · Oct. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
DANGEROUS PLAYMATE
by Philip Chambers · Illustrator: Alvaro and Stefan Barany
Other content: Mail Bag
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Big Smear THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 511 · Nov. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
THE BIG SMEAR
by W. Howard Baker · Illustrator: Fratini
Other content: Mail Bag
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
Savage Venture THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 512 · Nov. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
SAVAGE VENTURE
by W. A. Ballinger (W. Howard Baker) · Illustrator: Stefan Barany
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated
The Man Who Killed Me! THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 513 · Dec. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
THE MAN WHO KILLED ME!
by Arthur Maclean (T. C. P. Webb, revised twice by G. P. Mann) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Trivia: With this issue the Sexton Blake Library adopts new dimensions, becoming more akin to the classic paperback novel size. This is a revised (by George P. Mann) version of SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 4th series issue 398 REDHEAD FOR DANGER (1958).
Unrated
A Corpse for Christmas THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY · 4th series · Issue 514 · Dec. 1962 · Fleetway Publications · 1'
A CORPSE FOR CHRISTMAS
by W. A. Ballinger (W. Howard Baker and Wilfred McNeilly) · Illustrator: Unknown
Other content: None
Notes: None at present.
Unrated



1961
Master List
1963






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