c1930 A Selection of Novels from the Sexton Blake Library In Fourteen Volumes
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The set consists of: The Mystery of the Rio Star by Walter Tyrer, The Case of Two Crooked Baronets by Walter Tyrer, The Millionaire's Nest-Egg by Anthony Parsons, The Case of the Green Caravan by Rex Hardinge, The Riddle of the Greek Financier by John G. Brandon, The Mystery of Avenue Road, Dick Turpin in Dungeon Deep (from Newnes' Black Bess Library), The Mystery of the New Tenant by John Hunter, The Secret of the Desert by Rex Hardinge, Partners in Crime by Hilary King, Retired from the Yard by Anthony Parsons, The Case of the Missing Surgeon, It Happened in Melgrove Square by John Hunter and The Three Trails (from the Prairie Library). Sexton Blake is a fictional detective who appeared in many British comic strips and novels throughout the 20th century. He was described by Professor Jeffrey Richards on the BBC in The Radio Detectives in 2003 as "the poor man's Sherlock Holmes". Sexton Blake adventures appeared in a wide variety of British and international publications (in many languages) from 1893 to 1978, running to over 4,000 stories by some 200 different authors. As the years passed, Blake's character underwent various permutations. Originally, he was created in the vein of earlier 19th century detectives but in the late 1890s, Blake's authors consciously modeled him on Sherlock Holmes. It was not until 1919 that Blake took on a more distinctive personality. The golden age of the story papers coincided with Blake's golden age, as he became far more action-orientated than Holmes and duelled with a variety of memorable enemies. Many of Blake's writers had been men of adventure, men who had travelled the world and seen the seamier side of life. When World War II started, they enlisted, leaving just a small group of writers behind (with the addition of the occasional guest writer). Consequently, the standard of Blake's stories suffered. In November 1955, William Howard Baker took over as editor of the Sexton Blake Library and, in 1956, introduced a successful update of the Blake formula. The Sexton Blake Library found new popularity with faster-moving, more contemporary stories (often influenced by American pulp fiction). Blake, who had moved a number of times over the years, moved to a suite of plush offices in Berkeley Square (while retaining lodgings at Baker Street) and acquired a secretary, Paula Dane, who became a not-quite-love interest for Blake. Tinker was given a real name, Edward Carter, and Blake's office receptionist Marion Lang was introduced as his female counterpart. Covers, which had become rather staid in the early 1950s, became far more dynamic and a new group of authors were commissioned.
In decorative paper bindings in acetate slipcases. Externally, generally smart, lightly rubbed in places. Internally, generally firmly bound. Pages are generally bright and clean.
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