Tuesday, November 21, 2017

#11 - Peril! by Sydney Horler (1930)

dustjackets.com


About this edition: This edition has just the novel, with no promotional or preview material. This is one of five titles released simultaneously in a Christmas boxed set. These are the only five titles appearing in the green cloth binding.


Sydney Horler (photo: vintage45.wordpress.com)

About the author: Here is a Wikipedia article about Sydney Horler. He has two other titles in the Mystery League series: The Curse of Doone and The False Purple.

Characters:

  • Jimmy Hannay, former officer and gentleman; now down and out
  • Delia Miller, target of attempted theft
  • Sebastian Miller, Delia's father; wealthy stockbroker
  • Adele Miller, Sebastian's trophy wife, stepmother to Delia
  • Horace Bray - Miller's financial secretary
  • William Simmons - Miller's servant
  • Kurt Zweig, master criminal, enemy of Sebastian Miller
  • Hubert Dorman, wealthy criminal who works for Zweig
  • Oscar Scanlon, a muscle who works for Zweig
  • Johnson, another henchman
  • Inspector Richard Pudan, Scotland Yard

Locale: England

Synopsis: Jimmy Hannay is destitute and homeless. Hubert Dorman picks him up one night with an offer of a job, which turns out to be an accomplice in an attempted jewelry theft from Delia Miller. Hannay realizes what is happening, thwarts the theft, and escapes from Dorman. Delia's father, Sebastian Miller, now offers him employment. Adele Miller, Sebastian's trophy wife, is used to getting what she wants. She makes a pass at Jimmy who rejects her.

Sebastian Miller is worried for his daughter's safety, and moves out to his country place, Steep Holm, along with Hannay. He hopes to keep her away from his enemy, Kurt Zweig, and his henchmen. Miller is working on a financial plan which is valuable to Zweig, and one of the henchmen is electrocuted while trying to enter the estate to steal it. 


Hannay is injured when he catches Adele Miller and an unknown man trying to steal the financial plan. He and Delia work to recover the plan and catch the culprits, falling into various distresses.




Wednesday, November 8, 2017

#10 - The Hardway Diamonds Mystery by Miles Burton (1930)

dustjackets.com

About this edition: This is one of five titles released simultaneously in a Christmas boxed set. These are the only five titles appearing in the green cloth binding.



collectionimages.npg.org.uk

About the author: Miles Burton is a pseudonym of Cecil John Charles StreetMCOBE (3 May 1884 – 8 December 1964), who was known to his colleagues, family and friends as John Street. Here is a Wikipedia article about him. He has one other title in the Mystery League series: The Secret of High Eldersham.

Characters:

  • Lord Hardway
  • Lady Daphne Hardway, his wife, owner of the diamonds
  • Dick Penhampton (a.k.a. Captain Blackwood) - Lady Daphne's brother
  • Jerry Gould (a.k.a. Sid Evans) - Dick Penhamton's service buddy
  • Alison Weatherleigh - Dick's girlfriend
  • Dr. Weatherleigh -   Alison's father, of Lestridge Hall
  • Thomas "Pussy" Herridge - second story thief
  • The "Funny Toff" - legendary master criminal
  • Ibbotson, retired money lender, second theft victim
  • Detective Inspector Brooks - of the C.I.D.
  • Sir Edric Conway - of Scotland Yard

Locale: England

Synopsis: Pussy Herridge breaks into Lord Hardway's home one foggy night and makes off with a valuable diamond necklace. On the street, he is immediately nabbed by an apparent plain-clothes man, who handcuffs him and relieves him of the necklace. Pussy manages to escape and flees, still in handcuffs. A local constable grabs him on suspicion, and it turns out the plain-clothes man was likely a fake.

Detective Inspector Brooks investigates his sources at the waterfront, trying to find who the fake was. Shortly after, he turns up dead.


Lady Daphne's brother, Dick Penhamton, decides to investigate on his own. He and his buddy, Jerry Gould, take a room at the waterfront and assume new identities (Dick = Captain Blackwood, Jerry = Sid Evans). Dick gets a lead on the "Funny Toff", the criminal who is rumored to be behind the theft. Dick gets a summons to a night meeting, and arrives to find the only person present is Pussy Herridge - dead.

Next Ibbotson, retired money lender, has jewels stolen from his home. This is followed by a theft from Seccombe & Armitage, diamond merchants.