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Sexton Blake: The Master Criminals


“Some of the most daring criminals I have known, have been the pleasantest and most gentlemanly fellows you could wish to meet.” ~Sexton Blake, The Secret Report, 1913

For the first fifteen years of his career, Sexton Blake, like most detectives of his era, earned his living by foiling the plans of burglars, swindlers, blackmailers and other assorted scoundrels. Then in 1908 George Marsden Plummer, a Detective-Sergeant at Scotland Yard turned criminal, made his debut in The Man from Scotland Yard. Created by Michael Storm, Plummer soon evolved into the first of the super-villains, matching wits with Blake repeatedly over the next 20 years.

But despite Plummer’s success, it wasn’t until 1912 that the next super-villain appeared. That year Andrew Murray introduced readers to Count Ivor Carlac, one of the most evil and vicious opponents Sexton Blake ever faced. Father of many a nefarious plot, Carlac quickly became a fan favourite, at times even teaming up with ex-Detective-Sergeant Plummer.

It was 1913, however, that the era of the master criminal truly began. That year Andrew Murray created Professor Francis Kew, Maxwell Scott created The Scorpion, and George Hamilton Teed introduced readers to three of Blake’s most popular opponents: Yvonne Cartier, Dr. Huxton Rymer, and Prince Wu Ling. They would usher in Blake’s Golden Age and in the following years their ranks would swell with such legendary villains as Leon Kestrel, Marie Galante, The Bat, Mr. Reece, Waldo the Wonder-Man, Monsieur Zenith and many many others.

This anthology collects the origin stories of 9 of the greatest master criminals ever to match wits with Sexton Blake. You’ll be introduced to Count Ivor Carlac in The Regent Street Robbery, Professor Kew in The Aylesbury Square Mystery, Prince Wu Ling in The Brotherhood of the Yellow Beetle and The Scorpion in The Secret Report. You’ll meet master of disguise Leon Kestrel in Jack Lewis’ The Case of the Cataleptic, master cracksman The Bat in The Hidden Hand and catch a glimpse of Jason Reece in The Mysterious Mr. Reece, an exciting tale written by Robert Murray Graydon. The Hidden Hand, also penned by Mr. Graydon, marks the debut of one of Blake’s greatest allies: Detective-Inspector Coutts. Waldo the Wonder-Man, written by Edwy Searle Brooks, introduces readers to master criminal Rupert Waldo and also includes a cameo appearance by great detective Nelson Lee. No master criminal anthology would be complete without the origin tale of Monsieur Zenith, the stylish, sophisticated villain created by Anthony Skene and considered by many to be Blake’s greatest foe.

For those readers new to Sexton Blake, this is an excellent place to start. Enjoy!

Preview on Kindle Cloud

The Regent Street Robbery: "An excellent introduction to one of Sexton Blake’s nastiest opponent." Mark Hodder, Sexton Blake Bibliography, Blakiana

The Case of the Cataleptic: "Impossible to put down, this story is a fantastic debut for one of Sexton Blake’s trickiest opponents." Mark Hodder, Sexton Blake Bibliography, Blakiana

The Hidden Hand: "“A tremendously enjoyable adventure.”" Mark Hodder, Sexton Blake Bibliography, Blakiana

The Brotherhood of the Yellow Beetle: "The first story to feature Wu Ling and a terrific adventure. Very highly recommended." Mark Hodder, Sexton Blake Bibliography, Blakiana

A Duel to the Death: "An excellent introduction to a truly fascinating character." Mark Hodder, Sexton Blake Bibliography, Blakiana

Imprint ROH Press Great Detectives and Master Criminals
Published 02/08/2020
ISBN 978-1-987886-69-6
Length 446 pages
Great Detectives & Master Criminals
Sexton Blake: The Early Years
Sexton Blake: The Answers Casebook
Sexton Blake: Friends and Allies
Sexton Blake: The Master Criminals
Sexton Blake: The Yvonne Cartier Files, Volume 1 (The Vengeance Series Part 1)
Sexton Blake: The Yvonne Cartier Files, Volume 2 (The Vengeance Series Part 2)
Sexton Blake: The Teed Files #1
Sexton Blake: The Teed Files #2
Sexton Blake: The Teed Files #3
Sexton Blake and Nelson Lee
Nelson Lee: The Black Wolf Files
Nelson Lee: The Pluck Casebook
Nelson Lee: The Landmark Cases
Moriarty’s Rivals: 12 Female Masterminds
Miss Brandt: Adventuress


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