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Your publisher has always been rather fond of mystery and detective stories, so we’re naturally including a few in our line.
Malcolm Sage, Detective Herbert George Jenkins
Herbert George Jenkins’ popular detective, Malcolm Sage, drops neatly into the same general category as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, if physically somewhat less attractive. Sage is bald and wears gold rimmed glasses, with an oddly conical head. And while apparently capable of putting up a good fight when necessary, he clearly prefers to let his brain do all the work. Some have even suggested Sage as a possible influence on Agatha Christie’s Poirot.
Originally published in 1921, Malcolm Sage, Detective, is a collection of Jenkins’ short stories, which were first published in popular magazines shortly after the end of World War I. A few stories stand alone, but most were serialized over two or three issues, making this collection by far the easiest way to read them.
Our edition has been carefully edited, with 54 new notes clarifying some now-obscure details, and includes an Afterword touching on various points in the stories.
John Dene comes to England with a great invention, and the intention of gingering-up the Admiralty. His directness and unconventional methods bewilder and embarrass the officials at Whitehall, where, according to him, most of the jobs are held by those “whose great-grandfathers had a pleasant way of saying how do you do to a prince.”
Suddenly John Dene disappears, and the whole civilised world is amazed at an offer of £20,000 for news of him. Scotland Yard is disorganised by tons of letters and thousands of callers. Questions are asked in the House, the Government becomes anxious, and only Department Z retains it equanimity.
This book introduced several of Herbert Jenkins’ popular characters to the reading public: John Dene himself; Jenkins’ version of the “great detective,” Malcolm Sage; Dene’s secretary and future wife, Dorothy West, and several members of the future staff of the Malcolm Sage Detective Bureau. Our edition has been carefully edited and annotated, and includes a new Afterword.