"MALCOLM SAGE had been a hot shot intelligence agent for Britain's Division Z during the Great War, but when the fighting ceased, his thirst for action and adventure didn't. Fortunately, his old chief from division Z helped him set up the Malcolm Sage Detective Bureau, and much merry mayhem and more than a few ripping good yarns ensued." -- ThrillingDetective.com
ught over the body of Arthur Tims, Malcolm Sage's chauffeur. Sir John Dene had insisted that a car and a chauffeur were indispensable to a man who was to rival Pinkerton's. Malcolm Sage, on the other hand, had protested that it was an unnecessary expense in the early days of a concern that had yet to justify itself. To this Sir John Dene had replied, "Shucks!" at the same time notifying Tims that he was engaged for a year, and authorising him to select a car, find a garage, and wait instructions.
Tims did not do a barn-dance. He contented himself for the time being with ruffling William Johnson's dark, knut-like hair, a thing to which he was much addicted. Returning home on the evening of his engagement he had bewildered Mrs. Tims by seizing her as she stood in front of the kitchen-stove, a frying-pan full of sausages in her hand, and waltzing her round the kitchen, frying-pan and all.
Subsequently five of the six sausages had been recovered; but the sixth was not retrieved until the next mornin
All cases are good ones but in the present day they seem bordering on
common places of the genre.
What makes it worse is that the criminal is almost always the most of the suspects, save the one proposed by the inept police detective, and if he
isn't, then that's someone barely mentioned or barely defined, which is
the worst possible solution.
The detective is clearly a Sherlock Holmes emulator, but his Scotland Yard opponents are incredibly dumb, so they don't make him seem more clever, but just like someone with normal brain functions.
The strong point of the book is a relatively fast narrative, except the
first pages. But once you get through them, the reading is acceptably
pleasant. Also the ambiences and situations have some colour in them.
Malcolm Sage is a pure geek but, paradoxically, loved by everyone. The collection of his cases is well written and presents a detective with a heart, even if he doesn't look like it. It's that what makes the book special among the mystery pulp of that time.
It looks as if this were a followup from a previous novel where the protagonist is introduced. Indeed, worldcat offers the title John Dene of Toronto : a comedy of Whitehall from the previous year. Let's hope we'll see this too on manybooks.
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