'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone



Monday, August 13, 2012

Malcolm Sage, Detective by Herbert George Jenkins

Written in 1921

17 chapters

Opening Lines:
"John!"
"Yeh!"
"Don't say 'yeh', say 'yes, Dorothy dear'. "
"Yes, Dorothy de---"
Sir John Dene was interrupted in his apology by a napkin ring whizzing past his left ear.
"What's wrong?" he inquired, laying aside his paper and picking up the napkin ring.
"I'm trying to get your attention," replied Lady Dene, slipping from her place at the breakfast table and perching herself upon the arm of her husband's chair. she ran her fingers lightly through his hair. "Are you listening?"
"Sure!"
"Well, what are you going to do for Mr. Sage?"

Sir John Dene is a British baronet and in a previous book (John Dene of Toronto) Malcolm Sage had saved his life. Lady Dene is determined to set Sage up with his own detective bureau. He had been a hot shot intelligence agent for Britain's Division Z during the Great War and, Sir John had been his old Chief. And so the Malcolm Sage Detective Bureau is born. The British version of the Pinkerton's in the States, according to Sir John.

Malcolm is an interesting character. He has a bald, conical head, steel colored eyes, long slender fingers that are rarely still, wears large gold rimmed glasses and smokes a pipe. He's a man of very few words, rarely looking at you when he is inquiring information. He fiddles with filling his pipe, doodling on paper or studying his finger nails while you talk. People tend to talk more freely when he seems uninterested, it seems. He is firm and gets right to the point, but is also kind and gentle. He is just the kind of man that people seem to respect and remain loyal to. He has a staff of 4. Gladys Norman is his secretary is ferociously loyal to him. Tims is his chauffeur, ready and waiting at any time of the day or night to take him where he needs to go. Two assistants, William a young man enamored with detective novels and disguises and James Thompson, whose devotion to Gladys is as notorious as Sage's disdain for detective novels is. Sage always brings in his pals at Scotland Yard and works alongside them and is highly respected by them.

This book is seven different case, they do not read like individual short stories. Each case flows into the next just like a new day at the office. Similar to a weekly TV show. I really did enjoy the characters and their relationships with each other and each of the cases were good solid mysteries. I liked watching Sage work, collecting clues and working it out to its solution. There is a light humor through out. I highly recommend this author to vintage mystery lovers!

Mr. Jenkins wrote other novels, not mysteries though. Many are available on Project Gutenberg in E-Book format for free, including Malcolm Sage and John Dene of Toronto. Check it out here. He also owned the publishing company that published many of P.G. Wodehouse's books. Herbert never married and died at the age of 47 after a long illness in 1923.

This book goes towards my Vintage Mystery Challenge over @ Bev's My Reader's Block


Peggy Ann

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