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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Sexton Blake and the secondhand books incident

I picked up this old pulp, one of the Sexton Blake Library, largely because the title amused me. I found the book in Cardiff's excellent Troutmark Books which is situated in the Castle Arcade. The character of Sexton Blake of course came about in 1893 in the Halfpenny Marvel paper. The character owed much to Sherlock Holmes - in fact he's  been called the poor man's Sherlock Holmes - and was often drawn to resemble Doyle's most famous creation.

This particular book was published in 1952 and written by Walter Tyrer, a man who wrote a fair number of Sexton Blake adventures. I think the name is likely a pen name but I cant find anything out about the writer on the internet other than a list of titles he penned.

There's a rather good blog HERE that reviews many of the Sexton Blake adventures but the blog doesn't seem to be updated on a regular basis - pity.

Together with the Sexton Blake book I also picked up a bunch of old paperbacks as well as several issues of Warlord Comic. I do love browsing in secondhand books shops and Cardiff's Troutmark Books is an excellent store. I'd recommend a visit to anyone who finds themselves in Cardiff. You'll find it in the Castle Arcade which is across the road from Cardiff Castle.


Chap O'Keefe said...

Today's tip, Gary! Go back to that Sexton Blake blog and put "Walter Tyrer" in the Google search box top left. It will bring up several reviews of Tyrer's Sexton Blake stories. In some of the reviews, you will find a little info about Lancastrian Tyrer and his career in popular fiction.

As well as his Sexton Blake blog, Nick has another, bookshelvesandbrownale.blogspot. Go there, too, and again enter the search for "Walter Tyrer" for yet more info.

I knew Tyrer as "J. T. Lang" at the time I was editing for Micron Publications in the 1960s. The reason for the pen-name was probably that Tyrer's main, long-term employer was Fleetway Publications, of which Micron was a small, upstart rival. For Micron, Tyrer wrote short stories for my Edgar Wallace Mystery Magazine and scripts for Western Adventure Library and Romantic Adventure Library.

From his home in Hove, Sussex, on 10 May, 1964, "Lang" wrote to me: "My last hardcover was Such Friends Are Dangerous and 20th Century Fox have an option on this. A Lancastrian, I have contributed to Coronation Street. Also I seem to be one of Holland's favourite serial writers. De Geillustreerde [an Amsterdam publisher of magazines, comics and genre novels] recently sent a writer and photographer to do a feature about me ... about one of me."

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Thank yoy Keith...some great information.

Nick O said...

Thank you for recommending my Sexton Blake Blog, it was kind of you to give it a plug.

You`re correct that in the recent past the SBB has not been updated regularly, but hopefully I shall be able to rectify that this year.

It`s always good to encounter a fellow Tyrer fan ! The man is unjustly overlooked in my opinion.

All the Best,

Nick O

Nick O said...

Folowing on from that, can I just mention my article `Walter the Wordsmith`, which was posted 15 March or thereabouts at , and Keith Chapmans` additional comment which mentions Tainted Archive.