Full Name: Arab and Andy Blake
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Other - Antique Dealer

Creator: Richard Powell
Time Span: 1943 - 1947

       Arab and Andy Blake are antique dealers.
       Andy is, at least. Considering that he is as relaxed and easy going as anyone could imagine and probably not overly possessive of tremendous ambition, the antique world suits him just fine. Hustle and bustle hve little place in the serene world of hundred-year-old furniture and if sometimes competition for a particular piece might seem heated to some people, Andy knows that if a bid on a 120-yeard old snuff box did not pan out, there is always a chance for a 100-year-old humidor tomorrow.
       The same love of serenity does not inflict his young bride, Arabella - Arab to her friends, for she is a pistol. Figuratively, of course, although since she is an award-winning sharpshooter, she almost is literally as well. Described as a petite blonde in her early 20s, Arab is a former debutante who likes action and excitement though her experience with such things were limited to her target shooting and playing in a young women's field hockey league. She was also a champion level equestrian who loved competing almost as much as she loved winning.
       How these two people of such different personalities and likes ever ended up married is something not even they could explain. A friend of Andy invited him to watch a field hockey game and pointed out Arab as someone he hoped to marry someday. Instead, after meeting, Arab and Andy hit it off immediately and a month later, they were wed. Andy had already started an antique business and seriously doubted Arab would be the least bit interested. What they both discovered was her involvement, whether enthusiastic or just bemused, invariably led to the two of them getting into plenty of excitement and trouble.
       It is almost always Arab's doing that gets them, inadvertently perhaps but most decidedly, mixed up with some very nasty people. German spies during the War and neo-Nazis after are but two types of no-goodniks that Arab's eye for things out of place and her inalterable determination to get to the truth brings out. Since these people are not pleased with her discoveries, they tend to shot at the pair and whenever possible, capture them.
       While Arab is the instigator, it is Andy who suffers the brunt of the hostilities most definitely literally. The aging quickly man gets beaten up so many times he would have had the Urgent Care on speed dial if they had such things then. Luckily, Andy loves Arab too much to take the time to realize how dangerous she is for him. And not just when going up against bad guys. He came home once to an interesting smell in the kitchen and expected to hear she was making cookies or perhaps brownies but certainly not her own brand of gun-powder. He might have been stunned but after having been married to Arab, he could not honestly claim surprise.


Number of Books:5
First Appearance:1943
Last Appearance:1947

1 Don't Catch Me Don't Catch Me
Written by Richard Powell
Copyright: 1943

The purchase of a fake Chippendale chair throws Andy and Arab into the mix of a Nazi plot to export a million dollars earmarked against the US.

2 All Over But The Shooting All Over But The Shooting
Written by Richard Powell
Copyright: 1944

Andy is working in Washington with the war effort when Arab decides to join him and almost immediately gets them both up against Axis spies out to get D-Day plans to the enemy.

3 Lay That Pistol Down Lay That Pistol Down
Written by Richard Powell
Copyright: 1945

Andy gets involved in a bidding war for an 1700's pistol but it is really Arab who gets them involved with a Czech plot to smuggle industrial diamonds and more.

4 Shoot If You Must Shoot If You Must
Written by Richard Powell
Copyright: 1946

Neo-Nazis are trying to stage a comeback in Virginia. Andy is trying to get back to civilian life now that the war is over but someone keeps showing up trying to strangle him.

5 And Hope To Die And Hope To Die
Written by Richard Powell
Copyright: 1947

Taking their summer vacation in Florida, Andy and Arab hope to get away from danger but of course fail when they come upon a smuggling team bringing in illegal aliens from Cuba.


       Having been written during the mid to late 40's, the Arab and Andy books might not appeal to modern readers. However, if you have enjoyed reading any of Dame Agatha's Tommy and Tuppence adventures or been amused by the boozing and fast talking Nick and Nora Charles movies, these fun-filled escapades are definitely worth the time. Arab is a delicious flirt who has now inhibitions about getting into the thick of things because she believes totally in her ability to get out of them and if something arises, well, Andy can do anything. Andy does not have quite as much confidence in his own prowess but he is not a slacker when pushed and is quite smart as well.
       The writing is exquisite. The stories flow swiftly and easily and the interest does not lag much at all. Some of the situations they get into might be a tad outrageous but that just makes them more appealing. And you cannot go wrong with pixish Arab at your side. Andy can, though, and repeatedly does.


My Grade: B

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