TIGER STANDISH

 
Full Name: Tiger Standish
Nationality: British
Organization: Q. I
Occupation Agent

Creator: Sydney Horler
Time Span: 1932 - 1951
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Tiger Standish is an agent with British Intelligence.
       The department for whom he works, unofficially, of course, but still always on call when needed, is Q.I. What that stands for is not disclosed but it would not be unreasonable for the "I" to mean Intelligence for that is the main purpose of the organization. It is run by the fairly tall, quite thin, and terribly irascible Sir Harker Bellamy. Undoubtedly one of the things that makes the older gentleman so quick to anger is the fact that many of his contemporaries in the British government listen to and then ignore his stern advice but come demanding help when things go wrong.
       Q.I has a fair number of agents from which to call but Bellamy still likes to augment his forces with able-bodied and earnest amateurs who he trains and then summons when the need arises. Chief among these is Tiger Standish.
       Standish is officially the Honorable Timothy Overbury Standish, son of Lord Quorn, a well respected member of the House of Lords now confined to a wheelchair but still a voice of wisdom sought often. The elder Standish takes immense pride in his son's achievements on the football patch. How much he knows about the younger's extracurricular activities with Quorn's friend, Bellamy, is up in the air.
       Standish is in his mid-20s (26 to be exact) when the series begins. He is single, though not for long, and quite happy with his life. He is the envy of many a fellow Brit with his dashing good looks, smooth and easy deportment, and most of all by his being considered by most to be the finest footballer in the whole of the United Kingdom. He routinely plays for the "Swifts" (since there are several teams with that word in their name, it is not known which it is) and when he is scheduled to take the field the stadium is always full.
       Off the field, this wealthy young man has the aid of another former football player. Benny Bannister, 16 years Standish's senior, was once the "finest centre-half England had ever seen." Now with his playing days long behind him, Benny earns a good living as Standish's man. Valet, chauffeur, handy-man, and occasionally brawl-mate, Benny has a great deal of affection for his young charge and the feeling is mutual. How much Benny knows about his boss's extracurricular activity is not known but he has to have figured things out after a while no matter how many head kicks he took as a player.
       And then there is Sofia, the lovely lady that Standish aids in the first adventure and, naturally, falls in love with. They are married by the second foray and she and Standish remain blissfully happy for several tales. Then she disappears from the scene (I have not yet discovered what happened to her).

BOOKS

Number of Books:11
First Appearance:1932
Last Appearance:1951

1 Tiger Standish Tiger Standish
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1932

Sir William Bellamy came to Tiger Standish with a mission taking him to Italy but before he leaves, a young woman appeals to Standish for help against The Three. These very nasty men are up to no good and threatening her well-being and Standish will not tolerate that.

2 Tiger Standish Comes Back Tiger Standish Comes Back
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1934

The nastiest member of The Three, whom Tiger Standish fought in the first adventure, returns to threaten Standish's new wife. Standish gets very upset.

3 The Mystery of the Seven Cafés The Mystery of the Seven Cafés
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1935

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4 The Grim Game The Grim Game
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1936

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5 Tiger Standish Takes The Field Tiger Standish Takes The Field
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1939

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6 Tiger Standish Steps On It Tiger Standish Steps On It
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1940

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7 Tiger Standish Does His Stuff Tiger Standish Does His Stuff
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1942

A collection of two novellas published (I believe) in 1941.
Tigher Standish on the Warpath
The Laughing Tornado Get A Split Lip

8 The Lady With The Limp The Lady With The Limp
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1944

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9 Exit The Disguiser Exit The Disguiser
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1948

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10 They Thought He Was Dead They Thought He Was Dead
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1949

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11 The House Of Jackals The House Of Jackals
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1951

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NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:3
First Appearance:1941
Last Appearance:1943

1 Tiger Standish On The War-Path Tiger Standish On The War-Path
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1941

First adventure in the Tiger Standish Does His Stuff collection.

2 The Laughing Tornado Gets A Split Lip The Laughing Tornado Gets A Split Lip
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1941

Second adventure in the Tiger Standish Does His Stuff collection.

3 Tiger Standish Has A Party Tiger Standish Has A Party
Written by Sydney Horler
Copyright: 1943

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MY COMMENTS

       I had hoped to really like these and in small doses, I reckon I did but the books are so full of "I need to catch him. I got him. Oh, he got away. I need to catch him ..." that it gets so boring that giving up on a book midway through is too easy.
       Standish shares a lot of similarities to Leslie Charteris' Simon Templar, aka the Saint, in his devil-may-care confidence and love of adventure and while he does have a good deal of panache, he does not carry it off as well as his literary contemporary. Still, he has his own style and Horler keeps it going throughout the series. Standish does age a bit, understandably, and slows down somewhat but the enthusiasm is always there.
       One interesting aspect of this series is the fact that at the start, the Europe in which Standish was living was feeling the start of dictatorships (Hitler and Mussolini) and communism and the threats to democracies was growing but no one was at yet at war. As the series, and time, progresses, that changes and the enemies become more solidly formed and their allegiances distinct. Then the War ends and while the dictators are gone, the Communists pose even greater dangers. Historically, it is fascinating.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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