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PAUL ROCHER

rocher_paul_bk_rhotrs rocher_paul_bk_tgotnt
 
Full Name: Paul Rocher
Series Name: Paul Rodgers
Codename: Red Wolf
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: William J. Makin
Time Span: 1932 - 2015

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Paul Rocher is an agent with British Intelligence.
       Known as the Red Wolf of Arabia, Rocher, though an Englishman, is every bit an Arab. His knowledge of the terrain of the Arabian Peninsula is certainly as good as its citizens and usually considerably better. While it is never expressly stated that he has been to virtually every community on that huge tract of land, it would be a safe bet based on his displayed experience to go with his having come close. This includes the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the former being supposedly off limits to nonbelievers.
       Despite there being a good number of short adventures written about Rocher, he is surpisingly a mystery. How he came to be so firmly entrenched in the Middle East is never explained and how he got so well connected with the powers that be in so many parts of the region is also unknown. What is known is that he is both of those - entrenched and well connected. British governors and local police commanders routinely ask for his help and in return often readily provide their resources. Still, most of the missions that Rocher undertakes invariably putting himself in harm's way and occasionally paying for it.
       When not chasing down gun runners or saboteurs or assassins, Rocher is often found in establishments where he can either enjoy listening to good music on the piano or, if no is available, providing it himself. From the comments made by others, Rocher is very much a virtuoso and apparently had career potential in that industry. It is hard to imagine, though, Rocher living in a city for long as his love of the immensely open deserts like the Sahara in Africa and the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia is just too great.
       One very important fact about Rocher is the reason for his being known as the Red Wolf. Though Rocher's skin is naturally darkened by so many years spent in the sun, his bright red hair shows instantly that he is not from around these parts and there are more than one occasion when having his keffiyeh pulled off his head has revealed his identity. Invariably, he takes such dangers with a customary laugh at both himself and his fates.

Note: in the American versions, the man was known as Paul Rodgers but since the British versions came technically first, that is the name I have chosen to use.

BOOKS

Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1933
Last Appearance:2015

1 The Adventures of Red Head of the Red Sea The Adventures of Red Head of the Red Sea
aka Red Head of the Red Sea
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1933

Collection of 7 stories, 5 of which are definitely about Paul Rocher.
The five known Rocher stories are:
A King Goes By
The Man Who Sold Beds
The Dhow That Sailed to Nowhere
The Three-Four Flash
Thirteen Men at the Opera
The two possible Rocher stories are:
The Black Mantle
The Woman with the Celluloid Doll

2 Red Sea Spy Red Sea Spy
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1936

Collection of 13 stories, 5 of which are definitely about Paul Rocher.
The five known Rocher stories are:
The Merchant of Mohka
The Gold Ship
A Queen of Sheba
Jerusalem Express
The Mines of Sheba's Queen
The 8 possible Rocher stories are:
The Four Guests
Lost Dhows
Parasol in the Desert
A Slave Is Bought
The Slave Trail
The Tulip Garden
Two Heads Are Better ...
Wings Over Aden

3 The Garden of TNT The Garden of TNT
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 2015

Subtitled The Collected Adventures of the Red Wolf of Arabia. It contains the 31 stories mentioned in the Novella section.
buy from Amazon

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:31
First Appearance:1932
Last Appearance:1944

1 The Woman of Antioch The Woman of Antioch
aka A King Goes By
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1932

First published in Blue Book and in Pearson's Magazine, November 1932. It had become a very public secret that anarchists were intending to kill the visiting King but Paul Rocher, looking into who the assassins were, learns their leader is a woman with exceptional skills.

2 The Desert of the Singing Sands The Desert of the Singing Sands
aka The Desert of the Singing Sands
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1932

First published in Blue Book and in Pearson's Magazine, December 1932. When Paul Rocher met the Dutchman and learned he sold bedsteads, he was polite but amused. When he learned a desert sheik has ordered 60+ for his harem, Rocher got suspicious. 60-some metal beds in the desert? It was too much a curiosity for Rocher to pass.

3 The Dhow That Sailed To Nowhere The Dhow That Sailed To Nowhere
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1933

First published in Blue Book and in Pearson's Magazine, January 1933. The British warship transporting Paul Rocher to Port Sudan narrowly missed a darkened dhow in the Red Sea and then it was gone. When Rocher learned this was not the first such occurrence, he wonder what the dhow was doing and he definitely did not like the answer.

4 Miracle in the Desert Miracle in the Desert
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1933

First published in Blue Book, February 1933.

5 The Secret of Zogra Island The Secret of Zogra Island
aka The Three-Four Flash
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1933

First published in Pearson's Magazine, February 1933, and Blue Book, March 1933.

6 Three Dead Camels Three Dead Camels
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1933

First published in Blue Book and in Pearson's Magazine, April 1933.

7 Thirteen Men Thirteen Men
aka Thirteen Men at the Opera
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1933

First published in Pearson's Magazine, Mar 1933, and Blue Book, May 1933.

8 It Happened in Port Said It Happened in Port Said
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1933

First published in Blue Book, June 1933.

9 The Jerusalem Express The Jerusalem Express
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1933

First published in Blue Book, December 1933.

10 The Gold Ship The Gold Ship
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1934

First published in Blue Book, February 1934.

11 The Garden of TNT The Garden of TNT
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1934

First published in Blue Book, March 1934.

12 The Drums of Omdurman The Drums of Omdurman
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1934

First published in Blue Book April 1934.

13 Red Sea Pearls Red Sea Pearls
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1934

First published in Blue Book, August 1934.

14 Death in the Desert Death in the Desert
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1934

First published in Blue BookK, September 1934.

15 The Merchant of Mocha The Merchant of Mocha
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1934

First published in Blue Book, November 1934.

16 The Planes That Never Returned The Planes That Never Returned
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1935

First published in Blue Book, March 1935.

17 The Queen of Sheba The Queen of Sheba
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1935

First published in Blue Book, June 1935.

18 The Gorge of Terror The Gorge of Terror
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1935

First published in Blue Book, September 1935.

19 The Lion of Judah The Lion of Judah
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1935

First published in Blue Book, December 1935.

20 The Mines of Sheba's Queen The Mines of Sheba's Queen
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1936

First published in Blue Book, April 1936.

21 The Return of the Red Wolf The Return of the Red Wolf
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1936

First published in Blue Book, August 1937.

22 The Assassins of Angorc The Assassins of Angorc
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1937

First published in Blue Book, October

23 The Blue Oasis The Blue Oasis
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1937

First published in Blue Book, November 1937

24 The Murder Club of Baghdad The Murder Club of Baghdad
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1938

First published in Blue Book, January 1938.

25 The Treasure of Abdul the Damned The Treasure of Abdul the Damned
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1938

First published in Blue Book, April 1938.

26 The Dogs of Istanbul The Dogs of Istanbul
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1938

First published in Blue Book, May 1938.

27 Bethlehem—1939 Bethlehem—1939
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1939

First published in Blue Book, October 1939.

28 The Elusive General The Elusive General
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1939

First published in Blue Book, December 1939.

29 London Blackout London Blackout
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1940

First published in Blue Book, March 1940.

30 Orient Express Orient Express
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1940

First published in Blue Book, April 1940.

31 The Thirteenth Man The Thirteenth Man
Written by William J. Makin
Copyright: 1944

First published in Blue Book, November 1944.

MY COMMENTS

       I totally adored this series. I state that up front so there is no confusion. These are spy stories as well as terrific adventure tales and having spent a moderate amount of time in the Middle East eons ago, I love the settings for them. Now, I never visited any of the exotic sites that Rocher deals in but the author definitely lets me think I was there, albeit 50 years ago.
       Now this is NOT a quibble. This British agent has flaming red hair, a most definite tell, and even though he often keeps his head covered, when he is not he is instantly recognized. He takes this as it comes and that becomes an endearing aspect to the stories. I mean, he has such a ho-hum reaction to being unmasked.
       I am pleased that the collection of Paul Rocher stories have been re-released. I wish it was also in ebook format and perhaps someday it will be but these are darn good stories and worth reading.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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