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JOHN MEREDITH

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Full Name: John Meredith
Nationality: British
Organization: British Foreign Office
Occupation Agent

Creator: Francis Gerard
Time Span: 1936 - 1951

ABOUT THE SERIES

First Look
       John Meredith is an agent with the Foreign Office.
       Agent ... official ... police inspector ... knight.
       Each of those terms seem applicable to this man who, according to one source I read (Pretty Sinister Books) says "Our hero is the inscrutable Sir John Meredith, a Foreign Office agent who becomes a policeman almost by accident".

       Since I have not yet read any of the books, the following is the opinion of Pretty Sinister Books: "Meredith is not at all a likable man in this book. He comes off as arrogant, classist, and racist. Surprised? I'm not. He has little patience for anyone, insults people to their faces passing it off as wry wit, is constantly telling his colleagues to shut up and is generally one of the worst examples of the ubermacho self-styled aristocrats found in pre-WW2 era fiction written by British men."
       HOWEVER!
       After my initial posting, I heard from a fellow spy fan who has a totally different attitude towards Sir John. "Sir John is smarter than most other characters in the stories and doesn't suffer fools easily. The books are very imaginative and full of promise." This reviewer also comments that the author, Francis Gerard, was "heavily influenced by Edgar Wallace and you see his hallmarks throughout." Since I enjoyed the few Wallace books I have read, a lot, I do look forward to giving these books a try myself now.

       Much more than that I do no know except a couple of lists of spy series has this in it so until I can discern for myself, it is here. The books are expensive, though.

BOOKS

Number of Books:17
First Appearance:1936
Last Appearance:1951

1 Number 1-2-3 Number 1-2-3
aka The 1-2-3 Murders
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1936

Chief Inspector John Meredith is on the trial of a master criminal. A mystery man who organizes crimes by typed letters to his minions signed "Number 1-2-3".

2 Concrete Castle Concrete Castle
aka The Concrete Castle Murders
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1936

[plot unknown]

3 The Black Emperor The Black Emperor
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1936

"A near future political thriller, in which a Black man is persuaded to attempt to become the emperor of all Africa."

4 The Dictatorship of the Dove The Dictatorship of the Dove
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1936

"Think well before you take the oath. Only death can release you."

5 Fatal Friday Fatal Friday
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1937

"A country house murder"

6 Red Rope Red Rope
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1937

"Red Rope is the tale of the gripping hunt for a murderer who uses red rope of the finest silk to hang his victims."

7 Secret Sceptre Secret Sceptre
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1937

[plot unknown]

8 The Prince of Paradise The Prince of Paradise
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1938

"Superintendent Sir John Meredith is off to Saudi Arabia in search of a man who seeks to disrupt the Middle East."

9 Golden Guilt Golden Guilt
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1938

"American-style kidnapping comes to England."

10 Emerald Embassy Emerald Embassy
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1939

[plot unknown]

11 Wotan's Wedge Wotan's Wedge
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1939

[plot unknown]

11.5 Secret of the Sapphire Secret of the Sapphire
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1940

Possible book in the series. I have found no reference to this book myself but a fan of the series has assured me that a) it exists, and b) it follows Wotan's Wedge in sequence.
[plot unknown]

12 The Mind of John Meredith The Mind of John Meredith
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1946

"The former Scotland Yard superintendent returns as a Brigadier, from a daunting wartime assignment, physically and mentally shattered. He is invited to convalesce in a Welsh border castle where he unravels a sinister conspiracy."

13 Sorceror's Shaft Sorceror's Shaft
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1947

"Death on Walpurgis Night. Series character Chief Insp. (Supt.) Sir John Meredith appears in a minor role."

14 Flight Into Fear Flight Into Fear
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1948

[plot unknown]

15 The Prisoner of the Pyramid The Prisoner of the Pyramid
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1948

John Meredith sends Colonel Peter Warren to the Andes with a descendant of Montezuma looking for a buried Inca treasure. Warren is there largely to make sure that the wealth does not end up in the hands of Prince Von Wallenfels, a German spymaster who needs the funds to bring the world to its knees by bacteriological warfare.

16 The Promise of the Phoenix The Promise of the Phoenix
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1950

[plot unknown]

17 Transparent Traitor Transparent Traitor
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1950

"Sir Digby Vane-Torrington, the great actor-manager, had made too many enemies for the good of any one man. He had a bad reputation with women, and he detested his own sons. When after his retirement he decided to give a private performance of Romeo and Juliet, he invited all the London critics and numerous other notabilities, including Sir John Meredith. It was a sensational evening, from the rise of the curtain to the shot which followed its fall."

18 Bare Bodkin Bare Bodkin
Written by Francis Gerard
Copyright: 1951

[plot unknown]

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