easton_valentine_nv_teb easton_valentine_nv_tjj easton_valentine_nv_tt easton_valentine_nv_tbd easton_valentine_nv_tdocc easton_valentine_bk_tccove
Full Name: Valentine Easton
Nationality: American
Organization: American Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: T. T. Flynn
Time Span: 1932 - 2020


Valentine 'Val' Easton is an agent with American Intelligence.

Val Easton is described in one spot as "harmless looking, seldom hurried, amiable. His slender figure was not one to attract attention. Few people were aware that behind that amiable face was the full power of the American Intelligence Service, sometimes loosely called the Secret Service".

Easton answers to a man named Gregg, call by Easton as the Chief, described as a "heavy-set saturnine man who stood at the right elbow of the State Department, as unknown and overlooked by the public as the actions of that subtle force which he controlled".

Easton has had a good number of cases before we first encounter him but in all the handful of stories which have been recorded for us to enjoy, he has as his adversary the same extremely difficult-to-kill individual, the notorious freelance spy Cark Zaken, known throughout the clandestine world as the Black Doctor. This "vaguely eastern European" shadowy operative is often partnered with Chang Ch'ien, a Chinese mastermind who is devilishly clever and deadly. It is easy to see how these two would work well together, both having the destruction of the West as their primary objectives. [Should that have happened, it is interesting to wonder how long the partnership would have lasted. My money is on Ch'ien.]

Ch'ien has a gorgeous sister named Tai Shan who is every bit as sinister, though far more lovely, as her brother. Should those two ever have a serious squabble, my money would go on her.


Number of Books:1
First Appearance:2020
Last Appearance:2020

1 The Complete Cases of Val Easton The Complete Cases of Val Easton
Written by T. T. Flynn
Copyright: 2020

A collection by Steeger Books of all five of the Valentine Easton espionage adventures from the 1930's. The stories are:
The Black Doctor
Torture Tavern
The Jade Joss
The Evil Brand
The Dragons of Chang Ch'ien


Number of Stories:5
First Appearance:1932
Last Appearance:1935

I have read that T.T. Flynn, the author of these five espionage tales from the 1930s, was far better known for his western adventures. Nevertheless, he earned additional dollars penning a fair number of more contemporary tales. Looking at the count of those stories and remembering this was not his primary genre, it is easy to see he was a very busy writer.

The publication in which the Val Easton stories and many other tales from Flynn and many authors saw their works printed was Dime Detective Magazine, created in 1931 as a rival to the already quite established Black Mask Magazine.

According to Pulpfest website, it was able to attract a lot of highly gifted writers to pen for them either instead of or in addition to Black Mask by offering an impressive 1ยข more per word!

Note: There was another set of 5 adventures, these referenced as short stories, by Anthony Clemens concerning a "detective" named Val Easton. The source of this information is These stories were published largely in Ten Detective Aces magazine. To the best of my information, which is very limited, this detective Val Easton is different than the secret agent Val Easton. If someone knows differently, please let me know.

1 The Black Doctor The Black Doctor
Written by T. T. Flynn
Copyright: 1932

Published in Dime Detective Magazine, December 1932. Collected in The Complete Cases of Val Easton.
Valentine Easton is aboard an ocean liner returning to America from England when he comes into contact with two fellow agents, both female, and the three will become involved in the investigation into a couple of murders on the vessel. The sleuthing continues on arrival in New York as they discover their target is a notorious freelance spy known as the Black Doctor.

2 Torture Tavern Torture Tavern
Written by T. T. Flynn
Copyright: 1933

Published in Dime Detective Magazine, September 15, 1933. Collected in The Complete Cases of Val Easton.
Val Easton learns that the Black Doctor, aka Carl Zaken, is still alive albeit in a D.C. hospital. It is not Zaken that Easton will have trouble with, though, but with Chang Ch'ien, Zaken's partner. That man is involved in a plot to get hold of a very important and deadly chemical formula.

3 The Jade Joss The Jade Joss
Written by T. T. Flynn
Copyright: 1933

Published in Dime Detective Magazine, November 15, 1933. Collected in The Complete Cases of Val Easton.
Once again the deadly pair of Carl Zaken and Chang Ch'ien combine to be the trouble to overcome in this new mission. Val Easton, along with the beautiful fellow agent Nancy Fraser, want to stop the nefarious pair from getting hold of a jade death mask of an ancient Chinese emperor. Legend has the owner having the power to conquer China and Ch'ien feels he is just the man for the job.

4 The Evil Brand The Evil Brand
Written by T. T. Flynn
Copyright: 1934

Published in Dime Detective Magazine, November 15, 1934. Collected in The Complete Cases of Val Easton.
Valentine Easton and his partner have their hands full yet again with trouble coming from the pair of Carl Zaken and Chang Ch'ien as that duo are extremely interested in a visit to America by an Chinese emissary. Exactly what their interest is remains a secret but not the fact that the two will gladly kill those interfering.

5 The Dragons of Chang Ch'ien The Dragons of Chang Ch'ien
Written by T. T. Flynn
Copyright: 1935

Published in Dime Detective Magazine, April 15, 1934. Collected in The Complete Cases of Val Easton.
Mysteries flourish everywhere are Val Eason's old nemesis, Chang Ch'ien, is somehow connected with matter that has a Chinese diplomat getting cozy with an American arms manufacturer who in turn is very interested in a European countess. Much trouble and danger follow when Easton attempts to learn the answers to those mysteries.


It is said by many, and by me on more than one occasion, that every great hero needs a great villain to challenge him. I am not saying Valentine Easton is a 'great' hero but he is a darn good one and he has a darn good adversary in the Black Doctor. You would think, though, that after two or three encounters, the two fellows would be very tired of each other. "Oh, not you again!"

These stories are wonderful examples of pulp adventures. If you do not care for the pulp style, you will not like them. If, like me, you really are in to it, then you should check out Val Easton.


My Grade: B


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