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VALENTINE WEST

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Full Name: Valentine West
Nationality: American
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Percy James Brebner
Time Span: 1918 - 1918

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Valentine West is an agent with British Intelligence.
       From the little description given of his lifestyle and considering for whom he works, it would be not unexpected to put him down as British in nationality, which I initially did. I revised that, though, when I read in the second recorded adventure a statement that West was American by birth, a fact that he seemed to confirm. It is likely, therefore, that West has dual citizenship since it is unreasonable to think that those for whom he works would have anywhere like the regard and dependence on him that they do if he were just a mercenary or ex-patriate.
       West's employment is that of a spy-hunter, seeking out those who would burgle or inveigle to obtain British government secrets as well as hunting down those occasional traitors that plague any nation. He is exceptionally good at it and his name is well known in all reaches of bureaucracy. Understandably, when those he seeks learn that he is after them, they are routinely quite put out.
       West lives in a nice set of apartments looked after by his trusted butler, valet, and sometime chauffeur, a very dependable chap named Amos Free who in his ever calm responses to sometime strange statements by West out of the blue, shows he is very much of English stoic stock.
       Living in those rooms as he does, alone except for Free, West is a dedicated bachelor. His attitude towards the fairer sex is shown in the statement that "it was well known that he distrusted women, and had once publicly declared that in every diplomatic difficulty the rustle of a petticoat was to be heard".
       

Good Line
- Said by Valentine West, "When I am most confident, I am most careful."

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:6
First Appearance:1918
Last Appearance:1918

1 The Missing Signorina The Missing Signorina
Written by Percy James Brebner
Copyright: 1918

Published in All-Story Weekly, July 27, 1918.
Valentine West is given the assignment of a diplomatic affair where the two Italian parties in question are missing and must be found.
Click here to read the story.

2 The Man With The Carnation The Man With The Carnation
Written by Percy James Brebner
Copyright: 1918

Published in All-Story Weekly, August 3, 1918.
Some plans for a new quick-firing gun have been stolen and it looks as though Valentine West is the one that must get them back.
Click here to read the story.

3 The Lady's Glove The Lady's Glove
Written by Percy James Brebner
Copyright: 1918

Published in All-Story Weekly, August 10, 1918.
A woman has lost one of her gloves that is given to a Russian and Valentine West is out to discover why.  Is there espionage and murder afoot!
Click here to read the story.

4 The Rope Ladder The Rope Ladder
Written by Percy James Brebner
Copyright: 1918

Published in All-Story Weekly, August 17, 1918.
[plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

5 The Naked Man The Naked Man
Written by Percy James Brebner
Copyright: 1918

Published in All-Story Weekly, August 24, 1918.
[plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

6 Hardacre's Emerald Hardacre's Emerald
Written by Percy James Brebner
Copyright: 1918

Published in All-Story Weekly, August 31, 1918.
[plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

MY COMMENTS

     These are some darned fine stories, well written and plotted nicely with more than a couple of twists in them that I never saw coming. This is especially true of the first story, such that while reading the second, I was anticipating a twist as well. When it came, I still did not see it coming. That made moving onto the third a necessity.
       I am a huge fan nowadays of the short story medium and when an author does like this one did and comes up with a half dozen or so in a row, I applaud the decision (mind you, he did so a century ago). I wish that more modern day authors would go this route. A book of, say, 10 stories instead of one long novel is welcome. Especially if the stories are as enjoyable as the ones about Valentine West are, as you can see for yourself.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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