sabin_bk_tyc sabin_bk_mms
Full Name: Mr. Sabin
Nationality: French
Organization: None
Occupation Freelance Agent

Creator: E. Phillips Oppenheim
Time Span: 1898 - 1903


Mr. Sabin is a freelance agent.

That is really a misnomer in that Sabin does not earn a living as a private operative but it is nonetheless accurate because he definitely is acting as an operative in both of the two recorded adventures we have of him but he does so for his own reasons without an employer.

When we first meet him he is at a fancy restaurant having a late evening meal with a beautiful young woman. That was not noteworthy but the events as they were both leaving are. As he was preparing to enter the carriage to take them home, Sabin was the victim of an attack by a mysterious figure. The intervention of a third party was just enough to give Sabin a chance to strike soundly the assailant with his fancy walking stick, forcing the man to flee. The interesting aspect of this altercation comes in the attitude and reaction by Sabin. He was most cordial and appreciative to the helper but he was also extremely calm and collected; as he smoothly lit a cigarette, his hand was perfectly steady. It would have been impossible for anyone to ascertain how close to death Sabin had been moments before.

Sabin is described as being "well preserved" with "his little imperial and short grey moutached [being] trimmed with military precision". His hair is said to be almost white, "his age could scarcely be less than sixty". "His eyes, underneath his thick brows, were dark and clear, and his features were strong and delicately shaped. His hands were white and very shapely, the fingers were rather long, and he wore two singularly handsome rings, both set with strange stones".

All the above makes Sabin sound like a very interesting individual and indeed he is. It also, though, sounds as though Sabin should be seen in a positive light, something many who knew him would strongly disavow. As the man who tried to kill Sabin would say of him soon after, "There has never been a man or a woman yet who has not been the worse for knowing him. He is like the pestilence that walketh in the darkness, poisoning every one that is in the way of his horrible infection". The man hearing those words would pooh-pooh them instantly. He would later change his mind.



Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1898
Last Appearance:1903

1 Mysterious Mr. Sabin Mysterious Mr. Sabin
Written by E. Phillips Oppenheim
Copyright: 1898

Lord Wolfenden was more interested in the beautiful young woman than in her elderly companion when they entered the restaurant but it was the older man whose life Wolfenden would save as they left. He had no way of knowing this would get him involved in the older man's scheme but he would learn that Mr. Sabin, a dedicated by unscrupulous French royalist had a mission. That goal was to help the Germans get hold of the English coastal defense plans, all in exchange for a German vow to help restore the French royalty with Prince Henri on the throne.
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2 The Yellow Crayon The Yellow Crayon
Written by E. Phillips Oppenheim
Copyright: 1903

Mr. Sabin was contentedly retired, having given up the life in the shadows he had known for so long. Then his beautiful wife to whom he was totally devoted vanished and in tracking down what happened to her, he learned she was under the control of a group of powerful but secret cabal. The stated aim of that organization was to fight both anarchy and socialism but in fact the leader was out for his own gain. As dangerous and unscrupulous as the Yellow Crayon might be, it would see just how determined a man Sabin can be.
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     This is an important - nay, very important - series for a couple of reasons.

     One, it is a good couple of adventures with a pretty impressive and interesting protagonist, albeit his being by and large a bad guy.

     Two, it is, as of this writing, the very earliest spy series I have found which makes it noteworthy all on its own.

     Three, it is one of the earlier novels (not the first but still an early one) by this author and he is rightly deemed by me to be one of the early masters of spy fiction.


My Grade: B


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