SGAG Logo

THE BARON

baron_bk_meet baron_bk_black baron_bk_sport baron_bk_attack baron_bk_hide baron_bk_kingmaker baron_bk_help baron_bk_chinese baron_bk_nestegg baron_bk_masters baron_bk_bad baron_bk_versus baron_bk_frame baron_bk_beggar baron_bk_sword baron_bk_atbay baron_bk_onboard baron_bk_atlarge baron_bk_call baron_bk_salute baron_bk_burgle baron_bk_casefor baron_bk_career baron_bk_goeseast baron_bk_returns
 
Full Name: John Mannering
Series Name: The Baron
Nationality: American
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Other - Antique Dealer

Creator: Anthony Morton
Time Span: 1937 - 1979

ABOUT THE SERIES

John Mannering, aka The Baron, is an antique dealer.

He is also a very famous former jewel thief.

He is not a spy. At least not in any of the almost four dozen written adventures that exist on this interesting and, many would say, dashing individual. However, when a series of televised adventures were released showing even more escapades of the fellow, he is most definitely deeply involved with British Intelligence. How and why he got into such a relationship is never explained.

One small point that also is not explained has to do with the slight discrepancy of his nationality. Mannering in all 47 of the tales put on paper was most decidedly British through and through. When the camera began to record his activities, he suddenly was said to be American. A Texan, to be exact, and from what I 'hear tell', a cattle baron which is supposedly how he got the nickname. 

How the original British iteration of the man acquired the 'Baron' nickname is a different matter and it relates to his line of work before he became a sometime operative and before he transitioned to being the respectable and esteemed trader in antiques. Back then he stole for a living. He stole lots of things but his specialty was jewelry and he became quite well known for doing so. Not as Mannering, of course, because one did not go about announcing such things back then.

Initially he was known as 'Blue Mask' because of the blue kerchief he wore, bandit-style, over his lower half of his face to confound identification should he be spotted. As far as I could find out, he never called himself that, though. He did start the identify of 'The Baron', however. When another poor fellow was arrested for one of his crimes, Mannering decided to do his part to clear the unfortunate and he drafted a scathing letter to the police remonstrating their error. He signed it 'The Baron' and a legend was born.

It is useful now to point out why Mannering got into the life of crime that he did, prospering so very well at it that after a time he was able to get back out. Mannering came from an upper middle class family and he was accustomed to the good life that mena. He would even inherit a nice piece of land. But maintaining such a life style takes money and that was not quite so available. When he considered what he could do as work to pay his bills, nothing came to mind which would quite meet the levels he was wanting. Except crime.

So he started to steal. He had his scruples as to from whom he would steal in that he made sure he only victimized those who could easily afford the loss but while some might want to think of him as a Robin Hood style villain, he was far too honest with himself about his motived. He stole to get back the standard of living he lost; he was just pleased that he could do so against those that he had no scruples robbing. This included the lovely young fiancee who, when she learned how poor he really was promptly bid him adieu. He enjoyed stealing from her.

Eventually, though, he had amassed quite enough to not need to steal any more and so he quit. He found a new love and married her. He found a new interest in antiques of all sorts and types and went into that line of work. He bought an antique shop called Quinns and built it into a prestigious business.

But the thrill he got from his old line of work was addictive so he managed to find ways to keep the challenge going. People are always dying around him, or trying to kill him, or trying to kill people he would like to keep alive. People are always trying to steal valuable antique items (like ancient swords and vases and strange little boxes) or they are trying to sell fake antique items. Mannering has a very full life.

But now it is time to discuss the whole American working for British Intelligence business. Really, it is a whole new version of Mannering.

This Mannering is, as mentioned, from across the pond. I would have said in the Colonies but this Mannering is from Texas which was never one of England's colonies but really one of Spain's up until France took it over and then it got its independence and then the Texans got their own.

This Mannering is not married and apparently never has been. He does have a very friendly relationship going with a gorgeous woman named Cordelia who is really a British agent assigned to work with Mannering but who is pretty good with the antique business as well so that worked out well.

This Mannering was never a professional thief suspected of being the notorious jewel thief called the Baron. He is apparently a very rich man who made a fortune in the cattle business (i.e., a cattle baron) before saying goodbye to that and moving to London to go into the antique trade.

Is the Mannering of the printed page adventures the same as the Mannering of the small screen? Who am I to say!

BOOKS

Number of Books:47
First Appearance:1937
Last Appearance:1979

       I mention elsewhere that I have read a couple dozen of the Baron adventures over the past 50 years and enjoyed them. I want this stated so there is no misunderstanding the next paragraph.

       The books are not spy adventures. They were never meant to be. They are action thrillers meant to entertain the reader with the exploits of a gentleman jewel thief turned antique expert who is always getting into skirmishes and finding (or fighting) his way out.
       For enjoyable, pretty light reading fare, by all means check out some of them.
       But do not expect anything like a spy novel. Yes there are a couple with agents playing roles but they are few and far between.
       They are listed here because they have to do with the Baron, at least the original Baron.

1 Meet the Baron Meet the Baron
aka The Man In The Blue Mask
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1937

John Manering (aka The Baron) makes his first appearance in this volume. Lord Fauntley cannot help showing off both his daughter and the security under which his precious jewels are kept. Mannering finds himself attracted to both .... Money is tight and so he plans a burglary, but this fails and unexpected consequnces result. The relationship with Lorna Fauntley flourishes, and a series of high profile thefts and adventures ensure Mannering's future, so he believes, until Lorna equates him with The Baron. One of the many further twists in this award winning novel occurs when the police appear to seek Mannering's help, only to have everything turned upside down as the plot develops...

2 The Baron Returns The Baron Returns
aka The Return of Blue Mask
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1937

John Mannering (aka ‘The Baron’) pulled his scarf up so as to hide his face. A casual observer from a window above would probably not even notice him. The finest jewel thief in London was utilising all of his skills to nail a crooked Solicitor. Mannering’s friend could be ruined by documents contained in the lawyer’s strong-room and so he risks all, especially his freedom, to get them back.

3 The Baron Again The Baron Again
aka Salute Blue Mask
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1938

Retired gentleman cracksman, John Mannering, (aka "The Baron"), who runs Quinns Antiques in Mayfair, is faced with reverting to his old profession in an effort to save the life of a man accused of murder. The suspense is literally killing and even "The Baron" is not sure of the man's innocence. He gets involved to the point where he too is in danger of being suspected as an accomplice and the reader is kept on edge right up until a very unexpected climax and solution to the mystery is revealed.Once the inheritance of a noble family, the five beautiful jewels of Castille were stolen, separated and their identity lost. Few men could recognize them for what they were, but John Mannering - alias the Baron - was such a man. In pursuit of jewels, Mannering has the misfortune to come up against three of the ugliest criminals he has ever met. To these men, robbery and violence are merely a game, and the Baron an inconvenient pawn who must fight for his life as well as the prize.

4 The Baron At Bay The Baron At Bay
aka Blue Mask At Bay
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1939

Once the inheritance of a noble family, the five beautiful jewels of Castille were stolen, separated and their identity lost. Few men could recognize them for what they were, but John Mannering - alias the Baron - was such a man. In pursuit of jewels, Mannering has the misfortune to come up against three of the ugliest criminals he has ever met. To these men, robbery and violence are merely a game, and the Baron an inconvenient pawn who must fight for his life as well as the prize.

5 Alias the Baron Alias the Baron
aka Alias Blue Mask
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1939

John Mannering (aka "The Baron") bought the Dellamont Emeralds in Paris. They were beautiful, expensive - and sinister. But Mannering, connoisseur of precious gems, chose to ignore their history of misfortune. Then things began to happen - an attempted robbery of the famous jewels; and a quarrel with Lorna Fauntley. Seemingly separate incidents, yet all connected. The strangest thing of all was that someone was impersonating the Baron ... .

6 The Baron at Large The Baron at Large
aka Challenge Blue Mask
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1939

It was to be an historic occasion. The Kallinov collection, jewels worth a quarter of a million pounds, were to be collected under one roof, and John Mannering - alias the Baron - had been invited to bring along his own Gloria diamonds. What his hosts were unaware of, however, was that their charming, elegant guest was in fact the legendary and highly successful jewel thief! So when Mannering is roused by a gunshot in the night and arrives on the scene to witness the whole collection being driven away by thieves, he has much cause for concern. But concern swiftly turns to alarm when he receives a gloating note from the thieves who, it seems, are trying to frame him...

7 Versus the Baron Versus the Baron
aka Blue Mask Strikes Again
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1940

When John Mannering - alias The Baron - is offered a superb set of diamonds, he is faced with a dangerous dilemma. For these are not just any jewels - they are, in fact, 'hot stones', which have been stolen from the Louvre in Paris in one of the most daring robberies for years. Should he handle the diamonds in the hope that they'll lead him to a murderer? Should he become the Baron again; jewel thief and the greatest of all cracksmen? To stand idly by would to see the murderer go free, and the potential death of a girl. Mannering's ultimate decision makes for a Baron adventure that thrills as much as it sparkles...

8 Call for the Baron Call for the Baron
aka Blue Mask Victorius
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1940

Vere House, Hampshire, was once a peaceful have for Professor Martin Vere and his wife Diana until a series of minor thefts occur and the pair has to call in the help of undercover agent, John Mannering. What the couple don't know is that Mannering's expertise comes from his previous work as The Baron, a devious and deceitful jewel thief. When guest Lady Usk's famous Deverell necklace goes missing more help comes in the form of Chief Inspector Bristow of Scotland Yard. Mannering is immediately a suspect, made worse when he discovers the Deverell necklace in his own room.

9 The Baron Comes Back The Baron Comes Back
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1943

Although John Mannering - alias the Baron - had been enjoying his retirement from his 'Baronial' activities as a jewel thief, he was nonetheless tempted by the offer of the strange little Frenchman who visited him late one night. So tempted, in fact, that he accepts, and resurrects the Baron in return for a superb diamond. In doing so, Mannering is plunged into the search for a famous collection of precious stones smuggled into the country by an organization which, he suspects, is also dealing in human contraband.

10 A Case for the Baron A Case for the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1945

John Mannering (aka "The Baron") is a former cracksman and jewel thief who is occasionally consulted by Scotland Yard when there is a particularly difficult, or mysterious, case to solve. Seemingly reluctantly, Superintendent Bristow contacts him because the police need help in tracking down some stolen precious stones, which have so far eluded them. Mannering suspects some sort of elaborate trap is being set and so very carefully lays down his own terms before rendering assistance. Then things change dramatically as the crime being investigated escalates from theft to murder. Were Mannering's instincts correct in the first place?

11 Reward for the Baron Reward for the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1945

A thief has ransacked every room in the Royal Hotel. Old friendships and connections are called upon and Superintendent Bristow of Scotland Yard is called in to investigate. He discovers John Mannering (aka "The Baron") is a guest, along with his wife, Lorna. Valuable jewellery has been stolen and there is clearly an abiding suspicion - but then comes a mysterious call. A man has two diamonds to sell and also has a very surprising confession to make to Mannering ...

12 Career for the Baron Career for the Baron
aka What To Do
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1946

John Mannering is adapting well to his new, respectable life. However, when he tries to buy an antique shop he is forced to revive the skills of his former occupation as the Baron - master cracksman and jewel thief. Before the deal is sealed, Mannering faces murders, smuggling, and antique switching, and works with the Yard to beat the criminals once and for all.

13 The Baron and the Beggar The Baron and the Beggar
aka Blood Diamond
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1947

As the owner of Quinn's - an exclusive Mayfair antiques shop - John Mannering had purchased the Adalgo mainly out of curiosity. It had come to be known as a "blood diamond" as violent death had overcome many of its previous owners. Mannering - alias the Baron - scoffed at the legend but from the moment he acquires it he is beset with misfortune. He becomes the victim of theft, his wife is kidnapped and an old friend is brutally murdered. Could the curse of the "blood diamond" be coming true? Can the Baron escape its clutches?

14 Blame the Baron Blame the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1949

It seemed like an ordinary theft by night, at first. So why then should John Mannering, aka the Baron, take an interest? The reason - the scene of the crime, Quinns, was owned by Mannering and known across the globe for its rare, old and beautiful things. For the first time, the Baron finds himself the victim of theft, as well as a suspect in a cold-blooded murder case.

15 A Rope for the Baron A Rope for the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1948

John Mannering was making his way to Hallen House, a lonely old country mansion, to purchase the famous Lake Emeralds from a man who called himself Silas Bellamy. But on his way across the moors, he meets two mysterious strangers who warn him that he will be in mortal danger if he continues with his journey. Though Mannering -- alias the Baron -- finds the house quite normal at first, he soon discovers that two young girls are imprisoned within its walls. What's more, those who visit can never leave!

16 Books for the Baron Books for the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1949

When the Earl of Lithom, a highly skilled rider, is thrown by his horse and dies of a broken neck, some question whether it is an accident or a murder. What's more, Gloria, his stunning daughter and heiress, claims to have seen a bloody corpse in the library, its throat slit. Was this a hallucination or a murder? John Mannering - alias the Baron - must seek the answers to these questions, all the while facing a thrilling mixture of danger, temptation, espionage and even death.

17 Cry for the Baron Cry for the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1950

Each previous owner of 'The Diamond of Tears' had been tortured and met a murderous end. Jacob Bernstein was the fifth in line and was to become a victim, which resulted in John Mannering (aka "The Baron") beginning an investigation which proved to be intriguing and dangerous. What is it about this priceless jewel that attracts death for its owners, and why is "The Baron" himself now in danger?

18 Trap the Baron Trap the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1950

When John Mannering - alias the Baron - picked up the receiver he heard a frightened man at the end of the line. When he later opened his front door he found a superbly confidant and supremely beautiful woman standing there. She had been robbed of diamonds and she needed Mannering's help. Were the two linked?

19 Attack the Baron Attack the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1951

A shot rang out from Quinns, a shop in Mayfair dealing in antiques and precious stones. John Mannering - alias the Baron - had been showing some diamonds to an amiable-looking young man. However, looks can be deceiving, as the young man seized the jewels and shot the Baron in the head before fleeing. Now Mannering was lying gravely ill in Westminster Hospital, undergoing an emergency operation. Scotland Yard were on the case, but did they didn't have much to go on....

20 Shadow the Baron Shadow the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1951

John Mannering (aka "The Baron") is called in by Scorland Yard's Superintendent Bristow to help catch the mysterious jewel thief 'The Shadow'. No one know the thief's identity, but he has managed to pull off many high profile robberies. However, as Mannering proceeds to track down the target, he finds the pursuer becomes the pursued . . . .

21 Warn the Baron Warn the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1952

'Tell M. danger from Paul K' read the cryptic warning from a dying man. The 'M' in question was John Mannering - alias the Baron - and the warning was not wrong. Faced with two murders and the threat of his own impending death, the Baron steps outside the law to hunt down the ruthless, unknown, killer who has claimed their third victim - Paul K.

22 The Baron Goes East The Baron Goes East
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1953

John Mannering flies out to India to help an old friend. There is a Maharajah who seeks credit, a dealer in jewels whose main interest is drugs, and an attempted detention. The Baron and his friend both have enemies - dealing not just in diamonds, but also death.

23 The Baron in France The Baron in France
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1953

When somebody broke into the safe of respected jeweler, Bernard Dale, he obviously hadn't reckoned on any interference. His first mistake. His second mistake - killing Dale - was just downright stupid. For Dale was an old friend of John Mannering - alias the Baron - and Mannering didn't like his old friends getting shot. But although all the evidence pointed firmly at Dale's young partner, Tony Bennet, Mannering wasn't convinced.

24 Danger for the Baron Danger for the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1953

When John Mannering - alias the Baron - agreed to buy some jewels on behalf of an anonymous client, he thought it would be a simple transaction. However, he did not know that the jewels had been owned by three former business associates of the unknown client, nor of the mysterious tragedy that connects the past to the present. Mannering soon finds out that all is not as it seems, and, as murder follows murder, and the Baron himself is wanted by the police, it is a race against time to solve the dangerous puzzle and clear his name.

25 The Baron Goes Fast The Baron Goes Fast
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1954

The Wannamaker Diamond Heist triggers a battle for the fortune in diamonds. The Baron sold the original Wannamaker diamonds so he decides to get involved in who stole the fabulous diamonds. Mannering finds the thugs who pulled off the heist have more evil intentions. And he intends to stop them.

26 Nest-Egg for the Baron Nest-Egg for the Baron
aka Deaf, Dumb and Blonde
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1954

John Mannering (aka "The Baron") of Quinns Antiques in Mayfair, is in danger. Several murders have taken place and a mysterious gunman pursues him. Behind it all lies a blond woman, who appears to be (at least temporarily) dumb and a nest egg of gold holding five bejewelled eggs. Can he escape danger and at the same time solve the mystery?

27 Help From the Baron Help From the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1955

The Fioras jewels are missing and Francesca Lisle, one of John Mannering's (aka "The Baron"s') neighbours, is mysteriously asked by her father to retrieve a leather holdall from underneath the floorboards and take it to him at Waterloo station. Francesca is kidnapped, however, and ends up in the River Thames. Meanwhile, Joy Lessing is also kidnapped, or so it would seem. Mannering is unwittingly involved and sets off to investigate, but cannot tell the police everything he discovers.

28 Hide the Baron Hide the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1956

Why is George Morrow being threatened? Why was Jimmy Garfield murdered? What was really in the box that he kept in the seat of his wheelchair?

29 Frame the Baron Frame the Baron
aka The Double Frame
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1957

The Midi diamonds were not insured. So when they are stolen, it is bad news for their owner - until she manages to enlist the help of John Mannering in their recovery. Mannering - better known as the Baron - has a higher success rate that the police in the business of recovering stolen property, and it is not beyond some disgruntled policemen to believe that he'd had a hand in the thefts in the first place. Soon he is suspected of robbery and, indeed, murder, and he has to strike hard and fast if he is going to clear his name and solve the case.

30 Red Eye for the Baron Red Eye for the Baron
aka Blood Red
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1958

John Mannering, the former jewel thief known as ‘The Baron’ and now a respectable antique dealer in London’s Mayfair, was selling a fabulous diamond ring known as the ‘Red Eye of Love’. The ring, however, was not wanted by its intended recipient, who only reluctantly placed it on her finger. Could a sixth sense be at work, as the ring is surely associated with death?

31 Black for the Baron Black for the Baron
aka If Anything Happens To Hester
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1959

John Mannering (aka "The Baron"), retired jewel thief and shop owner in London's Mayfair, sets off to find a missing girl and subsequently becomes involved in a convoluted plot involving blackmail, theft and murder. There is also danger lurking for Mannering as he nears what he assumes to be the finish, but is it?

32 Salute for the Baron Salute for the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1960

A young employee of the Olde World Gallery is suspected of stealing jewellery and even those that know her well suspect the worst. The list of crimes of which she is the alleged perpetrator then grows to include arson, and even murder. John Mannering (aka ‘The Baron’) comes to her aid and believes she is obviously being framed, but the evidence grows and there doesn’t appear to be any other rational explanation. Moreover, as Mannering draws closer to the truth, those others who are suspected start to die, and the intrigue deepens.

33 A Branch for the Baron A Branch for the Baron
aka The Baron Branches Out
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1961

After deciding to open a branch of his antique shop, Quinns, in Boston, John Mannering, aka the Baron, also decides to move to an Elizabethan Manor House. However, the present owner of the house disappears and a man is found dead in one of the secret stairways.

34 Bad for the Baron Bad for the Baron
aka The Baron and the Stolen Legacy
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1962

John Mannering, internationally known antique dealer and consultant to Scotland Yard, finds himself in prison in the new Baron story, charged with possessing stolen jewels - and with murder. The crisis begins when Mannering identifies as fakes a number of pieces of jewelry brought to him valuation. Then genuine, identical jewels are found in their place in the Quinns' strong room when the police search it, following a man's brutal murder outside Mannering's door. While the Baron awaits trial in Brixton jail, his wife and his friends must first of all persuade him not to break out and then follow his instructions in the complicated and perilous unraveling of the plat around the stolen legacy.

35 A Sword for the Baron A Sword for the Baron
aka The Baron and the Mogul Swords
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1963

John Mannering (aka "The Baron"), once a master cracksman, but now a respectable London antique dealer, becomes entangled with the secrets of an ancient family, including an old murder; a pair of superb swords; and a neurotic young girl.

36 The Baron on Board The Baron on Board
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1964

John Mannering, known as the Baron during his days as a jewel thief, must use his former skills to solve the murder of a courier who was bringing a group of priceless jewels to Mannering's antiques firm.

37 The Baron and the Chinese Puzzle The Baron and the Chinese Puzzle
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1965

When a well-known Chinese dealer invites him to a unique exhibition of art treasures in Hong Kong, Manning's interest is piqued - even more so when he realizes the extreme lengths someone is prepared to go to prevent him reaching his destination.

38 Sport for the Baron Sport for the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1966

The 'Alda insignia' is to be sold at auction, but John Mannering (The Baron) refuses to buy it for a mysterious Australian. He is then, however, threatened by the seller's lawyers. Travelling to Australia in order to try and uncover the truth behind these strange occurences, Mannering meets with an extremely hostile reception. There are, however, questions to be answered and a deepening mystery solved, particularly when he comes across a manor house almost identical to one in England, and a family clearly divided between the two countries. At the centre is a huge debt, valuable jewels and to top it all the affair of the Picasso painting . . .

39 Affair for the Baron Affair for the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1967

A retired criminal, Mario Ballas, lives in Mexico surrounded by his priceless collection of art treasures. Despite being protected by a ruthless gang of guards an emerald is stolen. It may seem to be outside his normal sphere, but John Mannering (aka "The Baron") is called upon t investigate and uncovers more than anyone originally imagined.

40 The Baron and the Missing Old Masters The Baron and the Missing Old Masters
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1968

Deep in the heart of Wiltshire, John Mannering steps into the home of an old lady who wishes him to value her paintings. He has no idea that he is also walking into a hornet's nest of blackmail, arson, and murder. Under the watchful eyes of masterpieces, the Baron must battle for the truth. Who was blackmailing whom? Why were people out to kill him? What is the girl, Joanna, hiding?

41 The Baron and the Unfinished Portrait The Baron and the Unfinished Portrait
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1969

The sitter for the portrait changes - why did they think the artist wouldn't know? The fabulous old jewel collection may be old, but stolen jewels. How do these things combine to threaten even the Baron's life?

42 Last Laugh for the Baron Last Laugh for the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1970

The peace of a quiet day is disturbed at Quinns, the antique shop in London's Mayfair owned by John Mannering - known also as "The Baron" and a former master cracksman and jewel thief. The phone rings and is answered by Josh Larraby, himself a former thief. 'They're trying to kill me' pleads the man on the line. Then laughter is heard, at first soft, but rising to a crescendo which makes even the stalwart Larraby cringe. What is to be done? But there is more to the call than might be supposed, for Mannering must battle a plot to dominate and destroy him.

43 The Baron Goes A-Buying The Baron Goes A-Buying
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1971

At Quinns antique house, owner John Mannering and former Scotland Yard chief, William Bristow, are faced with a jewel heist by the Black Knight seeking revenge on the two men who put him away. Mannering, know as the Baron in his Robin Hood crime days, is now the chief suspect in the murder and robbery which his good friend Bristow is now investigating.

44 The Baron and the Arrogant Artist The Baron and the Arrogant Artist
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1972

Mannering quite admired the arrogance of the self-opinionated young artist who asked him for patronage for a subsidy to keep him painting. It was also clear that the young painter wasn't actually asking for a favour, he was conferring one! With so much youthful confidence on display, Mannering wasn't expecting the phone call later. On arriving at a flat in Fulham, he finds the artist near death. Was it attempted suicide, or was it, in fact, attempted murder? Once again, Mannering must revive his skills as the Baron to save lives from terrible danger.

45 Burgle the Baron Burgle the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1973

A new generation of criminals see him as an obvious target – can they outsmart the man who was a legend amongst their fraternity in his time? They find, however, that robbing their ‘man’ isn’t quite as easy as they might have hoped, although ‘The Baron’ does come perilously close to disaster in a tale that has an unexpected twist.

46 The Baron - King Maker The Baron - King Maker
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1975

John Mannering (aka "The Baron"), now retired from being the country's top jewel thief, receives a visitor in his Mayfair antique shop. It is Prince Taria, son of an old acquaintance of Mannering's, the ruler of a small island off the coast of Malaysia. The Prince has embarked upon a desperate search for his dynastic treasures. He is also determined to give his small tropical island a true democracy, but his life is now threatened by the enemies of his people ....

47 Love for the Baron Love for the Baron
Written by Anthony Morton
Copyright: 1979

He is asked to value a collection of jewellery and objets d’art belonging to the estate of Ezra Peek. What is mysterious, however, is a woman who is following him as he moves around London. Then there is an attempted robbery at Quinns, with Mannering’s wife tied up and locked in a cupboard. How are these events connected and when the woman declares her love for Mannering, just what is the motivation?

MOVIES

Number of Movies:2
First Appearance:1965
Last Appearance:1966

       Both movies mentioned below are each fixups stitched together from two-part episodes. They were made available for theaters outside the US and UK and for the tv-movie industry.

1 The Man In A Looking Glass The Man In A Looking Glass
Also known as Der Panther von Soho
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writers: Terry Nation, Dennis Spooner
Actors: Steve Forrest as John Mannering, Sue Lloyd as Cordelia Winfield, Bernard Lee as Morgan Travis, Vvonne Furneaux as Selina Travis
Released: 1965

From TVGuide.com: "An art dealer poses as a gangster to prevent the theft of Britain's crown jewels."
According to jensencv8.webbly.com, this was "a combination of Masquerade and The Killing", a two-episode (#6 & #7) adventure.

2 Mystery Island Mystery Island
Director: Gordon Flemyng
Writer: Terry Nation
Actors: Steve Forrest as John Mannering, Sue Lloyd as Cordelia Winfield
Released: 1966

Attempting to locate a missing shipment at the docks in Macau, Cordelia stumbles upon a murder on board a cargo vessel. She is immediately taken prisoner, and John Mannering stows away in order to free her, unaware that he is about to uncover a plot to sabotage a US space mission.
According to jensencv8.webbly.com, this was "a re-edit of the episodes Storm Warning and The Island",  #15 & #16.

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:30
First Appearance:1966
Last Appearance:1967
Network:ITV

REGULAR CAST
Steve ForrestJohn Mannering (The Baron) [ 1 ]
Sue LloydCordelia Winfield [ 1 ]
Colin GordonJohn Templeton-Green [ 1 ]

       I have a scene in my head that was probably nothing like what really happened but it is firmly in place nevertheless. It unfolds this way:

       The show creator approaches the ever-busy super prolific author and tells him how much he loves the Baron books and how he would relish the chance to put him on the small screen much like rival Leslie Charteris' The Saint.
       The author agrees. They might have haggled a bit here or there but in the end the deal was finalized and the papers were signed. And soon the Baron had his spot in the lineup.
       Except that this Baron was American, not British.
       And he was a former cattle baron from Texas, not a reformed jewel thief.
       And this Baron is a bachelor with an appreciative eye, not a happily married man.
       And this Baron would own and operate an antique business like his book counterpart but this was largely to act as a cover for his spy work that he does for British Intelligence.
       Other than that, the television show was just like the books.
       The scene in my head ends before I learn how the author felt about the few minor alterations.



       As frequent and valued contributor Bernard informs me, "The TV series was made by ITC more as an extension of The Saint". Further, "The Baron had other similarities with 'The Saint' as they both shared the same sound stages and were made by the same producers".
1 Diplomatic Immunity
Episode S1-01, first aired 09/28/1966
Director: Leslie Norman
Writer: Dennis Spooner

[SPY] A girl steals a valuable Fabergé miniature from Mannering's London shop, and claims diplomatic immunity in the Pamaranean embassy. She is known to British Intelligence's head, Templeton-Green, who is investigating a number of antique thefts. Mannering, to regain his Fabergé, agrees to go to Pamaranea, where he is assisted by Templeton-Green's local agent Cordelia Winfield.

2 Epitaph for a Hero
Episode S1-02, first aired 10/05/1966
Director: John Moxey
Writer: Terry Nation

[SPY] The Baron is an unwilling accomplice in a major jewel robbery when Cordelia is kidnapped.

3 Something for a Rainy Day
Episode S1-03, first aired 10/12/1966
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Terry Nation

[PI] The Baron acts as go-between in a case involving an insurer's recovery of stolen treasure and the former thief's knowledge of their whereabouts.

4 Red Horse, Red Rider
Episode S1-04, first aired 10/19/1966
Director: John Moxey
Writer: Terry Nation

[SPY] Mannering finds himself transporting a priceless statuette out of a fascist state at the request of an ailing freedom fighter.

5 Enemy of the State
Episode S1-05, first aired 10/26/1966
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Dennis Spooner

[SPY] Cordelia is arrested by a hostile government, and Mannering hatches a plan to exchange her for a top-ranking official.

6 Masquerade (part one)
Episode S1-06, first aired 11/02/1966
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Terry Nation

[SPY] The Baron acquires an exact double, as a criminal gang attempt to pull off the most audacious robbery of them all.

7 The Killing (part two)
Episode S1-07, first aired 11/09/1966
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Terry Nation

[SPY] The Baron acquires an exact double, as a criminal gang attempt to pull off the most audacious robbery of them all.

8 The Persuaders
Episode S1-08, first aired 11/16/1966
Director: Leslie Norman
Writer: Dennis Spooner

[PI] David Marlowe is kidnapped; as the ransom, Mannering is forced to sell a fake painting to a particular client. Why?

9 And Suddenly You're Dead
Episode S1-09, first aired 11/23/1966
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writers: Terry Nation, Dennis Spooner

[SPY] The mysterious death in the French Alps of a friend of Cordelia leads Mannering to uncover a plot to sell a particularly lethal strain of germ warfare to the highest bidder.

10 The Legions of Ammak
Episode S1-10, first aired 11/30/1966
Director: John Moxey
Writer: Michael Cramoy

[SPY] The Baron is duped into facilitating an unusual deal between the King of Ammak and an eccentric millionaire to buy the Legions of Ammak, part of the Ammak Crown Jewels. David Marlowe, however, spots that the 'King' is an impostor, which uncovers a plot to depose the real King and carve up Ammak's oil-rich reserves.

11 Samurai West
Episode S1-11, first aired 12/07/1966
Director: John Moxey
Writer: Brian Degas

[PI] The sale of a valuable Samurai sword stirs up old rivalries between a former Japanese prisoner-of-war commandant and a British prisoner.

12 The Maze
Episode S1-12, first aired 12/14/1966
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Brian Clemens

[SPY] When the Baron comes to the aid of a frightened girl on a lonely country road, he suddenly loses 24 hours of his life. As he pieces together the puzzle of the missing hours, in the face of a sceptical police and Cordelia, he uncovers an assassination plot.

13 Portrait of Louisa
Episode S1-13, first aired 12/21/1966
Director: John Moxey
Writer: Terry Nation

[PI] A close friend of Mannering is being blackmailed, but cannot confide in him. As he begins to suspect foul play, the race is on to find out who is blackmailing Louisa Trenton, and why.

14 There's Someone Close Behind You
Episode S1-14, first aired 12/28/1966
Director: Roy Baker
Writers: Terry Nation, Dennis Spooner

[PI] When Mannering is the only witness to a murder perpetrated by a gangland boss, he decides the only way to protect himself is to go on the offensive.

15 Storm Warning (part one)
Episode S1-15, first aired 01/04/1967
Director: Gordon Flemyng
Writer: Terry Nation

[SPY] Attempting to locate a missing shipment at the docks in Macau, Cordelia stumbles upon a murder on board a cargo vessel. She is immediately taken prisoner, and John Mannering stows away in order to free her, unaware that he is about to uncover a plot to sabotage a US space mission.

16 The Island (part two)
Episode S1-16, first aired 01/11/1967
Director: Gordon Flemyng
Writer: Terry Nation

[SPY] Attempting to locate a missing shipment at the docks in Macau, Cordelia stumbles upon a murder on board a cargo vessel. She is immediately taken prisoner, and John Mannering stows away in order to free her, unaware that he is about to uncover a plot to sabotage a US space mission.

17 Time to Kill
Episode S1-17, first aired 01/18/1967
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Dennis Spooner

[PI] A famous cameo with a curse attached causes trouble for Cordelia when she tries to broker a deal, only to discover the owner has been murdered, and the killers are going to extreme lengths to obtain it.

18 A Memory of Evil
Episode S1-18, first aired 01/25/1967
Director: Don Chaffey
Writers: Terry Nation, Dennis Spooner

[SPY] Templeton-Green assigns Mannering to investigate how art treasures looted by the Nazis and believed lost are finding their way on to the market.

19 You Can't Win Them All
Episode S1-19, first aired 02/01/1967
Director: Don Chaffey
Writer: Dennis Spooner

[SPY] Discovering that Russian icons he had sold in good faith to a gallery have been substituted by fakes, The Baron attempts to secure the originals by playing the thief at his own game around a rigged poker table. Co-starring: Sue Lloyd. Guest stars: Sam Wanamaker, Peter Bowles, Reginald Marsh, David Burke, John Bown, Mark Dignam, Tony Caunter, John Cater, Edwin Brown and Ken Barker.

20 The High Terrace
Episode S1-20, first aired 02/08/1967
Director: Robert Asher
Writer: Dennis Spooner

[PI] Investigating the disappearance of a client and friend, Mannering uncovers a bizarre sect intent on defrauding its hapless followers.

21 The Seven Eyes of Night
Episode S1-21, first aired 02/15/1967
Director: Robert Asher
Writer: Terry Nation

[SPY] The Baron is at the centre of an elaborate double-double-cross that revolves around the sale of the Seven Eyes of Night, a necklace once owned by the Empress Joséphine.

22 Night of the Hunter
Episode S1-22, first aired 02/22/1967
Director: Roy Baker
Writer: Terry Nation

[SPY] Mannering and Cordelia arrive in a small Balkan state to broker an antiques deal with the widow of its former president, only to find she is on the run from the newly-installed dictator.

23 The Edge of Fear
Episode S1-23, first aired 03/01/1967
Director: Quentin Lawrence
Writer: Dennis Spooner

[PI] After an audacious theft takes place, the Baron is compelled to act as authenticator in the attempted sale of the most famous painting in the world.

24 Long Ago and Far Away
Episode S1-24, first aired 03/08/1967
Director: Robert Asher
Writer: Dennis Spooner

[SPY] When Cordelia goes missing on a routine assignment in South America, Mannering goes in search of her, only to uncover an attempted coup d'état by a deposed former president.

25 So Dark the Night
Episode S1-25, first aired 03/15/1967
Director: Robert Tronson
Writers: Terry Nation, Dennis Spooner

[PI] Mannering and Cordelia travel to the West Country to value an estate, and become embroiled in the hunt for the proceeds of a bank robbery that took place several years earlier.

26 The Long, Long Day
Episode S1-26, first aired 03/22/1967
Director: Roy Baker
Writer: Brian Clemens

[SPY] Assigned to provide safe escort for a witness to a Mafia murder, the Baron is caught in a standoff with the killers in a lonely Italian hilltop village.

27 Roundabout
Episode S1-27, first aired 03/29/1967
Director: Robert Tronson
Writer: Terry Nation

[PI] Mannering discovers that his Paris shop is being used as a front for drug trafficking.

28 The Man Outside
Episode S1-28, first aired 04/05/1967
Director: Roy Baker
Writer: Terry Nation

[PI] Mannering visits Scotland after the death of one of his associates in a car accident. Things take a mysterious turn when he spots someone in a local pub wearing the antique ring Mannering had instructed his associate to buy.

29 Countdown
Episode S1-29, first aired 04/12/1967
Director: Robert Asher
Writer: Terry Nation

[PI] Mannering comes up against a rival antiques dealer when a long-lost antique sword resurfaces. However, only one of them plays by the rules.

30 Farewell to Yesterday
Episode S1-30, first aired 04/19/1967
Director: Leslie Norman
Writer: Harry W. Junkin

[SPY] Templeton-Green assigns Mannering to uncover an art-smuggling operation which is seeing priceless treasures from the Vatican being couriered to London. An old flame of the Baron is also involved, and Mannering is as keen to rescue her as he is to solve the mystery.

MY COMMENTS

I was a big fan of the Baron books back in the 70s when I first encountered him. I read a couple dozen of them over the years and then just lost track of him. I would not mind having the time to reconnect. John Creasey gets a fair amount of pummeling from critics but I really liked him. I like the Toff. I loved Gideon. I enjoyed Inspector West. I have consumed a decent number of Patrick Dawlish. And, of course, there were the Department Z and Dr. Palfrey adventures.

However, as much as I liked the Baron, I never thought to include him in this compendium until it was pointed out to me by fellow spy-fi fans that the television show fit my loose criteria for membership. Finally I took a closer look and decided that they do fit so here at last is his page.

I have watched many of the episodes of the television show here and there over the years and for the most part I enjoyed them. Except for ... My goodness, how wooden was Steve Forrest in the role. I could not help comparing his portrayal of the Baron with Roger Moore's portrayal of the Saint and each time I found the former so much less than the latter. And yet I still mostly enjoyed the show.

It was possibly because of the spy elements that pop up repeatedly. 

Or it could have been Sue Lloyd.

GRADE

My Grade: B

YOUR OPINIONS

Be the first to leave your own comments about this series.

Tell us what you think of the series. Give your grade and comments.

Your Grade:
Your Comments:

To give your opinion, you must be logged in.

Sign In

Register
Disclaimer
SpyGuysAndGals is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and links with the Buy from Amazon button are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.