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Full Name: Slade McGinty
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Private Investigator

Creator: Jacques Pendower
Time Span: 1962 - 1967


Slade McGinty is a private investigator.

He makes his home and has his office in London where he is licensed but he is most definitely a man very comfortable on the Continent and if a commission (as he calls his cases) takes him across the Channel to other European countries, he is not only at ease there, he seems especially happy to accommodate. Part of that comfort is likely to come from the fact that for a time, obviously after WWII, he was employed for an organization called the French Services Central, an intelligence bureau.

For several years after he left the Intelligence business and before he went off on his own, he was employed in England for the Kerton American Detective Agency and remains close to the London officer manager. I mention this because that man who obviously knows (and likes) McGinty quite a bit teases him that "caution was never [his] strong point". This may sound a tad harsh but as we will see in the course of his adventures, while McGinty is by no means foolish or silly in his actions, he is absolutely bold in the paths he will take to get a job done. Walking into a trap, knowing it is a trap, is something he could easily choose to do because it would cut a lot of delay.

He is described as "a very attractive man with his long, keen face and dark auburn hair", prone to carrying his "six feet two inches of lithe body" in an "easy, loose-limbed way", complete with a "devil-may-care gleam in his bold, grey-green eyes". As one woman thought after meeting him for the first time, he was "a man who had been places and done things". His tact can be impressive and he has an ability to listen that makes people want to share their secrets with him. On the other hand, as is not uncommon for that time frame, McGinty is prone to addressing any attractive woman as "baby" or something similarly gauche.

In one conversation when a perspective client said he had heard McGinty was "a much travelled and experience private investigator and something of a linguist", McGinty admitted, "I've knocked around quite a bit and I can get by in half a dozen languages". This will make him very much in demand by a lot of people.

Unfortunately for McGinty, who charges what some clients declare to be a considerable amount for his services, while he makes very good money, he likes the good life and he is frequently in need of a job to help cover his lifestyle.

McGinty's membership in this compendium comes from a majority of his recorded adventures finding him either dipping his feet in spy game yet again or diving full-body into that pool.

Good Lines:
- Said by McGinty about himself, "I've never been strong on morals".
- Thought by McGinty about a client, "He looked about as moral as a one-armed bandit".
- When invited once again to return to the cloak-and-dagger work for British Intelligence, McGinty demurs with, "I prefer to be free to wallow in my own gutter, not to be pushed in, willy-nilly. Besides, the pay is too low".


Number of Books:5
First Appearance:1962
Last Appearance:1967

1 The Perfect Wife The Perfect Wife
Written by Jacques Pendower
Copyright: 1962

"Slade McGinty is commissioned to seek information about the young, popular and charming Lady Sandra Bondell, who 'sounded more like a saint than a modern young woman. Too damned good to be true'."

2 Operation Carlo Operation Carlo
Written by Jacques Pendower
Copyright: 1963

"When Slade McGinty heard Anne's evidence he was sure Renzo Tantillo had made three attempts to murder her. Anne's first husband had been an Italian count and her son, Carlo, inherited the title and fortune. Slade's commission was to protect Anne, but befor he could get started, Carlo was kidnapped and Renzo murdered. Bertoldi, the boy's uncle and guarding, was the Number One suspect. When Slade set out to trace Carlo he soon found himself caught in a sinister web of death and intrigue from which there seemed no escape."

3 Master Spy Master Spy
Written by Jacques Pendower
Copyright: 1964

"When Slade McGinty accepted Konrad Geltwald's commission he had no illusions about his client. Geltwald lived in terror of El Maestro, a mysterious newcomer to London crime, who backed his threats with death, swiftly and expertly executed. El Maestro was suspected of being the elusive master spy who haunted the dark shadows of international espionage like a sinister phantom. When Geltwald was murdered Slade found himself involved in a deadly race to unmask the master spy before it was too late."

4 Sinister Talent Sinister Talent
Written by Jacques Pendower
Copyright: 1964

"Even on holiday in Italy, trouble and Slade McGinty were never far apart, and when he met the young blonde who appealed to him for aid he wondered if he was about to be taken for a ride. The idea amused him faintly; but not for long. Slade knew too much about the sinister talent of espionage agents for he had been one himself. Then his old friend, Emile Leronde of the French service Central contacted him with the startling information that secret documents had been stolen in Paris. When they pooled their information he found they were working in a tortuous maze of deadly chance."

5 Traitor's Island Traitor's Island
Written by Jacques Pendower
Copyright: 1967

"Slade McGinty had no illusions about Aristos Constantine when he accepted his commission to trace an employee, Phillip Bettley - a scientist who had vanished while visiting a remote Greek island. Slade suspected that he was being used as the fall guy in some sinister scheme. In Athens he learns that Bettley has been associated with the glamorous Cora, daughter of Jason Gipp, an agent for the bloody international armaments dealers."


I went back and forth many times trying to decide if Slade McGinty's adventures belonged in this collection. Obviously since I am typing this set of comments, the decision was affirmative.

The author, T.C.H. Jacobs, was a genius storyteller, whether he did so under the Jacques Pendower pseudonym like he did with McGinty or using several other pennames as the man did over the years - including or especially the terrific Temple Fortune series he did under his real name.

McGinty is a huge leap away from the sophisticated Fortune and it must have been fun for the author to do such a major switch in styles and personalities. I know it was a hoot for this reader.


My Grade: B+


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