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MICHAEL DENE

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Full Name: Michael Dene
Nationality: British
Organization: British Secret Service
Occupation Spymaster

Creator: Gerald Verner
Time Span: 1936 - 1945

ABOUT THE SERIES

Michael Dene is a British spymaster.

He is officially, so we are told, head of "K Department, Special Branch". Later the organization is described as the British Intelligence Service, said to affiliated with the Foreign Office. The third reference to his employment lists him as "head of the Special Branch of the British Intelligence Department". Either Dene enjoyed a degree of promotion over the years we follow him or his enjoyment of mystery remains strong - or both.

When we first encounter this man, he is seated in "a large, comfortably furnished office. A thick pile carpet covered the floor, and the walls were surrounded with bookshelves. In the centre was a big, flat-topped desk littered with papers, behind which, with his back to the light, sat a lean-faced man with a high forehead and keen, grey eyes". The man meeting Dene had encountered considerable trouble tracking him down as he had only been told to find "Dene of the Secret Ser..." from which the logical deduction had been 'Serivce'. However, this being 1936, "the fact that Great Britain possesses a Secret Service at all is treated as a polite fiction by the Powers that Be".

Dene is further described as have a "clean, clear cut face" and "a latent power about [him]". There was unusual intelligence in the broad forehead, determination in the set of mouth and chin; Dene, of the Secret Service, could prove a formidable opponent opponent to the machinations of the unknown group whose object was the downfall of Great Britain".

Elsewhere we are told that "Dene was a constant globetrotter, equally at home in London, Paris, or Amsterdam, New York, Belgrade, or Bucharest, or any other of the world's capitals. He came and went mysteriously, unknown and unperceived, a relentless worker for 'the Department'". Impressively, it is said that "No. 55, his official soubriquet in the Department, was a law unto himself". A nice touch was the comment made by one of his closest associates, namely "queer devil, Dene".

BOOKS

Number of Books:3
First Appearance:1936
Last Appearance:1945

1 The Seven Clues The Seven Clues
Written by Gerald Verner
Copyright: 1936

"Norris Jordan uncovers a fiendish plot and is about to give evidence to the British Government - but on his return to England he is murdered.
Having anticipated this, however, he has concealed his evidence within an elaborate series of riddles, each leading to a scrap of vital information; the first going to his friend, Peter Clayton.
Aided by Michael Dene, the head of the Secret Service, Clayton struggles to solve the riddles - but the duo soon find that their very lives are at stake as the plotters try to silence them..."
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2 Dene of the Secret Service Dene of the Secret Service
Written by Gerald Verner
Copyright: 1941

"A Korean seaman travelling by rail to Liverpool to take up his berth on a Japanese ship the Oki Maru, was murdered en route, and his identity assumed by his killer. Then after the ship sailed, it disappeared, presumed lost in a storm.
In the depth of the Welsh countryside, the owner of a remote country house, was not only pressured into selling his idyllic property, but was then subsequently brutally attacked and murdered.
Meanwhile, secret documents relating to a draft treaty with Japan went missing from the Foreign Office in London. In the wrong hands, the international repercussions would be disastrous, so top agent Dene of the Secret Service was assigned to their recovery.
What was the connection between these three disturbing but disparate events?"
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3 The Heel Of Achilles The Heel Of Achilles
Written by Gerald Verner
Copyright: 1945

"1944, two weeks before the Allied landings in Normandy. The home front is riddled with German spies, and the Reverend Colgate-Jones of the little town of Claybury, along with his old colleague and head of the Secret Service Michael Dene are about to uncover a nest of them.
The words 'tooth paste' are the key to Britain's survival from an impending sabotage led by the arch German spy known only as X.1.
These ordinary words, conveyed to Dene and Colgate-Jones by a dying colleague, are a signal to the Third Reich and its operatives in England to attack on the 21st of the month. Only a week away. X.1 must be tracked down and stopped. His plan must be uncovered. The fate of Britain is at stake."
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MY COMMENTS

With considerable appreciation and no little about of embarrassment, I had to be told about this series which were written over 8 decades ago! How in the world did this one slip past me? However it did, well, it did! But no longer as I am now rectifying the omission.

Dene is a bit of a man of mystery for those who do not know of him and to a lesser degree by those who do. Either that or just not understood. This would include his apparent love of travel (he being gone somewhere most of the time). I especially liked the "queer devil" comment.

GRADE

My Grade: B

Your Average Grade:   A

YOUR OPINIONS

DHolloway A 2024-06-18

Thanks for this. Had read Dene of the SS, not realising it was a series. Not bad, old school, but I like old school.


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