Digburn_Ward_and_Sally3 Digburn_Ward_and_Sally2 Digburn_Ward_and_Sally4 Digburn_Ward_and_Sally5 digburn_ward_and_sally1
Full Name: Ward and Sally Digburn
Nationality: British
Organization: British Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: Leonard Gribble
Time Span: 1954 - 1967


Sally and Ward Digburn are agents for the British Secret Service.

As the series opens, Sally Dean is a Detective-Sargeant with Scotland Yard's legendary Ghost Squad, an elite force in the police organization tasked with investigations far outside the normal criminal elements. The officers go deep undercover, usually unknown to most of the force, to ferret out gangs, con artists, and even spies. Their people keep a low profile to better maintain their anonymity. Dean has been a policeman with this division for several years as evidenced by her rank.

Howard Digburn, nicknamed Ward, is a successful stockbroker from a well-to-do family. They met on a cruise that he was taking for amusement and she was taking while on a case. [There is no reference to a book before the listed Secret Dragnet but the writing makes it feel like one before existed]. They dated for a while and quickly fell in love. He proposed but her work made her worried about committment so as of the start of the series they were a couple but not yet engaged.

The key aspect to Ward Digburn was that while he worked as a stockbroker and Dean saw nothing in his mannerisms to indicate anything else, it is revealed half way into the first book that he was ofttimes more than a white collar worker and that he, on occassion, helped out an agency of the government. It seems that his experience during the war as part of Military Intelligence and his contacts in High Finance made him an attractive man to call when the clandestine world melded into the business sector.

Dean was not wholly surprised but less than pleased to find that her boyfriend, a man who just happened to arrive in places where she could use a hand, was a handy man to use.

From the second book on, both are operatives who choose to work together more often than apart. Ward Digburn is definitely a man of action while Sally, no slouch herself in such matters, is also the thinker. Together they make a great team.


Number of Books:5
First Appearance:1954
Last Appearance:1967

Accomplished crime author Leonard Gribble joined with Geraldine Laws to create the character of Sally Dean, respected member of the constabulary turned member of Scotland Yard's renowned Ghost Squad.

Three years later, Mr. Gribble brought out more books about Ms. Dean and her intelligence agent fiancee, later husband, Ward Digburn. He wrote these additional books, though, under his penname of Bruce Sanders apparently without the aid of co-author Ms. Laws.

1 Sally Of Scotland Yard Sally Of Scotland Yard
Written by Leonard Gribble, Geraldine Laws
Copyright: 1954

New to the Ghost Squad, Sally Dean goes undercover as a redhead to keep an eye on a prominent television star said to be mixed up with gangsters, much to the unhappiness of her fiancée, Ward Digburn.

2 The Secret Dragnet The Secret Dragnet
Written by Bruce Sanders
Copyright: 1957

When Dean is sent to meet up with an undercover agent in the East End, she finds herself in the middle of a bank robbery - just the start to an adventure that takes on an international group known as Allah's Thumb.

3 To Catch A Spy To Catch A Spy
Written by Bruce Sanders
Copyright: 1958

On their honeymoon, Sally received a strange warning that her husband faced certain death if he traveled out of Paris to meet with a particular Yugoslav. The Digburns had had no such plan to travel or to meet anyone, at least not until the warning.

4 Code Of Dishonour Code Of Dishonour
Written by Bruce Sanders
Copyright: 1964

A radio message from a man aboard an ocean liner becomes more important when he disappears in the middle of the Atlantic, prompting Sally to gate-crash a meeting she shouldn't have attended.

5 Feminine For Spy Feminine For Spy
Written by Bruce Sanders
Copyright: 1967

Sally has two challenges - she must keep a top secret from leaving the country and stop her husband from ruining a great set-up as he seeks to protect her honor.


It was not uncommon for women depicted in adventure novels in the late 50's to be either seductresses or damsels in distress. It is refreshing to find one who is neither. She is definitely female and decidedly prettey but also definitely capable of holding her own. Sally Dean is written as a total professional who happens to be a woman and she comes across as a person who can take care of herself. Ward Digburn is every inch a suave aristocrat who has a good career but likes the excitement of his other job.

The writing style for this series is above average, making it a good read. The characters are believable and interesting and the plots they get involved with make sense.

As mentioned in the section above, the first book mentions a previous case for Dean in which she meets Digburn for the first time. There is no other indication that it was a book by itself but it does feel that way. Looking at the other books the author wrote, however, there is a candidate in Midnight Hazard (1955). So far I have not been able to determine the truth as Mr. Sanders may have had a detective series about a man named Anatole Fox.


My Grade: B


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