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by HANSHEW, Thomas W

Cleek, the Master Detective by Thomas W. This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


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Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. First off: this is NOT good detective fiction. It is, however, splendidly enjoyable Edwardian pulp. Cleek is poacher-turned-gamekeeper, a master criminal who decides to turn straight and work for Scotland Yard after being stricken by the sight of a lovely, innocent young woman whose jewels he was about to pinch.

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Receiving fabulous rewards for his genius, he then begins to anonymously pay back all his past victims until he can consider the slate clean and he worthy of the woman he secretly loves. But forget all that. Each one of these stories is a romp, some more successful than others. Good literature it ain't. Most of them read like scripts, they are so dialogue heavy a handy device to avoid being slowed down by difficult-to-write-descriptive passages etc. Having said that, there are some nice turns of phrase and some good jokes involving Cleek's Cockney teenage sidekick, the gluttonous 'Dollops'.

Cleek's superhuman skill is the ability to change his appearance through the extraordinary manipulation of the muscles in his face. This ability is hardly ever used, though I think there must have been a previous collection of stories detailing his career as a criminal. Instead Cleek simply relies on his amazing intellect and deductive powers to solve the bizarre cases brought to him by the over-mannered and preposterously named doyenne of Scotland Yard, Maverick Narkom. Hanshew lazily reuses one or two plot devices but I found it impossible not to admire some of his crazy scenarios.

These feature Egyptian sarcophagi, six-fingered corpses, a 'wizard's belt', and a hideous octopus-like monster - a fake of course - which is used to overpower a VIP and steal some top secret plans. Most outrageous of all is 'The Lion's Smile'.

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It's the most audaciously ridiculous but logical! Kudos to Hanshew not so much for coming up with it but for having the bare cheek to write and publish it. Nov 17, Jack Heath marked it as to-read Shelves: category-mystery.

Synopsis: short stories about Cleek, first a master criminal but now a detective with Scotland Yard. And to have the whole blessed country terrorized, the police defied, and people's houses invaded with impunity by a gutter-bred brute of a cracksman is nothing short of a scandal and a shame!

Call this sort of tomfoolery being protected by the police?

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God bless my soul! It was an hour and a half after that exciting affair at Dead Man's Corner. The scene Read more Read less. Product details Paperback Publisher: Rarebooksclub. No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers.

Cleek, the Master Detective

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