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Thomas & Mary Hanshew Locked Room Titles


Thomas W. Hanshew (1857-1914), who also wrote as Charlotte Mary Kingsley, was an American author and actor, born in Brooklyn, N. Y. He went on the stage when only 16 years old, playing minor parts with Ellen Terry’s company. Subsequently he played important roles with Clara Morris and Adelaide Neilson. Later he was associated with a publishing house in London, where he resided at the close of his life.

Hanshew wrote over 150 novels, but is best known for his stories of the consulting detective Hamilton Cleek, the man of the forty faces, who through his talents for disguise solves crime and mystery in London. Cleek is the central figure in dozens of short stories that began to appear in 1910 and were subsequently collected in a series of books. Cleek is a former safe cracker, based in Clarges Street, London, where he is constantly consulted by Inspector Narkom of Scotland Yard. Hamilton Cleek is laughably unrealistic, at least to the modern reader, not only for his ability to impersonate anyone, but for his physical derring-do and his frequent melodramatic encounters with Margot, “Queen of the Apaches”, and her partner-in-crime Merode. Hanshew wrote many of these books in collaboration with his wife, Mary E. Hanshew. Hazel Phillips Hanshew has also been credited with writing several of the collaborations between Mary and Thomas. Using her own name, she later wrote two final story collections featuring Hamilton Cleek ending a long saga that spanned over three decades. 

Edited from Wikipedia and Gadetection

Partial Bibliography

More on The Hanshews & Cleek

Notes on Thomas & Mary Hanshew:

As far as I can determine there is no accurate bibliography of Thomas and Mary Hanshew. Hanshew began writing novels, some mysteries, as far back as ‘Young Mrs. Charnleigh : a novel’ published in 1883. He continued to write countless volumes, but luckily, as far as locked room titles are concerned, all are apparently part of the Hamilton Cleek series. However, this still does not solve all the problems for collectors of these stories. One story, for example,’ The Mystery of The Steel Room’ can be found in Chapters XI, XII, XIII of the novel, ‘Cleek: The Man of Forty Faces’, or as a short story in ‘Cleek: Master Detective’. In addition, as one version is tied into a longer narrative, their are some minor differences between these two versions. Where possible, the collection noted for each title, will be as it appears as a short story, and only as a chapter in a novel when no corresponding story can be found. It should also be noted that the Hanshews wrote over 50 Cleek stories, many now out of print in magazines over a century old, as well as many other works, suggesting that this page may not be a complete list of all their locked room works.


Thomas & Mary Hanshew Locked Room Novels & Collections


Cleek 40Cleek: The Man of Forty Faces (1910) 
AKA: Cleek: The Master Detective
Detective: Cleek

 

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Available in paperback, ebook, and audible editions.

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Note: A jumble of stories

Consists of a series of stories featuring Hamilton Cleek, in novel format, many later republished in a short story collection format, as ‘Cleek: The Master Detective’. 

Includes:
The Affair of A Man Called Hamilton Cleek – Prologue
The Riddle of The Divided House – Chapter 2
The Riddle of the Ninth Finger – Chapters 3-5
The Riddle of The Red Crawl – Chapters 6-9
The Riddle of The Steel Room – Chapters 11-14
The Riddle of The Lion’s Smile Chapters 16-18
The Riddle of the Sacred Son – Chapters 19-23
The Riddle of The Wizard’s Belt – Chapters 24-26
The Riddle of The Caliph’s Daughter – Chapters 27-29
The Riddle of The Tenth Day – Chapters 30-35
The Riddle of the Rainbow Pearl – Epilogue


Cleek Scotland YardCleek of Scotland Yard (1912)
Detective: Cleek

 

 

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Note: The Riddle of The Stone Drum: Chapters: XXVI-XXXI

A fairly good locked room story ‘The Riddle of The Stone Drum’ can be found in Chapters 26-31. A man is poisoned to death inside a locked and guarded fortification known as ‘The Stone Drum’. The book consists of a series of stories featuring Hamilton Cleek, in novel format.

All Stories:
The Affair of The Man Who Vanished – prologue
The Riddle of The Five Dead Men – Chapters 1-5
The Riddle of The Round House – Chapters 6-10
The Riddle of The Highland Lassie – Chapters 11-14
The Riddle of The Talking Wire – Chapters 15-19
The Riddle of The Ladder of Light – Chapters 20-23
The Riddle of The Stone Drum – Chapters 26-31
The Riddle of The Glass Room – Chapters 33-38
The Riddle of The Golden Boy – Epilogue


Cleek GovernmentCleek’s Government Cases (1917)
Detective: Cleek

 

 

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Available in paperback and ebook editions.

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Revolves around a British secret agent in the British Empire of the early 20th century. A la Raffles and the Grey Seal, Cleek was a hero who eventually turned from crime to law enforcement for the betterment of man and got away from his pursuers because of his chameleon-like ability to change his features.

Includes three locked room titles:

The Riddle of The Laughing Girl (1915) Published in Cleek’s Government Cases (1917) Chapters 2-5. Also available in Short Stories, June, 1915. 

Laughter is heard from an unknown source, just before a man dies of unexplained causes.

The Riddle of The Golden Rain (1915) Published in Cleek’s Government Cases (1917) Chapters 12-14. Also available in Short Stories, April, 1915. 

A man mysteriously dies inside a locked and guarded room.

The Mystery of The Glass Tubes (1914). Published in ‘Cleek’s Government Cases’ Chapters 18-21. Also available in Short Stories, October, 1914. 

Another impossible smuggling story – with a match that lights itself in the middle of the air!

All Stories:
The Riddle of The Laughing Girl – Chapters 2-5
The Riddle of The Bloodless Men – Chapters 6-8
The Heritage of Hamilton Cleek – Chapters 9-11
The Riddle of The Golden Rain – Chapters 12-14
The Riddle of The Unseen Son – Chapters 15-17
The Mystery of The Glass Tubes – Chapters 18-21
The Riddle of The Dead Hand – Chapters 22-24
The Riddle of The Tears of Blood – Chapters 25-27


cleek masterCleek: The Master Detective (1919)
Detective: Cleek

 

 

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Available in paperback, ebook, and audible editions.

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Note: Three locked room stories

The Riddle of the 5.28 (1914). Published in ‘Cleek: Master Detective’ Story VII.

Note: One of Hanshew’s best!

Mike Grost: “One that I have read for the first time, “The Riddle of the 5:28″, I find far more of a straightforward mystery tale than I had imagined. It is not at all campy in tone, the Prince works closely and normally with Scotland Yard, and a fair play impossible crime story is spun out, entertainingly if somewhat implausibly in solution.”

The locked room interest focuses on a death by shooting inside a locked railroad car, with unmarked snow on every side!

The Mystery of the Steel Room (1914). Published in ‘Cleek: Master Detective’ IX. Also as Chapter 11-14 in ‘The Man of the Forty Faces’. 

A famous racehorse is under threat from saboteurs ahead of the derby. On the two previous nights, the groom guarding her has been attacked. The first was left paralyzed, the second was murdered. But nobody can work out how the saboteurs got into the locked stable, where the horse is guarded in an impenetrable steel cage. Cleek travels down to Suffolk to investigate and discovers that the whole situation is very sinister indeed….

The Riddle of the Siva Stones (1914). Published in ‘Cleek: Master Detective’ Story X.

Another locked room story that focuses on a stabbing inside a locked room.

Full Table of Contents:

I. The Affair of the Man Who Called himself Hamilton Cleek
II. The Problem of the Red Crawl
III. The Riddle of the Sacred Son
IV. The Caliph’s Daughter
V. The Riddle of the Ninth Finger
VI. The Wizard’s Belt
VII. The Riddle of the 5.28
VIII. The Lion’s Smile
IX. The Mystery of the Steel Room
X. The Riddle of the Siva Stones
XI. The Divided House
XII. The Riddle of the Rainbow Pearl


mysterious lightThe Frozen Flame (1920)
AKA: The Riddle of The Frozen Flame
Detective: Cleek

 

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Available in paperback, ebook, and audible editions.

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Note: A Locked Room novel featuring Cleek

Maverick Narkom, Superintendent of Scotland Yard, sat before the litter of papers upon his desk. His brow was puckered, his fat face red with anxiety, and there was about him the air of one who has reached the end of his tether.

He faced the man opposite, and fairly ground his teeth upon his lower lip.

“Dash it, Cleek!” he said for the thirty-third time, “I don’t know what to make of it, I don’t, indeed! The thing’s at a deadlock. Hammond reports to me this morning that another bank in Hendon – a little one-horse affair – has been broken into. That makes the third this week, and as usual every piece of gold is gone. Not a bank note touched, not a bond even fingered. And the thief – or thieves – made as clean a get-away as you ever laid your eyes on! ….

Gold robberies, a murder with a jealous nobleman accused, and strange flames in the desolate Fens in the middle of the night, these apparently unrelated mysteries lead to one of Cleek’s most ingenious solutions. The locked room interest revolves around the disappearance of a man whose footprints end in a patch of marshy ground.


mysterious lightThe Riddle of The Mysterious Light (1922)
AKA: The Valehampton Riddle 
Detective: Cleek

 

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Available in paperback, ebook, and audible editions.

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Note: 5 locked room stories and a novelette!

The Valehampton Riddle (1912). Published in ‘The Riddle of The Mysterious Light (1922)’ Chapters: 1-16
Bells ring in a church tower after the ropes have been removed.

The Mystery of The Rose of Fire (1919). Published in ‘The Riddle of The Mysterious Light (1922)’ Chapter: 17 
A man is poisoned to death inside a locked room.

The Riddle of the Painted Shrine (1919) Published in ‘The Riddle of The Mysterious Light (1922)’ Chapter: 20.  First published in Short Stories, November 1919.
A formula disappears from a room with six feet thick concrete walls and a single door that is securely guarded.

An Interrupted Holiday (1915). Published in ‘The Riddle of The Mysterious Light (1922)’ Chapter: 22. AKA: The Riddle of The Fire Opal, Short Stories, August 1915 
An impossible murder inside a locked steel lined room.

The Priceless Statue that Vanished (1922). Published in ‘The Riddle of The Mysterious Light (1922)’ Chapter: 25
A life-sized statue disappears from a museum.

The Mystery of The Rope of Fear (1919). Published in ‘The Riddle of The Mysterious Light (1922)’ Chapter: 28. First published in Short Stories, December 1919.
Another death by poisoning in a locked room.


hanshew worksThe Riddle of The Spinning Wheel (1922)
AKA: The House of Discord 
Detective: Cleek

 

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Note: Another novel with a locked room twist

Hamilton Cleek is en route to Scotland Yard when he is intercepted by a gang and needs to come up with an escape plan. The locked room interest revolves around a man who is shot to death inside a locked and suddenly darkened room, and no weapon can later be found.


Amber ShipThe Riddle of The Amber Ship (1924)
AKA: The Amber Junk 
Detective: Cleek

 

No Review

Available only in used hardcover editions.

Book

Note: A very rare volume!

Another Cleek novel. The locked room interest apparently revolves around several impossible disappearances and a death, preceded by a scream, inside a locked room.


Uncollected Thomas Hanshew Locked Room Short stories


short_stories_191406The Mystery of The Amsterdam Diamonds (1914)
Detective: Cleek
Collection: Short Stories, June 1914
No Review

Available only in Short Stories, June 1914

Not Currently Available

Note: An old standard

Hanshew’s version of the classic locked room plot where a smuggler must get diamonds past a rigorous search on arrival by ship.


The Mystery of The Fadeless Tints (1914)short_stories_191210
Detective: Cleek
Collection: Short Stories, July 1914

 

No Review

Available only in Short Stories, July 1914. Not correct cover image.

Not Currently Available

Note: Where did he land?

Also a 1914 movie. A man disappears in mid air on a clear moonlight night while in the middle of performing a somersault.


short_stories_191210The Riddle of The Lost Stradivarius (1914)
Detective: Cleek
Collection: Short Stories, August 1914

 

NoReview

Available only in Short Stories, August 1914. Not correct cover image.

Not Currently Available

Note: An impossible theft!

A valuable violin is impossibly stolen from a locked safe inside a locked room. Not to be confused with The Lost Stradivarius (1895) by John Meade Falkner.


september ssThe Riddle of The Octagonal Room (1914)
Detective: Cleek
Collection: Short Stories, September 1914

 

No Review

Available only in Short Stories, September, 1914. 

Not Currently Available

An impossible disappearance from a locked and guarded room.


short_stories_191210The Mystery of The Sealed Art Gallery (1914) Detective: Cleek
Collection: Short Stories, November 1914

 

No Review

Available in Short Stories, November, 1914. Not correct cover image. Also published as ‘The Riddle of the Monkey God’ in Cassell’s Saturday Journal, Aug 8 1914.

Not Currently Available

Note: Recommended by Douglas G. Greene

The disappearance of a burglar and valuable jewels from a locked and guarded museum. Douglas G. Greene, famed anthologist and mystery expert considered this as “an extraordinary story”.


short_stories_191210The Riddle of The Globes of Darkness (1916)
Detective: Cleek
Collection: Short Stories, February 1916

 

No Review

Available only in Short Stories, February, 1916. Not correct cover image.

Not Currently Available

Fake pearls are substituted for real ones in front of witnesses without being detected.


short_stories_191210The Riddle of The Scarlet Monk (1916)
Detective: Cleek
Collection: Short Stories, March 1916

 

No Review

Available only in Short Stories, March, 1916. Not correct cover image.

Not Currently Available

A case of poisoning in a locked room.


short_stories_191604The Riddle of The Stones of Flame (1916)
Detective: Cleek
Collection: Short Stories, April 1916

 

No Review

Available only in Short Stories, April, 1916. 

Not Currently Available

Stabbings and poisonings inside a locked room.


short_stories_191210The Riddle of The Seacliffe Farm (1916)
Detective: Cleek
Collection: Short Stories, May 1916

 

No Review

Available only in Short Stories, May, 1916. Not correct cover image.

Not Currently Available

Murder by asphyxiation inside a locked room.


Uncollected Thomas & Mary Hanshew Locked Room Stories


short_stories_191210The Riddle of The Marble Hand (1920)
Detective: Cleek
Collection: Short Stories, February, 1920

 

No Review

Available only in Short Stories, February, 1920. Not correct cover image.

Not Currently Available

Note: A statuesque murderer?

A murder in a securely locked room. Apparently a life sized marble statue did the deed, leaving behind no fingerprints.


EQMM 09:51The Riddle of The Silver Death (1920)
Detective: Cleek
Collection: Short Stories, March, 1920

 

No Review

Available in Short Stories, March, 1920. Reprinted in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, August, 1951

Not Currently Available

One final poisoning in a locked and guarded room.


Incomplete Hanshew Bibliography


Locked Room 101: The Masters


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