Monday, 1 August 2022

What a way to go

Then, as he topped the brow of the incline, above the whine of his motor, the crackle of road-metal beneath the tires, and the boom of the rushing air in his ears, he heard the sharp clatter of hoofs, and surmised that the gendarmerie had given chase.

Louis Joseph Vance - The Lone Wolf (1914)

The Lone Wolf is the nickname of the fictional character Michael Lanyard, a jewel thief turned private detective in a series of novels written by Louis Joseph Vance (1879–1933). Many films based on and inspired by the books have been made. The character also appeared briefly on radio and television.

I’ve only read one example of Vance’s output and it was certainly a easy read for anyone accustomed to old tales. Melodramatic and fast-paced without much character development, it felt to me like a forerunner of The Saint. Vance managed to kill himself in a melodramatic manner too.

Vance died alone in his New York City apartment on December 16, 1933, in a fire that resulted from his falling asleep with a lighted cigarette. His death was ruled accidental. A simple funeral took place December 20, 1933, at St. George's Protestant Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, with honorary pallbearers including Marc Connelly, Will Irwin and Samuel Merwin. Vance's widow received an estate of less than $10,000

There is a suggestion that he was intoxicated at the time. Must have been as intoxicated as a newt.


Scrobs. said...

When I was a boy, The Saint stories were the best to read by a long chalk!

I tried to read one a year ago and gave up after a few pages; the magic had just disappeared!

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - I remember reading The Saint stories and enjoying them but you are right, the magic will have disappeared if I read another.