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Old 07-31-2009, 02:55 PM   #1
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Hanshew, Thomas W: The Riddle of the Frozen Flame. V1. 31 July 2009

Thomas W. Hanshew (1857 – 1914) was an American actor and writer, 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. He used, among others, the pen name "Charlotte May Kingsley," and wrote more than 150 novels.
Hanshew's best-known creation was the consulting detective Hamilton Cleek, known as "the man of the forty faces" for his incredible skill at disguise. 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 based in Clarges Street, London, where he is constantly consulted by Inspector Narcom 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.

Excerpt
Mr. 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.
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