John Creasey: Ten Authors in One
| The First of Many
| Simple Facts
| The Toff
Gideon of the Yard (as JJ Marric) | Department Z | Dr Palfrey
Patrick Dawlish (as Gordon Ashe) | As Jeremy York | Inspector West
Michael Fane and Dr Cellini | The Baron
Gideon of the Yard is a household name in a dozen countries: from the United States to Japan, from Great Britain to Brazil. And he is known and respected by policemen of all ranks in a great many Western cities. When senior British policemen lectured in the United States they were often asked about him - and several readers wrote to the John Creasey to say that they have visited Scotland Yard because they 'just had to try to see Gideon'. Policemen on duty at the 'old' New Scotland Yard often had callers who asked for Gideon, so great is the illusion that he really exists. 'I simply refuse to believe that Gideon isn't a real person', an American reader once wrote.
The sense of reality in the members of his family, in his fellow officers in London's Metropolitan Police, and in Gideon himself, is perhaps as strong as any in fiction. And John Creasey's amazing ability in portraying the depths of human feeling in the police, in criminals, and in the people with whom they both work and live, went from strength to strength.
Gideon's Day is a wonderful book,' said Joan Kahn, the mystery editor of Harper and Row in New York, 'what a pity there can never be a sequel.' She reminded John Creasey happily about this whenever a new Gideon reached her. The sales in hardcover edition in the United States were probably greater, volume by volume, than those of any other crime books of the era.
One British publisher, famous for his 'crime', turned Gideon's Day down, but the early reviews in England were outstanding, and EA Pardoe probably summed them up by saying, that 'his art is so skilful as almost to conceal itself'. 'His' was JJ Marric's art, for Creasey launched the Gideon books under the pseudonym of J (for John), J (for Jean, then his wife), Mar- (for his son Martin), and -Ric (for his son Richard).
The only query I have is about the pen-name. Doesn't 'Marric' have a rather continental sound for a book about London policemen?
- Joan Kahn
With the third and subsequent Gideon books, the secret of the pseudonym was out. By strange coincidence, the number and quality of reviews dropped sharply in England, but rose even higher in the United States.
One of the very few crime series which had a uniform edition with every title in print in England, the Gideon books were never likely to be seriously challenged in the police procedural field - or, for that matter, in the novel field. Many who say 'I never read thrillers' read Gideon with avidity.
One of the most fitting tributes to the series came in August 1969, when Maurice Richardson said in the Observer:
... George Gideon has done more than any other detective in fiction to maintain the reading public's faith in Scotland Yard.
In the television series, John Gregson, as Gideon, did a great deal more to strengthen that faith.
|Original Title||First British Edition||First US Edition|
The Gideon Omnibus, containing Day, Night and Week, was published in England in 1964. Gideon at Work, containing the same titles, was published by the Mystery Guild in 1961.