Book Collector

Needs Help

to Find Original Publications of These Booklets

HELP NEEDED to identify the original publications of these finnish language story booklets

In April 1927 newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and some other newspapers published an advertisement where a former commercial enterprise had started in publishing trade. The advertisement was signed by Tavaravarasto Pohjola [Stockwarehouse Pohjola] in Helsinki. This new publisher offered his story booklets for the reading public. In the advertisement were presented 10 books customer could get completely free of charge. These 10 "books" were given to you free if you bought a book called "Seuraelämän ja kanssakäymisen taito" [The Art of Social Life and Social Relationships] priced 19:80 mk.

In the advertisement the thickness of these free books were completely mispresented and number of the pages in the books were newer mentioned. In the picture they looked as if they had at least 150 pages. The customer who paid the prise must have been disappointed when he received thin booklets instead of a proper novels.



Following stories were published in the series:

Hautakammion salaisuus [The Secret of the Burial Chamber]
Keltainen kostaja [The Yellow Avenger]
Kokainin uhri [The Victim of the Cocaine]
Kultainen rasia [The Golden Box]
Kuolonpöllö [The Owl of Death]

Meren kauhu [The Horror of the Sea]
Murha Chinatownissa [The Murder in the Chinatown]
Musta käsi [The Black Hand]
Mustan laboratorion kätköt [The Hiding-Places of the Black Laboratory]
Ristisotamiesliitto [The League of the Jack of the Clubs]

These booklets were only about 22-24 pages long.

In Simo Sjöbloms Crime Fiction -bibliography these booklets are listed in the anymymous-section.

I have also been able to find swedish translations of some of these stories. Publisher Bokförlag Framåt in Malmö has published at least following booklets:

"Den gule hämnaren" [The Yellow Avenger] (Malmö 1924)
"Havets skräck" [The Horror of the Sea] (Malmö 1924)
"Mordet i Chinatown" [The Murder in the Chinatown] (Malmö 1924)
"Svarta handen" [The Black Hand] (Malmö 1924).

Other swedish publications were:


"Mordet ved Hallestreet" [The Murder at Halle Street] (Malmö 1924).
"Den 16 December" [The 16th of December] (Malmö 1924).
"Barnamorderskan" [The Child-Murderess] (Malmö 1924).
"Million-stølden" [The Millon-Theft] (Malmö 1924).

These stories have been possibly translated from German or American originals. The advertisement states that these books are very popular in Germany and America.

I have written a short summaries of the each story in a hope that someone can identify the original publications.

In a story "Hautakammion salaisuus" [The Secret of the Burial Chamber] (1927) the leading character is Thomas Jung, who has travelled to Scotland for his autumn nature excursion. Jung is 26-year old professor in Oxford interested in supernatural phenomenon: spirituism, suggestion et cetera., which he has written many books about. While Jung was working on a manuscript of his next publication, Richard Bruce, baron of Nord Hill, comes one night to seeking his help. Baron Bruce invites Jung to his castle, and Jung accept even though he first resists.
The very next day Jung goes to visit the baron. During the dinner Bruce unveils the reason he wanted to invite Jung to the castle. Every night between 12:00 and 1:00 has baron heard strange rumble, and he has become more and more agitated because of this noise.
The experts of parapsychology from London have already inspected the phenomenon and they have been unable to explain it. The knockings have been heard already by the previous owner, lord Nordhill, over 10 years ago. There was an empty burial chamber in the castle. The occupants have been transported to London some time ago. At night professor Jung and the baron listens the banging soon Jung concludes that the source of the noise is the burial chamber. When entering to the tomb baron and Jung catches two servants, Langton and Brower, who have been digging the burial chamber the last 12 years in hope too find a the treasure from the times of king George. The Baron drives the servants away and Jung helps him to find the treasure.

In a booklet "Keltainen kostaja" [The Yellow Avenger] (1927) leading character is detective Max Cox and his friend doctor Wilson. Detective Cox and his friend doctor Wilson are playing chess at Cox's house when doorbell rings and Willam Agnew lord from Devonshire enters with his troubles.
Lord Agnew has received a blackmail letter, and local Chief Constable had told him to turn to Wilson for help. Unknown organization, "The Secret Brotherhood", blackmails money from the lord and has threatened his and his wife's life. A masked man will arrive to pick up the money. Detective Cox and doctor wait at the darkening night. A man in a raincoat goes to a notorious variety theatre "The Golden Pearl" at the outskirts of London. Cox follows the man and his companion, mademoiselle Fifi, to a Chinese cambling-house and makes an arrest. To lord Agnews surprise the masked man was his nephew, who was trying to decrease his cambling depts with a blackmail.

In the story "Kokainin uhri" [The Victim of the Cocaine] (1927) ´famous france detective Caré is tracking down a cocaine-club being in operation in Paris. A banker Poul Darell used to spend his evenings at his club playing domino, as he told to his wife Amelie Darellille. One night he did not return home from his club, but instead a masked man invaded them home. A letter written by Poul tells that his wife to give the man all the money found at the house. The visitor takes the money and takes also Poul's cheque kbook and his wife's jewels.
Mrs Darell was strictly ordered not to contact the police. Amelie goes to meet detective Caré and tells about the incident. Then detective Caré follows the tracks the man has left to the snow, and calls for help of the best detective in Paris, Mr Dox, who turns out to be a giant size sleuth-hound. By the help of Mr. Dox's famous nose, soon they find a shack were Poul was kept bound, and also a huge villain, who was blackmailing the banker to sign a check.
Mr Darell was kidnapped when he was returning from his club high on cocaine. Detective Caré and particularly Mr Dox saves the situation. Even the cocaine club ends its activity when Caré gets the address and takes some activity.

In a story "Kultainen rasia" [The Golden Box] (1927) detective List has a an assignmet to get back the documents lost from the private apartment of the Chief of the German General Staff, general von Pusse. Detective List believes that one or the both servants of the house are involved in the affair. The other servant was let to go and the other, generals'childrens tutor, stays in the house. List sign on as a servant. In three days more papers disappear from the generals safe and nervous general uncovers Lists presence. List strongly suspects that children's tutor, miss Frick, is guilty of the crime. With his plan, List finds out that British ambassador is involved in the case and miss Frick indeed is a spy. Detective List finds the nest of the spies and gets back the missing documents. In order to make a clean arrest List sets a trap for the spy. The Spy falls in the trap, and was caught when trying to obtain "new documents". As a surprise for the detective and the general, the spy working in to the safe was a man, Rudolf Wagner, who had been disguised as a woman, used alias miss Frank. Being very gifted in the game, this "miss" had also enticed the other servant in to the world of crime.

In a story "Kuolonpöllö" [The Owl of Death] (1927) we also meet the famous detective Max Cox and his friend doctor Wilson. This time in a idle night the get a quest, a certain miss Long. Miss Long is a housekeeper in a doctor Turnham's house and has just left her notice.
She could not stand the horrible screams heard in the house any more. Doctor Turnham behaves as if nothing is wrong when miss Long complains the noise. The big Owl that lives in the doctors room, Owl of Death, as miss Long calls it, starts also make noise at nights joining to the horrid choir.
A Vulture-like doctor is not a very good master. In addition to doctor Turnham, also his young ward, 17 year old miss Aggi Nelson, lives in the house. This young girls chosen one, young William Carlton has arrived to the house some weeks ago, but soon left and newer returned.
The horrible screams usually started around 2 o'clock at night. Detective Cox and doctor Wilson travel next night to the house and get to know it. After they have seen the owl in the doctors study and even had a peek in the doctor also, they notice that something very strange is really going on. From doctors study they find a secret passageway leading to the basement. There the find doctor Turnham and his young ward, he has been mentally tormented in order to get her property for himself. Turnham has lost his own money in the speculation and has then decided to undertake this treacherous deed. Also young mr Calrton has been doctors prisoner in the basement. The doctor had then made Aggi to believe that those horrid screams coming from the owl really were mr Carltons screams.

"Meren kauhu" [The Horror of the Sea] (1927) is a story about lord Armstrom, who travels to China and on his trip fall to the hands of the Chinese pirates. Worst of the chinese pirates is their leader called "The Horror of the Sea". There is no one his equal in blood-thirst. At night Armstrongs ship was boarded by crew of the Noma Para "The Horror of the Sea", a giant man with a long beard and yellow face.
Lord Armstrom is taken prisoner and has to give his particulars about his property. He will be taken to the hiding place of the pirates. Soon the ambassador of England received a ransom demand of 20,000 dutch ducats. In his captivity Armstrong becomes acquainted with a young Chinese girl called Mira, who helps Armstrom by giving a information about his whereabouts to the English warship nearby.
When Noma Para was returning from the sea, he was surprised by the English. When lord Amrstron is set free he takes Mira with him to London and takes her for his wife.

In a story "Murha Chinatownissa" [The Murder in the Chinatown] (1927) detective Pemberton's and his friend doctor Sandy's evening conversation is interrupted by information about a murder in Chinatown. The murdered woman turns out to be Adda Cumber, a woman barrister. With the help of a note found in the cape pocket of the murdered woman, detective and his friend were directed to young miss Clara Byrns, who lived at his guardian's, Jonatan Ewening's, house at Clewland Street.
After trying in vain to get to speak with miss Byrns, detective Pemberton pick the lock and enters the house secretly. Soon the mystery is unveiled to him. Young miss Clara will receive her inheritance when she is 22 years old. Jonathan Ewening wants her to transfer half of the inheritance for him. Detective Pemberton enters the room and interrupts events in the house.
Ewening has lost his fortune in speculation and was then planned his vile acts to gain money again. He murdered miss Adda Comber and was blackmailing his ward miss Clara Byrns.
When doctor Sandy came some days later to meet detective Pemberton, he was presented Pembertons fiancée Clara.

In a story "Musta käsi" [The Black Hand] (1927) american mine magante and millionaire Mac Lean buys in Paris the famous "Marie Antoinette" -diamond, diamond with so notorious reputation that it was called "The Diamond of Death". All the owners of the diamond, including of course Maria Antoinette, had been suddenly killed.
When the Lean family return from the party of the "Shoe King" Pallen, they are surprised by a masked man. The man gives them a note stating that "The Black Hand" demands "The Marie Antoinette" -diamond. The man promises to return the next day so the Leans have time to fetch the diamond from Samson & Son's Jewelry Store, where it was send to be resetted. The Police was not to be informed. The next night the man returns for the diamond. "The Best Detective in New York", Martin Dew, started his career as an actor, has been a professional boxer and toured around the Continent of America, before starting the work in the Police Department.
Lean turns to detective Dew with his problem. Lean had conned The Black Hand by giving them a copy of the Diamond. The severe retaliation is to be expected. With his the mulatto sidekick Chick, the detective Dew hide to the mrs Lean's bedroom and when the masked man returns with the revenge in mind Dow and Chick interfere in to matter. In hope to get rid of tha hazardous diamond, he decides to sell it. In the end the chief of the Black Hand wins over by changing the diamond in to a fake one he had in his possession.

In a story "Mustan laboratorion kätköt" [The Hiding-Places of the Black Laboratory] (1927) a hero is a First Detective of Seine Department, Detective Josan Josan.
Josan had a visitor, mrs la Font. Her husband, engineer la Font, was missing. He had been affected for a long time by some unknown illness. What the illness was the doctors had not been able to find out. None of the experts or specialist in Paris could not help him. However there was a Chinese 'doctor', Wia-Yiá who claimed that he could help him. The day before yesterday mr Font had left to meet the Chinaman but had newer returned home. The doctor Wia-Yiá claimed the he left 1 o'clock his .consulting rooms.
Josan had head earlier about the doctor, whose house happened strange things. Disguised as an old man, he enters the doctors office via Montmart. The chinese gives him his miracle medicine payin 500 francs per bottle. In the laboratory tests thise medicament turn out to be mixture of camphor, peppermint oil and raspberry juice. Now detective Josan makes a new trip to the doctors place. He notices that Chinese leaves his house along the side alleys and enters to a shady shack, which turns out to be a opium den. The missing engineer was kept in a room under the opium smokers.

In a story "Ristisotamiesliitto" [The League of the Jack of the Clubs] (1927) londoner Tom Geb has been given by Edvin Stanton, the chief of Scotland Yard, order to investigate the italian criminal organication called "The League of the Jack of the Clubs" which has been established to London. Geb gets a letter from a shady person called Mantuan, who turns in the whole group. The Chief to the Group, Zini, was Gebs target. By chance Geb becomes acquainted with Zini, and gets himself to see pain caused by the death of Zini'wife on his face.
The renegade Mantuani gets killed and Geb works with renewed eagerness in the case. The island in the Thames-river, The Dog-Island, turns out to be the hideout of the group. In the old windmill in the Island the group plans its dark deeds. Detective Geb meets the old Dorotea, the keeper of the mill, and hears the meeting planned for next Friday. Eleven members of the group meet at the mill, and after Doroteas falls tha stairs and dies, Geb is captured.
The Death was threatening detective Geb when the group was going to throw hin in the crushing water-wheel of the mill. Before the ill-fated incident Ged blows his whistle and policemen hiding outside rush in to help him. When Geb was fighting the Zini ths lightning hits the evil criminal-boss and he dies. The League of the Jack of the Clubs turn out to be a political association working for the anarchy.