Mr. Maverick Narkom, Superintendent at Scotland Yard, flung aside the paper he was reading and wheeled round in his revolving desk-chair, all alert on the instant, like a terrier that scents a rat.
Meet Hamilton Cleek: former criminal, lost heir to the throne of a small European country, and now the suave private detective who consults with Scotland Yard. On top of that, he has the remarkable ability to change the features on his face, making him a brilliant undercover operative.
“Introducing Hamilton Cleek, the forty-faced, elusive cracksman, in the last of the impudent, highly skillful and distressingly successful raids which have long exasperated London and baffled Scotland Yard. Henceforth Cleek is to make other but equally fascinating use of his genius. Now, however, he is at his old, uncanny tricks, displaying all the marvelous wit and resource which characterize this inimitably versatile hero.” -The Pittsburgh Press - Oct 4, 1914
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Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Thomas W. Hanshew (1857-1914) was an American actor and writer. 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 often comically 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.
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