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Black, Maria. Maria Black was created by “John Slate,” the pseudonym of John Russell Fearn (Golden Amazon, Brutus Lloyd, Vernon Walsh), and appeared in five novels from 1944 to 1950, beginning with Black Maria, M.A.

Maria Black is a large woman in her late fifties who works as a headmistress at the British women’s college Roseways. With the help of Eunice Tanby, a staff member, and the American bruiser “Pulp” Martin, Black solves espionage and murders. Black prefers old-fashioned ways of crime-solving to more modern innovations, and is willing to badger and humiliate a suspect if it will lead to a confession.

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