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Clay, Lucien. Lucien Clay was created by Robert Gore-Browne and appeared in Murder of an M.P. (1927) and Death on Delivery (1929).

Lucien Clay is a Great Detective. He is an English painter. He was prominent, and painted many famous people, but he painted them as he saw them, not as they saw themselves, so a general who lost two divisions on the Somme is painted with a noose around his neck. This loses Clay all his clients, and he is left with a ramshackle house and little money. But Clay is filled with contempt for the rest of the world, and doesn’t mind his reduced condition. He is “chiefly remarkable for an aggressive red beard, a shock of fine red hair and a long reddish nose...his eye was as cold and blue as the rest was red and hot.” He is a quite capable detective, whose many assumptions about criminals, physiognomy, and human nature will strike modern readers as improbable, if not ludicrous, but are proven right by the events of the novels in which he appears.

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