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Crum, Fabian. Fabian Crum was created by John H. Knox and appeared in ten stories in Thrilling Mystery from 1940 to 1942, beginning with “The Ripper Creeps” (Thrilling Mystery, Sept. 1940).

Once upon a time Colonel Fabian Crum was a chemist. But he grew tired of it and decided to do something he would enjoy instead: being a detective. “When I quit being a chemist I did it because I was inventing chemical things that kill people. Why is it strange that I decided I’d get more fun out of helping people instead?” With his assistant, the non-stereotypical Aga Aslan, “the giant Asiatic who was Crum’s chauffeur, bodyguard and technical assistant,” Crum travels around the United States in a “big car, dragging the sleek Zeppelin-shaped trailer which contained not only living quarters for two, but one of the most compact crime-detecting laboratories in the world.” He becomes well-known as a detective.

Crum has “birdlike, cynical eyes,” and “the longer you looked at that suave, bony face, so curiously suggestive of an actor, the less cause for humor you were able to find in the fact that the trimly proportioned little man with the tiny watch-charm pistol dangling across his black vest front was not over four and a half feet tall.” His adventures verge on the fantastic, and he encounters African doll magic, murderous faeries, and the deadly “cave of snakes.”

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