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Dillon, Riley. Riley Dillon was created by H. Bedford-Jones (John Bradford, James Bronson, Denis Burke (I), Denis Burke (II), Burket & O’Neill, Peter J. Clancy, Dick Clews, Vincent Connor, Cosgrave & Lundgren, Crawford, Colin Haig, Pinky Jenkins, Jungle Girl, Tertius March, Say-and-See Smith, John Solomon, Sphinx (II), Strato-Shooters, Hugh Tyrone) and appeared in twelve stories in Detective Fiction Weekly and Argosy from 1934 to 1936, beginning with “Necklace of the Empress” (Detective Fiction Weekly, Nov. 10, 1934).
Riley Dillon is a Lupin who specializes in stealing jewels. His identity as a jewel thief is a complete secret, even from the police, who have no idea that his crimes are all caused by one man. He is generally supposed to be a lawyer, and few know that he is “one of the most expert gem appraisers in existence.” He loves gems and steals them just to have them, not because they are valuable: “ordinary stones were of no interest to him. His dealings lay with gems extraordinary, whether by their history or in themselves.” So only a genuine Cellini, or the legendary Four Black Moons, will stir him to action. He doesn’t advertise his thefts, but he has written The Fine Art of Theft, an “anonymous work...which had puzzled and infuriated the police of two continents.” He lives at the Waldorf in New York City but travels around the country. He is usually “cheerful and debonair,” has a “whimsical, impulsive manner,” “deft, slender fingers,” and a “keen, eager hawk-face.” Occasionally he ventures outside jewel theft, as when he deals with the Yellow Peril Japanese spy Mr. Takashi.
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