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Glossary and Character Taxonomy  Breakdown by Country of Origin   Bibliography   Table of Contents    The Best of the Encyclopedia

Fairr, Melville. Melville Fairr was created by “Michael Venning,” the pseudonym of Georgianna Ann Randolph Craig (Jake and Helen Justus, Gypsy Rose Lee, John J. Malone, Bingo Riggs), and appeared in two stories and three novels from 1942 to 1953, beginning with The Man Who Slept All Day.

Melville Fairr is a small, innocuous, gray-haired, gray-eyed man, usually dressed in a neat grey business suit, who goes unnoticed by others. Which is unfortunate, because Fairr is a sad, gentle, sentimental man, and likes people. But his nature is that of a quiet, inconspicuous person, and people don’t notice him. Of course, his business is that of a private detective, and all the qualities which make him sad and lonely as a person help him excel in solving crimes.

* I'm including Melville Fairr in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because the novels he appears in a pretty well-written. Author Georgianna Ann Randolph Craig will never be thought of as a great writer or even a great writer of mysteries, but she was a professional who knew how to entertain, and in the character of Fairr she struck gold. Fairr's character, his sadness and gentleness and loneliness, are very well limned by Craig and create a very sympathetic protagonist who we're happy to root for. Fairr is likely to strike a chord with most modern readers, and Craig is skillful enough of a mystery writer that she neither stints on describing his characteristics nor on portraying the mystery and how Fairr solves it. 

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