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Hansen, Mother. Mother Hansen was created by Paul Ellsworth Triem (John Doe (I), Ting-a-Ling) and appeared in twenty-seven stories in Detective Story Magazine from 1923 to 1936, beginning with “Mother Hansen Uses Her Umbrella” (Detective Story Magazine, Sept. 8, 1923).

Mother Hansen runs a “Mother Hansen’s Kitchen,” a restaurant of most dubious food located in a bad part of New York City. She is an old woman, tall and lean, with a taste for caraway seeds. She seems to be sleepy and dim, but actually possesses a razor-sharp mind and an acerbic personality. Long ago, when she was a beautiful young woman, she was a crook, never caught by the police, but she eventually gave it up and went straight, not wanting to go to prison. But she kept all of her contacts from those days, and does them favors of various sorts. In return, they do her favors, usually helping her solve her problems, of which she has many.

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