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Harker, Doc. Doc Harker was created by “Edwin Truett,” the pseudonym of Edwin Truett Long (Ken Collins, Bacchus Hallahan, Johnny Harding, Jarnegan), and appeared in three stories in Detective Dime Novels and Red Star Detective in 1940, beginning with “Crime Nest” (Detective Dime Novels, Apr. 1940).

Thaddeus C. “Doc” Harker is a tall, thin, older man who dresses in the style of an antebellum Kentucky colonel, complete with silver hair, mustache, and pointed goatee. Harker’s profession is that of wandering salesman: he travels around the country selling "Chickasha Remedies." While he is very good at selling the tonic, his real love is criminology. In his van, which doubles as a scientific laboratory and armed vehicle, he travels with his two assistants, finding crimes wherever he goes and solving them. Harker is not physically strong, but is the brains of the outfit. Brenda Sloan, a beautiful woman who lives in the van with Harker, does the legwork for him whenever they entered a new town. Herk Jones, a former wrestler, handles the heavy lifting.

* I'm including the Doc Harker stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because they are fun. Doc Harker is a great idea for a character well-executed; the plots are good mysteries; his supporting characters are well-described and characterized; and the dialogue is often great fun. It's a shame there weren't more Doc Harker stories, but we should be happy with what we got, right? 

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