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

Hawke, Dixon. Dixon Hawke appeared in over 5500 stories, in magazines, casebook collections, and novels from 1912 to 2000, beginning with "The Great Hotel Mystery" (The Saturday Post April 6, 1912). Dozens of authors wrote Dixon Hawke stories, including:

Dixon Hawke is a Great Detective. When Hawke begins he is a Scottish detective, clearly modeled on Sherlock Holmes and living and working in Bath Street, Glasgow. He has a boy assistant named Nipper who sells papers in the street. Together the two fight crime and some very interesting criminals in Glasgow and around Scotland. In 1919 D.C. Thomson, the publisher of Dixon Hawke, decided to move Hawke into the "teenage and upwards" market. Hawke became a London detective, modeled on Sexton Blake, with a flat on Dover Street and an assistant named Tommy Burke. Hawke became tall and "aquiline," with a "clear cut face." He is around thirty-five years old and wears a dressing gown while lounging around his quarters. Hawke smokes a "blackened briar" and has a Mrs. Hudson-like housekeeper named Mrs. Martha Benvie. Hawke has a faithful and ferocious bloodhound named Solomon and drove a powerful Sunbeam roadster. In addition to Tommy Burke Hawke is assisted by a Japanese valet/chauffeur named Wong. In his Glasgow days Hawke’s Lestrade is Chief Detective Inspector Duncan. When Hawke moves to London, his police contact becomes Detective Chief Inspector Baxter of New Scotland Yard.

Hawke dines regularly with the Prime Minister and other highly-placed officials and has friends at the highest levels of society, as well as at New Scotland Yard. Hawke’s cases take him and Burke to New York, San Francisco, Yokohama, Tibet, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Berlin, Cairo, and most other major metropoli, as well as several hidden cities and Lost Races. Hawke spends time in the American West, fighting enemies who more properly belong in the 1870s; he spends time in Haiti, posing as a witch doctor and fighting voodoo-using villains. Hawke's enemies are violent and cruel; in addition to the traditional burglars and jewel thieves, there are international criminal syndicates, Mad Scientists, insane desert raiders and white slavers. Few of Hawke’s opponents appeared more than once–nearly all died at the end of the story–but a few became recurring adversaries and dogged Hawke for years on end. The most memorable is Marko the Miracle Man. Another is Nicollete Lazarre, the "Black Angel," Hawke’s Loving Enemy and an adventuress not unlike Sexton Blake's Mademoiselle Yvonne or Nelson Lee's Mademoiselle Miton, the Black Wolf.

* I'm including the Dixon Hawke stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of their ideasplosions. And, well, because Hawke was the Scottish Sexton Blake, which is a strong comparison, I know, but is an apposite one. As mentioned, Hawke was modeled on Blake, and the Hawke stories were heavily influenced by the Blake stories, but--remarkably--Hawke outlasted Blake by more than three decades, and lasted, more or less unchanged, to the year 2000. Hawke never became the icon for Scottish mystery readers that Blake did for British story paper readers, but taken as a whole the Hawke corpus is more than respectable. The ideasplosions in the Hawke stories are similar to those in the Blake stories, but the writers of the Hawke stories were more profligate with their villains than the Blake writers were, and killed off the bad guys on a regular basis. With, of course, the exception of Marko the Miracle Man and the Black Angel, whose appearances in the Hawke stories are occasions to be enjoyed. I like the Dixon Hawke stories. They are roughly 80%-90% the entertainment value of the Blake stories, which still makes them pretty darn entertaining as far as story paper-style detective fictions go. 

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