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King, Ethel. Ethel King appeared in the German dime novel Ethel King, ein Weiblicher Sherlock Holmes #1-201 (1908-1911); her stories were reprinted and revised across Europe, Scandinavia, the Ottoman Empire, Poland, and Russia from 1908 to 1924, and in France by the French author Jean Petithuguenin (Pierre Briscard, Klaus Störtebecker).

Ethel King is a Great Detective. She is a tough, no-nonsense (though of course feminine) detective who takes on and defeats some very tough customers, from the Yellow Peril “Long Ho, the Chinese Horror” to “The Bomb Woman” to “the Beast of Havana” to the “Professor Smith, the Fiend in Human Form.” Her arch-enemy is the Lupin Stanford, but she takes on many female criminals, including the Femme Fatale Salome. Many of her enemies are poor. And there are definite class issues, anti-Catholic issues, and enemies-of-Germany issues in the stories. She is in her mid-twenties and is a native of Philadelphia, with a comfortable villa at 77 Garden Street. She was driven to crime-solving by the deaths of her father and fiancé, both private detectives.

King is assisted by her cousin Charley Lux, who was orphaned as a child and raised by Ethel, and by her servant Sara Cramp, a clever governess. In the German original she is modeled on Sherlock Holmes, but in the French and Italian versions she is explicitly compared to Nick Carter (I). The French version of Ethel King is described as being a real detective and as having been recommended to Petithuguenin by Nick Carter himself; it may be that the French version of Ethel King was based on Carter's first wife, Ethel Dalton. King appears in stories with titles like “Bloody Fox, the Woman Murderer,” “The Devil’s Question Mark,” “The Terror Monastery of St. Peter,” and “The Dangerous Amazon.”

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