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Lang, Sophie. Sophie Lang was created by Frederick Irving Anderson (Oliver Armiston, Judge Alan Ebbs, Godahl, Deputy Parr) and appeared in seven stories in McClure’s and Saturday Evening Post from 1921 and 1925, beginning with “The Signed Masterpiece” (McClure’s, June 1921) ; the stories were collected in The Notorious Sophie Lang (1925). Lang also appeared in three movies from 1934 to 1937.

Sophie Lang is a Lupin. She is beguiling, brilliant, pretty and wry, and loves the thrill of the chase. Oliver Armiston and his friend Deputy Parr are perpetually in pursuit of Lang, but can never catch her. She has an ego, of course, and enjoys her “legendary aloofness–Sophie, the uncaught.” Because she does what she does to amuse herself, her daring vergers on audaciousness, but she always plays with Armison and Parr, rather than being threatened by them. She is assisted by her chauffeur and accomplice William.

* I'm including the Sophie Lang stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because they are a lot of fun to read. Sophie Lang herself is a pretty appealing character. Adding to her appeal is the fact that she's intelligent enough, like the stories about her, to pose the reader some puzzles when they try to outthink her. The stories are intelligent and sly, the puzzle crimes suitably devious, the prose sprightly--in all, the Sophie Lang stories are, like Sophie herself, a very pretty package of criminal fun. 

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