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MacTavish, Alonzo. Alonzo MacTavish was created by Peter Cheyney (Lemmy Caution, Michael Kells, Shaun O’Mara, Everard Peter Quayle) and appeared in twenty-eight stories and five short story collections from 1943 to 1947, beginning with Adventures of Alonzo MacTavish.
Alonzo MacTavish is a Lupin. MacTavish is an English master thief who is active in England and Europe. He has an “uncanny instinct” for when the C.I.D. and other thieves are focusing on him, and is clever about eluding them. However, most of the time he has to concentrate on evading other criminals, as it is usually thieves rather than civilians who he preys upon. They hate him for this, and team up to put him away or kill him. Their efforts are always in vain, for MacTavish is an intelligent, careful plotter who always anticipates his opponents’ moves. He is clever, tricky, and occasionally likes to gloat to his victims, but only when they deserve it, as when he manages to send arch-criminal Dr. Theodor Klaat, “the sinister high-light of the European underworld,” to prison after a “bitter war of brains” lasting for seven years. MacTavish is generally light-hearted, has a preference for gems and paintings, and is generally known as the best cracksman in the world, although the police, despite knowing what he does, never manage to catch him. MacTavish’s leg-man is Lon Ferrers.
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