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Raymond, Noel. Noel Raymond was created by “Peter Langley,” the pseudonym of Ronald Fleming (June Gaynor), and appeared in over 475 stories and story serials in Girl’s Crystal from 1935 to 1951. Noel Raymond was the first male detective to appear as the lead in girls' story papers in the years between World War One and World War Two.

Noel Raymond is a Great Detective modeled on Peter Wimsey. He is “the debonair detective,” tall, handsome, well-dressed, well-spoken, athletic, and strong. He is in his mid-twenties. His Loving Enemy is Rosina Fontaine, a.k.a. “Rosina the Baffling,” a ruthless French Lupin who has glittering violet eyes and wields a pearl-handled revolver. Raymond fights Yellow Perils galore, air pirates, criminal conspiracies, rival detectives, the Phantom Fiddler, the Leopard Man, the Laughing Cavalier, a thieving chimpanzee, the Invisible Archer, Mr. Merlin the Mysterious, and the Phantom Monk. After 1937 Raymond is assisted by his niece June Gaynor.

Raymond appears in stories with titles like “The Phantom Highwayman,” “The Ghostly Hounds,” and “Who Was The Grey Abbott?”

* I'm including the Noel Raymond stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of the imaginative content in them and because of Noel Raymond's historical importance. Outside of Germany, mysteries and ideasplosions usually don't mix--except in the British story papers, where, gloriously, Great Detectives can end up fighting the Leopard Man, endless versions of the Yellow Peril, and chimpanzees. The Noel Raymond stories are among the foremost examples of it; he's a Sexton Blake for the girls' story papers, and Raymond's Rogues Gallery is in the same league as Blake's. Because Raymond was the Sexton Blake of the girls' story papers, in terms of prominence, number of appearances, and lifespan, he became historically important as the foremost detective that the girls' story papers' reading audience--mostly teenage women--were exposed to. For those women, Raymond was the archetypal detective, much more so than Blake or Sherlock Holmes

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