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Sheen, Charity. Charity Sheen was created by “John Laurence,” the pseudonym of John Laurence Pritchard (Dr. Michael Carmichael), and appeared in the serial “Charity Sheen – Gentleman” (Scotland Yard, Mar-Aug, 1930); the stories were collected in The Story of Sheen (1930).

Charity Sheen is a Lupin. “Charity Sheen” is only a pseudonym. He is actually Sir Richard Lulworth, a wealthy dilettante who is in love with (and eventually loved back by) Avril Abbleway, the daughter of a Scotland Yard detective. Lulworth projects a useless, witty air, but he is a vain, clever thief who has been pursued by the Yard for two years. He steals from thieves or the morally guilty, like a Duke and Duchess who refuse to give to a charity for children, and then sells the loot, donates the proceeds to charity, and writes the police and tells them of his crimes. (He always signs his notes “Received in settlement” followed by the pound sum of what he stole). “Every one of Charity Sheen’s crimes was based, according to Charity Sheen, on doing good…sometimes the mysterious Sheen gave the names of those who were benefited, sometimes not. But he always gave the name of his victim, always held him up to scorn or ridicule. To many, in consequence, his crimes gave a secret and intense pleasure.”

* I'm including the Charity Sheen serial in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because it is enjoyable. "Charity Sheen -- Gentleman" is among the better Lupin stories published in the pulps that doesn't include a long-running Lupin hero. Charity Sheen  is both very clever--which makes the mysteries in the stories enjoyably difficult to solve--and very vain--which adds a welcome dose of humor to the stories. Sheen's enemies are appropriately despicable, and every one of them gets what's coming to them. John Laurence Pritchard doesn't overstay his welcome with the serial, and the stories in general make for pleasant (but not too long) company. 

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