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Sir John. Sir John was created by the Singaporean author A. Damhoeri (Wan Teroena Djaja) and appeared in a number of stories, story serials and novels from 1938 to the early 1940s, beginning with “Boeaja Deli Diserkap Matjan Singapoera” (Doenia Pengalaman, Dec. 1938).

Sir John is a Great Detective. He is the Dutch-Indonesian head of the Singapore Secret Service. Although he is based in Singapore he is active across Southeast Asia solving crimes. He is assisted by his fiancée Suzanne and by the Malay policeman Soufyan, who Sir John treats with a marked lack of either racism or disrespect. In several stories written by Joesoef Sou’ib Sir John pursues Elang Emas.

* I'm including the Sir John stories and novels in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of their historical importance in Southeast Asian detecitive and mystery literature. Pre-1938 and A. Damhoeri's creation of Sir John, there were detectives and even Great Detectives in the detective and mystery literatures of various Southeast Asian countries. But Sir John became more popular than any of them and lasted longer than any of them, even influencing writers outside of Indonesia and inspiring them to write their own Sir John-style stories and Great Detective stories. It helped that Damhoeri did a decent Sherlock Holmes impression in the character of Sir John, of course. 

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