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Smith, Benbow. Benbow Smith was created by Patricia Wentworth (Inspector Ernest Lamb, Maud Silver) and appeared in a story serial and two novels and story collections from 1931 to 1933, beginning with “Danger Calling” (Pictorial Review, Feb 1931).
Benbow Collingwood Horatio Smith holds an undefined position in the British Foreign Office. What is known to most who recognize his name is that he has a hand in shaping “public events of the first magnitude,” and that he wrote a book which not only forecast World War One but also the social and economic problems which took place after the war ended. What is not widely known is that he oversees the work of spies and recruits likely agents–informally, so that there is deniability.
Smith works against the enemies of Great Britain, but his personal interest is in defeating the enemies of world peace, which in his eyes equals England’s peace. One such individual is the notorious black market profiteer the Vulture. Toward the end of defeating men like the Vulture. Smith runs agents and works with Colonel Frank Garratt of the Secret Service to see that the agents are able to do the jobs they are hired for. Smith has a dry, if genial, attitude, “pale classic features,” “gray hair,” and an “air of gentle abstraction.” He keeps Ananias, an abrasive parrot.
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