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Strange, James. James Strange was created by Eleanor Baker Quinn and appeared in One Man’s Muddle (1936) and Death is a Restless Sleeper (1940).

James Strange is a former Scotland Yard inspector who was corrupted by the easy money in the narcotics trade and began accepting bribes. He was caught and did four years on a manslaughter charge (of which he was innocent). On release, he went into the countryside for some solitude, only to stumble, in fine noir style, on a murder case. Complications mount, and Strange has to first lie, then give a great deal of help to the local police. In the sequel he becomes a more straightforward private detective.

* I'm including the James Strange novels in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because they are criminally forgotten about hardboiled noir masterpieces. Eleanor Baker Quinn is a mystery, and how she came to anticipate Raymond Chandler (see Philip Marlowe) and the noir movement so effectively is a very interesting question. To quote critic David Vineyard, "One Man’s Muddle and its sequels are an interesting look at a Marlowe that might have been, one of those curious side roads that sometime run parallel to a more successful track. And well worth reading and discovering as first rate mysteries by a writer who deserved more recognition than she got." Can't recommend highly enough. 

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