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Trapp, Simon. Simon Trapp was created by Roy Hinds and appeared in ninety-one stories in Detective Story Magazine and Best Detective Magazine from 1921 to 1937, beginning with “Full of Tricks” (Detective Story Magazine, January 8, 1921).
Simon Trapp runs a grimy pawnshop on Broome Street, in a rundown section of New York City. From the shop’s back room Trapp also runs various criminal scams. Trapp will not murder or send his hirelings to commit murder, but Trapp will commit insurance fraud, safecracking, blackmail, laundering and fencing, all for the right price. Trapp is not totally without scruples; in one story Trapp, seeing a boy tumbling towards a life of crime, breaks the boy’s father out of jail so that the boy can be shown that Crime Does Not Pay. But most of the stories are about Trapp earning money the old-fashioned way, through crime. Trapp is an old man with a wrinkled face and a long beard, Jewish and sketched in such a way that the modern reader might think of him as antisemitic stereotype. But most of the other hallmarks of that stereotype don’t appear. In one story he appears with Thubway Tham.
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