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Besserley, General. General Besserley was created by E. Phillips Oppenheim (Peter Benskin, Stanley Brooke, Joseph P. Cray, John Dickens, Inspector John Dickins, Nicholas Goade, Malcolm Gossett, Peter Hames, B. Jasen, Gerald Jennerton, Algernon Knox, Ambrose Lavendale, John T. Laxworthy, Baroness Claire Linz, Joseph Londe, Mannister, Lucie Mott, Sanford Quest, Aaron Rodd, Peter Ruff, Monsieur Sabin, Michael Sayers, Jasper Slane) and appeared in twenty-one stories from 1934 to 1939, beginning with “The Man Who Thought He Was A Pauper” (The Strand, June 1934); the stories were collected in General Besserley’s Puzzle Box (1935) and General Besserley’s Second Puzzle Box (1939).
General Samuel Besserley is an Englishman of the very upper classes who lives in a posh “mountain retreat high above the Mediterranean,” not far from the French Riviera. He is wealthy and well-connected, and is reasonably intelligent, if preoccupied with the writing of his memoirs, which the author assures us the entire world is waiting for. However, he is continually interrupted by friends and acquaintances, who require his help to extricate themselves from troubles as varied as bankruptcy, social disgrace, and murder. Through a combination of native intelligence, persistence, and influence General Besserley solves these problems.
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