Sid Ames & Johnny Knight

Created by H.W. Roden


SID AMES is a rye-swilling New York City gumshoe with a distaste for the cops and a rather unusual occasional sidekick, public relations consultant JOHNNY KNIGHT, who “knows all the angles and rarely misses a trick.” Johnny might have served as the brains of the bunch — if only he had been any smarter than Sid. He wasn’t.

Unfortunately, whenever Johnny popoed in to get Sid out of a jam, he usually made it worse. And the fact neither could hold their liquor didn’t help. This was hot stuff in the forties — one review tagged Roden a “frisky” writer, but some modern readers may find the intended screwball humour dated.

Sid (and Johnny) appeared in four novels in the 40’s, all of which were eventually published by Dell as Mapbacks, with some pretty great covers.

The author was, at least according to Hubin, a wealthy corporate executive in the food industry. Writing mysteries was a hobby.


  • “Top tempo and some pretty fine lowdown lingo in the genre.”
    — KirkusonToo Busy to Die.
  • “(You Only Hang Once) would be funny if it were only humorous.”
    — William Deeck (Summer 1992, The MYSTERY FANcier)


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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