Dale Shand (Triphammer)

Created by Douglas Enefer
Pseudonyms include Dale Bogard & Paul Denver, as well as the house pseudonym of John Powers
(1906-87)

“Shand is all man as well as private investigator – perhaps the greatest fiction detective to emerge since Philip Marlowe. We the publishers, guarantee that you will sit up late with him.”
–well, his publisher had high hopes, anyway.

“Big, handsome devil” DALE SHAND was an former reporter turned Big Apple private eye who, despite a string of fast-paced British paperbacks, never quite cracked the American market. Mostly because they sucked.

By all accounts, Shand was pretty much your run-of-the-mill hard-boiled American private dick, once removed, fond of whisky and dames, and able to not just give a punch, but take one as well. We’re led to believe Shand has built quite a reputation around town as a detective, and then a few pages later we’re told his shabby office is filled with the usual second hand crappy furniture.

Right…

He was an early creation of prolific (one paperback billed him “The fastest thriller writer on Earth!”) British pulpster Douglas Enefer, who started out writing American-style hard-boiled crime fiction, but eventually became known for his film and television tie-ins and novelisations (The Phil Silvers Show, The Avengers, Cannon, etc.) and TV scripts (most notably The Saint and Coronation Street). In fact, his tie-ins for Cannon are probably better regarded than his own fiction.

In an effort to ship a few more units, the Shand series got a facelift in 1964, with the third book in the series, The Dark Kiss, relaunched as the first in the Triphammer series (even though the word “Triphammer” never appears in the book, not even once). The cheesy, cheap-looking covers of the first couple of books in the series, so deliberately evocative of 1940s and 50s pulp tropes, was swapped for new, more “modern” designs, in an attempt to hop on the growingspy craze. And near the end of his long career, Shand left his New York home base more frequently, venturing as far as California, Vancouver, Majorca and the Mediterranean.

But it was all par for the course. Over a long career, Enefer used a variety of pen names which were — just to add to the confusion — often interchangeable with his series characters. Plots, titles and characters were recycled endlessly. As Douglas Enfer, Dale Bogard, Paul Denver and John Powers, he wrote novels featuring private eyes such as Shand, Michael Power and Dale Bogard and Liverpool copper Sam Bawtry.

None of them particularly good.

NOVELS

  • The Deadly Quiet (1961)
  • The Long Chance (1961)
  • The Dark Kiss (1965)
  • The Last Trick (1965)
  • The Shining Trap (1965)
  • The Painted Death (1966)
  • The Long Hot Night (1967)
  • Girl in Arms (1968)
  • The Girl Chase (1968)
  • The Gilded Kiss (1969)
  • Girl in a Million (1970)
  • The Deadline Dolly (1970)
  • The Screaming Orchid (1972)
  • Pacific North-West (1975)
  • Seven Nights at the Resort (1976)
  • Ice in the Sun (1977)
  • The Goodbye Blonde (1980)
  • The Last Leap (1983)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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