Created by Howard Browne
With a monicker like that, you might think Wilbur isn’t the most two-fisted of men, and you’d be right on the money. The stories are good, but Peddie is anything but your typical hard-boiled dick. He wears a bowler and is always very proper and polite, although this does not stop him from picking locks or misrepresenting himself while trying to skiptrace deadbeats for the Tinsley Department Store. So Peddie is a meek, mild kind of guy in a slightly hardboiled world, as represented by a pair of cops he keeps running into. One of them finds Peddie highly amusing, even as he relies on him to solve the murders Peddie stumbles across.
The Peddie stories all originally appeared in the old Mammoth Detective pulp, and were later collected in Incredble Ink, a 1997 collection of Browne stories, published by Dennis McMillan. The title of the collection, in fact, was taken from a phrase in a Peddie story.
Another rather interesting character Browne was responsible for was Lafayette Muldoon, a real estate company troubleshooter.
- “A Quarter for Your Trouble” (May 1942, Mammoth Detective)
- “Keep Your Eye On” (September 1942, Mammoth Detective)
- “Incredible Ink” (January 1943, Mammoth Detective)
- “Blackmail in Blue Ink” (August 1943, Mammoth Detective)
- “A Penny for Your Corpse” (February 1944, Mammoth Detective)
- “Hot Warehouse” (August 1945, Mammoth Detective)