Created by Jack Ritchie 
Pseudonym of John George Reitci
Other pseudonyms include Steve Harbor, Steve O’Connell & Steve O’Donnell


Private eye CARDULA sucks!

Then again, he’s a vampire, so I guess allowances must be made. Bet he really enjoys sinking his teeth into a good mystery.

He’s the sole employee of the Cardula Detective Agency, and of course, he only works nights. Which may explain why he had to let his faithful servant Janos go. And that damned vampire hunter Professor Van Jelsing is always on his case. Fortunately, he does have his circle of vampire buddies, including the lovely Nadia, to commiserate with, and maybe even catch an occasional ball game

A night game, of course.

He’s the real deal, with the fangs, the cape, the courtly manners and everything. He was booted out of his beloved Transylvania (oh, sorry, Romania!) by the Communist regime, and so now makes his home in the States, where he tries to be fit in and be a good citizen.

“Cardula” is, of course, “Dracula” spelled sorta sideways, which just about sets the tone for this goofy but enjoyable series of yarns by Jack Ritchie that appeared (mostly) in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine in the 1970s and 1980s.

But actually, at least one of the stories, “Cardula and the Locked Room,” impressed enough folks to get it nominated for a Shamus in 1984 for Best Short Story.

John George Reitci was an American writer of detective fiction, primarily known for his short stories, who wrote under the name Jack Ritchie.


  • “Kid Cardula” (June 1976, AHMM)
  • “The Cardula Detective Agency” (March 1977, AHMM)
  • “”The Canvas Caper” (August 1977, AHMM)
  • “Cardula to the Rescue” (December 1977, AHMM)
  • “Cardula and the Kleptomaniac” (April 1978, AHMM)
  • “Cardula’s Revenge” (November 1978, AHMM)
  • “The Return of Cardula” (February 3, 1982, AHMM)
  • “Cardula and the Locked Room” (March 31, 1982, AHMM)
  • “Cardula and the Briefcase” (June 1983, MSMM)


  • June 14, 2021
    The Bottom Line: This detective sucks! Yeah, so he only works at night, and he sleeps in a box of dirt, but I bet he really takes a bite out of crime.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Mario for the help.

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