Robin Bishop

Created by Geoffrey Homes
Pseudonym of Daniel Mainwaring

ROBIN BISHOP is one of those pesky reporters with a nose for news who acts like a private eye, but isn’t. He works for a rag in Los Pinos in southern California, and isn’t even particularly tough or wise-cracking, but he manages to get himself into (and out of) enough jams to qualify. He also drinks like a fish.

Eventually, he quits journalism (and drinking), and takes a job at the Morgan Missing Persons Bureau (“Missing Persons Located, Heirs Found”) in Los Angeles. It’s there that he meets and later marries Miss Mary Huston, a secretary at the agency who’s as good a detective as he is. He also makes the acquaintance of fellow operative, milk-drinking Humphrey Campbell, with whom he occasionally works a case. In fact, the final book in the Bishop series, Then There Were Three (1938), served as the first book in the Campbell series.

Apparently, Homes had tired of the character. Bishop getting hitched was the last straw, at least according to the author. “First I had a detective named Robin Bishop, and I got sick of him,” he explained. “Bishop got married and then got awfully soft, and I got fed up with him. I changed to Humphrey Campbell, who was a tougher one.”


Homes was actually Daniel Mainwaring. He was born in California, and attended Fresno University. He held various jobs, including migrant fruit picker, private investigator and reporter, before turning to writing under the Homes pen name in the thirties. But Hollywood was where the money was, and so he started working as a screenwriter, first for Warner Bros. and later for Paramount, and penned such classic crime and film noirs as Out of the Past (1946) (based on his own novel, and later remade as 1984’s fairly wretched Against All Odds), They Made Me a Killer (1946), The Big Steal (1949) and Roadblock (1951). He wrote the screenplays for over forty films, including a ton of gangster flicks and westerns. But after a long career of crime and detective flicks, perhaps his biggest success was the screenplay for the sci-fi film Invasion of the Body-Snatchers (1956).

Go figure.


  • “This author is not merely going places, he has arrived.”
    — Isaac Anderson on The Man Who Didn’t Exist (February 28, 1937, The New York Times)
  • “Mainwaring/Homes is one of the great neglected hard boiled writers.”
    — David L. Vineyard (February 2011, Mystery*File)



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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