Private Detective No. 39

Created by John W. Postgate
Pseudonyms include James Mooney

I have absolutely no idea what Private Detective No. 39; or, the Mysterious Client is about, but the title looks promising, suggesting perhaps one of the early American rivals of Sherlock Holmes. According to Hubin, it was set in Chicago, and was initially published in 1892 by the New York-based J.S. Olgilvie Publishing Co., as part of their “Eureka” line, where an inside ad assured us that “All of the books in the Eureka Series are clever detective stories, and each one of those mentioned below has received the heartiest recommendation.”

At least two other editions were brought out in the next few years, including the “Brighton Edition” pictured to the right, and at one point, Otto Penzler owned a copy.

But then he sold it.

And that’s about it.

Anyone who knows anything else, lemme know.

The author wrote a handful of mysteries under his own name, as well as a couple as James Mooney.


  • Private Detective No. 39; or, the Mysterious Client (1892)
Preliminary report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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