Lesley Shane

Created by Conrad Frost & Oliver Passingham

Before Honey West, before Ms. Tree and Kinsey and V.I. and Lisbeth and all the rest, there was LESLEY SHANE, written by Conrad Frost and drawn by British artist Oliver Passingham.

A savvy, competent private eye doing what had to be done, right there in public for all to see in a comic strip in the British newspaper Daily Sketch from 1952-54.

And Lesley was no eye-fluttering cozy little amateur snoop–Lesley could take care of herself, thankyouverymuch. She could shoot, ride a horse, and use a sword. She was  athletic enough to go undercover in one case as a circus acrobat. As one critic put it, she was a “private investigator who brought the required toughness, attention to detail and keen eye for the facts to the job, as well as bring a woman’s intuition, and a stylish fashion sense.”

Okay, so it was still a comic strip, so she also has an arch enemy to contend with: The Mastermind, your typical, seemingly omnipotent criminal genius.

The strip was syndicated around the world, including in Finland, the US and Australia, where The North Western Courier reported that “The strip is rated as probably the most popular in England.”

It also appeared in Super-Detective Library, which reprinted  the newspaper strips and also ran some original stories. But it was not to last–perhaps Lesley was just a little too ahead of her time, but the original strip and her comic book adventure ended after only a few years, and are now sadly almost forgotten.

It would be nice to see someone re-issue them, properly cleaned up and remastered–the few reprints that have resurfaced are inevitably disappointing.


    (1952-54, Daily Sketch)
    Newspaper strip
    Written by Conrad Frost
    Art by Oliver Passingham

    • “Alias Colonel Blood” (aka “The Coronation Jewels Mystery”)
    • “The Arms of Dracos”
    • “The Heirs of Kilmaddon”
    • “Exit the Mastermind”
    • “The Headress of Darrador”
    • “Joker in the Pack”
    • “The Dangerous Penman”
    • “The Lady Helps Herself”
    • “The Amazon Club”
    • “The Boarding House Murders”
    (1953-60, Amalagated Press)
    Bi-weekly digest
    64 pages, B&W
    154 issues
    The Lesley Shane strip appeared often in this digest-sized book.

    • “The Riddle of the Race Gang” (#16)
    • “The Last Jerst of Angelo Yates” (November 23, 1953; #19)
    • “Jungle Manhunt (#27)
    • “The Case of the Secret Archer” (#32)
    • “The Stolen Crown” (#39)
    • “The Hush Money Riddle” (#62)
    • “The Riddle of the Paintings That Came to Life” (#63)
    • “The Riddle of the Bull-Ring” (#69)
    • “Crime Takes The Stage” ((#80)
    • “The Girl Who Never Was” (#86)
    • “The Mystery of the Fatal Photographs” (#92)
    • “The Mystery of the Dream Crimes” (#98)
    • “Lesley Shane and the House Of Mystery” (#102)
    • “Lesley Shane and the Jungle Treasure” (#114)
    • “The Mystery of the Masks Of Manton” (#118)


  • Lesley Shane Comic Strips (2017) Buy this book
    Shoddy reprint of “Alias Colonel Blood”
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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