George Seville, John Jericho, Arthur Hallam & Wu (The Park Avenue Hunt Club)

Created by Judson Philips
Pseudonyms include Hugh Pentecost, Philip Owen

(1903 – 1989)

THE PARK AVENUE HUNT CLUB were a team of disparate millionaire adventurers, vigilantes, and amateur crime solvers; men of leisure with a weakness for black masks and bloody violence, whose thirty-seven action-packed stories and serials were published in Detective Fiction WeeklyFlynn’s Detective Fiction, and New Detective Magazine from 1934 to 1944.

Headquartered in New York City, they regularly ventured out from their various offices and hideaways scattered around town in a powerful, low slung, heavily armored black limo. They’re almost completely forgotten  today, but these guys were pretty hot stuff in their heyday; a sort of pulp-era Avengers.

Their leader was dapper and dashing actor (he was said to look like Ronald Colman) GEORGE SEVILLE, who served as an intelligence officer for the U.S. government during World War One. After the war to end all wars, Saville took some time off, traveling the world, before returning Stateside to dish out some of his own particular version of justice.

Joining Saville was action-loving big game hunter and all-round big guy JOHN JERICHO, who stood a brawny 6’5”, and sported an unruly mop of curly red hair. He provided much of the muscle for the group and was a crack shot. He (or his name sake) appeared in several novels after World War Two, written by Hugh Pentecost, a pseudonym of Judson Philips.

The “brains” of the club was portly, mild-mannered chess master and attorney ARTHUR HALLAM. A former medical student and psychiatrist, he may look like the overweight brother of the Monopoly banker (complete with top hat)but it was he who usually planned out the group’s capers. He, too, showed up in those later John Jericho novels, as the narrator.

Rounding out the club was faithful manservant WU, the only non-millionaire in the bunch. But what a manservant! He was a martial artist who was handy with a blade (which he keeps in a sheath around his neck), or just about anything else that could be used as a weapon.

According to pulp expert Jesse Nevins, the Park Avenue Hunt Club was “probably the most violent series to appear in Detective Fiction Weekly. The club had no compunctions about killing.”

And kill they do, although they’re not the only ones responsible for the high body count in these stories. In “Men About to Die” (February 2, 1935, Detective Fiction Weekly), for example, a trial is interrupted by the murder of the judge and four cops before the story’s barely begun… and there’s plenty more mayhem to follow.


Judson Pentecost Philips was born in Northfield, Massachusetts, and bounced around the world before completing his education and graduating from Columbia University in 1925. By the late twenties had already established himself in the pulps as an incredibly prolific writer, going on to write more than 100 mystery and detective novels under such pseudonyms as Hugh Pentecost and Philip Owen, as well as under his own name. Among his many series detective characters were hotel manager Pierre Chambrun, whiz bang PR man Julian Quist, hard-boiled police inspector Luke Bradley, gambling joint operator Danny Coyle,  Commie-fighting radio host Mark Chandler, amateur sleuth John Smith, thief and adventuress Ivy Trask and private eye Carole Trevor. The Mystery Writers of America named him a Grand Master in 1973.


  • Turns out Philips liked two of the members of the Club so much that he brought them back twenty years later, slightly tweaked, in several novels and short stories. Big game hunter John Jericho kept the red hair, but became a big, burly Greenwich Village painter with a passion for justice, a sort of combination artist and avenger; likened to a Viking warrior by his chubby sidekick Arthur “Hally” Hallam, who chronicled Jericho’s adventures.


  • “The stories are entertaining enough–Judson Philips was competent and professional, if rarely inspired as a writer–the Club appropriately brave, ruthless, and deadly, and the villains the Club eliminates in the name of “justice” suitably despicable. Wu’s appearances are attempts at racial inclusivity, although they still have a few anti-Chinese stereotypes in them. So: good as far as pulp stories went, with the heroes standing out in their merciless quest for ‘justice.’”
    — Jess Nevins


  • “The Hawk” (January 27, 1934, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Masked Jury” (February 17 1934, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Murder Under the Knife” (March 17, 1934, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Trap for the Hunters” (April 21, 1934, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Man in the Rubber Mask” (May 5, 1934, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Key to Millions” (May 26, 1934, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Prince of Plunder” (June 30, 1934, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Return of the Hawk” (August 4, 1934, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Reign of Terror” (September 1, 1934, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Assassins” (December 22, 1934, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Men About to Die” February 2 1935, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Killer’s Last Stand” (February 23 1935, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Crooked Circle” November 16, 1935, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Death’s Witness” (December 28 1935, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Murder Castle” (January 18, 1936, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Man with the Half-Dead Face” (April 25, 1936, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Bride of Murder” (May 23, 1936, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The False-Face Murders (Part One)” (September 19, 1936, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The False-Face Murders (Part Two)” (September 26, 1936, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The False-Face Murders (Part Three)” (October 3, 1936, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Murder of a Patriot” (May 8, 1937, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Tiger’s Trap” (September 18, 1937, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The League of Disaster (Part One)” (January 8, 1938, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The League of Disaster (Part Two)” (January 15, 1938, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The League of Disaster (Part Three)” (January 22, 1938, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The League of Disaster (Part Four)” (January 29, 1938, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The League of Disaster (Part Five)” (February 5, 1938, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The League of Disaster (Part Six)” (February 12, 1938, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Horse Opera” July 2 1938, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Death Walks the Avenue” (June 10, 1939, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Death Polls a Vote” (September 2, 1939, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Death Wears Green” (April 27, 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Green Terror” (May 18, 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Masked Jury” ( Detective Fiction Weekly June 8 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Flaming Cobra” June 29, 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Signal for Disaster” (July 27, 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Fifth Column Marches” ( August 17, 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Destruction, Incorporated” (May 24, 1941, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Rubber Mask Returns” (February 1943, Flynn’s Detective Fiction)
  • “The Shadow of the Enemy” (May 1943, Flynn’s Detective Fiction)
  • “The Whispering Death” (September 1943, Flynn’s Detective Fiction)
  • “The Copper Vat Murders” (March 1944, Flynn’s Detective Fiction)
  • “Vandals, Inc.” (November 1944, New Detective Magazine)


  • The Compleat Park Avenue Hunt Club (2006) | Buy this book
    This two-violume set from the Battered Silicon Dispatch Box rounds up all 36 stories, plus essays by collector Robert Weinberg and editor Garyn G. Roberts, as well as Rodney Schroeter’s essays about the series.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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