Monday, May 27, 2019

A Mystery Writer Makes War: Q. Patrick on Mass Murder, Hitler and Buying War Bonds

By Q. Patrick
Author of "S. S. Murder," "Death for Dear Clara," and many other mystery novels

I have killed about 47 men!  I have murdered about 39 women!  I have foully done away with about 7 children!  And I did it all ruthlessly and in cold blood.  But I did it with my pen; that is my only excuse.

Hitler has murdered many thousands, nay millions of men, women and children.  And he didn't do it with his pen either.  He did it actually, ruthlessly and in the cold blood of fanatical hatred.

Stop him?  How can we here at home stop him?

There is one way.  For some of is, there is only one way.  Buy War Bonds.  And, yes, then buy more War Bonds.  buy until every available nickel is being used to build up the instruments of war to destroy this beast.

Incidentally, my profits from this book are going into--you guessed it--WAR BONDS.  Thank you.

Q. Patrick was, especially in his earlier writing, a rather bloodthirsty mystery writer.  Not for him one mere austere murder.  But his killings indeed were nothing compared to the real ones of the Second World War.

Q Patrick's patriotic appeal to Americans to buy War Bonds was published in 1943 on the back of the Popular Library edition of Q. Patrick's S. S. Murder.  Richard Webb, 41, and Hugh Wheeler, 30, the two native British authors behind Q. Patrick, became American citizens in January and April 1943, respectively, and were called to service in defense of their new country. 

Hugh, who suffered from diplopia ("double vision"), was stationed with the Army Medical Corps at Fort Dix, New Jersey, while Rickie went the extra mile--actually he went thousands of extra miles.  In the Army Signal Corps he was stationed at Hollandia, New Guinea, where he contracted Japanese Encephalitis.  Rickie longed to return to the home fires, but sadly he would find, like many others of the returned, that those fires provided only dim comfort from the malaise and maladies of the postwar years.  Things would never be the same for him again after Hitler finally was stopped, and for that he blamed the war.


  1. You keep coming up with ever more gems (while also adding more meat to the once elusive biography of Rickie Webb).
    As for their attitude to Hitler, the "Quentins" to their credit started seeing him as a threat long before 1943. Already in 1936 opposition to Nazism is a plot point in Death Goes to School, and it also crops up in at least two other books before the war had even broken out.

    1. Yes I think you an see an anti-fascist attitude early on, though I wouldn't say that Webb and Wheeler were the most political crime writers, would you? There's an anti-fascist wartime noveltte from the Forties that will be reprinted in the next planned Crippen & Landru volume, which should interest the fans!

    2. Thanks for your reply, looking very much forward to the next volume!
      No, I don't think they can reasonably be called political writers. Just writers who occasionally let an attitude shine through (an attitude that seems to have been anti-Fascist well before the war). Most of what they wrote show no political attitudes, I think. There is more cynicism than idealism in the complete works, but coupled with what I feel is an understanding of human fiaws.