Sheridan Wesley
Created by Hillary Baldwin Waugh (1920-2008)

SHERIDAN WESLEY is a rich man with a hobby. His New York detective agency is funded by his sizeable personal fortune, so he has no need to take cases that do not interest him. Sounds like an interesting premise, and was interesting enough to get four books published in the series, but average books at best.

Waugh is better known for his police procedurals, but the Wesley books are where his writing career began. After the Wesley stories ran out he went on to write about several other PI's such as Philadelphia's Peter Congdon and Marlowe wannabes Simon Kaye and Philip Macadam. Waugh has also used the pennames of Elissa Grandower, H. Baldwin Taylor and Harry Walker. He was named Grand Master of the Mystery Novel by the Swedish Academy of Detection, in 1989 he was named Grand Master by the MW Aand has authored several books on the writing of crime fiction, including the Edgar nominated: Hillary Waugh's Guide to Mysteries & Mystery Writing.


  • "The mystery novel is a game between author and reader, the goal of which is Find the Villain, and Foul Play is not allowed. The reader is entitled to expect that everything in the mystery relates to the objective. This, then, lays a heavy stricture upon the mystery writer. He may express himself as much as he wants, but he may only do so within the framework of the mystery form -- meaning it must have a bearing on the plot. It must relate to Find the Villain. To work under such a limitation requires artistry and skill. That is what makes the mystery such a demanding art form. The mystery, to the novel, is what the sonnet is to poetry."
    -- Hillary Waugh, How to Write Mysteries (1989)


  • Madam Will Not Dine Tonight (1947; aka "If I Live To Dine")
  • Hope To Die (1948)
  • The Odds Run Out (1949)


  • If I Were a Rich Man...
    A list of men of means (by all means) who do so make trouble their hobby. Evidently they didn't get the memo...

Respectfully submitted by Dale Stoyer, with additional reporting by Kevin Burton Smith.

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