Paul Kilgerrin
Created by Charles B. Leonard (pseud. of Mary Violet Heberden; 1906-65)

He sounds like a spy, but he's a actually a private detective, whose best client seems to be U.S. Army Intelligence. PAUL KILGERRIN is a swarthy, gaunt-faced man with hawk-like features, raven-black hair and hooded eyes. He was seriously wounded in World War II, but he's now almost fully recovered. Well into his forties, he's in superb physical shape, a tough, hard-boiled, ruthless, amoral Commie-hating eye, whose cases take him all over the world, from Africa to Yugoslavia.

In Kilgerrin's first recorded case, The Stolen Squadron (1942), female test pilot Gerry Cordent is introduced, She reappears in several of the books, often acting as Paul's assistant. Detecting Women mentions her as one of the early "liberated" women of modern crime fiction.

Even if he were an out-and-out spy, these might be worth investigating, due to the fact that his creator has been known to pen a good, albeit pulpy and occasionally cheese-flavoured private eye yarn or two (see Desmond Shannon and Rick Vanner).

And, oh yeah, she's a chick.

Heberden was also one of the few women mentioned in mystery critic James Sandoe's oft-reprinted and anthologized personal checklist of favorite hardboiled authors. She was also responsible for another private eye, Rick Vanner and a sorta private eye/spy, Paul Kerrigan, under the pen name of Charles B. Leonard. She was born in England and besides writing was known as a world traveler; office manager and timber importer.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks, Al.

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