The Beautiful Devil

By Detective Dunn

Detective Dunn was Charles E. Pearce’s pseudonym for three novels, The Beautiful Devil, Queen of Crooks and The Red Mill Mystery.

This tale was published by Stanley Paul in 1923. It attracted the following review in the Aberdeen Journal, 21 August 1923:

THE BEAUTIFUL DEVIL. By Detective Dunn. Stanley Paul. 7s 6d.

If it be true, as announced on the flamboyant cover of this book, that the heroine is “a wonderful woman drawn from life,” there is certainly a good deal to be said for the title of the story as a compliment to his Satanic Majesty. The heroine, Leonie Marras, is a type “encountered once in a lifetime,” says Detective Dunn. “Once” is just about often enough. Devoid of conscience and associated with a gang of sharpers, “the beautiful devil” uses her charms to wheedle men of good social and business standing to their ruin. She bigamously marries the Earl of Lanchester, while her husband is a convict, and carries on several love affairs at the same time. Even when her house of cards begins to topple, this temptress of men can laugh in the faces of her infatuated dupes. The book is like a kaleidoscope. Every chapter has a new thrill, and readers of this kind of story will find their most exacting tastes gratified.

This book was reissued by Federation Press in 1925, but it was harshly abridged, with the word count being reduced by about a third.