At the present time, the entry for mystery writer John Dellbridge in Crime Fiction IV, by Allen J. Hubin, looks like this:


* * * -The Moles of Death (Diamond, 1927, hc) [India]

* * * Sons of Tumult (Long, 1928, hc) [Pakistan]

* * * The Honourable Sir John (Long, 1929, hc) [England]

Searchlight * * * Searchlight on Hambledon (Hurst, 1947, hc) [Rupert Hambledon; England] Story collection:

• Clowns Are Serious Sometimes • ss
• Conversation Piece with Postscript • ss
• The Defeat of Hambledon • ss
• Devastating Sanity • ss
• Entirely Self Made • ss
• The Fire That Was Quenched • ss
• Horses Can’t Be Trusted • ss
• Last of the Screwleighs • ss
• Letter to His Bishop • ss
• Modern Messalina • ss
• Ronnie the Rat • ss

* * * Unfit to Plead (Hurst, 1949, hc) [Rupert Hambledon; England]

* * * The Lady in the Wood (Hurst, 1950, hc) [Rupert Hambledon; England]

   British bookseller Jamie Sturgeon, however, has discovered the website for The University of the West Indies at St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago, where the papers of Frederick Joseph De Verteuil are stored.

   On the page describing their holdings for him it states that De Verteuil was born in Trinidad in 1887, and that he “went to England at the age of fourteen in 1901 and later qualified as a lawyer at Gray’s Inn. He practised as a barrister in India for several years and later returned to England where he continued practising law until he was debarred from practice due to misrepresenting his clients in court. [See FOOTNOTE.] He then became a little known writer of novels and short stories, historical works and semi-scientific commentaries. He wrote under three different pseudonyms: John Dellbridge, Freddy Bannister and Francis Vere.”

   Neither Bannister nor Vere are in CFIV, but John Dellbridge’s identity has clearly now been revealed.


   Jamie emailed Al Hubin with his discovery, who in turn did some followup investigating:

   Too bad the site doesn’t give a death date. I’ll have to do a little trolling on the real name and see if I can find it.

[Later] The only reference (other than the one Jamie gives) that turned up in a google search was a wedding notice for one Carl Frederick de Verteuil, which mentions that his father (a novelist!) retired as managing director of cruise ship newspapers published by the Thomas Skinner company in Toronto! The groom’s age (35) makes it virtually impossible that he was the son of “Dellbridge” (who would have been some 88 years old when Carl was born), but could he be the grandson? Incidentally, there’s no trace of anyone name de Verteuil in the Canada National Catalogue. But in the British Library Catalogue is a book by one Anthony de Verteuil, The de Verteuils of Trinidad 1797-1997, which might very likely shed further light on “Dellbridge” and perhaps others And Frederick Joseph de Vertueil (almost certainly “Dellbridge”) published an autobiographical book under his real name in 1938, Fifty Wasted Years, which might also make interesting reading And there’s a Carl de Verteuil with several novels ca.1950-1960 (the groom’s father?). Anthony de Verteuil has quite a number of books going back to 1973 though they don’t seem to be novels. All very interesting!

   And here is where the matter stands. Even if nothing further is found, we now know considerably more about on the pseudonymous John Dellbridge than we did before. As for Rupert Hambledon, there’s nothing known about him at the moment, but there will be soon. I (this is Steve) have purchased a copy of The Lady in the Wood, pictured above, and it’s now on its way to me from England. When I know more, you’ll read about it here.

[UPDATE: 01-20-07]
Here’s a short note received by email from John Herrington:

Hi Steve,

It appears that Francis Vere was used on a 1952 novel Don Ricardo and the 1955 Salt in Their Blood about Dutch admirals. There are also some 1950s works on Piltdown Man and evolution which have the same name as author. Coincidence or same writer I know not.

Cannot find anything by Freddy Bannister. A Google search is hampered by the fact that that was the name of the man who organised the Knebworth concerts.

And who was the Frederick Benedict De Verteuil who wrote the 1949 Almost Glory as F. Benedict? Presume he must be related.



[UPDATE: 04-04-07] Taken from an email from Carl de Verteuil, mentioned above, who also has two posts in the comments section —


   My grandfather died in 1963 (I don’t have the exact date) but it was sometime in the autumn — at about the same time as JFK and Aldous Huxley !

   I’ll see if I can gather some more information from my uncle “Cook” (son of Frederick) about his mystery writing. He was a prolific author and is well regarded in his native Trinidad (the de Verteuils were one of the French families to have settled there after the French revolution).

   Unfortunately, he wrote under several different names which probably didn’t help his cause too much. Uncle Cook (who is also referred to in your blog) is now 88 years old and was himself an author although not of mystery books.

   I’ll see what I can find and will get back to you.

Best regards,


[FOOTNOTE.] 10-04-08.
John Eggeling sent me this information about De Verteuil’s legal problems in an email a few weeks ago, but I’ve only now been able to add it to this post. Says John:

    “In July 1938 Frederick Joseph De Verteuil was found guilty of conspiracy and fraud and he was sentenced to 5 years in prison. A report of his appeal, which failed, appeared in The Times for November 29, 1938.”

   John sent me an attachment containing a copy of that appeal, which is far too long for me to reproduce here. If anyone’s interested, email me, and I should be able to forward it on to you.