You won’t find Jerome Whelan’s name in Allen J. Hubin’s Crime Fiction IV, at least not under that name. You will find him, however, in the online Addenda that preceded the Revised CFIV, which has not yet published. The entry appeared then as follows:

      BRIEN, R. N. Pseudonym of Jerome Bernard Whelan.
         The Missing Solicitor. Skeffington, 1952 [Eng.]

   Four or five copies of the book are currently being offered for sale on the Internet, so it is not especially uncommon. Nonetheless, not only was Mr. Whelan an author new to CFIV, but so was the title itself, even under the pen name, having escaped notice for one reason or another through four editions of the Hubin bibliography.

   At the moment I cannot tell you exactly what the mystery in The Missing Solicitor is about, but I have a pretty good guess. In a recent email to Al Hubin, Edward Whelan, a barrister in England, said “Jerome (my father) was a solicitor himself, and obviously did not want any of his clients to know that he had a secret fantasy world of arsenic poisoning and stolen bearer bonds.”

   According to Edward, as he mentions in the same email, the name R. N. Brien came from a variation on his mother’s maiden name. There was also only the one novel, which his father always spoke about in a deprecating fashion.

   Jerome Whelan went on to become a noted tax advisor and a director of the Ionian Bank in London. He was born in Cork in 1911 and died on 14 Feb 2007.