The Lady from Hell (nv) (Detective Fiction Weekly January 19, 1935).
Lost Treasures from the
Hard Cover, 558 pp.
ISBN 978-1-55246-982-8 $60.00
Look for sets on Amazon.com, E-Bay.com or AbeBooks.com or alternately contact me for more information.
Red-headed Vivian Legrand was an exotic and breath-taking beauty. She fascinated men, and when they babbled their secrets she bled them of their wealth. The rich and influential of three continents were her victims.
She operated a school that trained blackmailers in the art of extortion. Her agents numbered hundreds, for she forced her victims to ferret out the secrets of their friends, and to pay her in information as well as money. Anybody in contact with the rich might be in Vi Legrand’s pay, and the agents she recruited by blackmail included social leaders and public officials and royalty whom the world believed above suspicion!
Herein you will find a series of stories about the exploits of this siren who came from Bubbling Well Road, Shanghai, and flamed across three continents.
About the Author: Eugene Thomas
I don’t know who was kidding whom, but author Eugene Thomas was involved in an odd bit of history of the magazine. Detective Fiction Weekly always had a couple of true stories in each issue. Thomas wrote a "true" story with the catchy name of "The Lady From Hell." The Lady, Vivian Legrand, was a former blackmailer who had even instigated the murder of her father but gained immunity from prosecution by recovering a letter that the British Secret Service had wanted for some time.
Soon the true story section of Detective Fiction Weekly had a Lady From Hell story in every couple of issues, featuring the red-haired, breath-taking siren in yet another intrigue. How could one woman in the less-liberated 1930’s be so involved, written about so often, and still be an effective informant? Well, she couldn’t. The magazine fessed up and The Lady From Hell moved to the fiction section. Did Thomas scam Detective Fiction Weekly or were the editors hornswoggling the readers? It remains a mystery. — Steve Lewis