Arthur B. Reeve

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Arthur Benjamin Reeve

Arthur Benjamin Reeve (October 15, 1880 - August 9, 1936) was an American mystery writer. He is best known for creating the series character Professor Craig Kennedy, sometimes called "The American Sherlock Holmes," and his Dr Watson-like sidekick Walter Jameson, a newspaper reporter, in eighteen detective novels. The bulk of Reeve's fame is based on the 82 Craig Kennedy stories, published in Cosmopolitan magazine between 1910 and 1918. These were collected in book form; with the third collection, the short stories were stitched together into pseudo-novels. The 12-volume Craig Kennedy Stories came out in 1918; it reissued Reeve's books-to-date as a matched set.

Starting with The Exploits of Elaine (1914), Reeve began authoring screenplays. His film career reached its peak in 1919-20, when his name appeared on seven films, most of them serials, three of them starring Harry Houdini. After that—probably because of the migration to Hollywood of the film industry, and Reeve's desire to remain in the east—Reeve worked more sporadically in film. His career is marked by fiction originally published in newspapers, and a variety of magazines including Country Gentleman, Boys' Life, and Everybody's. Eventually, he was found only in pulps like Detective Story Magazine and Detective Fiction Weekly. In 1927, Reeve entered into a contract (with John S. Lopez) to write a series of film scenarios for notorious millionaire-murderer, Harry K. Thaw, on the subject of fake spiritualists. The deal resulted in a lawsuit when Thaw refused to pay. In late 1928, Reeve declared bankruptcy.

In the 1930s, Reeve rejuvenated his career by becoming an anti-rackets crusader. He had a national radio show from July 1930 to March 1931; he published a history of the rackets titled The Golden Age of Crime; and the focus of his Craig Kennedy stories completed the transition from "scientific detective" work to a racket-busting milieu.

During his career, Reeve covered many celebrated crime cases for various newspapers, including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, and the trial of Lindbergh baby kidnapper, Bruno Hauptmann.

He graduated from Princeton and attended New York Law School. He worked as an editor and journalist before Craig Kennedy propelled him to national fame in 1911. Raised in Brooklyn, he lived most of his professional life at various addresses near the Long Island Sound. In 1932, he moved to Trenton to be nearer his alma mater, Princeton.

The most complete biographical and bibliographical information on Reeve is available in From Ghouls to Gangsters: The Career of Arthur B. Reeve Volume 1 (fiction) and Volume 2 (nonfiction) (Locke, editor).

Some of his stories include:

External links[edit]