Arthur B. Reeve

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Arthur Benjamin Reeve

Arthur Benjamin Reeve (October 15, 1880 – August 9, 1936) was an American mystery writer. He is known best for creating the series character Professor Craig Kennedy, sometimes called "The American Sherlock Holmes", and Kennedy's Dr. Watson-like sidekick Walter Jameson, a newspaper reporter, for 18 detective novels. Reeve is famous mostly for 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 published grouped together as episodic novels. The 12-volume publication Craig Kennedy Stories was released during 1918; it reissued Reeve's books-to-date as a matched set.


Born in Brooklyn, Reeve graduated from Princeton and attended New York Law School. He worked as an editor and journalist before acquiring fame from the first Craig Kennedy story during 1911. Raised in Brooklyn, he lived most of his professional life at various addresses near Long Island Sound. In 1932, he relocated to New Jersey (Trenton) to be nearer his alma mater, Princeton. He died in Trenton in 1936.

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

During the 1930s, Reeve changed his career by becoming an anti-rackets crusader. He hosted a national radio program from July 1930 to March 1931, published a history of the rackets titled The Golden Age of Crime, and the emphasis of his Craig Kennedy stories completed Reeve's transition from "scientific detective" work to conbatting organized crime.

During his career, Reeve reported many celebrated crime cases for various newspapers, including the murder of William Desmond Taylor in 1922, and the trial of Lindbergh baby kidnapper, Bruno Hauptmann, who was executed in 1936.


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)[citation needed] and Volume 2 (nonfiction) (Locke, editor).[citation needed]

Some of his stories include:

Reeve's novelette "The Death Cry", featuring his popular detective Craig Kennedy, was the cover story for the May 1935 issue of the magazine Weird Tales.
Reeve's "The Inca Dagger", also featuring Craig Kennedy, was the cover story for the January 1934 issue of the magazine Black Book Detective.


  1. ^ Reeve, Arthur B. (1911). "The Invisible Ray". The Poisoned Pen: The Further Adventures of Craig Kennedy. New York: Grosset and Dunlap.
  2. ^ Reeve, Arthur B. (November 1912). "The Campaign Grafter" (PDF). Hearst's Magazine. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-04-25.
  3. ^ Reeve, Arthur B. (1936). The Stars Scream Murder (First ed.). D. Appleton-Century. ASIN B00085TF58.

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