William Edward Vickers

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William Edward Vickers (1889 - 1965) was an English mystery writer better known under his pen name Roy Vickers, but used also the pseudonyms Roy C. Vickers, David Durham, Sefton Kyle, and John Spencer. He is the author of over 60 crime novels and 80 short stories.[1] Vickers is now remembered mostly for his attribution to Scotland Yard of a Department of Dead Ends, specialized in solving old, sometimes long-forgotten cases, mostly by chance encounters of odd bits of strange and apparently disconnected evidence.[2]

He was educated at Charterhouse School, and left Brasenose College, Oxford without a degree. For some time he studied law at the Middle Temple, but never practiced. He married Mary Van Rossem and they had one son. He worked as a journalist, as a court reporter and as a magazine editor; he also wrote a large number of nonfiction articles and sold hundreds of them to newspapers and magazines. Between November 1913 and February 1917, twenty short stories by Vickers were published in the Novel Magazine. About this time he published his first book, a biography of Field Marshal Frederick, Earl Roberts. In September 1934, The Rubber Trumpet, the first of thirty-seven stories featuring the fictitious Department of Dead Ends, appeared in Pearson's Magazine. In 1960 he edited the Crime Writers' Association's anthology of short stories Some Like Them Dead. The Manchester Evening News called one of his collections, "one of the half-dozen successful books of detective short stories published since the days of Sherlock Holmes." [3]

Vickers work has been adapted for film and TV, including Girl in the News (1940), Violent Moment (1959) and three episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (Season 3: 1957-58).[4]


  1. ^ "Roy Vickers". panmacmillan.com. 
  2. ^ "Authors". Detective Book Club. 
  3. ^ "The Department of Dead Ends". panmacmillan.com. 
  4. ^ http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2baaf05afe

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