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S. S. Van Dine 1888—1939

S. S. Van Dine

American art critic Willard Huntington Wright, under the pseudonym of Dine when he wrote detective novels, was an important figure in avant-garde cultural circles in pre-WWI New York, and under the pseudonym (which he originally used to conceal his identity) he created the once immensely popular fictional detective Philo Vance, a sleuth and aesthete who first appeared in books in the 1920s, then in movies and on the radio.

Available eBooks


The Benson Murder Case (1926)

Playboy stockbroker, Alvin Benson, is found in his brownstone mansion with a bullet through his head. First on the scene is Philo Vance, amateur... read more »


The Bishop Murder Case (1928)

When Joseph Cochrane Robin is found murdered in New York's upper west side accompanied by a note quoting the nursery rhyme "Who Killed Cock Robin... read more »


The "Canary" Murder Case (1927)

The beautiful Margaret Odell, famous Broadway beauty and ex-Follies girl known as "The Canary", is found murdered in her apartment. She has a number of... read more »


The Casino Murder Case (1934)

Philo Vance receives an anonymous letter warning of deadly danger to the wealthy Llewellyn family heir, Lynn. Eccentric widow Priscilla Llewellyn... read more »


The Dragon Murder Case (1934)

A guest at Inwood Hill Park, an estate in northern Manhattan, dives into the swimming pool and disappears. Has a mythological dragon which is said to... read more »


The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1938)

The zany plot follows nitwit Gracie Allen trying to help master sleuth Philo Vance solve a murder. Allen's uncle fixes her up with Bill at a company... read more »


The Greene Murder Case (1927)

Philo Vance takes a hand when, in an evening, one daughter of the Greene family is shot to death and another one is wounded. The family comprises two... read more »


The Kennel Murder Case (1933)

It was exactly three months after the startling termination of the Scarab murder case* that Philo Vance was drawn into the subtlest and the most... read more »


The Kidnap Murder Case (1936)

This new Van Dine kidnap-murder case deals with two of the most unusual crimes in the whole record of Philo Vance's criminological researches. Kasper... read more »


The Scarab Murder Case (1929)

Philo Vance was drawn into the Scarab murder case by sheer coincidence, although there is little doubt that John F.-X. Markham—New York's District... read more »


The Winter Murder Case (1939)

The detective story is a kind of intellectual game. It is more—it is a sporting event. And the author must play fair with the reader. He can no more... read more »