Jack Mann, the author of Maker of Shadows and seven other novels starring Gregory George Gordon Green, known to most as “Gees” was actually a pseudonym for E. Charles Vivian, a well-known British author of supernatural, western, and detective novels. Making the Vivian pen-name even more interesting was the fact that it too was a pseudonym of Charles Henry Cannell, who wrote books, many about series characters, under numerous pen-names.
Born in 1882, Cannell died in 1947. At the time, he had written over 80 books, ranging from westerns (as by “Barry Lynd”) to lost race adventures The City of Wonder, Fields of Sleep. His Gees’s novels were so popular that several of them published in hardcover in England were later serialized in Argosy magazine. Maker of Shadows was so highly regarded that it was illustrated by Virgil Finlay, considered the top pulp artist of the time.
As a young man, Cannell served as a British soldier in the Boer War. Afterwards, he worked for several years as a reporter for The Daily Telegraph newspaper. Deciding to become a novelist, Cannell switched to writing fiction in 1907.
Discovering a talent for editing, Vivian worked for the British fiction magazine, The Novel Magazine while continuing to turn out novels. Later, working for publisher Walter Hutchinson, he acted as editor for Hutchinson’s Adventure-Story Magazine and Hutchinson’s Mystery-Story Magazine. For those publications, Vivian used a stable of British authors. Plus, he reprinted work from such USA pulp publications as Adventure and Weird Tales.
The “Gees” series were Vivian’s most popular novels. The stories featured a young, somewhat naïve, British detective Gregory George Gordeon Green, known as “Gees” and delve into his various cases, most of which involve the supernatural. In this story, Gees is recruited by Margaret Aylener, the head of a major Scottish family. Margaret has been battling most of her life against Gamel Macmorn, supposedly the descendent of foreign invaders who enslaved and murdered the Scots. No one in the area knows how old Macmorn really is, as he seemingly possesses the power to regenerate himself at certain times after which he returns to his home as “his son.”
Gees battles Macmorn and his ancient Druidic magic in a duel for the soul of Margaret Aylener’s daughter, Helen. The evil Macmorn is not known as Maker of Shadows for nothing, and Gees find out just how true that menacing title really is. But Gees commands powers of his own…
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