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Baynard Hardwick Kendrick (1894-1977) wrote whodunit mystery novels about Duncan Maclain, a blind private investigator who worked with his two German shepherds and his household of assistants to solve murder mysteries. The novels were the basis for two films starring Edward Arnold, Eyes in the Night (1942) and The Hidden Eye (1945). Kendrick was credited by Stirling Silliphant for being the source of the Longstreet (TV series) character about a blind insurance investigator. He also wrote using the pseudonym Richard Hayward.
His book Lights Out was filmed as Bright Victory.
Kendrick was born in Philadelphia and traveled to Canada as the first American citizen to enlist in the Canadian Army during World War I. He served in England, France, and Salonika. During his service, a fellow Philadelphian serving with the Canadians was blinded. When Kendrick visited him at St Dunstan's he met a blind English soldier who had a remarkable ability to tell him things about himself that a person who could see may not have noticed.The Tommy fingered Kendrick's buttons, uniform and insignia and accurately and rapidly stated Kendrick's war service record.
Following the war Kendrick sold his first story to Field and Stream magazine whilst working at Bin and Big's Hotels in New York. Kendrick was retrenched from the firm a week before Christmas in 1931 and vowed never to work for anyone again by writing. After three books Kendrick wrote for pulp magazines, which paid well.
Kendrick's writing reflected two personal interests that he had developed - an interest in blind people and their coping skills and an interest in the history of Florida.
During World War II, Kendrick served as an instructor for blinded veterans giving him the material for his book Lights Out.
He died in 1977.
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