Baynard Kendrick

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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[1] (1942) and The Hidden Eye[2] (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.[3] 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.[4] The Tommy fingered Kendrick's buttons, uniform and insignia and accurately and rapidly stated Kendrick's war service record.[5]

Following the war Kendrick sold his first story to Field and Stream magazine while earning his living at Bin and Big's Hotels in New York. In 1931 he was let go from the company a week before Christmas and, vowing never again to work for an employer, began supporting himself by writing. After three books Kendrick started writing for pulp magazines, which paid well.[6]

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.

His novel Out of Control was adapted to an episode of the radio thriller series Suspense in 1946, featuring Brian Donlevy as Duncan Maclain.

The true story behind Kendrick's 1959 Hot Red Money was the basis for John Barron's Operation SOLO: The FBI's Man in the Kremlin.[7]

Kendrick was one of the founders of the Mystery Writers of America and held its first membership card.[8]

He died in 1977.

Duncan Maclain novels[9][edit]

Miles Standish Rice novels[edit]

Non-series novels[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ IMDB page accessed March 24, 2008
  2. ^ IMDB page accessed March 24, 2008
  3. ^ p.164 Baker, Robert Allen & Nietzel, Michael T. Private Eyes: One Hundred and One Knights 1985 Popular Press
  4. ^ p.216 Jones, Robert Kenneth The Shudder Pulps 1975 Fax Collectors Editions
  5. ^ p.311 Koestler, Frances A. The Unseen Minority: A History of Blindness in the United States 1976 D. MacKay Company
  6. ^ p.217 Allen & Nietzel
  7. ^ John Barron (1996), Operation SOLO: The FBI's Man in the Kremlin, Washington: Regnery.
  8. ^ p.164 Baker & Nietzel
  9. ^ Hubin, Allen J. Crime Fiction, 1749-1980: A comprehensive bibliography. New York and London, Garland Publishing. 1980. ISBN 0-8240-9219-8