Vernon Loder was a pseudonym for John George Haslette Vahey (1881-1938), an Anglo-Irish writer who also wrote as Henrietta Clandon, John Haslette, Anthony Lang, John Mowbray, Walter Proudfoot and George Varney. He was born in Belfast and educated at Ulster, Foyle College, and Hanover. Four years after he graduated college he was apprenticed to an architect and later tried his hand at accounting before turning to fiction writing full time.
According to the copy of Loder’s Two Dead (1934): “He once wrote a novel in twenty days on a boarding-house table, and had it serialised in U.S.A. and England under another name . . . He works very quickly and thinks two hours a day in the morning quite enough for any one. He composes direct on a machine and does not re-write.” While perhaps this is an exaggeration, Vahey was highly prolific, author of at least forty-four novels between 1926 and 1938.
Vahey’s series characters were Inspector Brews, Chief Inspector R.J. “Terry” Chace, Donald Cairn (as Loder) and William Power, Penny & Vincent Mercer (as Henrietta Clandon).
With a solid reputation for witty characterisation and “the effortless telling of a good story’ (Observer), Vahey’s popularity was later summed up in the Sunday Mercury: “We have no better writer of thrill mystery in England.”