S.S. Van Dine was the crime-novel pseudonym of Willard Huntington Wright (1888–1939), an American journalist, critic and novelist. It was as a writer of detective fiction that he found financial success. His series of novels featuring snobbish amateur sleuth and art lover Philo Vance, the first of which was The Benson Murder Case (1926), were so popular that they also lead to movies and radio, and prevented Wright from ever returning to the less lucrative writing of which he would have been more proud.
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