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The Wire Devils

2013
Author:

Frank L. Packard
Introduction by Robert MacDougall

The Wire Devils

A classic railroading adventure mystery set in a world of train robbers, tapped wires, and secret codes

The Wire Devils follows a criminal gang of the same name who hijack a railroad’s telegraph lines to glean information about profitable shipments. Combining elements from dime-store novels and Frank L. Packard’s own experience on the rails, this is at once a hybrid western and a thriller still worth reading nearly a century after it was written.

Ingenious . . . Contains twists and exciting moments in sufficient number to make it an agreeable companion with which to pass a couple of idle evenings.

New York Times

Best known for his Jimmie Dale series of books, which have sold more than 3 million copies worldwide, Frank L. Packard first published The Wire Devils in 1918. A “wire thriller” that uses the booming railroads and telegraph lines of the old West as its backdrop for fast-paced adventure, The Wire Devils follows a criminal gang of the same name who hijack a railroad’s telegraph lines to glean information about profitable shipments. But foiling them again and again is the Hawk, the outlaw hero who robs from the robbers and is ultimately on the side of law and order.

Combining elements from dime-store novels and Packard’s own experience on the rails, The Wire Devils is at once a hybrid western and a thriller still worth reading nearly a century after it was written.

The Wire Devils

Frank L. Packard (1877–1942) was a widely published Canadian writer of crime fiction. He was the author of nearly thirty books published from 1914 to 1938. Robert MacDougall is associate professor of history at the University of Western Ontario.

The Wire Devils

Ingenious . . . Contains twists and exciting moments in sufficient number to make it an agreeable companion with which to pass a couple of idle evenings.

New York Times

Whether lounging in your backyard or vacationing away from home, The Wire Devils is suggested summer reading entertainment. Combing elements from dime store novels and author Packard’s own experience on the rails, The Wire Devils remains entertaining reading nearly a century after its first printing.

Model Railroad News

The bulk of the text is a testament to Packard’s ability as a writer of popular fiction and his well-phrased word pictures and plot twists still hold the reader’s interest.

Railroad History

I recommend this book to anyone interested in railroad fiction.

The Annals of Iowa