Frank Lucius Packard (February 2, 1877 – February 17, 1942) born in Montreal, Quebec, was a Canadian novelist. Packard is credited with bridging the gap from the “cozy” style mysteries to the more gritty, hard-boiled style of such writers as Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler. Packard also wrote a series of novels, beginning in 1917, featuring Jimmie Dale. A wealthy playboy by day, at night, Jimmie becomes a crimefighter “The Gray Seal” complete with mask and secret hide-out, “The Sanctuary”. This character certainly influenced later crimefighting characters such as Batman and The Shadow.
In The White Moll (1920) Rhoda Gray, “The White Moll”, an angel of mercy who spends her time helping the poor in the slums of New York City, is drawn into the criminal world when she attempts to help Gypsy Nan, who is not what she seems. Accused of a crime and on the run from the police, she must battle the most nefarious criminal gang in the New York underworld to prove her innocence. Populated by such characters as Pierre Dangler, the Pug, Pinkie Bonn, Skeeny, the Sparrow and above all “the Adventurer”, this story contains shoot-outs, car chases, adventure and enough suspense and deception to satisfy the most avid mystery lover. (Summary by Rowdy Delaney)