The Musuem
Floor Plan

The Dennis Wheatley 'Museum' - Instant success as an author

The novel that was almost published first : 'Three Inquisitive People'

The first stand-alone edition of 'Three Inquisitive People' (1940)
and (right) the inscription in DW's copy

Click on the image on the right to enlarge the inscription

As DW later recounted, during the depths of his despair when he was being threatened with bankruptcy by Fearon Block, Joan suggested to him 'Why don't you write a book ?'

He had of course been writing for many years, but that appears to have been the spur for a new bout of writing, and the result was DW's first and last 'detective novel'.

It was notable for introducing DW's most popular characters - his 'modern musketeers' the Duke de Richleau, Richard Eaton, Rex Van Ryn and Simon and its thinly disguised villain was his step- father Sir Louis Newton.

The story varies, but it seems to have taken some four months to write, and Joan typed out the manuscript. According to 'Drink & Ink', it was accepted for publication by Hutchinsons around 21st August.

By then however, DW had got the writing bug and was working on another novel. This he and Hutchinsons agreed was much better, so 'Three Inquisitive People' was not published until 1939, when it appeared as part of the omnibus volume 'Those Modern Musketeers'.

It first appeared in a stand-alone edition in 1940.

References: 'Drink and Ink' pp 110-112.
'Those Modern Musketeers' pp xii - xiii ('From me to you').
Phil Baker Chapter 23.

Provenance:Private Collection