Thanks. It's also stated to be the first in the introduction to the Dennis Wheatley Library of the Occult edition. I've been reading up on the Sexton Blake connection. I don't suppose you know offhand which Sexton Blake it's a rewrite of? I have a W.Howard Baker paperback that is a rewrite of a rejected SBL & I know several Sexton Blake authors going way back used to recycle their Blake stories as hardcover originals, so it's not an unusual occurrence.
Wilfrid MacNeilly's Come Dark Come Evil, which is a fourth series Sexton Blake Library title. Well worth tracking down. A lot of Press Ed stuff was recycled from the SBL - all the Richard Quintain spy titles are Blakes, for a start. There are no rejected Baker Blakes as such, though - after all, he was editor and published everything he wrote, often hacking one out to fill a gap in the early days of his tenure. The exception is Scandal Street, which was scheduled to appear as a Blake but didn't. Officially, it was pulled because of the violence in it - although it's no more or less so than any othe title of that period. It does, however,feature a press baron not unlike the Fleetway chief at the time - and it's not a flattering portrait - which is why I think it was pulled. And yes, right back to the twenties and thirties Blake hacks would change the heroes names and flog the book a second time to one of the hardback publishers who supplied the circulating libraries with crime titles. It was a different world back then - I can't imagine there being two seperate audiences for a crime novel now but back then the borowers from Boots etc would never have dreamed of buying a Blake from the newsagent, even though it was the same book. Perception is a funny old thing...
Yes, 'Scandal Street' was the one I was referring to. I seem to remember reading that the word had come down from on high to tone them down a bit, which led Howard to do some judicious rewriting on some other author's Blake stories & pull his own from the schedule. The thing with the press baron would explain why he decided to rewrite it as a non-Blake story, rather than tone it down. Maybe he wanted to express his displeasure over the censorship issue, by taking a potshot at his boss via that book.
Geting back to the 'Peter Saxon' Guardians series, I haven't read them all yet, but your comment that the order doesn't really matter tends to suggest that all the groundwork that was laid regarding the suspect backgrounds of Gideon Cross & Anne Asby & the speculation over their real aggenda, never really went anywhere. It's a pity they aren't out of copyright (at least I assume so) as I'm sure a new writer could take the series in interesting directions. The basic concept was a good one, even if the quality of the books varied.