This series begins as Detective Sergeant Carey of the Chinatown Squad, and almost the entire sporadic run in New Adventure Comics would consist of a serial that sends him and his partner, Sleepy, to China to find and rescue a kidnapped heiress. The first few chapters do take place in some city’s Chinatown (the city is never specified, but appears to be on the east coast).
After a number of people go missing in an empty boarding house on the Lane of a Thousand Bleeding Dragons, Carey and Sleepy are sent to investigate. The house has a secret passage, through which chinese operatives of Sin Fu emerge to kidnap people – and they grab Carey and Sleepy. While prisoners, they spot Lola Manners, the missing girl, who frees them, but in trying to escape the underground chambers they run right into Sin Fu and his men. A squad of police siege the house, and Sin Fu escapes, with Lola. Carey and Sleepy are sent to China to retrieve her.
There seems to be a missing chapter at this point. The instalment in issue 23 has then being sent to China, but in issue 24 they are already there, with Chinese government operative Lee Fun, whose house has been set on fire after they have all been attacked by Sin Fu’s men. After a brief sea battle with Sin Fu’s men, the Chinese Army get involved as well. Sleepy literally falls into Sin Fu’s cave hide-out, and after they rescue Lola the army destroy the base, capturing Sin Fu.
The last instalment in New Adventure Comics has Carey and Sleepy sailing back to the US, when they get a message from the San Francisco police that there are drugs being smuggled on the ship. Carey has little trouble finding the doctor who is behind this, using a seemingly dead patient as his mule.
The series then moves over to More Fun Comics, as they fly back to their unnamed home city, and catch a fugitive murderer on the airplane.
No sooner are they home than they are sent on vacation, heading to the “north woods” where they discover the cabin they rented is being used by counterfeiters. This story is clearly meant to continue into the next chapter, but instead the series amends its title to Detective Sergeant Carey, and he is back in the city, solving a murder at a museum.
For the duration of this era, his stories would be all self-contained, mostly running four pages. There are two that are only two pages long, but these end with no resolution, and it seems they were written as four pagers, but only the first two were published. Very strange.
The stories and art are decent, but few are memorable. A murderous movie theatre usher, a murdered painter who was painting over a stolen masterpiece, a phony ghost, a political assassination aboard a royal yacht. All are tied up quickly and easily by Carey.
In the last story of the period, Carey investigates a case in which jurors who sent a men to the electric chair are being killed. Though the rest of the force believe the man has come back from the dead to seek vengeance, Carey discovers it’s the man’s father who is the culprit.
Detective Sergeant Carey continues in the Early Golden Age
Detective Sergeant Carey: New Adventure Comics 14 – 17 (Mar – July 37), 19 – 20 (Sep – Oct 37), 23 – 24 (Jan – Feb 38), 26 – 28 (May – July 38)
More Fun 35 – 50 (Sep 38 – Dec 39)