John Creasey, who passed away in 1973, was a multi-pseudonymous English writer and one of the most prolific authors of all time. Concentrating his efforts mostly on crime and science fiction, Creasey produced over 600 novels - an astonishing amount - and John Mannering, aka "The Baron", is one of his greatest creations. In The Baron and the Beggar, the baron purchases a supposedly cursed "blood diamond" from an antique shop in Great Britain. A skeptic by nature, the baron scoffs at the diamond’s legend, but falls immediately into misfortune once the diamond is in his hands. Marvelously performed in a variety of characterizations by English actor Carl Prekopp, The Baron and the Beggar is a crime mystery in the classic mold.
As the owner of Quinn's - an exclusive Mayfair antiques shop - John Mannering had purchased the Adalgo mainly out of curiosity. It had come to be known as a "blood diamond" as violent death had overcome many of its previous owners. Mannering - alias the Baron - scoffed at the legend but from the moment he acquires it he is beset with misfortune. He becomes the victim of theft, his wife is kidnapped and an old friend is brutally murdered. Could the curse of the "blood diamond" be coming true? Can the Baron escape its clutches?
Master crime fiction writer John Creasey's near 600 titles have sold more than 80 million copies in over 25 languages under both his own name and ten other pseudonyms. His style varied with each identity and led to him being regarded as a literary phenomena.
During his lifetime Creasey enjoyed an ever increasing reputation both in the UK and overseas, especially the USA. This was further enhanced by constant revision of his works in order to assure the best possible be presented to his readers and also by many awards, not least of which was being honoured twice by the Mystery Writer's of America, latterly as Grand Master.