Character Profile: Irene Jones

As part of making a more fulsome description of Portia’s guardian in Casebook 1, I thought it was time to give a little more detail (but not too much – Irene is after all a secretive woman ; ).
The full list of Character Profiles can be found here.

Irene Jones
Irene Jones

FULL NAME: Irene Jones (one of several aliases she has used over the years).

AGE: in 1929 she is 71-years-old, born in April 1858.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Hazel eyes, steel grey hair shot with her original black, high cheekbones, beautiful skin despite her age, tall with a womanly figure. She uses a cane because of bad knees.

LOCATION: Unknown though she has homes in several European countries including the UK.

EDUCATION: Unknown, but probably a girls college and a finishing school.

PREFERENCES: Adores the finer things in life from food to wine to fashion to residences.

SOCIALLY:  In every iteration of her aliases she has maintained a strong socialite presence.

Character Profile: Asher Jenkins

It’s been a while, but since he plays a part in this latest casebook I am writing, I thought I would give a bit of backstory to ‘Bruiser’ Jenkins next (the full list of Character Profiles can be found here).

'Bruiser' Jenkins
‘Bruiser’ Jenkins

FULL NAME: Asher ‘Bruiser’ Jenkins is a retired professional boxer, and semi-retired thief. Bruiser was his name in the ring.

AGE: in 1929 he is 76-years-old, born in September, 1853.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Of African descent, though born and raised in England. Big, close to 200lbs, about 6’2″ tall, with developed muscles, even for his age. He has cataracts, and has fractured the bones in his hands so much over the years that they cause him constant pain.

LOCATION: Brixton, London. In the downstairs apartment of a three-story house.

EDUCATION: Grade school in London, dropped out before grade 9.

HMV gramophone: model 109.
HMV gramophone: model 109.

PREFERENCES: Prefers beer, smokes copiously, eats well, and enjoys food. Good with his hands, and therefore takes off jobs in construction and building. Likes dogs, racing, gambling and women. His prize possession is a gramophone and his growing record collection.

SOCIALLY:  Parents both dead, no spouse or children,very loyal to former partner (and perhaps paramour, that is yet unclear) Irene Jones (nee Adler), and protective of her granddaughter Portia Adams. He has spent some time in prison, probably in his twenties, and has many friends from his old life.

Character Profile: Dr. Beanstine

Because I found myself writing a rather expansive scene with Portia and Dr. Beanstine today, I felt it was time to take him on next in my list of Character Profiles. The full list of Character Profiles can be found here.

Dr. Henry Beanstine
Dr. Henry Beanstine

FULL NAME: Henry Aldwin Beanstine, nicknamed ‘Beans’ by his friends, Coroner with the Metropolitan Police of London, more colloquially known as Scotland Yard.

AGE: in 1929 he is 27-years-old, born in January 1902.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Wide brown eyes, black unruly hair, thick eyebrows, 5’8″ tall, slim but well built, handsome in a boyish way, wears very thick glasses for his poor eyesight.

LOCATION: London. Lives in Piccadilly.

EDUCATION: Attended Eton College and then Cambridge.

PREFERENCES: Deferential and kind, Beans enjoys spending time with his friends, and the students at Kings College he teaches. He prefers not to spend a lot of time with his family as he is generally held in low regard because of his choice to have a profession.

SOCIALLY: Beans is the 5th son of Lord Beanstine, and Irish noble who now has a seat in the House of Lords. His mother and brothers are all still alive, his eldest brothers all holding political seats, and he being the only one who has chosen (against his family’s wishes) to ‘work’ for a living. Beans developed a crush on Portia in the ‘Thrice Burned’ that is not reciprocated. He is engaged to Lady Grace by the end of ‘No Matter How Improbable.’

Character Profile: Elaine Barclay

On to Miss Elaine Barclay in my list of Character Profiles (the full list here):

The Barclays
James and Elaine Barclay

FULL NAME: Elaine Caroline Barclay (eventually Elaine Caroline Ridley after she gets married)

AGE: in 1929 she is 22-years-old, therefore born in 1908.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Green eyes, very slim (almost emaciated when Portia first meets her) and tall, long brown hair, high cheekbones, an aristocratic bearing.

LOCATION: London, lives with her father and brother. Moves in with her husband after their wedding.

EDUCATION:  Farlington School for Girls, and then Somerville College for Law.

PREFERENCES: Being brought up as the daughter of an influential and rich Judge, Elaine Barclay enjoys the finer things in life, and upon her father’s death becomes the sole heir to his considerable fortune. She’s a clothes horse and leads the fashionistas in London, travels to the rest of Europe a lot, and has many connections with the Royal family in the UK, Italy and Germany.

SOCIALLY: Mother has died, father is alive at the beginning of ‘A Case of Darkness’, has a younger brother named James Barclay who has aspirations to the theatre. Marries Dr. Ridley  at the beginning of ‘Truth be Told.”

Character Profile: Chief Inspector Archer

Onward down my list of characters (the full list of Character Profiles can be found here), we come next to one of Portia’s first fans Chief Inspector Archer:

ArcherFULL NAME: Dillon Breen Archer, Chief Inspector with the Metropolitan Police of London, more colloquially known as Scotland Yard. Archer also teaches at King’s College and Queens College on criminology, and criminal law.

AGE: in 1929 he is 64-years-old, born in January 1865.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Pale blue eyes, thick glasses, 5’7″ tall, average build with a small pot belly, grey thinning hair + a handlebar moustache.


EDUCATION: Basic schooling in London, joined the force as a Constable in 1884 at the age of 19, went to war at the age of 49 as a Sergeant, and resumed his work at the Yard after, working his way up to Chief Inspector. He started teaching at the Colleges in 1925.

PREFERENCES: Doesn’t smoke, drinks casually, is a moderate man in many ways.

SOCIALLY:   Married with a wife who worked as a nurse during the first World War, when he was a Sergeant in the Royal Army. Three daughters are all married and living in London, with whom he is still very close. Archer worked with Holmes and Watson in the first few years of his employment with Scotland Yard and is pre-disposed to be supportive of Portia Adams both for her intelligence and connection to Dr. Watson (the only connection he knows about).

PS: You’ll notice the actor whom I hold in my head when writing about Professor Archer is Giles (which I really wanted to give Archer as a first name, but just couldn’t do it) from Buffy. It is no coincidence that the relationship between the Slayer and her Watcher is one that springs to mind when I think of Portia and Archer, so it makes sense in my head that Anthony Stewart Head represents Archer on the page.

Character Profile: Sergeant Michaels

The next character I thought I would flesh out a bit (the full list of Character Profiles can be found here), is the complex character of Sergeant Michaels:

FULL NAME: Jeryl Hudson Michaels, Sergeant with the Metropolitan Police of London, more colloquially known as Scotland Yard.

AGE: in 1929 he is 41-years-old, born in May 1888.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Deep -set brown eyes, 5’9″ tall, thick through the torso (250lbs), greying hair but still mostly black .


EDUCATION: Basic schooling in London, joined the force as a Constable in 1907 at the age of 19 and has worked his way up to Sergeant.

PREFERENCES: Prefers beer, smokes copiously, works continuously, seems to have no social life beyond the cases he pursues and the men around him.

SOCIALLY:  Parents both dead, no spouse or children, fiercely loyal to his country and the Constabulary, especially to the men who serve under him. Though he was too young to work alongside Holmes and Watson, has very strong views on both men, negative towards Holmes and positive towards Watson. He starts off the series disapproving of Portia Adams, but by the end of their third case together, has come to respect her. By the end of the sixth case he is now seeking out her aid.

Character Profile: Dr. Gavin Whitaker

…and onto the mysterious but beguiling Dr. Whitaker next (for all the Character Profiles I’ve created so far, head here).

gregory3FULL NAME: Dr. Gavin Whitaker, former King’s College student, assistant Professor at Kings, County Coroner often used by Scotland Yard.

AGE: in 1929 he is 24-years-old, born in March 1905.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Brown eyes, 6’3″ tall, strongly built, lean, with sharp cheekbones and a naturally haughty expression.


EDUCATION: Scholarship student to King’s College where he excelled, and graduated at the top of his year.

PREFERENCES: Classic style, darker clothing, prefers champagne to wine, doesn’t drink beer, enjoys tea shops, drinks black coffee. Has personal interest in crimes involving poisons.

SOCIALLY: Orphaned since birth, Charles grew up never knowing his parents, and had to fight his way up the good chain, to the point that not only is he a highly respected professor in his field, but he has also made forays into the stock market that despite the depression going on around him and around the world, he has made a considerable amount of money for himself in 1930. In 1931 he is invited on a speaking tour of Austrian universities.

Character Profile: Annie Colson

Further to my new category on character profiles (the full list here), I thought I would take on the winsome Annie Colson next:

annie2FULL NAME: Annie Helen Colson, reporter for The Sunday Times.

AGE: in 1929 she is 20-years-old, therefore born in May 1910.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Light blue eyes, 5’5″ tall, hourglass figure, bright blonde thick hair cut short in a pixie style, inquisitive face.

LOCATION: East end of London on Spital St. where she lives with her younger twin brothers whom she cares for in her father’s absence (he lives and works in the States and sends money back to support them).

EDUCATION: Basic schooling in London, freelanced for The Sunday Times in 1929, was fired that same year and re-hired in 1930.

PREFERENCES: Prefers white wine, enjoys shopping and clothing, favours rosewater, wears makeup and enjoys looking feminine. Out of all the characters, she suffers most from the reality of the Great Depression, trying to feed three mouths on her salary and being out of work for part of the casebook ‘Thrice Burned.’

SOCIALLY: Mother has died, father is abroad, cares for twin 12 year old brothers (in 1930) and is dating Constable Brian Dawes since 1930.