Leonard Wibberley

Leonard Wibberley was born in Dublin, Ireland and educated in Ireland and England. He was a son of agronomy professor and author Thomas Wibberley, upon whose death, at the depth of the Great Depression, his son left school to work at various jobs, including busking in the streets with his violin. He began a long career in newspapers as copy boy for the Sunday Dispatch, London, progressed to reporter for the Daily Mirror, London, and then editor (among other jobs) in Trinidad, before going to the United States in 1943, where, in his late twenties, he was both foreign correspondent for the Evening News, London, and cable dispatch editor for the Associated Press in New York City, during World War II.

In 1947 Wibberley moved permanently to California as foreign correspondent, then reporter, for the Los Angeles Times. While working for that newspaper he began his novel-writing career. After leaving the Times he was briefly a reporter for the Turlock Journal, until the appearance of his first novel, The King's Beard (1952), at age thirty-seven. He then settled permanently in Hermosa Beach, California as a full-time author. From that date, he published over 100 books, at a rate of at least one a year and averaging more than three. Many of these were with three publishers: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; William Morrow; Dodd, Mead and Company. With their loss of independence or disappearance, none of these houses kept his titles in print. The best-known of Wibberley's books, The Mouse that Roared, was kept in print for some time by Bantam Books and then Four Walls Eight Windows.

Wibberley also took part in plays, did local radio readings, and had a syndicated column, "The Wibberley Pages". His two marriages (in Trinidad to the later dance writer Olga Maynard, in California to Hazel Holton) produced seven children, including, from the first, philosophy author Patrick Maynard, from the second, film writer Cormac Wibberley. A posthumous book of his last short writings has appeared. Leonard Wibberley donated manuscripts and proofs of many of his works (some in alternative form) to "The Leonard Wibberley Archive" of the library collections of the University of Southern California, where they are available.

Treegate Series:

John Treegate’s Musket
Peter Treegate’s War
Sea Captain from Salem
Treegate’s Raiders
Leopard’s Prey
Red Pawns
The Last Battle

The King’s Beard
The Secret of the Hawk
Deadman’s Cave
Flint’s Island
Little League Family
The Crime of Martin Coverly


The Black Tiger Series:

The Black Tiger
Mexican Road Race
Black Tiger at Le Mans
Black Tiger at Bonneville
Black Tiger at Indianapolis
A Car Called Camellia

The Lost Harpooner
Flight of the Peacock
The Watermelon Mystery
Gunpowder for Washington
The Five-Dollar Watch Mystery
Treasure at Twenty Fathoms
The Raising of the Dubhe (sequel to Treasure at Twenty Fathoms)
Seawind from Hawaii
South Swell
Beyond Hawaii


Matt Tyler’s Chronicle
Mark Toyman’s Inheritance
The River of Pee Dee Jack
The Quest of the Otter