Just Another Sucker
Harry Barber was young, an ex con, just released...ready to go anywhere, do anything, desperate for money. She was a beauty with expensive trimmings that only a pile of ready cash could provide. Her proposition seemed almost too good to be true - it was so easy and very profitable.
He was no sucker. He had checked and re-checked against a double cross...but murder was the one thing he hadn't reckoned with...


Do Me A Favour - Drop Dead

Do Me A Favour - Drop Dead - 1976

Keith Devery arrived in the small town of Wicksteed with a criminal record and a lot of ambition. And when he met Frank Marshall, a local drunk who was about to inherit a million dollars, he knew that here was a golden opportunity to get back into the big league.Marshall's mysterious wife Beth agreed with him... and together they ruthlessly plotted the perfect murder. Then Keith found that he had himself been set up... and that Beth had plans of her own once the money was hers...

Getting to my feet, I moved around the big room, feeling distrust and suspicion nibbling at my mind...From the moment when she had left the house with Bernstein, I had had this vague suspicion she was walking out on me, and now the suspicion turned into a frightening reality.Feeling cold and sick, and now realizing that I had been taken for a sucker... I sat for some minutes, staring out of the window." Okay, Beth, " I said aloud, spitting out the words. " Don't imagine you'll get away with this ! I'll find you ! You owe me half a million and I'm collecting it ! "

Extracted photes from Corgi paperback edition:

Like a Hole in The Head

Like a Hole in The Head

Ex-army musketry trainer, Jay Benson and his wife Lucy's dream of running a shooting school turns sour as the school heads towards certain closure. They need money - quickly, and a lot of it. At the eleventh hour Augusto Savanto, head of a vast corporation in Venezuela, walks into their lives with a proposition they can scarcely refuse - he will pay them $50,000 to turn his son into an expert marksman, in nine days. Desperate for money they accept the challenge but find themselves in a deadly game of ruthless vendettas and vengeful murder.

Extract 1:
‘Let’s look at the other side of the blackmail coin,’ I said.
‘Suppose I tell you to go to hell?’
He shook his head.
‘You won’t, Mr. Benson. I am sure of this because I am a judge of men. I know you are in love with your wife.’
‘I want to hear from you what will happen to her if I didn’t play.’
He grimaced, then shrugged.
‘Look at the symbol…the symbol of the Red Dragon. I’ll send her back to you but she will have that brand on her face if you fail.’

Extract 2:
‘Did my father do that to you?’ he asked in a shocked, husky whisper.
I saw he was looking at the Red Dragon brand.
‘Does that bother you?’ I said. ‘Does that bother you more than stealing my wife? Your father isn’t fit to live. I’m going to kill him. ‘I moved around so that I stood in front of Lucy. She jumped to her feet, backing away from me.
‘Look at this, Lucy,’ I said, pointing to the brand. ‘His father said he would put this on your face if I didn’t kill a man this slob is too gutless to kill. He branded me to show that he meant business. Do you still want this gutless creep who hasn’t the guts to spit in the face of the animal who calls himself his father? Do you?’
She stared with horror at the brand mark, then she put her hands to her face.
‘Lucy! Do you want me or do you want him?’ I yelled at her.
I saw by the expression on her face I had lost her.
‘I’m sorry, Jay…We love each other.’
The effect of those words was like a bucket of iced water poured over me. My rage sparked out. I remained fixed in the mud, realizing what I had already suspected was true.

Extracted photes from Panther paperback edition:

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The Soft Centre

The Soft Centre - 1964
The adventure begins with Valerie Burnett, the attractive daughter of a multimillionaire, and her husband Chris in the luxurious Spanish Bay Hotel with special advice to get some relaxation in the Miami sun especially after Chris had received severe brain injuries from a car accident.In a shabby second-rate motel on the outskirts of Florida an attractive blonde was found savagely murdered. On the same night Chris Burnett disappeared.Police investigated but when the case proved too much for them, Joan Parnell, the sister of the dead woman, went to seek The Hare Investigating Agency to find her sister’s killer. Luckily for them, they stumbled on enough evidence that turned them greedy and the story begins with twists and styles as expected from our beloved author, James Hadley Chase.

After the conversation, she had to make an effort to go down to the beach, but now she was there, she was pleased, it was quiet, and she could relax a little in the warmth of the sun.She glanced around and saw the enormous old man wearing a wrinkled white tropical suit and an ageing panama hat plodding towards her. She wandered who he was, and suddenly she realised that he was heading her way. She looked quickly away. Opening her handbag, she took a pack of cigarettes.The old man was very close to her now, and as she tapped her cigarette, he said, ‘Allow me madam.’As she was about to turn her back, her eyes fell on the lighter. She felt her heart skip a beat, making her catch her breath sharply.

Extracted photos from Corgi paperback edition:

A Coffin From Hong Kong

A Coffin From Hong Kong - 1962
A mysterious voice from the telephone ; a beautiful Chinese girl shot dead ; a rich old man with a troubled conscience ; a private investigator involved in murder ; a Chinese prostitute who talked too much ; and a coffin. There are some of the intriguing ingredients of James Hadley Chase's splendid thriller. It is definitely a book to keep you awake long after your bedtime.

Extracts from novel:
Sitting, facing me in the client’s chair was lovely-looking Chinese girl, her hands folded rather primly on her lap. She was wearing a green and silver Cheongsam, slit up either side to show off hr beautiful legs. She looked peaceful and not even surprised. From the small bloodstain over her left breast, I guessed she had been shot quickly and expertly: so quickly she had no chance to be scared. Whoever had shot her had done a good, swift job.

Extracted photos from Granda paperback edition:

Figure It Out For Yourself

Figure It Out For Yourself

A gray-pink bra and girdle lay in a soiled heap with her dress and stockings. The thought of the warm, soft flesh they had concealed started that muscle in my jaw twitching. I moved towards the bathroom door. I knew she was there. She had to be.She was in one of those soft, clingy blue nightgowns. I walked towards her and took her hand. It was cold and the room stank from marijuana smoke...

Extracted pictures from Corgi Edition:

The corpse was worth a fortune but the murder did it for love.
Tell It To The Birds

" When a small-time clerk insures his life for fifty thousand dollars and then dies ten days later, I know this is a phoney claim. "Those who have already read James Hadley Chase's Double shuffle and Shock treatment won't need to be told that Maddox, the best man in the Insurance Claims business, is about to make trouble for someone and that someone is the lush, auburn-haired Meg Barlowe ... a woman with a past. And what a past.
Aided by Steve Harmas, chief investigator of the National Fidelity Insurance Corporation, Maddox strips the wraps off an ingenious insurance swindle.
"This is it, he thought. There is a time when everyman worth a nickle must make up his mind what to do with his life. I've put off my decision long enough. I'll never get anywhere without money. With Meg to help me and with fifty thousand dollars to get me started, I'll reach up and take the sun out of the sky."

"Anson looked searchingly at her. His eyes moved over her body. He thought: you meet a woman and she starts a chemical reaction in you. You think there is no one like her in the world, the something happens, and it is finished. She means less to me now than the used plate after a good meal, and how little can that be?"

Lay Her Among The Lilies

It was unfortunate that an unopened letter should have been left in the pocket of an old mackintosh for fourteen months. Particularly since the writer of the letter - Janet Crosby, the millionaire heiress - died of heart failure on the day the letter was written.When Vic Malloy, Director of Universal Services, eventually opened the letter he found $500 and instructions to probe the affairs of Janet's wayward sister, Maureen. But by this time Maureen had come into Janet's fortune, with the proviso that she lost all the money if she became publicly involved in a scandal.Malloy decided to visit the Crosby mansion to try to talk to Maureen, but when he left he found he was being trailed by a hired gunman whose orders were obviously to get him out of the way - fast...
" ...I let my lips rest against her temple. She seemed to like that... She came against me, her mouth on mine. We stayed like that for some time. Then suddenly she pushed away and stood up. For a moment I thought she was just a kiss-and-good-by-girl, but I was wrong. She crossed the room to the door and turned the key. Then she come back -..."

My Laugh Comes Last

My Laugh Comes Last - 1977

The safest bank in the world ' they called it - at least, the Press did, when they gave it world-wide publicity on its opening. And Farrell Brannigan thought it was a pretty good name too : he'd built it and safeguarded it with the help of a brilliant electronics expert. Foolproof. But the man who planned on breaking into the bank was no fool - he was a ghost from Brannigan's past, with a king-size grudge... a long time enemy with a pathological craving for revenge. Blackmail and murder were just games to him - and before long, a whole lot of other dirty things were crawling out of the past...

Extract 1:
I had fooled around with a lot of girls, but during the past few years I had no time for fooling. Now, not working under such pressure, I was ripe for a woman. I wondered about her as we walked side by side down the fairway. There was something about her that warned me she was no easy, casual lay. She had a ‘hands-off’ air about her that made her much more intriguing to me than any other girl I had known.

Extract 2:
‘Larry, we both are relying on you. I brought you from nothing. Don’t you think you can return favour for favour?’
‘I ask again, Mr. Brannigan, what thing has developed into a dangerous mess?’
A faint flush came to his heavy face. He sat upright. He was no longer the father figure, but the tough President, up against opposition.
‘We’re wasting time, son!’ There was a snap in his voice. ‘You know very well what I’m talking about! Don’t fence with me! What has happened at the bank?’
Then I knew, just by looking at the hard eyes, that Farrell Brannigan was involved in the bank break-in. By now, I was shockproof, and my mind was working actively.
‘You needn’t worry about the bank, Mr. Brannigan,’ I said. ‘Four evil men are trapped in the vault. There is no possible way for them to get out unless I get them out. I guaranteed to build the safest bank in the world…it is the safest bank in the world.’

Extracted photos from Corgi Paperback edition:

Thrity Hours of Nightmire
Tiger By The Tail

Ken Holland, a respectable, married bank official, jeopardises his happiness and his future. The sudden temptation to kick over the traces while his wife is away lands Holland up to his ears in a vortex of political intrigue and murder. Set against a background of gangster politicians, blackmailers, gunmen and hard-boiled characters, the action of this explosive thriller takes place over a period of only thirty hours. But what hours they are!
Most memorable quotes:
"The dog foxed him," Adams went on, moving slowly towards her. "He hadn't got the dog organised.
"The jury will love your legs," Adams said comfortingly. "You'll only get twenty years. You'll be out of all the misery that's coming when they drop the H-bomb. You don't know yet, but you're a lucky girl." --Gilda turned and ran. She took five swift steps before she reached the big, curtained window.She didn't stop. She went through the curtains, through the glass and out of the window. --Adams heard her thin, wailing scream as she went down into the darkness, and the thud of her body as it struck the sidewalk, sixteen stories below."
“The punks said it was the safest truck in the world,” Bleck said savagely. “They weren’t bluffing.”

The World In My Pocket
This a story of four desperate men and a young woman whom ruthlessly planned to rub the world’s safest truck with its most heavily guarded cash in existence.
The red-head started it all. Her name was Ginny. She was hard and bright as diamond and she came to Morgan’s mob with a scheme for snatching the armored truck, overpowering the driver and the guard and busting the time clock.
If they bungled their attempt, they landed in jail for twenty years. If they came unstuck, then it will be the hot seat and with two hundred thousand each, they’d have the world in their pocket…

‘I am going,’ he said. ‘This is no good. Three men have died. No money is worth that. Frank said he was going to put the world in his pocket. Look what’s happened to him. He’s in a hole in the ground. Can’t you see? It’s no good.’ He got to his feet. ‘I’m going home.’

‘Remember what Frank said? The world in our pockets. Well, maybe this could be it, but not this world; some other world, perhaps. Let’s go and find out.’

Hit And Run
Why, suddenly, did lovely Lucille want so badly to learn to drive a car ?
Why was patrol officer O'Brien slain on a lonely beach road when he should have been on a highway some miles distant ?
Why were there bloodstains on the off-side wheel of Chester Scott's Cadillac when they should have been on the near-side ?
And the key question - how could a blackmailer know so much when he couldn't possibly have been on the scene of the 'accident' ?
Heavy footed, slow and deliberate, an expression on his face that really put the fear of God into me. Aitken came into the room.
I was immediately aware that he didn’t limp and he was walking as always he walked, and yet a few days back he had fallen down the Plaza Grill steps and broken his leg.
The whole situation took on a nightmare aspect. It was Aitken, and yet it wasn’t Aitkin. The tight-set face with glittering eyes made me feel here was another man inside Aitken’s skin : a man I didn’t know and a man who scared me. Then the familiar voice said : ‘I seem to have given you a fright Scott.’
It was Aitken all right. That voice and that smile could belong to no one else.
He still looked impressive, with his big frame, his well-fitting clothes and his massive, whisky-red face, but he wasn’t impressive to me anymore.

Come Easy- Go Easy
Every convict dreams of making a break – and Chet Carson did it. Then he had another break, when Jenson gave him another break at the lonely filling station. And then he met Lola, Jenson’s sensual redhead wife…
But Jenson has a safe full of money, and Lola wants to fill it in her hands. Carson’s the sucker she’s been waiting for: ‘ Open the safe and get me the money or you’ll get back to gaol.’ That was when things really started hotting up, and they get hotter and hotter and hotter…

" Lying on the cans of food was a crumpled newspaper... and slap on the front page was my photograph with a banner headline : ESCAPED SAFE ROBBER STILL FREE. It wasn't a good photograph, but good enough, and she had penciled in my moustache on the photograph to tell me that she knew who I was.In the silence of the safe, clean kitchen, I heard the screams of a man in the punishment cell and hissing crack of the belts as the guards beat him. I saw again the guy who had lost an eye...My dream of safety dissolved. "

But A Short Time To Live
A street photographer like Harry Ricks had to take chances sometimes, it was part of his job. But when he snapped a beautiful girl one evening on Leicester Square, he didn’t bargain on being beaten up in an alley and having the film torn from his camera…
That was only the start of Harry’s problems. Soon he was even more deeply involved in the strange affair of Clair Dolan…the most expensive relationship of his career…

‘Good-bye,’ She said abruptly.
Harry took her hand, and as he did so she appeared to stumble, and she caught hold of his coat to steady herself, and he felt a little tug at his hip pocket. He stepped back and something fell on the pavement at his feet. Clair bent swiftly , snatched it up snd put it with one lightning movement into her bag. But Harry had seen it: a worn bulky leather wallet.

Why Pick On Me?
Milly Lawes a Piccadilly streetwalker, found a strange ring in her room one day. An hour later she was dead, and the ring gone. Scotland Yard knew all about the ring though; so did the Secret Service - and so before very long, did Martin Corridon, ex-Commando, ex-MI5, ex-ethics of any kind...Corridon didn't really want to know, didn't want to work with the service again - but Milly had been a sort of friend, and the thought of her cut throat and blood soaked bed was enough to send him off on a trail of sobotage and murder. A trail that had him running as a hunter-and hunted..
‘You can be a bastard at times, can’t you?’ Corridon said, and laughed. ‘You know what you can do with your dreary little savings. I don’t want your money, and I don’t want your job.’
Ritchie smiled.
‘Well, I’m glad to hear you don’t want my money,’ he said. ‘Pity about the job. Perhaps I can appeal to your sense of patriotism?’ Corridon pushed his chair and stood up.
‘You’re wasting your breath.
Why pick on me?
Ritchie said evenly, ‘ I picked on you, Martin, because the job can only be done by a man without honour; a man who is a twister, a liar and a cheat.’

Believe This...You'll Believe Anything
Clay Burden had married his sluttish young wife, Rhoda, because he was tired of being on his own. Val had walked out on him - and if he couldn't have Val, maybe marriage would make him forget her. Six years later, working in Paradise City, Clay met Val again. Married to the powerfull and sinister Henry Vidal, she had changed...still beautiful and passionate, still compelling...but tense and nervous, driven by odd fears and anxieties...When Clay left his job and joined the Vidal empire, what had began as a sneaking felling of unease hardened into stone-cold certainly. Val must be released from the hypnotic influence exerted over hand by her husband - even if Clay had to murder to set her free...
I opened the door and walked into the big, comfortably furnished sitting room that contained so many flowers it looked like a florist's shop. I saw a tall, dark haired, slim woman in a long white wrap was standing by the window. Although six years had passed since I last saw her, I knew her immediately. She was more beautiful now, more poised but still the woman I had never ceased to love. 'Val!' I stood staring at her. 'It can't be you! Va1!'. 'At last,' she said. 'Darling Clay.' She came to me, sliding her arms around my neck, her full breast against my neck, her lovely mouth raised to be kissed. ( from Believe This...You'll Believe Anything, 1975)

Do Me A Favour - Drop Dead
Keith Devery arrived in the small town of Wicksteed with a criminal record and a lot of ambition. And when he met Frank Marshall, a local drunk who was about to inherit a million dollars, he knew that here was a golden opportunity to get back into the big league. Marshall's mysterious wife Beth agreed with him...and together they ruthlessly plotted a perfect murder. Then Keith found that he had himself been set up...and that Beth had plans of her own once the money was hers...
'Suppose we cut out the Frank thing, huh?' He reached his glass and took a long drink. 'Suppose we say Mr. Marshall, huh? No unfriendly feelings...just status symbol, huh?
'Why sure, Mr. Marshall.' We looked at each other. He laughed: an uneasy, embarrassed laugh. 'Go along with me, son. I'm feeling like a millionaire.'
You fat, drunken sonofbitch, I thought, I'll go along with you only because I want to screw your wife. ( from Do Me A Favour- Drop Dead, 1976)
Hand Me A Fig Leaf
I need a detective. My grandson has disappeared. The local police have no interest. I rely on you to find the boy for me...
Colonel Parnell, boss of the Parnell Detective Agency, assigns Dirk Wallace to the job. It looks a simple enough case, untill Wallace arrives at Searle, the small gossip-ridden town where the sender of the letter runs a frog-farm. Against a background of croaking frogs, deceit and murder, Wallace search for the boy becomes not only complicated, but deadly...
"Anything can happen in this crazy world. Old Fred was eating his lunch. Then he stopped eating and decided to shoot himself. He promptly shot himself and then hid the gun. After I have found him dead, he took the gun from its hiding-place and put it under his chair, then went back to being dead again. As I say, anything can happen in this crazy world." ( from Hand Me A Fig-Leaf, 1981)

A Lotus For Miss Quon
He found the diamonds by accident. Just one little tap and the wall had split open, revealing a million dollars worth of glittering gems - gems which Steve Jaffe had no intension of giving up. So when his houseboy theatened to run and tell the police, Jaffe had no alternative but to stop him. And that's when the second accident occured... The accident of murder...Jaffe had to get out of Saigon - quick. And the only person who could help him was Nhan Lee Quon, beautiful, trusting, the woman he'd used before but never so cruelly or so selfishly...
I drive a goddam nail into a goddam wall and make a goddam fortune! (from A Lotus For Miss Quon, 1960)

Make The Corpse Walk
Millionaire Kester Weidmann believes money can buy everything - even life and death. So when his brother dies, Weidmann seeks the services of a voodoo expert to bring him back to life. He finds Rollo, a crooked nightclub owner who seizes the opportunity for the biggest con of the century. But Rollo had not reckoned for the involvement of Celie, his exotic mistress, and Butch, the nightclub's bouncer. And he had certainly not reckoned they would decide the Weidmann fortune was more important than his own neck....
“ It’s a branch of voodoo,” Doc explained, leaning back in his chair and closing his eyes. He felt tired and his eyes ached. “The natives believe it happens, but I assure you it’s so much ridiculous nonsense.”
“Never mind how ridiculous it is,” Rollo said, thinking of the eleven thousand pounds he had been promised.
“What happens? Explain the thing to me.”
“I had a friend once,” Doc returned, “who lived for a long time in Haiti. He told me about the zombies. He actually saw one-or so he said. A zombie is supposed to be a soulless human corpse, taken from the grave and endowed by witchcraft with a mechanical semblance of life. It’s a body which is make to walk and act and move as if it were alive.” Doc glanced quickly at Rollo’s astonished face and smiled. “I told you it was ridiculous nonsense.”

The Vulture Is A Patient Bird
A brilliant but sadistic safe-breaker...a beautiful professional expert white hunter...and an ace pilot with a shady past - this was the tear that undercover operator Armo Shalik assembled to steal the priceless Borgia ring from millionaire Max Kahalenberg's clodely-guarded fortress in the remote and deadly African bush . But Kahlenberg found out they were coming. And the gang's expedition turned into a strictly one-way safari- to slaughter...
Extract: 'Please go with these men ,'Kahlenberg continued. 'There's an old African saying which you would all do remember. It is that the vulture is a patient bird. Personally I would prefer a vulture to one of my Zulus. Good night.' (from The Vulture Is A Patient Bird, 1969)

You Never Know With Women
Floyd Jackson was down on his work and luck, a private investigator with no license, no money and a lot of cop trouble. So when Fatso Gorman came to him with ten crisp hundred-dollar bills and a crazy story about a sleeping walking stripper who’d stolen an antique dagger, he was more than interested – even though he knew it had to be phony. The job – returning the dagger – looked simple enough, but Floyd reckoned there had to be more to it. What he hadn’t figured on, was being made the fall guy in a murder…

I’ve been around and I’ve known a lot of women in my time.
They’ve given me a lot of fun and a lot fun and a lot of grief.
Now women are funny animals. You never know when you
are with them ; they don’t often know where they are with
themselves . it’s no good trying to find out what makes them
tick. It just can’t be done. They have more moods than an ar-
my of cats with lives, and all you can hope is to spot the mood
you’re after when it turns up and step in quick. Hesitate you’re
a dead duck, unless you’re one of those guys who like slow app-
roach that might get you somewhere in a week or in a month or
even a year. But that’s not the away I like it. I like it quick and
sudden ; like a shot on the back…

Like most bank managers, Dave Calvin had acquired an irresistible charm that he could switch on whenever he felt the necessity. Underneath it he was cold, calculating, brutal; a perfect murderer...For years he waited, watching an endless stream of money pass through his hands, knowing that a risk was only worth taking if the reward was justified. And a three hundred thousand dollar payroll was justification enough, even for murder...
Now he was close to this man, he was aware of piercing blue eyes, a lipless mouth, a square brutal jaw, but all this suddenly dissolved into charm when the man smiled : it was a wide friendly smile that softened the brutal lines and made Travers suddenly wonder why he had disliked this man at first sight." I'm Dave Calvin, " the man said. " I'm the new manager of the bank. "

‘You can’t talk me into this!’ Kit said hysterically. ‘I’m not going to do it! I can’t sleep. I keep thinking for her studying her stupid books night after night while you are planning to murder her! I won’t do it! I’d rather stay poor.

You were a fool to have hooked up with her, he told himself, but maybe she was right. I should have stayed poor.

Want To Stay Alive?
A Seminole Indian, an easy-rider and his beatnik girl arrive in Paradise City, the playground for millionaires. They survey the scene and the Indian plans to spread terror through the opulent City and once terror has gripped, then to begin a systematic demand for money.Do you want to stay alive ? Pay-up or else...
McCuen took out his bifocals, put them on and peered at the sheet of paper. Written in block letters was the message:

What the hell is this?’ McCuen demanded in a grating voice.
‘I don’t know,’ Martha said. ‘I thought you should see it.’
‘Why?’ McCuen glared at her. ‘Can’t you see it was from some lunatic?’
‘I’m sorry, Mr. McCuen.’
At 09.03, his dictation finished, his temper a little smouldering, McCuen stalked out into the sunshine where is Rolls was waiting.
‘I’ll be back at six.’ Those were his last words he was to utter. Martha was standing close to McCuen, looking up at him as his high forehead exploded into a spongy mess of blood and brains. His blood sprayed her white skirt.

Just The Way It Is
Fairview was dying. Mass production and neighboring Bentonville, with its flashy bars and gambling joints, had resulted in a fast approaching demise for Fairview. The police were in the hands of the politicians, and the politicians were in the hands of an extensive gambling organization in Bentonville. And in Bentonville, Harry Duke had a reputation. Since he was a gambler and he had killed a man once. So no one messed around with Harry Duke. Until someone tries to make it look that Duke had slit a man's throat one night. And once Duke became involved in the affairs of Bentonville, things began to change. The extraordinary thing was that although the gambling organization in Bentonville had been in existence for six years, it took three days to pull it down. Just three days...
Timson was sprawled across the bed, his head thrown back and his hands clenched. He had a big throat wound which glistened in the light. The sheets were red and there was blood on the wall, at the head of the bed and on the carpet.
Duke took a deep breath, feeling his skin prickling and his stomach flutter. He walked very cautiously to the bed and touched Timson’s hand. It was cold and clammy like a damp clay. Duke guessed he’d been dead for sometime.
(from Just The Way It Is, 1944)