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No Orchids for Miss Blandish Paperback – May 15, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brilliantly narrated...pure fun for fans of both classic mysteries and narrators who reflect old-time charm." --"Booklist " --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

James Hadley Chase (1906-1985) was the author of more than 80 novels, but No Orchids for Miss Blandish was his first and most famous, becoming one of the best-selling books of the 1930s and the basis of stage and film adaptations. Jeff Harding is an actor who has appeared in such shows as "Father Ted" and" Life Is Wild." A prolific audiobook reader, he has recorded such high-profile bestsellers as the Bourne Trilogy and "The Da Vinci Code." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Black Curtain Press (May 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1627551093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1627551090
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

That is if you like crime books like I do.
George Senoga-zake
I read his "A Lotus for Miss Quon," set in Vietnam in 1960 and it is a very good thriller--concise, fast paced, vivid characters.
Edmund Pickett
I gave it two stars because comparing this with another edition that I own was interesting.
ashley p. cheshire

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Nasser on April 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
James Hadley Chase is the master of crime fiction, not to be confused with mystery, suspense or simple thrillers. He goes deep into his characters makeup and motivation for crime. No Orchids for Miss Blandish is one of his classics about a crime family kidnapping a rich girl for a ransom. However the relationships that develop between the girl and her captives, and the conflict between the family members go beyond a simple crime. Despite reading it several times, and watching the movie, it has not lost its fascination for me, like many of Chase's books. It is a pity that his books are out of print. I read about 50, and there are more I want to buy if I can find them.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Acute Observer on March 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
This 1939 novel by James Hadley Chase tells a story about gangs in the Kansas City area circa 1934. Two members of a small gang stop at a rural gas station / lunchroom. A reporter stops by, and chats with a gang member. This reporter is covering the "Blandish shindig", where Miss Blandish will be wearing a very valuable diamond necklace. Then she and her boyfriend will visit a roadhouse. Bailey, and his boss Riley, plan a highway robbery to steal this hard-to-fence diamond necklace.

They stop the car to steal the necklace. Miss Blandish's boyfriend tries to defend her, and is shot and killed. The gang decides to kidnap the heiress, and drive away. But when they stop for gas, the members of another gang, bigger and more dangerous, see them and later figure out they kidnapped the heiress. The Grisson gang will follow the Riley gang and hijack the heiress. The Riley gang will not be able to complain. [Would a gang that just murdered a man give up so easily?] Now the Grisson demands a million dollars in used bills, and gets it. But they renege, and keep Miss Blandish for her utility.

This story, interesting in itself, has little redeeming value. While fictional, it echoes the crimes of the 1930s: the kidnaps in the Midwest (and elsewhere), the gang wars, the society of that day. There is little mention of politic, or the corruption of local government. The idea of wearing an expensive necklace to a roadhouse seems unbelievable, except as a hook for this story. But it serves as a warning against foolish actions, and the destructive use of drugs. A small company is put out of business by a larger company, and then falls before a more powerful organization. [The word "blandish" means "pleasing, alluring, enticing".] Some have compared this to the kidnapping of Patty Hearst.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shikantaza VINE VOICE on April 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My wife got a copy of No Orchids for Miss Blandish on her Kindle. She seemed a little dazed when she recommended it to me.

I got a copy; whoo-eee! Earthy. Hard-boiled. Manly men, and they don't make dames like that any more. Written in 1939, it's rather dated, but good reading if you want to soak up some of the era's popular culture.

I've never read any Mickey Spillane, but I imagine he had a well-worn copy of No Orchids for Miss Blandish.

Caveat: there are two versions in the Kindle store the last time I checked. You'll want to read the longer version.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Baum on February 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
*This review concerns the Bruin Books edition *

The product description is somewhat misleading. The situation is clarified in a "note to the reader" by editor Jonahan Eeds, which states that "Mr Chase revised the text in 1961 in an effort to update the language for a new generation of readers. The edition you are holding is yet a further update for the latest generation of readers."

In other words, if you (like me) are looking for the original version of this book, the one described by George Orwell in his famous essay, this ain't it.Why Mr Eeds thought anyone would want to read his own "update" of this text, I cannot say.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bishop Baker on September 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
After reading Orwell's essay "Raffles and Miss Blandish," I purchased and read this vintage curiosity and was surprised that Orwell would call it "brilliant" (he did, and not in a tone of sarcasm) or, for that matter, bother to write anything at all about this tawdry, relentlessly depressing, albeit mildly interesting novel of crime and amorality. Orwell apparently found it a useful contrast to "Raffles" and the good old days of gentlemen scoundrels. He further points out that the author had plagiarized the plot from Faulkner's "Sanctuary," and found Chase's version to be a "cesspool" and "pure fascism." This is hardly a recommendation, "brilliant" notwithstanding. None of the characters, including Miss Blandish herself, are in any way sympathetic, which is not to say that any decent person (that's you and I) is not appalled by the treatment these characters impose on each other. But hey, they're just cardboard, anyway. As an historical landmark, it seems to have taken the Chandler/Hammett/Cain tradition a leap forward as far as graphic description and "realism" are concerned, leading perhaps to Mickey Spillane and Ed McBain. All of these gentlemen, in my own humble opinion, are superior craftsmen by far. Chase even publicly apologized to Raymond Chandler for lifting entire paragraphs from his work and incorporating them into his own needy efforts. Unless you're doing research on the evolution of crime fiction, "Miss Blandish" is a waste of your time, believe me. You'll find George Orwell's essays, however, more than worth your while. Now these are indeed an example of brilliant writing.
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