Bart Anderson

Created by James Hadley Chase
Pseudonym of Rene Brabazon Raymond
Other pseudonyms include Raymond Marshall, Ambrose Grant, James L. Doherty

Like most of Chase’s private eyes, Paradise City, Florida gumshoe BART ANDERSON of the Parnell Detective Agency, only appeared in one novel: 1979’s A Can of Worms.

Seems some writerly type wants Bart to tail his wife, not out of jealousy or suspicion, but because he wants to know how a real detective works. And so Bart schlumpos all over Florida following the wife–but it turns out she’s not who her husband thought she was.

But rest assured–Chase knows as much about Florida geography as he does about that of the California variety.

But if Bart doesn’t strike your fancy, take your pick from the slew of other P. I.s offered by the very prolific Chase, such as Dave Fenner, Floyd Jackson, Steve Harmas, Vic Malloy, Nelson Ryan or Dirk Wallace.


Of course, British author Chase is best known for writing the notorious No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1942), a publishing sensation which sold over half a million copies in Great Britain alone, and may have kickstarted the whole post-war mushroom jungle. It may have been deemed vile and sick by some upon its release, but the British, then undergoing constant bombardment by the Nazis, lapped it up; a “phenomenon, George Orwell suggested, “brought about by the mingled boredom and brutality of war.”
It sure wasn’t authenticity they were getting, mind you. Almost all of his work was set in the U.S.A., although Chase himself only made two brief visits to that country, and then only relatively late in his career. Instead, he relied on atlases, encyclopedias and slang dictionaries, and some of the gaffes are true howlers. He also leaned heavily on other writers’ novels, and charges of plagiarism and lifting passages verbatim or almost verbatim from other writers dogged him throughout his career, eventually prompting Chase later in his career to publicly apologize to Raymond Chandler


Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith, with an assist from Dale Stoyer.


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