Bart Anderson

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

Like many of James Hadley Chase’s private eyes, Florida gumshoe BART ANDERSON only appeared in one novel: 1979’s A Can of Worms.

In one of his last novels, Chase has Florida gumshoe Anderson of the Parnell Agency hired by big shot author Russ Hamel, as research for a work in progress. Hamel wants Anderson to tail his beautiful trophy wife Nancy, thinking that’ll give him the scoop on how a real detective works — but things head south when Hamel begins to suspect Nancy is cheating on him. But things really go off the rails when Bart comes across a photograph of someone resembling Nancy, who’s wanted for a couple of murders and has possible ties to an Italian terrorism gang.

A Can of Worms is actually the first of three Chase’s books involving The Parnell Detective Agency,  owned and operated by Colonel Parnell.  The next two, however, centre on fellow op Dirk Wallace.

But if Bart (or Dirk) 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, Vic Mallory or Nelson Ryan .

Chase, of course, was best known for his controversial 1939 novel No Orchids for Miss Blandish. 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 — as well as other writers’ novels.


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

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