Floyd Jackson

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

“Women are funny animals. You never know where you are with them –
they don’t often know where they are with themselves.”
— Floyd gets wise

Got pulp?

In his one known appearance, You Never Know With Women (1949), down-on-his-luck and “not-over-honest” private eye FLOYD JACKSON has recently lost his license, and is more than a little desperate. And then he’s hired by a Hollywood agent to replace a valuable Celini dagger before its theft (by the agent’s allegedly repentant client, a voluptuous stripper) is discovered.

Naturally, things aren’t quite what they seem… and the usual patented James Hadley Chase murder and mayhem ensue. And did I mention Veda Rux, the sleepwalking stripper?

Eventually, Floyd realizes he’s been played as a patsy, and kicks himself for not seeing that the whole thing was a set-up; “a tissue of lies a half-wit paralytic could have seen through.”

If Floyd strikes your fancy and you’re bummed that Chase never wrote a sequel, don’t sweat it. There’s plenty more where that came from. Chase was nothing if not prolific. You can take your pick from several of Chase’s other PIs, including Bart Anderson, Dave Fenner, Vic Mallory, Nelson Ryan, Steve Harmas or Dirk Wallace (for starters).


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,  and drew much hostility from critics, not just for its violence but for being such a blatant rip-off of William Faulkner’s Sanctuary. In fact, 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. 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.”

In 2009, Harlequin reprinted You Never Know With Women (with its original cover) as part of the publisher’s 60th anniversary.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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