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No Orchids For Miss Blandish (Blandish's Orchids and Dave Fenner #1)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,162 ratings  ·  101 reviews
Miss Blandish - innocent, exquisite, vulnerable heiress - is kidnapped by a gang of ruthless hoods who've never tried big-time crime. Foiled by their own vicious ineptitude and the greed of a superior mob, the kidnappers lose their million dollar prize. Blandish, terrified and broken, is now the captive of Ma' Grisson and her sadistic, sexually deviant son Slim.

When Dave F
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Hardcover, 189 pages
Published 1998 by Robert Hale (first published 1939)
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Jeffrey Keeten
”Slim, still grinning, held the knife-point just below Riley’s navel and put his weight on the handle. The knife went in slowly as if it were going into butter. Riley drew his lips back. HIs mouth opened. There was a long hiss of expelled breath as he stood there. Tears sprang from his eyes. Slim stepped back, leaving the black hilt of the knife growing out of Riley like a horrible malformation. Riley began to give low, quavering cries. His knees were buckling but the cord held him up. His weigh ...more
Sanjay Gautam
Its probably the best book by James Hadley Chase. A very well written book; unputdownable, and one of the best crime thriller novels of all time. Villain is unforgettable, and so does Miss Blandish.

Its one of the Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century.
Mike
Dec 26, 2012 Mike rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in crime and hard boiled detective fiction
Recommended to Mike by: goodreads group Pulp Fiction
No Orchids For Miss Blandish: James Hadley Chase's First Novel

"I'm ashamed of myself. I'm a person without any background, any character or any faith. Some people could cope with this because they believe in God. I haven't believed in anything except having a good time.” She clenched and unclenched her fists, then she looked up; her fixed smile made Fenner feel bad." Miss Blandish to Dave Fenner


I'm quite sure that my rating might have been a bit higher had I actually been reading No Orchids F
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Tfitoby
This is one seriously grim novel.

It's hard to believe that this was written in 1939 by a first time author; it is so incredibly graphic, even compared to the great hard-boiled authors of the time like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, in it's depiction of the gangland behaviour of the time and the minutiae of murder, in addition to which it is a fully accomplished piece of genre writing that you might expect to read from an experienced master.

Broken up in to four chapters and they may as we
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Homa Sharifmousavi
هیچوقت خیلی اهل خوندن رمانهای پلیسی نبودم،در واقع فکر کنم تنها رمان پلیسی که جز این کتاب خوندم قاضی و جلادش بوده.اما یه روز دیدم که امیلی امرایی تو توییترش نوشته که کسی برای دوشیزه بلندیش دسته گل ارکیده نفرستاد یکی از بهترینهای رمان پلیسیه همین شد که خریدمش و الان هم خوندمش،با اینکه تجربهی زیادی تو خوندن کتابهای پلیسی ندارم فکر میکنم واقعا یکی از بهترینهاست و این واقعیت که این کتاب در سال نوشته شده و اولین کتاب نویسنده بوده تا حدی باورنکردنیه برام!
این رمان از اون داستانهایی نیست که شما رو با خو
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Melki
This is a superb crime thriller about a jewelry heist that becomes a murder and kidnapping.

I'm not going to give away any more of the plot other than to say it is action-packed and completely involving. I made the mistake of reading this while having lunch, and looked down in horror to see that I had indeed eaten an entire sleeve of Townhouse crackers while caught up in the story.

If you like a raw, gritty, no-frills, down and dirty thrill ride...I'm out of cliches - just read the damned thing.
Mark
Apr 03, 2013 Mark rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No-one who wears heavy jewelry
Recommended to Mark by: Jeffrey Keeten's review
This was not the audiobook that would be advisable to listen to as I drove the 250 mile round trip to visit my family yesterday......but guess what, it was the audiobook I listened to. Truly horrendous. Infested with cruel and callous murderers who rifle and stab and beat people to death with a passion. And I use that word advisedly. The main man, as far as the slaughter goes, is a horribly vicious psychpath called Slim Grissom whose description was so powerful, whose bestial joy in killing anyo ...more
Michael
Dave Fenner has been hired to find Miss Blandish, kidnapped three months ago; the police have not found her despite the ransom being paid. The suspected kidnappers have disappeared, but the heiress is in the hands of Ma Grisson and her scary henchman Slim, who has wiped out their rivals and taken possession of the girl. The closer Fenner gets the more horrifying the situations appears; in No Orchids for Miss Blandish.

James Hadley Chase has a written a very raw book with No Orchids for Miss Bland
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Paul Bryant
The total lack of mystery (we always know exactly who’s done what to who, why that guy got knocked off, what this cop is thinking) doesn’t matter.

The casual sexism (One of the important facts of life that Paula had learned the hard way was not to keep any man waiting. ) (and if you’re a female in this novel you’re going to get your bottom patted) doesn’t matter.

The cardboard characters (There was Eddie Schultz, one time bodyguard of Murder Incorporate. There was Woppy, a clever safe expert…Slim
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Praveen
A long time since I am planning to read the books by authors from The Golden Age of Detective Fiction, but till now I have succeeded in reading only two books so far, including this one. And this book was sleeping in my bookshelf for a long time when I finished reading “Kafka on the shore” coincidently this crossed my sight and then started reading.

After have lots of philosophical insights and phenomenological thoughts from “Kafka on the shore” this book really gave break…

No Orchids For Miss Bla
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Kim
This is a dark book. Full of violence this book is as grim as they come. Not as explicit as other writers I think it's actually made worse by the fact that everything is hinted at, kept just off-screen, so your mind has to fill in the horrible blanks.

I started this book late last night and as soon as I picked it up this morning I had to keep reading til it was over. Told in 3 parts the book switches between viewpoints as the story progresses. I wasn't expecting the book to suddenly go the angle
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Algernon
[7/10]
A flawed masterpiece. The story itself deserves a five star: hard edged, uncompromising, ruthless and believable, with memorable characters, surprising twists, bullets and fists flying, car and rooftop chases. The writing though is uneven, mixing tough, tense, fast storytelling with generic settings and derivative (Hammett, Cain) prose. I feel like Chase is trying to imitate the masters of noir too much and isn's yet confident of his own voice. Understandable for a debut novel and a 'forei
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Josh
NO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH is a treasure trove of criminal stylings written in a timeless quality. The tale of kidnapping, jewel heist, murder, and gang rivalry is engrossing and utterly captivating. Not once did this oh so sweet slice of noir feel dated despite the initial publication being in 1939 – a testament to the authors ability.

Ma Grisson and her son Slim are the catalysts in turning a snatch and grab into mass murder and a show of force in taking complete control of the criminal unde
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K.D. Absolutely
Jun 07, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Thrillers)
I normally buy second-hand books even if they are included in the 501 Must Read Books. However, Thomas C. Foster mentioned that the plot of this 1939 noir in his book How to Read Novels Like a Professor: A Jaunty Exploration of the World's Favorite Literary Form (3 stars) is an excellent example of a well-written plot so I ordered this from Book Depository. My 2013 edition is pristine and seems like a print-on-demand. I particularly enjoyed reading this because of the sexy lady on the cover haha ...more
Richard Vialet
4.5 Stars

After reading the fierce first chapter, I was totally surprised to discover that this book was written in 1938! The novel is just as dark, violent, and explicit as anything written today, and I enjoyed every page of it! I can see why the book was such a hit and such a controversy at the same time when it was released. It wasn't until after I finished the first chapter of the kindle edition, that I realized that I was reading a revised version of the novel, "updated" by the author for mo
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Tony
Chase, James Hadley. NO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH. (1939). ****. Set in and around the Kansas City area, this was Chase’s first novel, and was exceedingly popular when it first came out. It was surprising to me that Chase was never in America. He lived in England all of his life and chose his settings in this country using guide books and detailed maps. He was inspired by reading “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” and decided to try his hand in the genre. Six weeks later, he had this book ready f ...more
James Newman
This was the third chase novel I picked up (there's about eighty of 'em) and I knew that I was in for a treat. Generally considered his best work, this his first novel, was a massive hit when it first arrived in the late thirties. This once best-seller is the kind of book any would be crime writer must read. Graham Greene was a fan commenting that there is not a wasted word, or scene, throughout. He was right. Say what you like about chase he was an absoloute master of plot, and plot development ...more
Ctgt
Another great pulp classic. Some controversy surrounding this book when it was published and the author came back several decades later to update story for a modern audience. All that aside, I found the book very enjoyable for the cast of characters involved and the varied plot twists. Plenty of strong arming, back stabbing and thugs turning on each other. I really liked the way this story ended and although I saw it coming, I didn't really think Chase would go through with the fairly dark endin ...more
David
First, a word to the wise about which edition of No Orchids for Miss Blandish to read: You want the original 1939 version of the book, not the rewritten, “updated” version of 1962. The quickest way to be certain that you have the 1939 text is to check the second paragraph and confirm that “Old Sam [is] asleep in the Packard.” (In 1962, the car becomes a Lincoln.) But in either version, No Orchids for Miss Blandish is perhaps more interesting than it is good. It is the first (and most popular) at ...more
Tim

Like others I got to this via Orwell's essay on this and the "Raffles" books.
Well, it sure is a page-turner (in my case partly because I kept forgetting who was exactly who, so the quicker I got through it the less times - I said "less times", so sue me - I had to go back and remind myself which one was Bailey and which Riley, which Woppy, which Fenner, which Brennan. I slightly take issue with the claim in the Goodreads blurb about detailed characterisation etc. They're sketched rather than fu
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Andrea
May 27, 2009 Andrea rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Andrea by: Harsha
I started reading this book with a bias against it, because I knew it was a crime 'noir' and in the past, this genre left me indifferent. Either this one is better or different, or my tastes have changed. The writing was sparse but I got very clear images of the characters and places in my mind. The characters were one-dimensional but you still had some insights into their behavior and even felt a little empathy. The horrible psychopath was just the victim of his 1#@$#@-up mother. I just finishe ...more
Srinivas Prasad Veeraraghavan
Jul 07, 2012 Srinivas Prasad Veeraraghavan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
May/may not be the "best" book I have read but this is easily my single all time favourite book! In my most impressionable years, I read this book and the night I spent reading it is burnt indelibly into my memory.

Slim Grisson, Ma Grisson, Eddie Schultz, Fenner, Heinie, Old Sam, Reilly, Rocco and the Airflow are names I'll carry to my grave.

George Orwell had already written the wonderful "Raffles & Miss Blandish" in defence of the book but it doesn't need it. Nor does it matter one jot.

By A
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Pardis Parto
ماما گريسون زني بود تنومند ، با هيكلي بياندازه چاق و گوشتآلود. گوشت صورتش مثل دو كيسه شل از دو گونهاش آويزان بود. موهاي چيندارش به رنگ مشكي تند نامطبوعي رنگ شده بود. چشمان ريز براقاش مثل شيشه سرد و بيحالت بود. يك پيراهن كثيف توري به رنگ كرم پوشيده بود. بازوهاي عظيماش با آن رگهاي خوني برجسته رگهرگه. لابلاي شبكه توري پيراهناش ، مانند خميري كه از صافي رد شده باشد ، بيرون زده بودند. از نظر جسماني به اندازه يك مرد قوي بود. پيرزن زشت و ترسناكي بود و همه افراد دار و دستهاش از جمله اسليم ، به شدت از او ...more
Mike
A lean, gritty hard-boiled noir from 1939 (I admit I get the terms noir and hard-boiled confused so I may be misusing them to some degree). It's violent, dark and mean - a page turner from beginning to end. I don't have a lot of experience with these stories from the "classic" pulp hard-boiled era (1920s - 1940s) so this was a real treat for me.

Reportedly British author James Hadley Chase was inspired to try his hand at writing an American style crime novel after reading James M Cain's The Post
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AndrewP
I have given this book 4 stars because it was James Hadley Chase's debut novel, written back in 1939. Compared to later crime novels it would only rate a 3 on my scale. The plot is fairly linear and not that complex, but for 1939 it's great stuff.

What it does have are some very memorable characters, a high level adequately described violence and a memorable (if slightly predictable) ending. Back when I was a teenage I read quite a few James Hadley Chase novels, but never this one.

Although the no
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Johan Pascual
For me, reading the book was a lot like watching a good movie. Suspense and action never stop as there is always a new death coming in that you were hardly expecting. At the beginning though, the way the novel introduced the main events that were to come was a bit 'slow' for my teenage taste {I believe this was influenced by the fact that I read a translation into Spanish and the vocabulary used was in fact and in some parts like this one (the beginning), ambiguous}. The movie version I saw late ...more
Tejas Desai
I've been wanting to read No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1939) by James Hadley Chase since I read George Orwell's famous essay "Raffles and Miss Blandish" when I was a teen. In his essay Orwell condemned it as a fascist book where might makes right. And while I love Orwell, this description immediately attracted me to it, along with his contention that its plot was plagiarized from the classic Sanctuary (1931) by one of my favorite writers William Faulkner. Too bad I couldn't find the original ve ...more
Isidore
I've always skipped this novel since reading George Orwell's furious denunciation of it ("a header into the cesspool. . .It's pure Fascism. . ."). He found its sadism and amorality intolerable. But he also said, "It is not, as one might expect, the product of an illiterate hack, but a brilliant piece of writing, with hardly a wasted word or a jarring note anywhere." And he was right.

The book is storytelling stripped down to the essentials. Chase doesn't bother with complex characterizations or d
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Naga Pramod
An awesome thriller with a gripping narrative, first two chapters of the novel might seem a bit slowly paced, but when the detective Dave Fenner enters into the scene, the story catches its pace. From then on, it’s all killing, chasing and running after each other. It’s basically about a girl called “Miss Blandish” who is the daughter of the meat king Mr. Blandish. Miss Blandish gets kidnapped by two thugs for a costly necklace she wore. But later, was kidnapped by another mob who took her from ...more
Seth Holler
Not recommended. The prose is terrible. Some of the action sequences held my attention.

I decided to read it because it was a touchstone for Waugh. He refers to it several times in essays, usually in half-mocking comparison to 'literary' novels (Forster, Woolf, etc.). "[Man] is here to love and serve God, and any portrayal of him which neglects this primary function must be superficial. You can show man bereft of God and therefore hopeless as Macbeth or Miss Blandish, but you must not flatter his
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong publication year 5 12 Dec 10, 2014 10:49AM  
Pulp Fiction: December 2012 - No Orchids For Miss Blandish 49 101 Jul 16, 2014 08:53AM  
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René Lodge Brabazon Raymond was born on 24th December 1906 in London, England, the son of Colonel Francis Raymond of the colonial Indian Army, a veterinary surgeon. His father intended his son to have a scientific career, was initially educated at King's School, Rochester, Kent. He left home at the age of 18 and became at different times a children's encyclopedia salesman, a salesman in a bookshop ...more
More about James Hadley Chase...

Other Books in the Series

Blandish's Orchids and Dave Fenner (3 books)
  • The Flesh Of The Orchid
  • The Doll's Bad News
An Ace Up My Sleeve A Coffin From Hong Kong The Vulture Is A Patient Bird Hit And Run Like A Hole In The Head

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