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

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  1,551 Ratings  ·  132 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
Hardcover, 189 pages
Published 1998 by Robert Hale (first published 1939)
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Sanjay Gautam
Jun 25, 2012 Sanjay Gautam rated it really liked it
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.
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
Sidharth Vardhan
It looks a lot more American than English. with gangster and all, the sort you might find in Pulp Fiction - no character has any morals whatsoever and there is a lot of sex and violence (You remember
Ezekiel's biblical verses
? That kind of thing), and everything is stereotyped and cliche. This one is worth reading if only for Orwell's essay on same, in which he analyses the book and genre and argues that it is all about power-struggle and realism (big fish eats small fish, survival of the fittes
Dec 16, 2012 Lawyer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in crime and hard boiled detective fiction
Recommended to Lawyer 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
Sep 09, 2012 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
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
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 ۱۹۳۹ نوشته شده و اولین کتاب نویسنده بوده تا حدی باورنکردنیه برام!
این رمان از اون داستانهایی نیست که شما رو ب
Nov 19, 2012 Melki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Paul Bryant
Dec 13, 2013 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it
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
Apr 02, 2013 Mark rated it liked it  ·  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
Dec 03, 2012 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, pulp, favorites, read_2012
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
Feb 04, 2017 Still rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Highest Recommendation!

A relentlessly brutal page-turner.
At the end of the novel my heart was pounding and threatening to jump up into my throat.
One of the best of the classic era hardboiled thrillers, up there with the very best of Hammett and Cain.
A "must-read" for all fans of the noir genre.

Best described by George Orwell: "... not, as one might expect, the product of an illiterate hack, but a brilliant piece of writing, with hardly a wasted word or jarring note anywhere."

The above quote is f
Feb 15, 2013 Algernon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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
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
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
K.D. Absolutely
Jan 08, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  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
Oziel Bispo
Jul 06, 2016 Oziel Bispo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Agora entendo porque esse livro figura entres os 100 melhores do século XX em uma lista feita pelo jornal Francês Le Monde.
Miss Blandish herdeira de um milionário empresário , resolve ir a um clube com um amigo , ostentando um precioso colar de pérolas.
Na saída é sequestrada por um grupo que não era acostumado a se envolver com sequestros , com assuntos dessa magnitude, só com pequenos roubos e em pequenas cidades. Depois de muita investigação descobre se que um grupo de bandidos sanguinários
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
Dec 02, 2012 Ctgt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-noir
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
Nancy Oakes
In the neighborhood of about 3.7 stars --

Sheesh! I'm obviously so behind in my posts that it's just ridiculous. I finished this book a month ago and am just now getting around to posting about it. For a longer look, feel free to click through to my online reading journal here.

My guess would be that this novel must have caused a lot of controversy when it was published; it wouldn't surprise me if it was one of those books covered by the old phrase "banned in Boston," although my other guess is
Jan 01, 2009 Tony rated it really liked it
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
Mar 16, 2011 James Newman rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 03, 2016 Aravind rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
James Hadley Chase is, for me, the undisputed king of pulp fiction, and this book is one of his best. It has a promising plot which has been developed into an unputdownable novel of non stop action. The writing is top notch; the characters, the dialogues, the action sequences, everything is just perfect. I loved it!
The only problem is that the edition I could get my hands on has a lot of spelling mistakes which somewhat spoiled the fun...
I would say, it's a swell yarn, alright!
Nov 06, 2010 Andrew rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 06, 2014 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noirboiled
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
Dec 17, 2014 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
May 24, 2009 Andrea rated it liked it
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 Veeraraghavan
Oct 25, 2010 Srinivas Veeraraghavan rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 03, 2012 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong publication year 5 14 Dec 10, 2014 10:49AM  
Pulp Fiction: December 2012 - No Orchids For Miss Blandish 49 104 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

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