Friday, January 16, 2015

Land of Precious Snow

“Land of Precious Snow” by Thaddeus Tuleja.  Young Jethro Dey and his father travel to Tibet in search of precious white gold, but they are attacked by bandits and all are killed. Jethro believes he is also dead, but after a few days lying in the frozen snow, a man appears almost as a vision, naked, but unaffected by the cold and ice. He tends to the young American for several months until he is strong enough to travel, then the old man leads him to a monastery many miles away. In the meantime, one of his friends has set out to find Jethro and his dad, hoping they are still alive. It is a long journey, and finally they meet at the monastery. But now Jethro is a new man, and wishes to remain, not for the gold, but for deeper understanding. He gives up his belief in Christian religion, and accepts Eastern beliefs. This was written in Victorian style, as indeed, it’s the era the story takes place. I’ve never been a fan of Victorian fiction, however. The author is a historian, and also wrote the K’ing Kung Fu series as Marshall Macao, another series I couldn’t get into. “Land of Precious Snow” was supposed to be the first in a new Green Lama series, with Jethro Dumont’s name changed to Jethro Dey. This novel, however, was merely how Jethro reached the monastery, and the writing was too academic to be of interest. There were supposed to be three more novels after this one, but none appeared. Probably due to the negative response the first story received. We never see him as The Green Lama, so the book was a waste. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Doorways To Danger

Doorways To Danger by Mark Napier. Sam Cape, an Australian officer is on leave from Pacific patrol duty, and picks Singapore because it’s a big place with lots to do. Plus, he’s a friend of the local police chief. After a night of hard drinking he wakes to find a nude blonde in his bathtub, strangled. How did she get there? Who killed her? Then a rich British gentleman and his daughter show up He wants him to find the murderer of his son. He’s on vacation, he tells them, but his friend in the police department was sure he would help them. It was just something that would interest him more than drinking and chasing women. This was a nice little mystery with plenty of women, Chinese Tong killers, and local crooks. My copy is the original hardback published in the UK in 1966. I can’t find out anything about the author, and I’m not sure this book was even published in the US, but it is a good story and well worth searching for.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Brannan's Run

Brannan’s Run by Stephen Cord. Joe Brannan, ex-pat now living in Thailand had served with 1st Battalion British Parachute Regiment, but now operates a dive boat in the sea around Pattaya, Thailand. When he learns about a sunken Khmer Rouge boat loaded with gems in Cambodia water, the promise of wealth is too good to pass up. But others want the treasure too, including Cambodian Navy/pirates and the Russians, and either is willing to kill for them. Then throw in a beautiful rich Russian woman with long legs and flaming red hair, and Joe just might take the chance after all. This was an exciting action adventure in the mold of those paperback originals of the 1950s, when tough men operated around the Java Sea and Asian Ports, looking for that one strike to make it rich, if they don’t get killed in the process. Then throw in some Muay Thai martial arts for fun. Except for the mature language, this would have fit easily into those early ARGOSY and ADVENTURE pulp magazines of a bygone era. We could use more of this genre today, reminiscent of the past when bold adventure created living legends of action heroes and dangerous dames. It’s also fun returning to the streets of Bangkok and the mysterious East, where beautiful women and death wait hand in hand for an unwary stranger. Highly recommended for the action and adventure lovers everywhere. OK

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Friendly Place To Die

“A Friendly Place To Die” by Michael P. Faur, Jr.  In this 1966 thriller from Signet, we meet Cord, a young soldier captured during the Korean War and sentenced to die in China. He escapes with the help of a Chinese major, but wounded by farmer later. Monks from a monastery find him and nurse him back to health, then over the next 12 years educates and trains him in Gung Fu. During this time he has vowed vengeance on the Chinese officer who murdered his buddies captured with him during the war. With the death of his Master also comes news of Mao Ling’s presence in America. He is there to assassinate Fidel Castro at the U.N. General Assembly. He helped to escape from China, and given an address of people who can help him locate the assassin, and fulfill his vow. But nothing is as it seems. The Chinese agents have infiltrated deeper than suspected, and perhaps Cord was supposed to fail from the beginning. Will he figure it out in time, before he is killed? There is even a suspicion that he may be the infiltrator. There is a lot of good action, and plenty of twists in this action thriller. Cord makes a good spy, and capable in escapes and fights. I was not able to discover any information about the author, or find other books by him, which makes me wonder if this is a pseudonym? 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Dangerous Stage

Protection For Hire #2: "A Dangerous Stage" by Camy Tang.
Tessa Lancaster has a history. Half Japanese, she was an enforcer for her uncle’s yakuza until she went to prison for someone else’s crime. There she was led to the Lord, and wants to change her life when she’s released. Working part time for a women’s abuse shelter, she takes on jobs as bodyguard when they come available. She is highly trained in martial arts and MMA. In the second novel in the Protection For Hire series, a contestant on a singing contest hires her when his daughter mistakenly discovers the contest is rigged. Gangsters want their secret back, and her dead. When they discover Tessa is their bodyguard, they hire a female Thai assassin to take her out. Who – or what – is the Double Zodiac?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Protection For Hire by Camy Tang

Protection For Hire

After finding the Lord, Tessa is trying to build a new life after serving seven years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. Once an enforcer for her yakuza mob boss uncle, as a Christian she knows she must turn away from that life. But finding a job, as an ex-con isn’t happening, and the police still want to harass her for her past. While volunteering at Wings Shelter for abused women, she meets Elizabeth St. Amant who is running from her abusive husband. Elizabeth hires Tessa as her bodyguard, and things get rough when it appears that her husband now wants her dead, and Tessa will defend Elizabeth with all her martial arts skills. But why does he want her dead? The answer may be bigger than Tessa can imagine, and reach into the very past she’s trying so hard to forget.