This was the original cover for The World of Susie Wong, although this is a Penguin Books 1997 edition, the 40-year anniversary of the book. The first paperback edition was from Signet in 1957.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Saturday, September 7, 2013
“The World of Susie Wong” by Richard Mason is not a karate-chop action novel like the Earl Norman and other spy/mysteries set in the Far East, but it is a ground breaking book about Americans and prostitution in Hong Kong, and well worth the read. You could substitute Hong Kong with anywhere else in the Far East, and this novel would be right on the mark. It was made into a movie with William Holden and Nancy Kwan that is still highly regarded today.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
“Operation Tokyo” by Ted Middleton. Published in 1956, the story is set in Japan during the Korean War. Naval Lt/Commander Emerson Thackeray Higgins is a pilot billeted with two other officers. One dies in a plane crash, and the other one leaves a note indicating suicide, but he is missing. Navy Intelligence (ONI) is investigating, and brings in Higgins for questioning, though he isn’t a suspect in the odd things happening on the Naval base at Tanikawa. Still, there is something strange. Higgins is further drawn into the case when his girl, a secretary at the State Department in Tokyo, appears involved in the mystery in some way. It turns out that the office did not commit suicide, but had discovered a secret in tunnels running beneath the base, where a treasure was buried. His squadron was preparing to ship out to Korea, and he figured it was time to disappear – with the treasure, if he can find it. This novel came out about the same time as “Tokyo Intrigue” by William Bender, whose main character was an Air Force pilot, but wasn’t as good as “Tokyo Intrigue”, and didn’t have as many interesting characters. Other than the plots, however, the two stories are quite similar.