Earl Norman

The Earl Norman books are becoming extremely rare, and publishers don’t seem to be interested in reprinting the series. The only way some of us may ever have all the stories is for collectors to scan and type the stories into PDF to swap with other collectors. I have already completed PDFs of HANG ME IN HONG KONG and KILL ME IN ROPPONGI. I am working on KILL ME IN YOKOSUKA. If other collectors would do the same for some of the other books, we could eventually have PDFs of all ten books. Why not help? I can be contacted at fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Trouble In Tokyo

Agent OSS 117 #9 (#60 in France): “Trouble In Tokyo” (French title “A Tout Coeur A Tokyo”) by Jean Bruce. Agent OSS 117 is American CIA agent, Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, stops in Tokyo after leaving Hong Kong, Sitting the Tokyo office of his company, the local boss asked him to wait while he interviews one of his secretaries. Eva Davidson has reported to her boss that a Japanese spy is blackmailing her to obtain secret information on the American military in Japan. His boss, Henry Babcock, wants secret agent Hubert to work on the case while he’s in Tokyo. It’s obvious that all his agents are known already, so Hubert should be able to uncover the spy. So pretending to be Eva Davidson’s husband just arrived from America, he tags along with her on supposed meetings. Unfortunately, everything seems to be going wrong. Well, really, this was a fun read, with an interesting plot and mystery. If we didn’t know it by his name, reading the story will quickly identify the author as French.  We read that he swims in the girl’s eyes; he kisses her fingers; licks her palms. He is a black belt in judo and karate, so we do get some martial arts in this yarn. The reader won’t have much problem tagging the killer and spy, and solving the case, something a good intelligence agent would do, if he wasn’t “swimming in the girl’s eyes” all the time. This Fawcett Crest edition was released in the U.S. in 1965, but the French edition was published in 1958, which means this novel takes place about the same time as Earl Norman’s “Kill Me In Tokyo”. Very odd, but I doubt if either author knew the other. The series ran for 255 issues in France, but only 16 were translated into English and published in the U.S. They were short and fast reads, as well as fun. A shame more were not released in English.

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