“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

James Hadley Chase Has a Yellow Peril Moment – 12 Chinamen and a Woman (1941)

Posted: November 21st, 2014 | No Comments »

James Hadley Chase (1906-1985) was a truly prolific thriller writer – publishing over 90 novels across his long career. The son of an Indian Army Officer he was born in London and later lived in France and Switzerland. The American hard boiled style appealed and he conjured his own noirish USA through reading writers like James M Cain. His best book, in my opinion was certainly his debut novel No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1939), which became an odd piece of British noir film cinema later. The rather un-PC named 12 Chinks and a Woman was published in 1941 (his third novel), though was later renamed 12 Chinamen and a Woman and then later still, in the 1970s, The Doll’s Bad News.

Here’s the original blurb…

TWELVE CHINAMEN IN A BOAT: Who hadn’t seen a woman in six weeks and were rapidly approaching the pleasure-coast of Florida.

GLORIE LEADLER: A bewitching blonde who seasoned her amorous escapades with the spice of life — variety.

DETECTIVE DAVE FENNER: Whose calloused Broadway heart developed an unsuspected tender emotion when Glorie paid a surprise visit to his bedroom.

PIO CARLOS: A smooth young man from Cuba who thought that he had found a key to Glorie’s heart, when he really held only the key to his own tomb.

NIGHTINGALE: A wily nightbird who let a burly .45 do his talking for him.

If you like your romance supercharged, with no sidetracks or local stops for a breather, climb aboard this Special by the author of “The Villain and the Virgin” and get set for romance and thrills unlimited.


Only one man could satisfy Glorie Leadler’s craving for love and excitement. And though this golden-haired bit of feminine dynamite could have had a dozen men at her feet for the asking, it was a solitary Oriental who made her heart beat fast. When jealous rivals tore that midnight lover from Glorie’s arms, her overheated emotions burst forth in a volcano of love-stricken vengeance that rocked Florida and left a sizzling mark on many men’s souls.

If you like a combination of the passionate writing of Donald Henderson Clarke and the violence and vigor of Dashiell Hammett you’ll go for this great James Hadley Chase novel. Author of NO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH, Chase is a master of mixing hard men, soft ladies, and the shocking impact of unexpected action. TWELVE CHINKS AND A WOMAN is a book we guarantee you won’t lay down until the last thrill-packed page.








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