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Philip St. Ives Books In Order

Publication Order of Philip St. Ives Books

The Brass Go-Between (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Procane Chronicle (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Protocol for a Kidnapping (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Highbinders (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
No Questions Asked (1976) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Philip St. Ives is the lead character of the Phillip St. Ives series of crime fiction novels by award-winning American novelist Ross Thomas. The first novel to be published in the Phillip St. Ives series was “The Brass Go-Between” that came out in 1969. The highly popular series was made a pentalogy with the last title “No Questions Asked” that was published in 1976 marking the end of the series. The Philip St. Ives was one of Ross Thomas most critically acclaimed series and one of his bestselling and most popular works. In the series, Thomas writes about Philip, a professional between who freelance for a number of people and organizations that require his excellent negotiation services. St. Ives the lead in the novels is unlike the usual private investigator who lives most of his life in the back alleys trailing cheating spouses and finding runaway children. Even as he only appears in five novels published in the seventies, Ives has managed to make a name for himself as one of the most memorable of crime fiction protagonists of the last century. Writing as Oliver Bleek one of his many pseudonyms, Ross Thomas writes the Philip St. Ives novels with the characteristic fast pace, even as he adorns it with evocative wry description, sharp dialogue, and lessons in real world awareness. The novels come with the typical cynical asides, political observations, and themes that the author has been known for over the years. The novels are enjoyable heist novels that are set in a variety of places right from the United States, the UK, continental Europe, and even Africa. They involve crime, the usual crime organizations, and corruption in high levels of government, that make it possible to have such a weird profession of professional go between among criminals that St. Ives holds. However, it is important to note that even as he connects and negotiates terms between criminals, he never loses his ethical and moral principles.

Philip St Ives is an urbane man that earns his living as an unconventional private investigator. He got into the go between businesses when Myron Greene his lawyer told him that he had the mettle for it. It was not long before he made a name for himself and earned the trust of the criminals, the police, and the insurance companies. While the jobs are quite lucrative, he takes them so that he can pay his alimony payments. He does not take more than five or six cases in a year, preferring to spend most of his time watching television, lounging at his hotel, or playing poker with disreputable types. When it comes to brawn and brains the essential tools of trade of the traditional PI, Philip is not any different though her does not run the typical downtown run down office, or spend much of his evenings drinking cheap liquor. He will also not slog down the backstreets of some corrupt and crime ridden city where he has no hope of ever escaping or ever making anything of himself. On the contrary, St. Ives is a trendsetter who seems to have everything in his personal and professional life under control. He works cases in a variety of cities from Washington, Rotterdam, Yugoslavia, and London among several other cities he may land in during his rendezvous with his clients. He is a former police reporter who transitioned into something of a semi legitimate intermediary, a professional go between who has become especially adept at his craft. He connects and negotiates anything from ransom of kidnapped persons to the return of stolen items.

The Philip St. Ives series of novels are crime fiction thrillers full of dry humor that has become so popular that they were made into a movie. The series was adapted into the 1972 film “The Procane Chronicle”, which featured Charles Bronson, one of the eighties’ biggest actors as Philip St. Ives. The film takes certain liberties with the story from the novel and is more lighthearted, particularly with its conclusion. The series comes with a likable protagonist and logical and interesting plots. Working to retrieve some very valuable items (at least to their owners) St. Ives employs utmost professionalism in ensuring that his clients get the best service they could, while not compromising his moral standards or breaking the law. However, given the unpredictable nature of his clients and the criminals in possession of the items he has to retrieve, he often finds himself embroiled in criminal activity without intending to. The series of novels demonstrate a Raymond Chandler like Zen, particularly with the lead character’s macho talk and behaviors.

“The Brass Go Between”, the first novel of the Philip St Ives sees the lead character Philip working to mediate between thieves that have made away with a million dollar brass shield, and the Coulter Museum in Washington D.C. that own it. Of course, it is not about the two parties alone as Komporeen and Jandola two African nations have come forward to claim the shields. The African nations have Conception Mbwato an equally adept agent in the US trying to retrieve the valuable items. Add in the Mrs. Frances Wingo the Coulter director, Kenneth Ogden, a corrupt cop that once worked with St. Ives, the chairman of the Coulter Museum, the reclusive billionaire oilman Winsfield Spencer, and Fastnaught and Demeter the two thieves who all make for an explosive combination. With hidden agendas and double crosses aplenty, St. Ives finds himself in a high stakes game, where he might have to compromise his moral standards if he is to do his job.

“Protocol for Kidnapping” the second novel in the series is an intriguing crime thriller involving some murky elements of the Yugoslavian government and their rivals in Washington D.C. The American ambassador to Yugoslavia has gone missing. It turns out that he has been kidnapped with his kidnappers asking for the release of a dissident poet and a million dollars. Philip St. Ives the best go between in the western world is called in to mediate the exchange of money and release of the kidnapped ambassador. Nothing goes as planned as nothing is as it seems in the mountain top where the criminals are holed up, and in the back alleys of Belgrade. However, the novel packs a lot of interesting travel adventure, gratuitous sex, and dry humor to make for some gripping reading.

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