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Rick Holman Books In Order

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Publication Order of Rick Holman Books

Zelda (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murderer Among Us (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in the Key Club / Harem Club (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jade Eyed Jungle (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Jade-Eyed Jungle (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Never Was Girl (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Who Killed Dr. Sex? (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Is a Package Deal (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Girl from Outerspace (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nude with a View (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Girl from Outer Space (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wind-up Doll (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blonde on a Broomstick (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Play Now... Kill Later (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Long Time No Leola (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deadly Kitten (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Die Anytime after Tuesday (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Flagellator (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Streaked Blond Slave (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Good Year for Dwarfs? (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hang-up Kid (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Coven (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Invisible Flamini (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Phreak Out (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Negative in Blue (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ride the Roller Coaster (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
See It Again, Sam (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Phantom Lady (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Swingers (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon

The name ‘Rick Holman’ refers to a series of mystery suspense novels from the 1960s that were written by Carter Brown. The books follow a charming private investigator who solves crimes in Hollywood.

+The Story
The Rick Holman novels were written in the 1960s and 70s and it shows. The series is set in Hollywood and Carter Brown goes to great lengths to highlight the glitz and glamor of that particular era.

Rick Holman isn’t necessarily Carter Brown’s most popular creation; though, to be fair, the author created so many engaging protagonists over the years that it isn’t always possible to raise a single character above the rest.

The likes of Mavis Seidlitz, Danny Boyd, and Al Wheeler have a special place in the hearts of those avid readers who revere crime fiction from that era. But Holman also has a strong following amongst readers who know of his existence.

The character is a private investigator that prowls the streets of Hollywood looking for lucrative mysteries and cases to solve and resolve. Though, for the most part, Holman does not need to go hunting for trouble.

Hollywood is as dark and seedy as it is bright and vibrant. There are secrets hidden behind every wall, demons waiting to spring from every closet. Even on his worst day, there’s always someone out there in desperate need of Rick Holman’s services.

Holman thinks of himself as an industrial consultant. His clients are Hollywood stars and moguls. These are men and women with more money and fame than they know what to do with.

Their lives are revolving parties inundated with sex and drugs. So they technically want for nothing.
However, because they walk in such volatile circles, and because their decisions and actions have so many stakes attached to them, from large sums of money to indispensable reputations, it doesn’t take long for tempers to flare and for things to go wrong.

Whenever a client comes knocking on Rick Holman’s door, it is because someone got their head caved in, or a priceless item has gone missing, or warring factions are tearing one another apart over lucrative merchandise, and so on and so forth.

People come to Rick Holman because he knows how to make things right, to nudge the right people in the appropriate direction, to force answers out of stubborn mouths, to reveal secrets that others would rather keep hidden.

Holman’s career thrives because he knows how to operate surreptitiously. His clients, not just stars and starlets but also studios, always implore him to use caution as he stumbles his way through their lives because they cannot afford to have their secrets revealed to the public.

And Holman is happy to oblige; though, the fact that his clients are so determined to keep their secrets out of the public eye always makes his work so much more complicated. He also exposes his person to more danger than might be healthy.

The Hollywood he inhabits constitutes unpredictable minds and personalities, men and women who will go to great lengths to protect their fortunes and reputations. Holman, for his part, doesn’t differ too drastically from the average PI from the 1960s and 70s.

To be fair, though, the Rick Holman series as a whole takes a very traditional approach to storytelling. The protagonists are always easy to root for. They have their fair share of flaws but their charming attitudes and sense of honor endear them to the reader.

The women are always sultry, attractive and mysterious, and they do not have to work so hard to win the heart of the hero. The bad guys are really bad and the mystery always has several facets to it.

So anyone that has read mystery and suspense fiction from the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s will find that the landscape in the Rick Holman series is very familiar.

Carter Brown has been praised for successfully immersing his readers in the culture, traditions, personalities, and environment of Hollywood in the 1960s. His novels are normally quite small and light, and the Holman series is no different.

Each installment introduces a new mystery with new characters for the protagonist to face. The various Rick Holman books can be read out of order because there is no overarching story that builds throughout the series.

However, one is encouraged to read them in order because there are character arcs that happen in certain volumes which the author builds upon in their sequels.

Carter Brown has been criticized by some readers for failing to provide detailed descriptions of Rick Holman’s investigative process. But even these readers will tell you that the rapid pace at which the Holman novels proceed makes up for Brown’s penchant for glossing over the finer points of the mystery.

+The Author
Carter Brown is a pen name that Alan Geoffrey Yates used. Born in London in 1923, Brown spent a few years as a sound Engineer before moving to Australia and finding a career in public relations.

He began writing seriously in 1953, proceeding to produce over a hundred novels. His fans were always fascinated by the author’s tendency to produce stories set in the United States despite the fact that he primarily lived in the UK and Australia.

Zelda Roxane is one of the most sought-after sex symbols in Hollywood. And when she asks Rick Holman, a PI, to accompany her to a weekend retreat, Holman is more than happy to oblige.

Zelda tells him that she merely requires him to act as her bodyguard for a little while. But then she reveals that she has invited five men to the retreat, three of whom are her ex-husbands. Zelda needs money and she’s decided to resort to a bit of blackmailing to resolve her financial woes, a strategy that quickly backfires.

+Blonde on the Rocks
People come to Rick Holman because he knows his way around Hollywood. So they can trust him to maintain discretion whenever they present their problems to him. This time, it is Della August that needs his assistance, a blacklisted starlet who wants to know why she was hexed by the film industry.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Rick Holman

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