It is rather surprising that Enid Blyton is extensively noded here but not this guy. It is surprising because they were both British authors who were quite big and popular around the same time. They also wrote rather formulaic stories.
James Hadley Chase's real name was René Lodge Brabazon Raymond. He wrote 90 books but was most popular for crime thrillers set in America. His first novel No Orchids for Miss Blandish, published in 1939 was inspired by The Postman Always Rings Twice. It was a success that inspired him to write many more, 71 in total according to Wikipedia
The progression of a kid's reading in 1980's Nigeria is like so:
1. Between 6 and 9 - fairytales, mostly European (Grimm's), Arabian Nights and some African;
2. Early teens - Enid Blyton, Narnia Series, Pacesetters series (these were African pulp fiction);
3. Puberty, when differentiation begins - Mills & Boon (and other romances for girls), Chase for boys, African classics (Chinua Achebe, Buchi Emecheta, Cyprian Ekwensi etc] for the more literary minded. I read all until my elder brother forbade me from reading M&Bs. He would burst into my room frequently and seize any I was reading.
Most Chase novels were set in America between maybe 1920 and 1950. The characters, although remote were relatable. Their atmosphere seemed real, a bit like the environment where Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn had their adventures and where Dorothy lived before going to Oz. When cable TV came to Nigeria, TCM was one of the channels offered. I am the only person I know who loved that channel. Humphrey Bogart seemed to be every Chase male character made flesh and all the women seemed to have just been lifted from the books. That channel made me love black and white movies. I could not understand how anyone could like Chase and not like the movies on TCM. It is logical that I would associate Bogart with Chase since he and Raymond Chandler wrote similar stories having similar characters and settings. Most of the heroes were ordinary seeming guys, antiheroes just trying to make a buck. While they would be willing to help a damsel in distress, it was obvious that their aid was conditional on the chick being sultry and ultimately beddable. Other times, it would be about money. One thing that confused me as a kid was how the money would usually be something like $50,000. There would be a lot of death over what to me seemed like a small amount. It seemed small at the time because the Naira (Nigeria's currency) had been steadily losing value against the dollar since before I was born. So by the 80s, N50,000 was not a whole lot of money. Today, that is just about $100. At the time, I did not know about exchange rates. Anyway, the small sums in the books made the stories seem remote and relatable, since I am aware of a time when one did not need large quantities of Naira to buy stuff. Other things were cars with running boards (until I came across the movies on TCM, I had never seen one).
Mr. Chase wrote 71 crime thrillers using the name James Hadley Chase. He also wrote as Raymond Marshall and as Ambrose Grant. I do not think I have read any of those.
The 71 JHC titles are listed here.
I think my tastes have improved significantly, however, I would happily read a JHC book now if I got one. There is much nostalgia about the books among my generation.
The stupid cable TV company has taken the classic TCM of the bouquet and replaced it with a stupid channel called TNT Africa which mostly shows action movies.