No Orchids for Miss Blandish (novel)

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First edition (publ. Jarrolds)

No Orchids For Miss Blandish is a 1939 crime novel by the British writer James Hadley Chase.[1] The novel was influenced by the American crime writer James M. Cain and the stories in the pulp magazine Black Mask.[2] No Orchids for Miss Blandish provoked considerable controversy because of its explicit depiction of sexuality and violence.[2] The novel was a great critical success and was included in the Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century.

In 1942, the novel was adapted into a stage play which ran for over 200 performances at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London.[3] In 1948, it was adapted into a British film No Orchids for Miss Blandish and given a contemporary New York City setting. The 1971 American film The Grissom Gang was also based on the novel, moving the setting of events back several years to 1931 Kansas City.

In 1944, it was also the subject of a fairly well-known essay by George Orwell, Raffles and Miss Blandish, and parodied by Raymond Queneau in We Always Treat Women Too Well. In 1962 the novel was extensively rewritten and rearranged by the author because he thought the world of 1939 too distant for a new generation of readers. (Confusion can result if readers of the Orwell essay refer his quotations and references to the 1962 edition.[4])


  1. ^ Bloom p.144
  2. ^ a b Stableford pp. 130-138
  3. ^ Chibnall & Murphy p. 37
  4. ^ fr:Pas d'orchidées pour miss Blandish


  • Bloom, Clive. Bestsellers: popular fiction since 1900. Palgrave MacMillan, 2002.
  • Chibnall, Steve & Murphy, Robert. British crime cinema. Routledge, 1999.
  • "No Orchids for Miss Blandish" in Yesterday's Bestsellers by Brian Stableford. Wildside Press, 1998, ISBN 978-0-8095-0906-5.