Monday 7 October 2019


A couple from Donald Hamilton this week and both penned a half century and more before. One is from the Matt Helm series and one is a standalone.

Hamilton is famous for his Matt Helm series. The series first dropped with Death of a Citizen in 1960 and lasted 27 books and over 30 years. The last - The Damagers was published in 1993.

In addition, Hamilton wrote nearly a dozen standalone novels, mostly Westerns by the looks of them.

Donald Hamilton passed in 2006, at the age of 90.

From his author page at Fantastic Fiction ....

American western, mystery and espionage writer, whose best know character was Matt Helm, a professional assassin working for a secret government agency. Helm, code named Eric, was a much more ruthless agent than his British colleague, Ian Fleming's James Bond. The famous 007 has a licence to kill but he actually matches violence with violence in self defense or to save the word or a beautiful woman. Helm is a pragmatic pro, who kills without remorse, like he was working on an assembly line business. Hamilton was nominated in 1977 and 1978 for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Paperback Original by the Mystery Writers of America.

Night Walker (1954) 

David Young woke up in a strange bed. Beside him stood a beautiful woman in a loosely draped negligee. She was an absolute stranger.
"Who are you" Young asked. She fluttered a little.
"Why honey..." and Young, seeing her hesitate, knew she was about to lie.
"Why honey", she said. I'm your wife. And I'd hate to think we weren't going to get along..."

So Young did the only thing he could do. He took it from there.

The Interlopers (1969)




REMARKS: Matt Helm finds out just how fatal blond hair can be when he takes over another man's identity, fiancee and fate. In this mixed-doubles counter-espionage mission, Helm plays decoy for an assassin's dream.... to kill the next President of the United States

This is No. 12 in Donald Hamilton's bestselling series, which has now sold over 10 million copies. Matt Helm is described by The New York Times Book Review as "one of the best and most credible secret agents in today's fiction."


  1. Oh, I haven't thought about the Matt Helm series in a long time, Col. It was actually made into a TV series, I think... At any rate, I hope you'll enjoy these. I haven't read any of his non-Helm books, so I'll be interested in what you think of Night Walker.

    1. That's interesting, Margot. I just also remembered that during the recent Tarantino film I watched, Sharon Tate watches herself on screen with Dean Martin. They starred in a Matt Helm film together - The Wrecking Crew.

  2. I read a couple of Hamilton's novels long, long ago: a Helm and a standalone, neither of which I can now remember beyond the fact that existed and that I was pretty hum-ho about them. That said I quite like the sound of Night Walker . . . though I doubt my library will have it!

    1. You might be lucky with Night Walker. Hard Case Crime republished it.

  3. I do have to try the Matt Helm series someday. I think I have at least one of them, maybe more...

    1. I'll be interested to see what you think Tracy. I kind of think of him as a man's author.