Colonel Milo March penetrates into North Vietnam to rescue an American who disappeared in the highlands while on a mission of peace. Crossing the jungle on foot with the guidance of the possibly treacherous Madame Lê, a beautiful officer of the Viet Cong, and confronting obstacles with the help of a small military dog, Milo prevails in the end through crazy risk-taking inspired by an old tradition—to stay alive for one more day.
For the first time in book form—six vintage pulp adventures from the pages of Bluebook and Popular Detective magazines, featuring Milo March, the shrewd insurance investigator and brazen secret agent created by M.E. Chaber. First published in the early 1950s and ’60s, the stories are packed with fast action and surprising turns of events as Milo grapples with jewel thieves, a bizarre insurance fraud scheme, and the capture of an American U-2 pilot in the midst of the Cold War.
Milo March treads on dangerous ground as he investigates an old, abandoned gold mine in one of Nevada’s historic boomtowns. In the short time since it reopened, the mine has produced a massive amount of gold. But suddenly the vein dries up—and with it the hopes of the insurance company, which had issued an unusually large policy against the mine’s running out of gold. The riddle is: How do you get gold out of a mine that has no gold in it? The answer must be that you bring gold into the mine, then take it out again. But that raises another question: Where did all that gold come from? With the Syndicate in the picture, things take a deadly turn several times before Milo closes the case, as usual in his own independent way.
Two naive young women, both bonded employees at a New York brokerage firm, leave work one day with $1.5 million in bonds and securities stuffed into their bags. The only way to cash in the securities is by selling them to someone in the Syndicate. And it’s just a matter of time before that someone will start to worry about the fact that the girls could testify against him. After one of the girls is found murdered and dumped in the Everglades, insurance investigator Milo March is sent to track down the remaining witness and recover the stolen goods from the Miami underworld.
After the shooting death of a Congressman, the FBI and police are unable to locate the prime suspect—a loser with an unforgettable face. Intercontinental Insurance sends their best man, Milo March, to capture the assassin as a public service. The chase sends Milo from Cleveland to the West Coast (where he questions a shady plastic surgeon), to Lisbon, Hong Kong, and Cape Town, and to a final confrontation in the City of Love.
A ruthless businessman supposedly perished when a building he owned was torched during a night of violent protests in a black neighborhood of Los Angeles. But investigator Milo March suspects that the fire may have been set to cover a worse crime. The case is solved with the help of a black hipster who has access to some surprising information.
As a CIA agent, Milo March goes undercover as a vending machine expert invited to teach the Russians how to build their own machines. His dual mission is to find a missing American agent and to solve a World War II mystery about a Soviet spy who was supposedly executed by the Japanese but who may be still alive and operating secretly.
Milo March is sitting at the pool of the Far Eastern Hotel, a dry martini in his hand, a lovely British blonde on his left, and a beautiful Chinese girl on his right, both in bikinis. What more could a man require? But the idyllic vacation is rudely interrupted by a call from Intercontinental Insurance in New York. They have a serious case that he, their best investigator, must solve. As usual, many millions of dollars are at stake. A large gang is transporting goods stolen from all over the U.S. into Hong Kong, to be sold to Communist China. Milo doesn’t doubt that organized crime is responsible, but where to begin? Under an assumed identity as a small-time crook, he begins hopping back and forth between Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, determined to put and end to the whole operation—not only the stealing, but the dealing with an enemy country.
A complicated case of stolen diamonds and murder comes just as insurance investigator Milo March is starting his Southern California vacation. He was loaned a friend’s Beverly Hills apartment, complete with access to a little black book. His first date is Lita Harper, an attractive interior decorator who comes to his apartment to drink and talk, but then suddenly has to leave early. Not long after Milo resigns himself to an early bedtime, a scream is heard. Rushing out to investigate, he is stunned to find Lita in a neighboring apartment, holding a gun, with a dead man at her feet. The police arrest her for the murder of a bad boy named Johnny Renaldi. Coincidentally, Johnny was the police’s chief suspect in the jewel robberies.
Lita had been the interior decorator for most of the burglarized homes. Was she suckered into supplying information to Johnny about the location of wall safes? Milo couldn’t believe she was capable of planning a jewel theft operation, and murder was out of the question. Yet the playboy Renaldi didn’t fit the role of a mastermind either.
The insurance company wants Milo to recover the loot and also to solve the murder case. So much for his vacation, but Milo rises to the occasion and takes on some tough Syndicate customers before he solves the puzzle of where the dead man hid the loot.
Milo March sets out to end the career of a master spy as he trails the shadowy villain from New York to Stockholm and Paris to solve a case involving not just insurance fraud, but murder, industrial espionage, and the possession of classified secrets.
Six robbers of an armored truck make off with a million and a half bucks, murdering the two guards, and then three of them kill the other three. Milo March follows the crime spree as two men and a woman flee to Rio, where he must figure out how to recover the money before the three crooks finish each other off―and how to get them out of a country that has no extradition treaty with the U.S.
A man disappeared seven years ago, and his large life insurance policies are ready to come due unless he is found alive. He’s a union boss and gangster who was in the midst of testifying to Congress when he mysteriously vanished. Hoping to save the insurance company a million dollars, Milo March crisscrosses the country to find out if he’s still alive, with a pair of professional killers on his tail, determined to stop the investigation.
Insurance companies don’t like it when someone puts a match to a house they’ve insured to the hilt, and in the process burns to death a couple who carry double-indemnity policies. Investigator Milo March sets out to discover who torched the Santa Monica beach house with its owners inside, and who paid them. Did the philandering husband hire a notorious gangster to do the dirty work, and trick a Skid Row bum to stand in for himself as the victim? Three other suspects are an elegant blonde, a steamy redhead, and a shapely young Japanese woman, any of whom Milo might bed or bust—or both—in the course of this fast-paced, action-packed whodunit.
An exquisite necklace of Chinese jade is stolen from wealthy New York couple, and the insurance company wants investigator Milo March to get it back so they won’t have to pay out the claim. But the case soon expands from simple theft to international intrigue as Milo’s only clue leads him to Hong Kong in search of a well-organized gang and its criminal mastermind.
Three businessmen go to New Orleans to skin-dive off an island where their map indicated there was ancient pirate treasure. They are accompanied by a haughty Creole guide and an African-American diviner whose chatter about spirits and spells is worthy of an Oscar. When two of the treasure seekers go off by themselves and never come back, the third man wants to cash in on the life insurance policies the three men took out, each one payable to the other two survivors.
Never eager to pay up too hastily, the insurance company sends Milo March to New Orleans to find out what really happened to the two missing men. It is claimed they were accidentally sucked down into quicksand and buried in it forever―a horrible fate. But what if that’s not what happened? Had the survivor killed the two men and disposed of their bodies, either to collect the insurance or get possession of the treasure they found? Had the three men entered into a conspiracy in which two would disappear and the third would collect for all of them? Or could they have stumbled onto some illegal operation on the island, leading to their kidnapping or murder?
Milo is tailed by criminals and G-men, threatened by a nasty little gangster, and wooed by a cultivated Syndicate boss who swears that he abhors violence, and he almost drowns when his tank runs out of oxygen during a skin-diving expedition. An accident? Milo is so busy that he almost gets behind on his drinking, though not on his dates with a gorgeous blonde who takes him sightseeing, and more. It will require a lot of action, smarts, and patience before Milo March discovers that the key to the mystery is hiding in plain sight.
Milo March, back in uniform again, does his bit for the CIA in a quest for a paper stolen from the highest government files—a job that the government can trust only to him. Milo, relying only on his wits and seemingly unlimited American dollars, travels from Paris to East Berlin and then to Moscow. He drugs a Russian delegate at a trade congress in East Berlin and trusses him up like a chicken in order to assume his identity and attend a reception party where he comes face to face with Premier Khrushchev himself. He lures a beautiful brunette who is an important Russian spy into a date by posing as a shy comrade who just happens to have a collection of her favorite American jazz records. As if that weren’t enough chutzpah, he then steals the private limo of a high Russian official and, after changing identities again, leads the secret police on an insanely dangerous goose chase. Fortified by vodka-fueled courage and the thrill of risk-taking, Milo stirs up enough trouble to make even the Kremlin see red, not to mention his own government. And before the conclusion of this tense and exciting adventure, he even endangers the entire mission to protect an enemy out of loyalty to that special breed of humans who are secret agents.
When Milo March heads for an island in the sun to recover the stolen copy of a heavily insured manuscript, it’s like a one-way ticket to hell: his destination is a brutal Caribbean dictatorship called the “Monican Republic.” The manuscript, a scandalous exposé of the government, is in the hands of the dictator himself, who seized it before it could be published. The author is a Monican professor who has been kidnapped on American soil and forced back to his homeland to face the wrath of the dictator. And two other men—one a U.S. citizen—have died under suspicious circumstances in connection with the kidnapping.
Milo’s assignment is just to get the valuable manuscript back for the insurance company. But he also wants to investigate whether the deaths of two men were murders engineered by the regime. He also wonders what had happened to the large sum that the professor withdrew from a charitable fund for Monican refugees the same day he vanished. It would be great to deliver the regime’s chief assassin into the hands of the New York police. Not to mention that Milo has to figure out how to smuggle the manuscript out of the presidential palace. Oh, and what happened to the professor?
There was no problem getting into the Monican Republic; it’s getting out with all of this that might cause some trouble for Milo. And then there’s the small difficulty of two Latina beauties who may have been set up to trap him…
From the moment Milo lands in Torcido’s island, he is marked for murder. The finger man is an international playboy, and the executioner is a sinister mystery man called El Nariz—“The Nose.” The bait is a dark-haired Latin beauty with her own brand of Caribbean allure. It could be a lovely way to die… if only the sadistic Monican police chief doesn’t finish Milo off before he can fully enjoy the perks of the job.
Milo March, Madison Avenue insurance detective, is sent to Rome to investigate the double-indemnity claim on the policy of a young woman who may have been murdered. Anna Maria went walking on a beach, allegedly to bathe in the healing seawater. A few hours later she was found lying nude on the sand, with no apparent signs of violence to the body. An accidental drowning, says the medical report, and the family puts in a claim for the large benefit. The insurance company, understandably, would like to confirm that the death was indeed an accident.
Although the case is quickly closed by the police, the whispers of Rome will not be silenced. They insist that the girl was murdered, that she’d been consorting with VIPs at a wild drug party, that she was pregnant and the guilty man did not want any trouble. It is rumored that politicians made the police hush up the truth, lest a scandal topple the Christian-Democrat government, allowing the Communists to take over.
Milo is warned to leave the case alone. If he persists, he may find himself arrested, he may get orders from his own American Embassy, or he may even be killed by someone… or some thing. All of this may happen if he says out loud that a girl of no importance died because someone wanted her dead. But the question—and the shocking surprise—is who actually killed her?
A Lonely Walk was inspired by the true story of Wilma Montesi, whose death in 1953 led to a scandal that rocked Italy with revelations of corruption in high places. The real-life case remains unsolved death to this day. Not so Milo’s investigation of the girl who took a lonely walk—until Death came to keep her company.
It’s been two years since Milo March sneaked into East Germany to capture a valuable Western deserter. Now, as a major in the Army Reserves, he is recalled to tackle a much weirder case. No one knows why Hermann Gruss, head of the counterespionage police in West Germany, disappeared behind the Iron Curtain. Did he defect voluntarily, or was he taken by force? Either way, Milo has to get him back before he reveals secrets that the U.S. shared with him.
Some say Gruss suffers from a dread disease and is being treated in East Berlin with the latest wonder drug by his friend Dr. Oderbruch. Milo suspects that Oderbruch, a former Nazi, is experimenting on Gruss, bouncing him in and out of insanity like a yo-yo by dosing him with LSD, then healing his “schizophrenia” with an antidote. Withholding the antidote is a handy way to squeeze information out of Gruss, and the drug experiments are part of a larger, fiendish project involving mind control of the military.
In his effort to gain access to Oderbruch and find Gruss, Milo ends up in the arms of the lustful Frau Beate, who plies him with Soviet champagne and vodka. Milo is reasonably safe if hangovers are the only menace. But when his disguise as a Russian secret-police agent is blown, he is packed off to a mental hospital. There he joins Gruss as the doctor’s latest guinea pig.
Milo survived a marathon interrogation by the Communists during his last mission. But this is different—the hallucinogenic effects of LSD threaten to splinter his mind into pieces. How will he escape the closely guarded hospital, bringing both Gruss and the evil Oderbruch back with him to the West? Milo’s quick-witted action and sheer nerve, not to mention his irreverence toward authority figures on both sides, make for the wildest trip of all—an insane car chase back to the Free World.
Insurance investigator Milo March is under pressure to solve a classic whodunit in a small town. Athens, Ohio, is a place full of historic monuments, many of them still walking the streets. But now the excitement of Hollywood has burst on the scene, with a studio shooting a biopic about a rugged pioneer who played a role in the founding of Athens County. Descendants of the story’s hero still live in Athens, and are the owners of valuable antiques, books, and other heirlooms passed down to them from the early 1800s. The studio has arranged to use these gems of Americana as props, insuring them with a million-dollar policy. With such a large sum at stake, the insurance company sends Milo to check on the security measures at the little museum where the items are housed under guard.
The job seems like a snap—until a bludgeoned body and a lot of smashed-open cases send everyone into a panic. Among the stolen items is a personal diary written by Hanna’s wife, which appears to be an object of intense interest, or even obsession. Milo can’t imagine why a diary from the early 1800s should be so dangerous as to lead to murder, but he’ll have to find out. Was it a matter of greed, professional ambition, or something bizarre like a delusional fixation on the long-dead pioneer woman who penned the diary? If being unpleasant or eccentric made someone a murderer, then there was full cast of characters to choose from, including a pedantic historian, a shiftless ex-cop, and a couple of snooping old biddies, not to mention a scheming scriptwriter, a genius director, and a man-eating blonde starlet.
Murder wasn’t supposed to happen in Athens, Ohio, and the cops want these crimes to be solved fast. The pressure is on Milo to identify the killer before he strikes again—and to recover the heirlooms before anyone cashes in the million-dollar policy.
Samson Hercules Carter is a little man with a big name who has fallen obsessively in love with a diamond. The Tavernier Blue is only a little smaller than a golf ball and worth a fortune. To insurance investigator Milo March, the hunk of carbon doesn’t seem as attractive as the equivalent in cash, but he can see why the little man might want to put it in his pocket and take a walk. But the problem is, Carter has also shot a man to death in the process.
The insurance company sends Milo to track down the murderer and recover the stolen diamond—a task made all the more urgent because he’s got competition. Some of the world’s top jewel thieves would also like to get their hands on the diamond, from sinister professionals to a beautiful seductress. In one of Milo’s wildest adventures ever, the chase takes him from New York to Lisbon and Madrid, where the thief, a mild-mannered accountant, has transformed himself into a new identity as a cultured gentleman, an alternate personality that he has secretly developed for years. Getting the thief back to America for prosecution is challenge enough—but where the hell did the little man hide the diamond?
The Man Inside was made into an English film of the same name in 1958, directed by John Gilling and starring Jack Palance and Anita Eckberg.
In this action-packed Cold War spy adventure, Milo March—private detective and former OSS officer during World War II—is recruited by Army intelligence to carry out a dangerous mission behind the Iron Curtain. An important British diplomat has defected to East Germany, carrying with him secrets about British and American codes. He can also help the Communists gain access to a physicist working in the British Sector on a top-secret project that involves tampering with energy fields affecting the human brain―a bizarre process that could disastrously alter the nature of warfare. “Operation Berlin” demands that Milo kidnap the diplomat before the Russians make him talk.
Disguised as an American Communist delegate to an international Peace Festival in Berlin, Milo dashes into the Soviet Zone just as the news leaks that an American agent is coming to the event. Surrounded by suspicious comrades, he is congratulated on his mastery of Lenin quotes one moment, while the next he is subjected to arrest and a torturous interrogation. Even when he scores a point, he never knows whether he is fooling them or they are fooling him.
While treading this unbearable tightrope of tension, he is distracted by two beautiful women: the sexually aggressive blonde Frieda and the soft-eyed, black-haired Greta, who has some secrets of her own. Either or both of these feminine comrades could be on the verge of betraying him. Although the efficient and fearless Milo always insists on working alone, help comes from an unexpected quarter in the nick of time.
Milo March, a tough private eye from Denver, is sent to Aragon City (which could be Hollywood) to help the City Betterment Committee wipe out the gangsters and hoodlums controlling brothels, bookies, gamblers, shady nightclubs, and the dope traffic. He just has to uncover “Mr. X,” the mystery man who’s been raking in a tidy little income by providing protection to the Syndicate. But can Milo accomplish that without stumbling over something even more dangerous—like who pays Mr. X, and why?
Milo is well equipped for the job. He has plenty of gall, good looks, an unlimited expense account, a fishtail Cadillac, and ample experience with lawbreakers—and beautiful, willing women, of whom there are several, but only one who is the girl next door. As March starts his snooping, he is surprised to discover a sexy, naked blonde in his hotel room. And there are other, more painful things complicating his life—things like beatings and fistfights and gun battles, and a blow he never saw coming.