James Hadley Chase is a pseudonym for British author Rene Brabazon Raymond (December 24,1906 – February 6, 1985) who also wrote under the names James L. Docherty, Ambrose Grant and Raymond Marshall. Chase, a London-born son of a British colonel serving in the colonial Indian Army who intended his son to have a scientific career, was initially raised at the King's School, Rochester, Kent and later studied in Calcutta. He left home at the age of 18 and became at different times a broker in a bookshop, a children's encyclopedia salesman and book wholesaler before capping it all with a writing career that produced more than 80 mystery books. In 1933, Chase married Sylvia Ray, who gave him a son. Following the US Great Depression (1929-1939), the Prohibition, and the gangster culture during this period, and after reading James M. Cain's novel The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934), he decided to try his own hand as a mystery writer. He had read about the American gangster Ma Barker and her sons, and with the help of maps and a slang dictionary, he composed in six weeks No Orchids for Miss Blandish. The book achieved remarkable popularity and became one of the best-sold books of the decade. It was a stage play in London's West End, was filmed in 1948 and in 1971 was remade by Robert Aldrich as The Grissom Gang. During World War II he served as a pilot in the RAF, eventually achieving the rank of Squadron Leader. In 1946 Graham Greene, who was a very good friend of Chase's, selected a Chase novel, More Deadly Than the Male (written under the pseudonym Ambrose Grant), for publishing under the Bloomsbury logo. Chase wrote most of his books using a dictionary of American slang, detailed maps, encyclopedias and reference books on the American underworld. He was wildly popular in Asia and Africa. He also enjoyed success in France and Italy where more than twenty of his books were made into movies. Joseph Losey's film version of Chase's thriller EVE (1945), made in 1962, was cut by the producers, the Hakim brothers. He was also extremely popular in the Soviet Union during and after the perestroika years around 1990-1993. Chase moved to France in 1956 and over to Switzerland in 1961, living a secluded life in Corseaux-Sur-Vevey, north of Lake Geneva, from 1974. He eventually died there peacefully on February 6, 1985.