Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nick Carter #6 Saigon

Saigon was the sixth Nick Carter Killmaster book published by Award Books in December 1964. Both Micheal Avallone and Valerie Moolman were credited as being the author. My trusty Armchair Detective mentions that Ms Moolman took over when Mr Avallone was let go for writing as Mr Avallone would write not as the producers would like.  The story goes as Claire La Farge, a widow of a French intelligence officer, lives in a large rice and tea plantation in North Vietnam. She receives a coded message in the form of a knotted belt (quipu) from a former associate of her husband. She sends her trusted servant, Saito, to Saigon to place an advert in the personal column of the Times of Vietnam hoping to contact former colleagues of her late husband who can decode the message. Raoul Dupre, a former French intelligence officer and businessman in Saigon, reads the ad and makes contact with AXE. Nick Carter is sent to Saigon with orders to help Raoul Dupre contact Claire La Farge.


  1. You're right about the co-authorship of this one. Avallone told me he wrote half of it before Lyle Engel fired him. I wonder why it wasn't published until later in the series, after several by Moolman solo had come out. Maybe the unfinished manuscript sat around for a while before Engel gave it to Moolman to complete. Valerie Moolman did a good job on the books she wrote. As far as I know the Nick Carters are her only published fiction. She was primarily an editor and author of non-fiction.

    It's interesting to read interviews with Avallone and Engel. Each claims to have created everything about the Nick Carter series. The truth is probably somewhere in between, although I think the dedication that ran in all the books was probably Mike's idea.

  2. Thank you for the comment Mr Reasoner.