DON MICKLEM

 
Full Name: Don Micklem
Nationality: American
Organization: -
Occupation Adventurer

Creator: James Hadley Chase
Time Span: 1954 - 1955
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Don Micklem is an ultra-rich adventurer.
       This two-book series about the wealthy Micklem who gets involved in international affairs is interesting from the start because the author is not American but British. And the adventures take place in England and Italy, never in America. And everyone else is either English or Italian so the question comes, why make the protagonist an American? The answer is probably, why not?
       In the first chronicled escapade, it is stated that the hero, Don Micklem, a former pilot during WWII, had inherited over 5 million pounds from his father some time back. He owned considerable land in America, an estate in England, a house in London, and a villa in Venice. Though he did not care for the demands of both business and social events, he was constantly forced to deal with both, which is probably why he jumped at the chances for excitement that start both stories.
       By the beginning of the second book, either the author changed his mind as to how much money Micklem had been left or the work that the character actually did paid off for his worth is listed as being several hundred million pounds. Considering the exchange rate at that time, roughly 2.8 to 1, that would make Micklem close to a billionaire.
       In the course of his activities in these two missions, Micklem made use of three close and trusted employees: Marian Rigby, his personal secretary, Harry Mason, his chauffeur, and Cherry, his valet and butler. The four truly make a great team.
       Micklem's adventures are included in this compendium because the two were both international in nature and because both were connected to activities of Britain's Special Branch, the first directly with them and the second with the approval of them.

Note: the first book was made into a French thriller in 1964 with Sean Flynn playing the lead, whose name in the movie was Michael Newman.

BOOKS

Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1954
Last Appearance:1955

1 Mission To Venice Mission To Venice
Written by James Hadley Chase
Copyright: 1954

When the wife of a disappeared British agent appeals to Don Micklem for help in locating him, the majority of British Intelligence go out of their way to discourage him. Nevertheless, Micklem gets immersed in the hunt for a coded book containing the names of numerous foreign agents at work in Europe.

2 Mission To Siena Mission To Siena
Written by James Hadley Chase
Copyright: 1955

Special Branch is very happy to hear that Don Micklem has taken an interest in the criminal activities of an international extortionist plaguing Europe. This villain, who called himself the Tortoise, has extracted many hundreds of thousands of pounds from victims and killing those who wouldn't pay.

MY COMMENTS

       I really wished that the author, James Hadley Chase, has elected to write more about this highly entertaining character. The stories are, admittedly, quite ordinary and the villains are very much in the black hat category but I liked the spunk of Don Micklem and greatly enjoyed the support characters, especially the aging and rotund valet, Cherry, with his much admired sword cane.
       There is a lot of The Saint in this characters, which is never a bad thing, but there is also the 'shoot from the hip' style that Chase was so rightly known for. Chase was a writer that was never appreciated enough and probably cried all the way to the bank.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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