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ASH CARTER

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Full Name: Ash Carter
Nationality: British
Organization: None
Occupation Private Investigator

Creator: Murray Bailey
Time Span: 2017 - 2022

ABOUT THE SERIES

Ash Carter is a private investigator.

That's the best I can come up with and it is not really accurate but then again nothing else I tried was accurate either. He is not an adventurer although he does quite a bit of travelling and having adventures though not by his choosing. He seems to be available for being 'invited' by governmental officials to help in this little matter or that but he is not officially working for any organization. Mostly he is just a man in the wrong place at the right time and there is no word for that.

We meet Carter first doing this unofficial private investigating but then some time later we are given a trio of adventures from before that time, back when he was in the military, stationed in Palestine as part of the Royal Military Police, Special Investigations Branch. He is 24 at that time. There he had a bit of authority and could detain people and conduct interrogations and make arrests. He was good at it, despite his relative young age. He was also good at poking his nose into things some powerful people wanted ignored and that led to trouble and that would lead to a desire to get out of the Middle East post haste and a request for help from an old friend in Singapore was very timely.

Carter stands 6'2 and is in impressive shape, such that when a couple of miscreants decide, as foolish people do on more than one occasion with him, to cause him bodily harm, Carter is very capable of dissuading them in a violent manner. His having been a promising boxer in his teens and someone who still enjoys the training regimen helps him stay in shape and also gives him an advantage in a fight; he instinctively knows what an opponent is about to do.

The adventures that Carter gets into all tend to be in the mystery/police investigation/private eye parts of thrillers which bleed over into the espionage field with terrorists and would-be government overthrows and the like.

BOOKS

Number of Books:9
First Appearance:2017
Last Appearance:2022

0.1 Cyprus Kiss Cyprus Kiss
Written by Murray Bailey
Copyright: 2021

Book 1 in the Ash Carter Near-East series.
The year is 1948.
"'Help Me!' Those were the words on the back of a woman’s photograph. And yet she vanished six months ago. Military investigator Ash Carter has arrived in Cyprus. A gang has been operating for two years, leaving a mark known to police as the kiss of death. Is this something to do with them? And why ask him for help? After a murder, Carter begins to realize this is personal."
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0.2 The Killing Crew The Killing Crew
Written by Murray Bailey
Copyright: 2022

Book 2 in the Ash Carter Near-East series.
The year is 1949.
"Ash Carter and Bill Wolfe are in Israel hunting a group of British Army deserters known as the Killing Crew. Some people think they were a myth, others believe they were the most hated of British soldiers. In the newly formed state that’s at war with the Arab nations, hated by Jews and despised by Arabs, the two SIB officers think they face an uncomfortable task. But when they become targets, they realize this is more than just a job. It’s life or death."
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0.3 The Troodos Secret The Troodos Secret
Written by Murray Bailey
Copyright: 2022

Book 3 in the Ash Carter Near-East series.
The year is 1949.
"Ash Carter is called in to investigate the mysterious death of a commando.  working with Detective Sofia Mackenzie he finds that nothing is quite what it seems and no one is willing to tell the truth. When another man dies, it appears that the truth lies in the mountains and the mines to be found there. Threatened and working against the clock, Carter and Mackenzie must solve the case or risk becoming the mountain’s next victims."
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1 Singapore 52 Singapore 52
Written by Murray Bailey
Copyright: 2017

The year is 1952.
"It is the Chinese New Year. British ex-military investigator, Ash Carter finds himself in the middle of a political game between the army, the police and a Triad-style gang. Someone intends to attack Singapore and Carter is tasked to stop it. But Carter is more intent on solving the mystery of who and why someone killed his friend."
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2 Singapore Girl Singapore Girl
Written by Murray Bailey
Copyright: 2018

The year is 1952.
"A headless body, found on a causeway between Singapore and Malaya, gets assigned to ex-military investigator Ash Carter. Now working for the government, he needs to find out if this is just another drug-war punishment or something more. His search for answers takes him through Malaya as far as Penang. But with children going missing, he starts to uncover connections to the establishment. He knows he's getting close to the truth. Too close... The investigation gets shut down. But he knows it's not over. And it's not in his nature to quit."
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3 Singapore Boxer Singapore Boxer
Written by Murray Bailey
Copyright: 2018

The year is 1952.
"Ash Carter goes undercover in central Malaya with a private militia providing protection against the Chinese terrorists. Some business owners appear happy with this protection while others are not. Villagers are getting sick and the local doctor says the tin mining business is to blame. They’re poisoning the water. But no one will listen and everyone says she’s trouble. She tries to enlist Carter, but he’s there for a different reason. One of the militia has disappeared and another is dead. And then someone tries to kill Carter. As things escalate, he finds himself drawn into a world of intrigue, disputes and deception. Will Ash Carter uncover the truth before it’s too late?"
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4 Singapore Ghost Singapore Ghost
Written by Murray Bailey
Copyright: 2019

The year is 1953.
"Ash Carter is in Penang on a job that seems beneath him: babysit a newspaper reporter. She’s investigating ghost stories at the barracks but it’s Carter’s past that is back to haunt him. Returning to Singapore he finds himself caught up with a Chinese Secret Society. It’s not Andrew Yipp’s and Carter finds himself beholden to the leader, Chen Guan Xi. Chen wants to remove his big rival without a turf war and he wants Carter to do it for him. However Yipp and Carter have so far had a good relationship. But when investigations on behalf of the gorgeous Su Ling uncover Yipp’s wicked actions, Carter’s attitude changes. Stuck between the two criminal organisations, Ash Carter must find a solution and put the ghosts to rest."
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5 Singapore Killer Singapore Killer
Written by Murray Bailey
Copyright: 2020

The year is 1953.
"Who is BlackJack?
A helicopter crashes in the jungle. The pilot and a military policeman are burned to death. It’s unclear what they were doing, but this was no accident. Ex-special investigator Ash Carter is asked to help and the hunt for a killer begins."
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6 Singapore Fire Singapore Fire
Written by Murray Bailey
Copyright: 2021

The year is 1954.
"She wants to escape. He wants to save her. But nothing is what it seems. Once again, private investigator, Ash Carter is caught between the government and the criminal gangs. It's time for Carter to choose.- escape now or stand and fight?"
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MY COMMENTS

Having read the first couple of adventures that Ash Carter had in Singapore, I was pretty sure he belonged in this compendium but there was a bit of hesitation before making the entry. Then I read the first of his pre-Far East adventures and really wanted to add him but ...

They are marketed as "a mystery-crime story with an historical twist". Nowhere does it mention espionage or such and yet ...

These sort of do and sort of don't belong but, boy, are these books a lot of fun to read and I am hoping that the author, Murray Bailey, keeps Ash Carter busy for a while longer.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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