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Doubled in diamonds (1966)

Novel (200 pages, 65,542 words)

UK first edition
First edition
First US edition
First US edition
Pan books 1977
Pan paperback
US paperback
US paperback
Dutch translation 1967
Dutch translation
A Rex Carver Companion

The Book

This is the second of the four Rex Carver books. It starts with Carver taking on the search for a man who has failed to claim a £6,000 legacy. It turns out that this man is involved with a diamond robbery, and that the diamonds will be traded for opium through the agency of two Chinese twins, Suma and Lian, who are agents of the Chinese government, out to corrupt British youth with drugs and earn hard currency for their regime.

The travel schedule is limited to Ireland and eastern France, including a lengthy voyage from the Belgian border to Lyon aboard a canal barge. The Secret Service mandarins Manston and Sutcliffe have walk-on roles, and Carver manages to bed one of the Chinese girls as well as the heroine, Bertina Brown. Given that this was the era of the devaluation of the pound and the £50 foreign-currency allowance, the descriptions of luxury hotels, luxury cars, and fine dining would have created a pleasant fantasy world for British readers of the day.

Publishing History

Published by Heinemann in 1966 at 18/-. The American edition by Morrow appeared in the same year at $3.95. Also appeared in two parts as a supplement to the Toronto Star Weekly, 28 January and 5 February 1967. There were several paperback editions.

A good review appeared on the Bill Crider blog in 2010.