JOHN CREASEY – Model for the Toff. Richard Rollinson (The Toff) #36. Pyramid R-1134, paperback; 1st US printing, February 1965. Originally published in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton, hardcover, 1957.

   The first third of this 1950s Toff thriller is quite readable, but even then I was wondering if there was enough to the story to fill an entire book. It turned out that I was right. There wasn’t.

   Richard Rollinson, that upper class gent who dabbles in crime solving much as a dashing adventurer would, is hired by a famous dress designer who has been plagued by models quitting on him and others refusing to work for him. Someone is obviously trying to frighten them away, and succeeding. The question is, who? And why?

   The person responsible is vicious. Some of the models have had acid thrown on them. Others have been attacked by dogs. Even the Toff’s life is in danger, once he has taken the job. There are only a limited number of suspects, however, and any suspense that the story may have is mitigated severely by the fact that the stakes are so low.

   I’ve enjoyed other books in the series, but this one, not so much.