DON TRACY – High, Wide and Ransom. Giff Speer #7. Pocket 80254, paperback original; 1st printing, January 1976.

   Giff Speer, one-time member of a secret Military Police elite, now a run-of-the-mill private investigator, is embarrassed by a skyjacking he can’t lift a finger to stop. A stewardess is killed before his eyes, and it doesn’t go down very well. He also senses that the terrorists responsible are not really on their way to Algeria.

   Speer is not the most cerebral agent around, but he soon becomes the center of a lot of action. Run of the mill.

Rating: C

–Very slightly revised from The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 1, No. 2, March 1977.


Bibliographic Notes: Tracy was the author of nine Giff Speer novels. I do not know when he stopped working as an undercover agent for the Military Police and became a PI working on his own, but even though he doesn’t have an entry in Kevin Burton Smith’s Thrilling Detective website, he deserves one.

   For more on the author and his writing career (including a long list of Peyton Place sequels as by Roger Fuller in paperback) go here. One thing I did not realize until now is that the Don Tracy who wrote the Giff Speer paperbacks in the 1970s was the same Don Tracy who wrote four hardcover crime novels in the 1930s.