(second edition, 1962, Horwitz)
Rick Holman is a Hollywood fixer. The one guy the rich and famous in distress go to to sweep their troubles (and murder) under the rug. In Murder in the Harem Club, Holman drops the glamour and glitz for gloss and print, hired by a Playboy knock-off to investigate a series of random threats. All of which aim at putting the magazine magnate in a pine box.
Right off the bat, this reeks of mafioso involvement; everything from the gentleman's club meet and greet between Holman and client (who refers to himself as 'Sultan'), to the inner workings of the adult magazine complete with underworld funding sources and drop dead dames who happen to drop dead - there's something more sinister to the Sultan's story than meets the eye...
While Murder in the Harem club is a Rick Holman mystery, this is another of Carter Brown's books which would fit one of his other characters; Danny Boyd, the debonair PI with the profile the ladies can't help but gush over. The Holman hallmarks are distinctly lacking; the Hollywood angle isn't there and the case doesn't scream 'fixer' - there's nothing to fix, this is a straight forward investigation to ascertain who is threatening the Sultan, which makes this a strange fit for a Holman book.
As far as the plot goes - this one's a real head scratcher, mostly because the case doesn't really eventuate, and the hire of Holman is pretty much null and void. Read the book, you'll get what I mean.