I read a book around 8 months back in my aunt's home. However, I can't seem to remember the book's name although I remember it was a pretty well-known phrase.

The book seemed to be of the 21st Century and I read it in English. I also can't seem to remember the name of the Author but I am vaguely sure it was a pseudonym. The book was about a man who entered into a relationship with a shady woman and then had to kill people so that he could get enough money and settle out. The man was (I think) an insurance agent. The woman was playing a doublegame with him and was ready to dump him for another man. The plot covers how the man killed people and was then caught at the end by the company's private detective at the very last moment. I can remember that the detective had a name that was also commonly found in other works of the same author.

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    It sure sounds a lot like Double Indemnity, the James M. Cain novel; but that’s from 1943, a long time before the 21st century
    – verbose
    Commented May 14, 2018 at 22:00

1 Answer 1


I have since remembered the book that I talked about.

Firstly, apologies on my side because this book is definitely not of the 21st Century. It was in fact published in 1963.

Next, the name of the author isn't quite a pseudonym but he does use different names for different books. The author, in question, is James Hadley Chase.

The name of the detective was Steve Harmas, also found in other works of Chase (Double Shuffle, There's always a price tag, etc).

The name of the book is Tell it to the Birds, also a well-known phrase meaning a lie or an untrue statement.

Goodreads writes a brief summary of the book as:

When a small-time clerk insures his life for $50,000 and then suddenly dies ten days later, it doesn't take a genius to work out something suspicious is going on. So when Maddox, the top man in the insurance business, finds out, he is determined to get to the bottom of it. And this means trouble for someone. In fact, it means trouble for the beautiful, auburn-haired Meg Barlowe, a woman with a serious past.

Meg Barlowe is the shady woman in question, Maddox hires Steve Harmas to investigate the death of the Clerk.


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