Four helpless Americans

Three men and a girl stumble through a forbidden land

By William Wetherall

First posted 22 October 2005
Last updated 5 September 2006

1940s Jonathan Press digest (UK)
1950 Pocket Books edition (UK)
1957 Panther edition (UK)
1963 Pyramid edition (US)

John P. Marquand
Ming Yellow


Saturday Evening Post
8 December 1934 -- 12 January 1934

Hardcover editions

New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 1935
London: Lovat Dickson & Thompson, 1935

Digest edition

New York: Jonathan Press, 1940s
127 pages, digest (Jonathan Press Mystery, J54

Paperback editions

London: Pocket Books (G.B.), 1950
211 pages, paperback (B1)
Cover art by Max Bacon

London: Panther, 1957
190 pages, paperback (664)
Cover art by Cy Webb

New York: Pyramid Books, 1963
173 pages, paperback (R-873)
A Green Door Mystery

Pyramid paperback blurbs

Open the cover of the Pyramid edition and read this.


Rodney Jones cursed himself for a
fool for agreeing to shepherd
the Newall party deep into China in
quest of the fabulous Ming Yellow
porcelain. There was danger there --
in the rivalry of bandits and
warlords, the the swave assurance of
their guide, in the very country itself --
and in the impetuousness of the
much-too-beautiful Mel Newall. . . .

But nobody would believe in the
danger -- until the trap was
sprung! And then, of course, it
was too late. . . .

The blurb on the back of the same Pyramid edition raises goose pimples on the skins of American readers while arousing their fantasies about saving the world.

WHO Was the Ruler in This
Terrible Kingdom of Death?

Was it the General, a laughing giant who could break a
dancing girl's body in a fleeting moment of anger? Or was it the
bandit, a mysterious wraith who could joke in the echo
of her screams? Or was it the guide, who juggled four lives
while he walked a fragile tightrope of deception?

For the four Americans, helpless strangers in a forbidden land,
the answer could be the key to freedom and wealth --
or a sentence of death!