Hands-Off: Girl on the Run by Hillary Waugh (1965)

A small town community is shocked when an elderly woman is killed by her niece who flees taking the little money that was there in the house after stabbing her aunt. The niece had always been considered strange by the people in the town but nobody thought that she would stoop to murdering her aunt who had brought her up after the death of her parents. The town collects money and asks the Sheriff to hire a detective agency to bring the culprit to justice. Enter thirty plus detective Steve Gregory who easily traces the young twenty-something girl and immediately falls head-over-heels in love with her. Convinced that she is innocent he takes up her cause against the police force of the US, the Sheriff, and even his own agency. Page after page is henceforth devoted to their flight and the innocence of the girl, epitomized by her (Victorian) modesty.

This turned out to be such a drag that I was surprised that it was written by the same person who wrote the interesting police-procedural Sleep Long, My Love. And what is with obsession of authors with pitiful waifs who have always been persecuted by the society at large? (The question as to why all members of the community would take a dislike to the girl who is actually so charming, naive, helpful not to mention attractive is never answered properly).

If you like books where the heroine keeps on insisting ad-nauseam that men have only one particular interest in her but that she would not in any way compromise with her modesty than this is the book for you, otherwise don’t waste your time on this soggy book.


First Line: When the conductor stepped into the coach and bawled, “White River”…..

Publishing Details: NY: Doubleday and Company, 1965.

First Published: 1965

Pages: 211

Source: Open Library

Other books read of the same author: The Shadow Guest; Sleep Long, My Love

10 thoughts on “Hands-Off: Girl on the Run by Hillary Waugh (1965)

  1. Waugh’s early books are more to my taste. I’ve read four and reviewed three on my blog. I enjoyed the B Movie aspects and con artist gimmickry in The Eighth Mrs. Bluebeard as well as the police procedural cum trial mystery The Late Mrs D with its surprising finale in a courtroom that rivals the old Perry Mason TV series for over-the-top melodrama. His most lauded book, Last Seen Wearing, will be reprinted in February 2021. You ought to get a copy. It’s part of the new Library of Congress Crime Classic series, a long overdue answer to neglected AMERICAN crime novels being reissued. Only took an American publisher ten years to get on the bandwagon and compete with the amazingly popular (and profitable!) British Library Crime Classics. Better late than never, I guess. I just discovered this reprint series today and I like their eclectic and unusual choices. Of course I own copies of all of them in the original editions. Now I can write about them on my blog and people will be able to get a copy of their own without breaking their bank accounts or searching online for hours, days or years!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have been searching for Last Seen Wearing for quite some time now, John. Glad to know that it’d be available in the coming year. I know of an American crime series brought out by Otto Penzler but this Library of Congress Crime series is new to me. Thanks for sharing the news. Looking forward to see the works they publish.

    “Of course I own copies of all of them in the original editions.” Humph!😤

    Will try to get my hands on The Eighth Mrs. Bluebeard and The Late Mrs. D. The latter sounds especially good.


  3. Last Seen Wearing has been on my want list for a long time, glad to hear a new edition will be printed. Interesting post and comments. I did not realize this author had written so many books. Maybe I can find another one to try while I wait for Last Seen Wearing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He has written quite a few books, Tracy, from Police Procedurals to Gothic Romances. Really liked the two other books that I have read of him but this was disappointing. Hopefully the next read would turn out to be good.


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