Crooks in the Sunshine by E. Phillips Oppenheim (1933).
The Salvation of Mr. Timothy Ryan
"Commodore Jasen" and his band of
U.S. crooks, swindlers, and killers (known as the Lebworthy gang) settle in Monte Carlo for a summer of fat pickings.
Smaller-fry U.S. swindlers Caroline Loyd and her brother, in Monte for the same reasons, run afoul of Jasen, who kills the brother. This sets up the axis of the books adventures, as Caroline works to out-maneuver and thwart Jasen's various criminal plans.
The Table Under the Tree
Jason solves an outdoor impossible crime in order to keep the gendarmes away from his hunting grounds.
Caroline Loyd befriends the charming and penniless aristocrat Marquis de St. Véran.
My favorite story.
No Red Ribbon for the Commodore
Commodore Jasen's rented chateau is burgled.
The Obstinate Duke
A U.S. plutocrat turns to Commodore Jasen when an obstinate French aristo refuses to sell his shares in a defunct Texas railroad.
The Seven Taverns of Marseilles
The biter bit.
Commodore Jasen Watches His Step
"...I have already clicked with the Argentines," Jasen meditated, "but up till now I am uncertain whether they are useful fish for my net, or whether they are fancying that a genial—and possibly susceptible—American millionaire has not been sent by Providence to enlarge their own banking account."
"The girl is attractive?" Caroline asked.
"I only met her this afternoon," Jasen confided, "but I should say amazingly so."
"That," Caroline suggested, with a glance towards the restaurant, "should make the situation more intriguing for you."
The Ghosts of Suicide Corner
"What do you call lack of real employment for a professional dancer?" the girl asked him. "There is no one on the Riviera in more demand than Michael. They say that this Mrs. Hammond has had to pay high indeed for the right to control his movements."
Lord Dratten's Land Deal
What could be more satisfying than cheating an English Lord on a land deal?
The Commodore's Last Cigar
A perfunctory and mechanical-sounding final tale. Oppenheim sometimes goes a few stories too far in these series.
6 March 2018