Jade Brothel by Clyde Allison aka William Knoles (Nightstand #1573, 1962) aka To Kiss a Dragon by Carter Allen (Reed, 1973)
The narrator, Dave Owen, is a bit of a criminal in Thailand — he runs a bar and a brothel, does some drug and weapons smuggling on the side, and the local police have hinted that while they know what he is up to, and they appreciate the money his business generates for their economy, if he keeps it up, he will find himself in prison and then deported.
Dave likes where he is and what he does so decides to play it straight for a while — one way is to invest in a friend’s low budget movie that could have a good ROI: the project is called Rivers of Lust and can be made for $75,000 and perhaps bring in millions.
Dave can lose his investment, he thinks this swill be fun and will occupy his time until the hat of the police simmers down. The highs and lows, many lows, of making low budget films has an authenticity to it, from a bad script to bad acting and sexual shenanigans off set.
This is a fine little novel that could’ve easily found a home at Gold Medal, Dell, Ace, Pocket, any other place than Nightstand, but William Knoles was one of Scott Meredith’s black box writers and content to supply Cornith with many excellent gems, as long as the checks were steady.
Jade Brothel was reprinted in 1973 as To Kiss a Dragon with the pen name Carter Allen attached; that edition as a few F-bombs and racier sex scenes tossed in, fitting for the decade and more freedom in publishing.