RIP Malcolm Charles Schaverien (AKA Harlan Wolff)

Harlan Wolff in Winston Churchill’s chair.

Dearest all, I bring very tragic news. My very close friend, a most wonderfully brilliant man Malcolm Scheaverien, aka Harlan Wolff of legendary Bangkok fame, sadly passed away at his home with his family around him after an acute heart attack while doing what he loved best, writing yet another book.

His dear wife Khun Wanna and the ambulance personnel tried heroically for an hour to revive him, to no avail.
Harlan was a legend in his own right having lived a hectic life few could dream off. He would be 60 years old in May this year.

Please be so kind and inform his countless friends and acquaintances.
Malcolm leaves behind two beautiful young children and a lovely wife.
Funeral/Cremation Ceremony for Malcolm Charles Schaverien aka (Harlan Wolff) is being observed at Wat Mai Hard Krathingthong, Jomtien Beach, Pattaya. Details:

Wednesday 17 March 2021
4pm – Bathing rite ceremony
6.30pm – Prayer ceremony
Thursday, 18 March 2021
6.30pm – Prayer ceremony
Friday, 19 March 2021
6.30pm – Prayer ceremony
Saturday, 20 March 2021
10.30am – Offering food to the monks
4pm – Cremation ceremony

If possible, please do come, you will be most welcome.
For Directions to Wat Mai Hard Krathingthong, Jomtien Beach, Pattaya:
For additional details regarding the funeral service please see

About Harlan Wolff:
Thailand has been Harlan’s home since 1977. Before becoming an author, he was a successful Private Investigator and corporate troubleshooter specialising in serious crime.

During the 1970s, alcohol was the glue that held Bangkok’s foreign community together. In baboon colonies, status is the redness of your rump; in expatriate life, it was determined by how well you could hold your liquor. Years of practice meant I could drink almost anybody under the table. In Patpong and Soi Cowboy’s bars and dives, I was usually the last man standing, and by age eighteen, I was already a known face and surrounded by rogues.

In 1980, at nineteen-years-old, I found myself in a small, quiet bar on Sukhumvit Road without money to buy another drink. Giving up booze was not an option, so I decided to buy the bar right there and then for twelve post-dated cheques. You should have seen the owner’s face when I suggested the idea. My pitch was simple and straightforward; she should go home to her two children and leave the low-life behind. I could talk anybody into anything in those days, so I got the deal I wanted. Still penniless, of course, but a bar owner now.

I was at my place sixteen hours a day, always drunk, and always broke. I was tough and skinny because I didn’t need food as much as I needed booze and girls. Sometimes there was gambling, and once in a while, a gun would go off. I eventually gave up plastering over the bullet holes and just left them; they gave the bar character.

I was running the business black; meaning I had no liquor license, didn’t pay tax, didn’t have a work permit, and my visa had expired years ago. The less I cared about being arrested, the more the authorities left me alone.

My twenty-first birthday party in 1982 was a big event. It was a gathering of all the mad drunken characters I had befriended over the years. So many people came that some had to stand outside on the pavement. I had rented an elephant to give rides to my guests, just to be different.

Two policemen tried to arrest me at 3 am, for riding a pachyderm while drunk. They couldn’t help but notice I had a scantily dressed, skinny nymph on my shoulders as well. We were also in the wrong lane and going against the oncoming traffic, which didn’t help. The police knew me, and in those days that was enough, so they let me go with a warning and a promise that I would take the elephant back to the bar and keep it there.

An American friend, who drank Southern Comfort on the rocks, stood up and gave the toast that night. It was a sentiment that was shared by everybody there. The toast was that ‘one day I would live to be as old as I looked.’ It took me by surprise, but everybody thought it appropriate, so we all had a good laugh. Well, I’m still here; I made it, Larry.

My liver collapsed shortly after, and my eyes and skin turned bright yellow. It was probably Larry’s toast and everybody agreeing with him that convinced me to move into a wooden shack for a year to dry-out and give my liver a holiday from the booze. I read books, cooked on charcoal, and didn’t drink a drop. So, thanks for that old friend. I was sad when I heard about the cancer, Larry. I was sorry to see you go.

That was a long time ago, and it all happened before I became a private investigator. Perhaps it was where it all began, though.

According to dime novels, such places are where private detectives are born.