Sunday, August 13, 2023

Vintage espionage

I discovered Manning Coles as a teenager. An aunt had Without Lawful Authority in her book collection and I started reading it while visiting. When we were about to leave I begged her to give it to me. She did. I then sought out other books by that author and collected many of them. I return to them often. Manning Coles:
Manning Coles is an English author. It is the pen name used by British writers Cyril Coles and Adelaide Manning.

Cyril was born in 1899 and passed away in 1965. Adelaide was born in 1891 and passed away in 1959. The two of them ended up meeting in Hampshire, where they were neighbors. They both lived in the town of East Meon. Coles had worked in both world wars for the British intelligence service. His neighbor served in the First World War working for the War Office.

Manning Coles is the creator of the Tommy Hambledon series. The series kicked off in 1940 when the debut novel came out. It is titled Drink to Yesterday and is the first story to feature the main character of Tommy Hambledon. He is employed in the Foreign Office. The series did well at the time and has a total of twenty-five novels.

The early books that they wrote tended to have realistic details and a grim tone occasionally. The books that they wrote together under the shared pen name after the war were more light in tone and even whimsical. ....
I particularly enjoyed the World War II books in which Hambleton is contending with Nazis, including, for a time, being among them and reaching positions in their hierarchy. In fact, the second book, A Toast to Tomorrow, isn't a bad fictional explanation of the appeal of the Nazi movement to many Germans after World War I.

I once communicated to PBS Mystery producers recommending a TV series with Michael Kitchen (Foyle's War) as Hambleton. I got no response (I wasn't really surprised) but he would be perfect for the part and I still think it could be good.

A list of the books in the series, all available for Kindle.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.