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eBook The Secret Vanguard (Inspector Appleby) download
Mystery and Suspense
Author: Michael Innes
ISBN: 1842327534
Subcategory: Thrillers & Suspense
Pages 186 pages
Publisher House of Stratus (September 23, 2008)
Language English
Category: Mystery and Suspense
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 488
ePUB size: 1303 kb
FB2 size: 1807 kb
DJVU size: 1265 kb
Other formats: mbr azw rtf lrf

eBook The Secret Vanguard (Inspector Appleby) download

by Michael Innes


It is a departure from Michael Innes's previous Appleby mysteries, which are extremely intricate, donnish puzzles; this is a 1939 tale of spies and kidnapping set largely in the Scottish Highlands and which has strong echoes of John Buchan in its plot and setting, but which preserves much of Innes's dry wit in the telling.

I enjoyed The Secret Vanguard very much. It is a departure from Michael Innes's previous Appleby mysteries, which are extremely intricate, donnish puzzles; this is a 1939 tale of spies and kidnapping set largely in the Scottish Highlands and which has strong echoes of John Buchan in its plot and setting, but which preserves much of Innes's dry wit in the telling. It's a hopelessly improbable romp with just sufficient plausibility to be an enjoyable and rather engrossing read. In addition, Innes's characters are nicely done – the doughty young woman, the distracted but determined academic, and the great Appleby himself, among others – and he paints a good picture of remote Scotland.

I enjoyed The Secret Vanguard very much

I enjoyed The Secret Vanguard very much. It begins with the murder of poet, Philip Ploss at his home in the Chilterns and Appleby is mystified wondering why anyone would have wanted to kill him. He had been shot in the middle of his forehead whilst in a gazebo with a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside. It then moves to Sheila Grant, travelling by train to Scotland when she overhears a conversation about poetry as one of the passengers quotes from a poem by Swinburne.

The Secret Vanguard book.

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Successful minor poet, Philip Ploss, lives a peaceful existence in ideal surroundings, until his life is upset when he hears verses erroneously quoted as his own. Soon afterwards, he is found dead in the library with a copy of Dante's Purgatory open before him. To read this book, upload an EPUB or FB2 file to Bookmate.

1 John Appleby series. Between 1936 and 1986, Stewart, writing under the pseudonym of Michael Innes, published nearly fifty crime novels and short story collections, which he later described as "entertainments". These abound in literary allusions and in what critics have variously described as "mischievous wit", "exuberant fancy" and a "tongue-in-cheek propensity" for intriguing turns of phrase. Julian Symons identified.

Successful minor poet, Philip Ploss, lives a peaceful existence in ideal surroundings, until his life is upset when he hears verses erroneously quoted as his own. Soon afterwards, he is found dead in the library with a copy of Dante's Purgatory open before him.

caif
I love the Inspector Appleby series, but this one is a favorite. So much going on in the background and foreground you need to watch carefully to find the clues... and even then....
Llallayue
I made it through half of chapter two before I got so bored I put it down to read my insurance policy contract. The "back matter," that blurb on the back cover, sold me on the book. Half way into chapter two I saw exactly zero of the excitement promised me. Don't waste your time with this.
Gavirim
What a rollicking adventure! It’s full of murder, kidnapping, chases, spies, shoot-outs, escapes, disguises, and rescues. Innes created a fine melodramatic, action-packed, completely unbelievable story. I finally decided that I would enjoy this as simply a pulp thriller and that helped me accept the crazy twists, and wild improbabilities. After a while, it got to be kind of fun just seeing how the author got his characters out of such improbable situations.
[SPOILER]
By the end of the book, he had created so many spies he had to bring in the army and the air force to clean them up. But they only get their shot after our heroes rescue each other and the kidnapped scientist in fine dramatic style. Did I mention that it’s a bit melodramatic?
[END of spoiler]
What a boring, irritating, slow story! It’s full of long descriptive passages, literary references, poetry, psychological musings, and more literary references. I am still talking about the same book. After about the first quarter of the book the action starts to move a bit, but before that, it was so slow… I felt that to really understand what was going on, I would have had to be familiar with all of Sir Walter Scott’s works and numerous poets and painters. That stopped after a while, but the annoying digressions into musings continued throughout. That might be fine at the beginning, during the train ride, or over dinner; but as she runs through gunfire? For me, that sort of thing distracts from the action and plot and accounted for most of the parts I disliked.
I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy parts in about equal measure, but the ending was wild enough to make me say I enjoyed the story. I don't know if I would ever be tempted by anything else Innes wrote though.
Content warning…
There were a few passages that each had several curse words. There were a couple of side characters that did most of the swearing, so when they weren’t speaking it was quite clean.
Early in the book, there is a mention of a dirty joke and one of the characters being in a situation in their past when someone ‘tried to make love to them’. There are no offensive details given.
I received this book as a free ARC through NetGalley and Ipso Books. No favorable review was required.
Bukus
"The Secret Vanguard" (1940) is an early Appleby, and almost pure adventure. Nazi spies communicate with each other by quoting poetry aloud on the British Rail system (I found this is a bit unbelievable---why didn't they just slip notes to each other in the lavatory?)
A poet is murdered near London after hearing himself misquoted on a train, and Inspector John Appleby of New Scotland Yard is delegated to solve the crime.
On another train in Scotland, this story's heroine, Sheila Grant notices that the Swineburne poem quoted by a traveling companion had a couple of extra lines added to it. She makes the mistake of pointing this out to another man in her compartment:
"'It was odd," said Sheila, "that he should put in four lines of his own.'
"'Lines of his own?' The man opposite looked at her in large astonishment.
"Sheila nodded.
"'Where the westerly spur of the furthermost mountain/ Hovers falcon-like over the heart of the bay.'
"'They began like that. And if you happen to know about Swinburne of course they stick out a mile.'"
Of course.
Sheila's misplaced erudition involves her in a desperate chase across Northern Scotland. She is abducted, escapes, meets a blind poet who explains the meaning of the false Swinburne, and finally encounters Appleby, who is chasing poetical clues of his own.
There is a bang-up climax involving the British Army, a very well organized group of Nazi sympathizers, and a gaggle of little old ladies who happen to be lunching at the castle where everything falls apart for the bad guys.
H.R.F. Keating in his 1987 book, "Crime & Mystery: the 100 Best Books," says this about our literate Detective-Inspector:
"To Appleby one could well apply the words which Michael Innes, writing under his own name [J.I.M. Stewart] in the novella "The Man Who Wrote Detective Stories," employs to describe that hero: 'He loved tumbling out scraps of poetry from a ragbag collection in his mind - and particularly in absurd and extravagant contexts.' "
Still---Nazi spies who quote Swineburne's "Forsaken Garden" on a British train----really, Professor Innes!